Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Alama Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir

Surah Al A'raf

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,Most Merciful

1

 المص

Alif-Lam-Mim-Sad.

2

 كِتَـبٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ فَلاَ يَكُن فِى صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنْهُ لِتُنذِرَ بِهِ وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

 (This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you, so let not your breast be narrow therefrom, that you warn thereby; and a reminder unto the believers.

3

 اتَّبِعُواْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَآءَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ

Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any Awliya' (protectors), besides Him (Allah). Little do you remember!

Allah says;

المص ﴿١﴾

Alif-Lam-Mim-Sad.

We mentioned before the explanation of the letters (such as, Alif-Lam, that are in the beginning of some Surahs in the Qur'an).

كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ ...

(This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you (O Muhammad),

from your Lord,

... فَلاَ يَكُن فِي صَدْرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنْهُ ...

so let not your breast be narrow therefrom,

A ccording to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi,meaning, having doubt about it.

It was also said that the meaning here is: `do not hesitate to convey the Qur'an and warn with it,'

فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ

Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will. (46:35)

Allah said here,

لِتُنذِرَ بِهِ ...

that you warn thereby,

meaning, `We sent down the Qur'an so that you may warn the disbelievers with it,'

... وَذِكْرَى لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٢﴾

and a reminder unto the believers.

Allah then said to the world,

اتَّبِعُواْ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...  

Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord,

meaning, follow and imitate the unlettered Prophet, who brought you a Book that was revealed for you, from the Lord and master of everything.

... وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ مِن دُونِهِ أَوْلِيَاء ...

and follow not any Awliya', besides Him (Allah),

meaning, do not disregard what the Messenger brought you and follow something else, for in this case, you will be deviating from Allah's judgment to the decision of someone else.

Allah's statement,

... قَلِيلاً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٣﴾

Little do you remember!

is similar to,

وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. (12:103)

and;

وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ

And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path. (6:116)

and,

وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُونَ

And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (12:106)

4

 وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا فَجَآءَهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَآئِلُونَ

And a great number of towns We destroyed. Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.

5

 فَمَا كَانَ دَعْوَاهُمْ إِذْ جَآءَهُم بَأْسُنَآ إِلاَ أَن قَالُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَـلِمِينَ

No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: "Verily, we were wrongdoers.''

6

 فَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْـَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers.

7

 فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيْهِم بِعِلْمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ

Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.

Nations that were destroyed

Allah said,

وَكَم مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَاهَا ...  

And a great number of towns We destroyed.

for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَلَقَدِ اسْتُهْزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواْ مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ

And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at. (6:10)

and,

فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئْرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصْرٍ مَّشِيدٍ

And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle! (22:45)

and,

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ بَطِرَتْ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلْكَ مَسَـكِنُهُمْ لَمْ تُسْكَن مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً وَكُنَّا نَحْنُ الْوَرِثِينَ

And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood! And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs. (28:58)

Allah's saying,

... فَجَاءهَا بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا أَوْ هُمْ قَآئِلُونَ ﴿٤﴾

Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.

means, Allah's command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement.

Allah also said

أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ

أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! (7:97-98)

and,

أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ

أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not! Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them! Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage.

Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (16:45-47)

Allah's saying;

فَمَا كَانَ دَعْوَاهُمْ إِذْ جَاءهُمْ بَأْسُنَا إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ ﴿٥﴾

No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: "Verily, we were wrongdoers.''

This means, when the torment came to them, their cry was that they admitted their sins and that they deserved to be punished.

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

وَكَمْ قَصَمْنَا مِن قَرْيَةٍ كَانَتْ ظَـلِمَة

How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed, (21:11), until, خَـمِدِينَ  (Extinct). (21:15)

Allah's saying.

فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ ...

Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent,

is similar to the Ayat,

وَيَوْمَ يُنَـدِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

And (remember) the Day (Allah) will call them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers!'' (28:65)

and,

يَوْمَ يَجْمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أُجِبْتُمْ قَالُواْ لاَ عِلْمَ لَنَآ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الْغُيُوبِ

On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received!''

They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is unseen.'' (5:109)

Allah will question the nations, on the Day of Resurrection, how they responded to His Messengers and the Messages He sent them with. He will also question the Messeng ers if they conveyed His Messages.

So, Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, who said commenting on the Ayah: فَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَنَسْأَلَنَّ الْمُرْسَلِينَ (Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers). He said; "About what they conveyed.''

فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيْهِم بِعِلْمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ ﴿٧﴾

Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.

Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, "The Book will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and it will speak, disclosing what they used to do.''

... وَمَا كُنَّا غَآئِبِينَ ﴿٧﴾

and indeed We have not been absent.

meaning, On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will inform His servants about what they said and did, whether substantial or minor. Certainly, He witnesses to everything, nothing escapes His observation, and He is never unaware of anything. Rather, He has perfect knowledge of what the eyes are deluded by and what the hearts conceal,

وَمَا تَسْقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعْلَمُهَا وَلاَ حَبَّةٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ رَطْبٍ وَلاَ يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِى كِتَـبٍ مُّبِينٍ

Not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. (6:59)

8

 وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful (by entering Paradise).

9

 وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَـتِنَا يَظْلِمُونَ

And as for those whose scale will be light, they are those who will lose themselves for their wrongful behavior with Our Ayat.

The Meaning of weighing the Deeds

Allah said,

وَالْوَزْنُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٨﴾

وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا يِظْلِمُونَ ﴿٩﴾  

And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful (by entering Paradise). And as for those whose scale will be light, they are those who will lose themselves for their wrongful behavior with Our Ayat.

وَالْوَزْنُ (And the weighing), of deeds on the Day of Resurrection,

الْحَقُّ  (will be the true (weighing)), for Allah will not wrong anyone.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَلاَ تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً وَإِن كَانَ مِثْقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنْ خَرْدَلٍ أَتَيْنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَـسِبِينَ

And We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account. (21:47)

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا وَيُؤْتِ مِن لَّدُنْهُ أَجْراً عَظِيماً

Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. (4:40)

فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ وَأَمَّا مَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ وَمَآ أَدْرَاكَ مَا هِيَهْ نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ

Then as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise). But as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be light. He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, Hell). And what will make you know what it is (It is) a fiercely blazing Fire! (101:6-11)

and,

فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ فَلاَ أَنسَـبَ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ وَلاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ

فَمَن ثَقُلَتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

وَمَنْ خَفَّتْ مَوَزِينُهُ فأُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ فِى جَهَنَّمَ خَـلِدُونَ

Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. Then, those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose themselves, in Hell will they abide. (23:101-103)

As for what will be placed on the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, it has been said that; the deeds will be placed on it, even though they are not material objects. Allah will give these deeds physical weight on the Day of Resurrection.

Al-Baghawi said that this was reported from Ibn Abbas.

It is recorded in the Sahih that; Al-Baqarah (Surah 2) and Al Imran (Surah 3) will come on the Day of Resurrection in the shape of two clouds, or two objects that provide shade, or two lined groups of birds.

It is also recorded in the Sahih that;

the Qur'an will come to its companion (who used to recite and preserve it) in the shape of a pale-faced young man. He will ask (the young man), "Who are you?''

He will reply, "I am the Qur'an, who made you stay up sleeplessly at night and caused you thirst in the day.''

The Hadith that Al-Bara' narrated about the questioning in the grave states,

فَيَأْتِي الْمُؤْمِنَ شَابٌّ حَسَنُ اللَّوْنِ طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ فَيَقُولُ: مَنْ أَنْتَ؟

فَيَقُولُ: أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِح

A young man with fair color and good scent will come to the believer, who will ask, `Who are you?'

He will reply, `I am your good deeds'.

The Prophet mentioned the opposite in the case of the disbeliever and the hypocrite.

It was also said that; the Book of Records that contains the deeds will be weighed.

A Hadith states that;

a man will be brought forth and ninety-nine scrolls containing errors and sins will be placed on one side of the balance each as long as the sight can reach. He will then be brought a card on which `La ilaha illallah' will be written. He will say, "O Lord! What would this card weigh against these scrolls?''

Allah will say, "You will not be wronged.''

So the card will be placed on the other side of the Balance, and as the Messenger of Allah said,

فَطَاشَتِ السِّجِلَّاتُ وَثَقُلَتِ الْبِطَاقَة

Behold! The (ninety-nine) scrolls will go up, as the card becomes heavier.

At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for this Hadith and said that it is authentic.

It was also said that the person who performed the deed will be weighed.

A Hadith states,

يُؤْتَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِالرَّجُلِ السَّمِينِ فَلَا يَزِنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَة

On the Day of Resurrection, a fat man will be brought forth, but he will not weigh with Allah equal to the wing of a mosquito. He then recited the Ayah,

فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَزْناً

And on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them. (18:105)

Also, the Prophet said about Abdullah bin Mas`ud,

أَتَعْجَبُونَ مِنْ دِقَّةِ سَاقَيْهِ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَهُمَا فِي الْمِيزَانِ أَثْقَلُ مِنْ أُحُد

Do you wonder at the thinness of his legs? By He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are heavier on the Balance than (Mount) Uhud.

It is also possible to combine the meanings of these Ayat and Hadiths by stating that all this will truly occur, for sometimes the deeds will be weighed, sometimes the scrolls where they are recorded will be weighed, and sometimes those who performed the deeds will be weighed.

Allah knows best.

10

 وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّـكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَـيِشَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ

And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little thanks do you give.

All Bounties in the Heavens and Earth are for the Benefit of Mankind

Allah says;

وَلَقَدْ مَكَّنَّاكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ قَلِيلاً مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿١٠﴾  

And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little thanks do you give.

Allah reminds of His favor on His servants in that He made the earth a fixed place for dwelling, placed firm mountains and rivers on it and made homes and allowed them to utilize its benefits. Allah made the clouds work for them (bringing rain) so that they may produce their sustenance from them. He also created the ways and means of earnings, commercial activities and other professions. Yet, most of them give little thanks for this.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الإنْسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ

And if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed a wrongdoer, an ingrate. (14:34)

11

 وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَـكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَـكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لأَدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّـجِدِينَ

And surely, We created you and then gave you shape; then We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam,'' and they prostrated, except Iblis (Shaytan), he refused to be of those who prostrated.

Prostration of the Angels to Adam and Shaytan's Arrogance

Allah informs the Children of Adam about the honor of their father and the enmity of Shaytan, who still has envy for them and for their father Adam. So they should beware of him and not follow in his footsteps.

Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ صَوَّرْنَاكُمْ ثُمَّ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ ...

And surely, We created you and then gave you shape; then We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam,'' and they prostrated,

This is like His saying,

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِنِّى خَـلِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَـلٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ

فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِى فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَـجِدِينَ

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "I am going to create a man from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him the soul (which I created for him), then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.'' (15:28-29)

After Allah created Adam with His Hands from dried clay of altered mud and made him in the shape of a human being, He blew life into him and ordered the angels to prostrate before him, honoring Allah's glory and magnificence. The angels all heard, obeyed and prostrated, but Iblis did not prostrate.

... إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ لَمْ يَكُن مِّنَ السَّاجِدِينَ ﴿١١﴾

except Iblis (Shaytan), he refused to be of those who prostrated.

We explained this subject in the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah. Therefore, the Ayah (7:11) refers to Adam, although Allah used the plural in this case, because Adam is the father of all mankind.

Similarly, Allah said to the Children of Israel who lived during the time of the Prophet,

وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْغَمَامَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى

And We shaded you with clouds and sent down on you manna and the quail, (2:57)

This refers to their forefathers who lived during the time of Moses. But, since that was a favor given to the forefathers, and they are their very source, then the offspring have also been favored by it. This is not the case in:

وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِن سُلَـلَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ

And indeed We created man out of an extract of clay (water and earth). (23:12)

For this merely means that Adam was created from clay. His children were created from Nutfah (mixed male and female sexual discharge).

This last Ayah is thus talking about the origin of mankind, not that they were all created from clay, and Allah knows best.

12

 قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ

(Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you''

قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.''

Allah tells,

قَالَ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ إِذْ أَمَرْتُكَ قَالَ أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ ﴿١٢﴾

(Allah) said: "What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you''

Iblis said: "I am better than him (Adam), You created me from fire, and him You created from clay.''

... مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلاَّ تَسْجُدَ ...

(Allah) said: What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate!  

According to Ibn Jarir, meaning, what stopped and hindered you from prostrating after I ordered you to do so,

This meaning is sound, and Allah knows best.

Iblis, may Allah curse him, said, أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ  (I am better than him (Adam)), and this excuse is worse than the crime itself! Shaytan said that he did not obey Allah because he who is better cannot prostrate to he who is less.

Shaytan, may Allah curse him, meant that he is better than Adam, "So how can You order me to prostrate before him!'' Shaytan said that he is better than Adam because he was created from fire while, "You created him from clay, and fire is better.'' The cursed one looked at the origin of creation not at the honor bestowed, that is, Allah creating Adam with His Hand and blowing life into him. Shaytan made a false comparison when confronted by Allah's command,  فَقَعُوا لَهُ سَاجِدِينَ  (Then you fall down prostrate to him) (38:72). Therefore, Shaytan alone contradicted the angels, because he refused to prostrate. He, thus, became `Ablasa' from the mercy, meaning, lost hope in acquiring Allah's mercy. He committed this error, may Allah curse him, due to his false comparison.

His claim that the fire is more honored than mud was also false, because mud has the qualities of wisdom, forbearance, patience and assurance, mud is where plants grow, flourish, increase, and provide good. To the contrary, fire has the qualities of burning, recklessness and hastiness. Therefore, the origin of creation directed Shaytan to failure, while the origin of Adam led him to return to Allah with repentance, humbleness, obedience and submission to His command, admitting his error and seeking Allah's forgiveness and pardon for it.

Muslim recorded that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ وَخُلِقَ إِبْلِيسُ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم

The angels were created from light, Shaytan from a smokeless flame of fire, while Adam was created from what was described to you.

Iblis was the First to use Qiyas (Analogical Comparison)

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on Shaytan's statement, خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ  ("You created me from fire, and him You created from clay).'' "Iblis used Qiyas (analogy), and he was the first one to do so.''

This statemen t has an authentic chain of narration.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Sirin said, "The first to use Qiyas was Iblis, and would the sun and moon be worshipped if it was not for Qiyas''

This statement also has an authentic chain of narration.

13

 قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا

 (Allah) said: "(O Iblis) get down from this (Paradise), it is not for you to be arrogant here.  

فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّـغِرِينَ

Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.''

14

 قَالَ أَنظِرْنِى إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

 (Iblis) said: "Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (the Day of Resurrection).''

15

 قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ المُنظَرِينَ

 (Allah) said: "You are of those respited.''

Allah ordered Iblis;

قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا ...

(Allah) said: "Get down from this,

because you defied My command and disobeyed Me. Get out,

... فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا ...

it is not for you to be arrogant here."  

in Paradise, according to the scholars of Tafsir.

It could also refer to particular status which he held in the utmost highs.

Allah said to Iblis,

... فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ ﴿١٣﴾

Get out, for you are of those humiliated and disgraced.

as just recompense for his ill intentions, by giving him the opposite of what he intended (arrogance).

This is when the cursed one remembered and asked for respite until the Day of Judgment,

قَالَ فَأَنظِرْنِي إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ ﴿١٤﴾

قَالَ إِنَّكَ مِنَ المُنظَرِينَ ﴿١٥﴾

(Iblis) said: "Allow me respite till the Day they are raised up (the Day of Resurrection).''

(Allah) said: "You are of those respited.''

It is like His statement;

قَالَ رَبِّ فَأَنظِرْنِى إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ

Then allow me respite till the Day they are raised up. (Allah) said: "Then you are of those respited.'' (15: 36-37)

Allah gave Shaytan what he asked for out of His wisdom, being His decision and decree, that is never prevented or resisted. Surely, none can avert His decision, and He is swift in reckoning.

16

 قَالَ فَبِمَآ أَغْوَيْتَنِى لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ

 (Iblis) said: "Because You have `Aghwaytni', surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path.

17

 ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَـنِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَـكِرِينَ

"Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them to be thankful.''

Allah said that after He gave respite to Shaytan, إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ (till the Day they are raised up (resurrected)) and Iblis was sure that he got what he wanted, he went on in defiance and rebellion.

He said,

قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ ﴿١٦﴾

"Because You have `Aghwaytani', surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your straight path.''

meaning, as You have sent me astray.

Ibn Abbas said that `Aghwaytani' means, "Misguided me.''

Others said, "As You caused my ruin, I will sit in wait for Your servants whom You will create from the offspring of the one you expelled me for.''

He went on, صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ  (Your straight path), the path of truth and the way of safety. I (Iblis) will misguide them from this path so that they do not worship You Alone, because You sent me astray.

Mujahid said that the `straight path', refers to the truth.

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ قَعَدَ لِابْنِ آدَمَ بِطُرُقِهِ، فَقَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْإِسْلَامِ، فَقَالَ: أَتُسْلِمُ وَتَذَرُ دِينَكَ وَدِينَ آبَائِكَ؟ قَالَ: فَعَصَاهُ وَأَسْلَم

Shaytan sat in wait for the Son of Adam in all his paths. He sat in the path of Islam, saying, `Would you embrace Islam and abandon your religion and the religion of your forefathers!' However, the Son of Adam disobeyed Shaytan and embraced Islam.

قَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْهِجْرَةِ فَقَالَ: أَتُهَاجِرُ وَتَدَعُ أَرْضَكَ وَسَمَاءَكَ؟

So Shaytan sat in the path of Hijrah (migration in the cause of Allah), saying, `Would you migrate and leave your land and sky!'

وَإِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْمُهَاجِرِ كَالْفَرَسِ فِي الطِّوَلِ، فَعَصَاهُ وَهَاجَرَ،

But the parable of the Muhajir is that of a horse in his stamina So, he disobeyed Shaytan and migrated.

ثُمَّ قَعَدَ لَهُ بِطَرِيقِ الْجِهَادِ وَهُوَ جِهَادُ النَّفْسِ وَالْمَالِ، فَقَالَ: تُقَاتِلُ فَتُقْتَلُ فَتُنْكَحُ الْمَرْأَةُ وَيُقْسَمُ الْمَالُ،

So Shaytan sat in the path of Jihad, against one's self and with his wealth, saying, `If you fight, you will be killed, your wife will be married and your wealth divided.'

قاَلَ: فَعَصَاهُ وَجَاهَد

So he disobeyed him and performed Jihad.

The Prophet peace be upon him then said;

فَمَنْ فَعَلَ ذَلِكَ مِنْهُمْ فَمَاتَ، كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ،

· وَإِنْ قُتِلَ كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ،

· وَإِنْ غَرِقَ كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّةَ

· أَوْ وَقَصَتْهُ دَابَّةٌ كَانَ حَقًّا عَلَى اللهِ أَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ الْجَنَّة

Therefore, whoever among them (Children of Adam) does this and dies, it will be a promise from Allah that He admits him into Paradise.

· If he is killed, it will be a promise from Allah that He admits him into Paradise.

· If he drowns, it will be a promise from Allah that He admits him into Paradise.

· If the animal breaks his neck, it will be a promise from Allah that He admits him into Paradise.

ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ  ﴿١٧﴾

"Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left, and You will not find most of them to be thankful.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on: ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ  (Then I will come to them from before them), Raising doubts in them concerning their Hereafter,

وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ (and (from) behind them), making them more eager for this life,

وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ  (from their right), causing them confusion in the religion,

وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ  (and from their left), luring them to commit sins.''

This is meant to cover all paths of good and evil. Shaytan discourages the people from the path of good and lures them to the path of evil.

Al-Hakam bin Abban said that Ikrimah narrated from Ibn Abbas concerning the Ayah,

ثُمَّ لآتِيَنَّهُم مِّن بَيْنِ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمِنْ خَلْفِهِمْ وَعَنْ أَيْمَانِهِمْ وَعَن شَمَآئِلِهِمْ ...

Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left,

"He did not say that he will come from above them, because the mercy descends from above.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said,

... وَلاَ تَجِدُ أَكْثَرَهُمْ شَاكِرِينَ  

and You will not find most of them to be thankful.

"means, those who single Him out (in worship).''

When Shaytan said this, it was a guess and an assumption on his part. Yet, the truth turned out to be the same, for Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ صَدَّقَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِبْلِيسُ ظَنَّهُ فَاتَّبَعُوهُ إِلاَّ فَرِيقاً مِّنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

وَمَا كَانَ لَهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ مِمَّنْ هُوَ مِنْهَا فِى شَكٍّ وَرَبُّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَفُيظٌ

And indeed Iblis (Shaytan) did prove true his thought about them, and they followed him, all except a group of true believers. And he had no authority over them, except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in doubt about it. And your Lord is Watchful over everything. (34:20-21)

This is why there is a Hadith that encourages seeking r efuge with Allah from the lures of Shaytan from all directions.

Imam Ahmad narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said,

"The Messenger of Allah used to often recite this supplication in the morning and when the night falls,

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي،

اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي،

اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ وَمِنْ خَلْفِي وَعَنْ يَمِينِي وَعَنْ شِمَالِي وَمِنْ فَوْقِي وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي

O Allah! I ask You for well-being in this life and the Hereafter.

O Allah! I ask You for pardon and well-being in my religion, life, family and wealth.

O Allah! Cover my errors and reassure me in times of difficulty.

O Allah! Protect me from before me, from behind me, from my right, from my left and from above me. I seek refuge with Your greatness from being killed from below me.''

Waki` commented (about being killed from below), "This refers to earthquakes.''

Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i, Ibn Majah, Ibn Hibban and Al-Hakim collected this Hadith, and Al-Hakim said, "Its chain is Sahih.''

18

 قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْءُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

 (Allah) said (to Iblis): "Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura.

 لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لأَمْلأَنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.''

Allah says;

قَالَ اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا ...

(Allah) said (to Iblis): "Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura. Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.''

Allah emphasized His cursing, expelling, banishing and turning Shaytan away from the uppermost heights, saying;

Ibn Jarir said, "As for Madh'um, it is disgraced.''

And he said, "Madhur is the distanced, that is, he is banished and expelled.''

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "We do not know of any who is Madh'uh and Madhmum except for one.''

Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Ishaq from At-Tamimi from Ibn Abbas, اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا (Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura, "despised.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on, اخْرُجْ مِنْهَا مَذْؤُومًا مَّدْحُورًا (Get out from this (Paradise), Madh'uman Madhura),  "Belittled and despised.''

As-Suddi commented, "Hateful and expelled.''

Qatadah commented, "Cursed and d espised.''

Mujahid said, "Expelled and banished.''

Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that; `Madh'um' means banished, while, `Madhura' means belittled.

Allah said,

... لَّمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ لأَمْلأنَّ جَهَنَّمَ مِنكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿١٨﴾

Whoever of them (mankind) will follow you, then surely, I will fill Hell with you all.

This is similar to Allah's saying;

قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَّوفُورًا

وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِى الاٌّمْوَلِ وَالاٌّوْلَـدِ وَعِدْهُمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا

إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـنٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً

(Allah) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) an ample recompense. And gradually delude those whom you can among them with your voice, make assaults on them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.''

But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit.

"Verily, My servants -- you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.'' (17:63-65)

19

 وَيَــَادَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

"And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the wrongdoers.

20

 فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَـنُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَتِهِمَا

Then Shaytan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before);

وَقَالَ مَا نَهَـكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلاَ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَـلِدِينَ

he said: "Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels or become of the immortals.''

21

 وَقَاسَمَهُمَآ

And he Qasamahuma:

إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّـصِحِينَ

"Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.''

Shaytan's Deceit with Adam and Hawwa' and Their eating from the Forbidden Tree

Allah says;

وَيَا آدَمُ اسْكُنْ أَنتَ وَزَوْجُكَ الْجَنَّةَ فَكُلاَ مِنْ حَيْثُ شِئْتُمَا وَلاَ تَقْرَبَا هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةَ فَتَكُونَا مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٩﴾

فَوَسْوَسَ لَهُمَا الشَّيْطَانُ لِيُبْدِيَ لَهُمَا مَا وُورِيَ عَنْهُمَا مِن سَوْءَاتِهِمَا ...

"And O Adam! Dwell you and your wife in Paradise, and eat thereof as you both wish, but approach not this tree otherwise you both will be of the wrongdoers.Then Shaytan whispered suggestions to them both in order to uncover that which was hidden from them of their private parts (before);

Allah states that He allowed Adam and his wife to dwell in Paradise and to eat from all of its fruits, except one tree.

We have already discussed this in Surah Al-Baqarah.

Thus, Shaytan envied them and plotted deceitfully, whispering and suggesting treachery. He wished to rid them of the various favors and nice clothes that they were enjoying.

... وَقَالَ ...

He (Shaytan) said,

uttering lies and falsehood,

... مَا نَهَاكُمَا رَبُّكُمَا عَنْ هَـذِهِ الشَّجَرَةِ إِلاَّ أَن تَكُونَا مَلَكَيْنِ ...

"Your Lord did not forbid you this tree save you should become angels...''

meaning, so that you do not become angels or dwell here for eternity.

... أَوْ تَكُونَا مِنَ الْخَالِدِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾

or become of the immortals.''

Surely, if you eat from this tree, you will attain both, he said.

In another Ayah,

قَالَ يـَادَمُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى شَجَرَةِ الْخُلْدِ وَمُلْكٍ لاَّ يَبْلَى

Shaytan whispered to him, saying: "O Adam! Shall I lead you to the Tree of Eternity and to a kingdom that will never waste away.'' (20:120)

Here, the wording is similar, so it means, `so that you do not become angels,' as in;

يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ أَن تَضِلُّواْ

(Thus) does Allah make clear to you (His Law) lest you go astray. (4:176)

meaning, so that you do not go astray,

and,

وَأَلْقَى فِى الاٌّرْضِ رَوَاسِىَ أَن تَمِيدَ بِكُمْ

And He has affixed into the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with you; (16:15)

that is, so that the earth does not shake with you.

وَقَاسَمَهُمَا ...

And he Qasamahuma,

swore to them both by Allah, saying,

... إِنِّي لَكُمَا لَمِنَ النَّاصِحِينَ ﴿٢١﴾

"Verily, I am one of the sincere well-wishers for you both.''

for I was here before you and thus have better knowledge of this place.

It is a fact that the believer in Allah might sometimes become the victim of deceit.

Qatadah commented on this Ayah, "Shaytan swore by Allah, saying, `I was created before you, and I have better knowledge than you. Therefore, follow me and I will direct you.'''

22

 فَدَلَّـهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ

So he misled them with deception.

فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ

Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise.

وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَآ أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَآ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ

And their Lord called out to them (saying): "Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Shaytan is an open enemy unto you!''

23

 قَالاَ رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

They said: "Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.''

 Allah says;

فَدَلاَّهُمَا بِغُرُورٍ فَلَمَّا ذَاقَا الشَّجَرَةَ بَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْءَاتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ وَنَادَاهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا أَلَمْ أَنْهَكُمَا عَن تِلْكُمَا الشَّجَرَةِ وَأَقُل لَّكُمَا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَآنَ لَكُمَا عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٢﴾

So he misled them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise.

Ubayy bin Ka`b said,

"Adam was a tall man, about the height of a palm tree, and he had thick hair on his head. When he committed the error that he committed, his private part appeared to him while before, he did not see it. So he started running in fright through Paradise, but a tree in Paradise took him by the head. He said to it, `Release me,' but it said, `No, I will not release you.' So his Lord called him, `O Adam! Do you run away from Me!'

He said, `O Lord! I felt ashamed before You.'''

Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah collected this statement using several chains of narration from Al-Hasan from Ubayy bin Ka`b who narrated it from the Prophet. However, relating the Hadith to Ubayy is more correct.

Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ  (And they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise). "Using fig leaves.''

This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn Abbas.

Mujahid said that they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise, "Making them as a dress (or garment).''

Commenting on Allah's statement, يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا  (Stripping them of their raiment) (7:27) Wahb bin Munabbih said, "The private parts of Adam and Hawwa' had a light covering them which prevented them from seeing the private parts of each other. When they ate from the tree, their private parts appeared to them.''

Ibn Jarir reported this statement with an authentic chain of narration.

Abdur-Razzaq reported from Qatadah,

"Adam said, `O Lord! What if I repented and sought forgiveness!'

Allah said, `Then, I will admit you into Paradise.' As for Shaytan, he did not ask for forgiveness, but for respite. Each one of them was given what he asked for.''

قَالاَ ...

they said:

 رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

"Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.''

Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim commented, "These are the words that Adam received from his Lord.''  

24

 قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ

(Allah) said: "Get down, one of you an enemy to the other.

وَلَكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَـعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ

On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.''

25

 قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ

He said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).''

Sending Them All Down to Earth

Allah tells;

قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ ...

(Allah) said: "Get down, one of you an enemy to the other.

It was said that, اهْبِطُواْ  ("Get down), was addressed to Adam, Hawwa, Iblis and the snake.

Some scholars did not mention the snake, and Allah knows best.

The enmity is primarily between Adam and Iblis, and Hawwa follows Adam in this regard.

Allah said in Surah Ta Ha,

اهْبِطَا مِنْهَا جَمِيعاً

"Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together...'' (20:123)

If the story about the snake is true, then it is a follower of Iblis.

Some scholars mentioned the location on earth they were sent down, but these accounts are taken from the Israelite tales, and only Allah knows if they are true. If having known these areas was useful for the people in matters of religion or life, Allah would have mentioned them in His Book, and His Messenger would have mentioned them too.

Allah's statement,

... وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ ﴿٢٤﴾

On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.

means, on earth you will have dwellings and known, designated, appointed terms that have been recorded by the Pen, counted by Predestination and written in the First Record.

قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ ﴿٢٥﴾

He (Allah) said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).''

This Ayah is similar to Allah's other statement,

مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى

Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. (20:55)

Allah states that He has made the earth a dwelling place for t he Children of Adam, for the remainder of this earthly life. On it, they will live, die and be buried in their graves; and from it, they will be resurrected for the Day of Resurrection. On that Day, Allah will gather the first and last of creatures and reward or punish each according to his or her deeds.

26

 يَـبَنِى آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَرِى سَوْءَتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَى ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ

O Children of Adam! We have bestowed Libas (raiment) upon you to cover yourselves with, and as Rish (adornment); and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa, that is better.

ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَـتِ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

Such are among the Ayat of Allah, that they may remember.

Bestowing Raiment and Adornment on Mankind

Allah says;

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ قَدْ أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ لِبَاسًا يُوَارِي سَوْءَاتِكُمْ وَرِيشًا وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ذَلِكَ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ ﴿٢٦﴾

O Children of Adam! We have bestowed Libas (raiment) upon you to cover yourselves with, and as Rish (adornment); and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa, that is better. Such are among the Ayat of Allah, that they may remember.

Allah reminds His servants that He has given them Libas and Rish. Libas refers to the clothes that are used to cover the private parts, while Rish refers to the outer adornments used for purposes of beautification. Therefore, the first type is essential while the second type is complimentary.

Ibn Jarir said that; Rish includes furniture and outer clothes.

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on the Ayah, وَلِبَاسُ التَّقْوَىَ  (and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa...), "When one fears Allah, Allah covers his errors. Hence the `Libas of Taqwa' (that the Ayah mentions).''

27

 يَـبَنِى آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ كَمَآ أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَتِهِمَآ إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ

O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts.

هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ

Verily, he and his tribe see you from where you cannot see them.

إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَـطِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Verily, We made the Shayatin friends of those who believe not.

Warning against the Lures of Shaytan

Allah says;

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ لاَ يَفْتِنَنَّكُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ كَمَا أَخْرَجَ أَبَوَيْكُم مِّنَ الْجَنَّةِ يَنزِعُ عَنْهُمَا لِبَاسَهُمَا لِيُرِيَهُمَا سَوْءَاتِهِمَا إِنَّهُ يَرَاكُمْ هُوَ وَقَبِيلُهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ تَرَوْنَهُمْ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء لِلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾

O Children of Adam! Let not Shaytan deceive you, as he got your parents out of Paradise, stripping them of their raiment, to show them their private parts. Verily, he and his tribe see you from where you cannot see them. Verily, We made the Shayatin friends of those who believe not.

Allah warns the Children of Adam against Iblis and his followers, by explaining about his ancient enmity for the father of mankind, Adam peace be upon him. Iblis plotted to have Adam expelled from Paradise, which is the dwelling of comfort, to the dwelling of hardship and fatigue (this life) and caused him to have his private part uncovered, after it had been hidden from him. This, indeed, is indicative of deep hatred (from Shaytan towards Adam and mankind).

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّـلِمِينَ بَدَلاً

Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me, while they are enemies to you! What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers. (18:50)

28

 وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَـحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَآ ءَابَاءَنَا وَاللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا

And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.''

قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَآءِ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Say: "Nay, Allah never commands Fahishah. Do you say about Allah what you know not!''

29

 قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَقِيمُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ

Say: "My Lord has commanded justice and that you should face Him only, in every Masjid and invoke Him only, making your religion sincere to Him. As He brought you (into being) in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again.''

30

 فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلَـلَةُ إِنَّهُمُ اتَّخَذُوا الشَّيَـطِينَ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error; (because) surely, they took the Shayatin as supporters instead of Allah, and think that they are guided.

Disbelievers commit Sins and claim that Allah commanded Them to do so!

Mujahid said,

"The idolators used to go around the House (Ka`bah) in Tawaf while naked, saying, `We perform Tawaf as our mothers gave birth to us.'

The woman would cover her sexual organ with something saying, `Today, some or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it, I do not allow it (it is not for adultery or for men to enjoy looking at!).'''

Allah sent down the Ayah,

وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا ...

And when they commit a Fahishah (sin), they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.''

I say, the Arabs, with the ex ception of the Quraysh, used to perform Tawaf naked. They claimed they would not make Tawaf while wearing the clothes that they disobeyed Allah in. As for the Quraysh, known as Al-Hums, they used to perform Tawaf in their regular clothes. Whoever among the Arabs borrowed a garment from one of Al-Hums, he would wear it while in Tawaf. And whoever wore a new garment, would discard it and none would wear it after him on completion of Tawaf. Those who did not have a new garment, or were not given one by Al-Hums, then they would perform Tawaf while naked.

Even women would go around in Tawaf while naked, and one of them would cover her sexual organ with something and proclaim, "Today, a part or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it I do not allow it.''

Women used to perform Tawaf while naked usually at night. This was a practice that the idolators invented on their own, following only their forefathers in this regard. They falsely claimed that what their forefathers did was in fact following the order and legislation of Allah. Allah then refuted them, Allah said, وَإِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً قَالُواْ وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءنَا وَاللّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا (And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us'').

Allah does not order Fahsha', but orders Justice and Sincerity

Allah replied to this false claim,

... قُلْ ...

Say, (O Muhammad, to those who claimed this),

... إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاء ...

"Nay, Allah never commands Fahsha'...,''

meaning, the practice you indulge in is a despicable sin, and Allah does not command such a thing.

... أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢٨﴾

"Do you say about Allah what you know not!''

that is, do you attribute to Allah statements that you are not certain are true.

Allah said next,

قُلْ أَمَرَ رَبِّي بِالْقِسْطِ ...

Say: "My Lord has commanded justice, (fairness and honesty),''

... وَأَقِيمُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وَادْعُوهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ ...

"And that you should face Him only, in every Masjid, and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him...''

This Ayah means, Allah commands you to be straightforward in worshipping Him, by following the Messengers who were supported with miracles and obeying what they conveyed from Allah and the Law that they brought. He also commands sincerity in worshipping Him, for He, Exalted He is, does not accept a good deed until it satisfies these two conditions: being correct and in conformity with His Law, and being free of Shirk.

The Meaning of being brought into Being in the Beginning and brought back again

Allah's saying

... كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾

فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ ...

As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;

There is some difference over the meaning of: كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ  (As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again).

Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that it means, "He will bring you back to life after you die.''

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented, "As He made you begin in this life, He will bring you back to life on the Day of Resurrection.''

Qatadah commented on: "He started their creation after they were nothing, and they perished later on, and He shall bring them back again.''

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "As He created you in the beginning, He will bring you back in the end.''

This last explanation was preferred by Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir and he supported it with what he reported from Ibn Abbas,

"The Messenger of Allah stood up and gave us a speech, saying,

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ تُحْشَرُونَ إِلَى اللهِ حُفَاةً عُرَاةً غُرْلًا

O people! You will be gathered to Allah while barefooted, naked and uncircumcised,

كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُّعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ

As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it. (21:104)

This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah,

... كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ ﴿٢٩﴾

فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ ...

As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;

"Allah, the Exalted, began the creation of the Sons of Adam, some believers and some disbelievers, just as He said, هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ  (He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers) (64:2). He will then return them on the Day of Resurrection as He started them, some believers and some disbelievers.

I say, what supports this meaning, is the Hadith from Ibn Mas`ud that Al-Bukhari recorded, that the Prophet said:

فَوَالَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ غَيرُهُ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ، فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا،

وَإِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا إِلَّا بَاعٌ أَوْ ذِرَاعٌ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ، فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّة

By He, other than Whom there is no god, one of you might perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until only the length of an arm or a forearm would separate him from it. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he commits the work of the people of the Fire and thus enters it.

And one of you might perform the deeds of the people of the Fire until only the length of an arm or a forearm separates between him and the Fire. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he performs the work of the people of Paradise and thus enters Paradise.

We should combine this meaning -- if it is held to be the correct meaning for the Ayah -- with Allah's statement:

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا

So set you your face towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind, (30:30),

and what is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِه

Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.

Muslim recorded that Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالـى: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ، فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِم

Allah said, `I created My servants Hunafa (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion.

The collective meaning here is, Allah created His creatures so that some of them later turn believers and some turn disbelievers. Allah has originally created all of His servants able to recognize Him, to single Him out in worship, and know that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He also took their covenant to fulfill the implications of this knowledge, which He placed in their consciousness and souls. He has decided that some of them will be miserable and some will be happy, هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُمْ فَمِنكُمْ كَافِرٌ وَمِنكُم مُّؤْمِنٌ  (He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers). (64:2)

Also, a Hadith states,

كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا

All people go out in the morning and sell themselves, and some of them free themselves while some others destroy themselves.

Allah's decree will certainly come to pass in His creation. Verily, He it is وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى  (Who has measured (everything); and then guided) (87: 3), and, الَّذِي أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى  (He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright). (20:50)

And in the Two Sahihs:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ السَّعَادَةِ، وَأَمَّا مَنْ كَانَ مِنْ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَةِ فَسَيُيَسَّرُ لِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الشَّقَاوَة

As for those among you who are among the people of happiness, they will be facilitated to perform the deeds of the people of happiness. As for those who are among the miserable, they will be facilitated to commit the deeds of the miserable.

This is why Allah said here, فَرِيقًا هَدَى وَفَرِيقًا حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الضَّلاَلَةُ  (A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error;),

Allah then explained why,

... إِنَّهُمُ اتَّخَذُوا الشَّيَاطِينَ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِ اللّهِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ ﴿٣٠﴾

(because) surely, they took the Shayatin as supporters instead of Allah, and think that they are guided.  

Ibn Jarir said,

"This is one of the clearest arguments proving the mistake of those who claim that Allah does not punish anyone for disobedient acts he commits of deviations he believes in until after knowledge of what is correct reaches him, then he were to obstinately avoid it anyway. If this were true, then there would be no difference between the deviations of the misguided group - their belief that they are guided - and the group that is in fact guided. Yet Allah has differentiated between the two in this noble Ayah, doing so in both name and judgement.''

31

 يَـبَنِى ءَادَمَ خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

O Children of Adam! Take your adornment to every Masjid, and eat and drink, but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.

Allah commands taking Adornment when going to the Masjid

This honorable Ayah refutes the idolators' practice of performing Tawaf around the Sacred House while naked.

Muslim, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir, (the following wording is that of Ibn Jarir) recorded that Shu`bah said that Salamah bin Kuhayl said that Muslim Al-Batin said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said, "The idolators used to go around the House while naked, both men and women, men in the day and women by night. The woman would say, "Today, a part or all of it will be unveiled, but whatever is exposed of it, I do not allow.''

Allah said in reply,

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ ...

O Children of Adam!

... خُذُواْ زِينَتَكُمْ عِندَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ ...

Take your adornment to every Masjid,

Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas commented:

"There were people who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked, and Allah ordered them to take adornment, meaning, wear clean, proper clothes that cover the private parts. people were commanded to wear their best clothes when performing every prayer.''

Mujahid, Ata', Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and Malik narrated a similar saying from Az-Zuhri, and from several of the Salaf. They said that; this Ayah was revealed about the idolators who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked.

This Ayah, as well as the Sunnah, encourage wearing the best clothes when praying, especially for Friday and `Id prayers.

It is also recommended (for men) to wear perfume for prayer, because it is adornment, and to use Siwak for it is part of what completes adornment.

The best color for clothes is white, for Imam Ahmad n arrated that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الْبَسُوا مِنْ ثِيَابِكُمُ الْبَيَاضَ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ خَيْرِ ثِيَابِكُمْ، وَكَفِّنُوا فِيهَا مَوْتَاكُمْ وَإِنَّ خَيْرَ أَكْحَالِكُمُ الْإثْمَدُ فَإِنَّهُ يَجْلُو الْبَصَرَ وَيُنْبِتُ الشَّعَر

Wear white clothes, for it is among your best clothes, and also wrap your dead with it. And Ithmid (antimony) is among the best of your Kuhl, for it clears the sight and helps the hair grow.

This Hadith has a sound chain of narration, consisting of narrators who conform to the conditions and guidelines of Imam Muslim.

Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded it, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

Prohibiting Extravagance

Allah said,

... وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ...

And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance,

Al-Bukhari said that Ibn Abbas said, "Eat what you wish and wear what you wish, as long as you avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance.''

Ibn Jarir said that Muhammad bin Abdul-A`la narrated to us that Muhammad bin Thawr narrated to us from Ma`mar from Ibn Tawus from his father who said that Ibn Abbas said, "Allah has allowed eating and drinking, as long as it does not contain extravagance or arrogance.''

This chain is Sahih.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib Al-Kindi said that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

مَا مَلَأَ ابْنُ آدَمَ وِعَاءً شَرًّا مِنْ بَطْنِهِ بِحَسْبِ ابْنِ آدَمَ أَكَلَاتٍ يُقِمْنَ صُلْبَهُ فَإِنْ كَانَ فَاعِلًا لَا مَحَالَةَ فَثُلُثٌ طَعَامٌ وَثُلُثٌ شَرَابٌ وَثُلُثٌ لِنَفَسِه

The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthens his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing.

An-Nasa'i and At-Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan'' or "Hasan Sahih'' according to another manuscript.

Ata Al-Khurasani said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah,

... وكُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ وَلاَ تُسْرِفُواْ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ ﴿٣١﴾

And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.

"With food and drink.''

إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ

Certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.

Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement,

"Allah the Exalted says that He does not like those who trespass the limits on an allowed matter or a prohibited matter, those who go to the extreme over what He has allowed, allow what He has prohibited, or prohibit what He has allowed. But, He likes that what He has allowed be considered as such (without extravagance) and what He has prohibited be considered as such. This is the justice that He has commanded.''

32

 قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَـتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ

Say: "Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and At-Tayyibat (good things) of sustenance!''

قُلْ هِى لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ

Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection.''

كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَـتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

Thus We explain the Ayat in detail for people who have knowledge.

Allah refutes those who prohibit any type of food, drink or clothes according to their own understanding, without relying on what Allah has legislated,

قُلْ ...

Say,

O Muhammad, to the idolators who prohibit some things out of false opinion and fabrication,

مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ ...

Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His servants and At-Tayyibat (good things) of sustenance!''

قُلْ هِي لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...

Say: "They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection.''

meaning, these things were created for those who believe in Allah and worship Him in this life, even though the disbelievers share in these bounties in this life. In the Hereafter, the believers will have all this to themselves and none of the disbelievers will have a share in it, for Paradise is prohibited for the disbelievers.

... كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٢﴾

hus We explain the Ayat in detail for people who have knowledge.

33

 قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْىَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَـناً وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Say: "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the Fawahish (immoral deeds) whether committed openly or secretly, and Ithm, and transgression without right, and joining partners with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.''

Fahishah, Sin, Transgression, Shirk and Lying about Allah are prohibited

Allah says to His prophet (peace be upon him);

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ ...

Say: "(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the Fawahish (immoral deeds) whether committed openly or secretly,

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

لَا أَحَدَ أَغْيَرُ مِنَ اللهِ فَلِذَلِكَ حَرَّمَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ، وَلَا أَحَدَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْهِ الْمَدْحُ مِنَ الله

None is more jealous than Allah, and this is why He prohibited Fawahish, committed openly or in secret. And none likes praise more than Allah.

This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

In the explanation of Surah Al-An`am, we explained the Fahishah that is committed openly and in secret.

Allah said next,

وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ...

and Ithm, and transgression without right,  

As-Suddi commented, "Al-Ithm means, `disobedience'. As for unrighteous oppression, it occurs when you transgress against people without justification.''

Mujahid said, "Ithm includes all types of disobedience. Allah said that the oppressor commits oppression against himself.''

Therefore, the meaning of, Ithm is the sin that one commits against himself, while `oppression' pertains to transgression against other people, and Allah prohibited both.

Allah's statement,

وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا ...

and joining partners with Allah for which He has given no authority,

prohibits calling partners with Allah in worship.

... وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٣﴾

and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.

such as lies and inventions, like claiming that Allah has a son, and other evil creeds that you -- O idolators -- have no knowledge of.

This is similar to His saying:

فَاجْتَنِبُواْ الرِّجْسَ مِنَ الاٌّوْثَـنِ

So shun the abomination (worshipping) of the idols. (22:30)

34

 وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ فَإِذَا جَآءَ أَجَلُهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ

And every Ummah has its appointed term; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).

35

 يَـبَنِى آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ ءَايَـتِى فَمَنِ اتَّقَى وَأَصْلَحَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ

O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from among you, reciting to you My Ayat, then whosoever has Taqwa and becomes righteous, on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.

36

 وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَآ أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

But those who reject Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance, they are the dwellers of the Fire, they will abide therein forever.

Allah said,

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ ...

And every Ummah has,

meaning, each generation and nation,

أَجَلٌ فَإِذَا جَاء أَجَلُهُمْ ...

its appointed term; when their term comes,

which they were destined for,

... لاَ يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ سَاعَةً وَلاَ يَسْتَقْدِمُونَ ﴿٣٤﴾

neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment).

يَا بَنِي آدَمَ إِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُمْ رُسُلٌ مِّنكُمْ يَقُصُّونَ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتِي ...

O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from among you, reciting to you My Ayat,

Allah then warned the Children of Adam that He sent to them Messengers who conveyed to them His Ayat.

Allah also conveyed good news, as well as warning,

فَمَنِ اتَّقَى وَأَصْلَحَ ...

then whosoever has Taqwa and becomes righteous,

by abandoning the prohibitions and performing acts of obedience,

... فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٣٥﴾

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا ...

on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance,

meaning, their hearts denied the Ayat and they were too arrogant to abide by them,

... أُوْلَـَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٣٦﴾

they are the dwellers of the Fire, they will abide therein forever.

without end to their dwelling in it.

37

 فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِـَايَـتِهِ

Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat!

أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ

For such their appointed portion will reach them from the Book (of Decrees) until Our messengers (the angel of death and his assistants) come to them to take their souls, they (the angels) will say: "Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides Allah,''

قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَـفِرِينَ

they will reply, "They have vanished and deserted us.'' And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were disbelievers.

Idolators enjoy Their destined Share in This Life, but will lose Their Supporters upon Death

Allah said,

فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا أَوْ كَذَّبَ بِآيَاتِهِ ...

Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat,

meaning, none is more unjust than whoever invents a lie about Allah or rejects the Ayat that He has revealed.

أُوْلَـئِكَ يَنَالُهُمْ نَصِيبُهُم مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ ...

For such their appointed portion will reach them from the Book,

Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that, it refers to each person's deeds, allotted provisions and age.

Similar was said by Ar-Rabi bin Anas and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.

Allah said in similar statements,

قُلْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ لاَ يُفْلِحُونَ

مَتَـعٌ فِى الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ ثُمَّ نُذِيقُهُمُ الْعَذَابَ الشَّدِيدَ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْفُرُونَ

Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah, will never be successful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve. (10:69-70)

and,

وَمَن كَفَرَ فَلاَ يَحْزُنكَ كُفْرُهُ إِلَيْنَا مَرْجِعُهُمْ فَنُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا عَمِلُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ

نُمَتِّعُهُمْ قَلِيلاً

And whoever disbelieves, let not his disbelief grieve you. To Us is their return, and We shall inform them what they have done. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). We let them enjoy for a little while. (31:23-24)

Allah said next,

حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا يَتَوَفَّوْنَهُمْ ...

until when Our messengers come to them to take their souls.

Allah states that when death comes to the idolators and the angels come to capture their souls to take them to Hellfire, the angels horrify them, saying,

قَالُواْ أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ ...

hey (the angels) will say: "Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides Allah,''

"Where are the so-called partners (of Allah) whom you used to call in the life of this world, invoking and worshipping them instead of Allah Call them so that they save you from what you are suffering.''

However, the idolators will reply,

قَالُواْ ضَلُّواْ عَنَّا ...

hey will reply, "They have vanished and deserted us.''

meaning, we have lost them and thus, we do not hope in their benefit or aid,

وَشَهِدُواْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ ...

And they will bear witness against themselves,

they will admit and proclaim against themselves,

... أَنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ كَافِرِينَ ﴿٣٧﴾

that they were disbelievers.

38

 قَالَ ادْخُلُواْ فِى أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مِّن الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ فِى النَّارِ

(Allah) will say: "Enter you in the company of nations who passed away before you, of men and Jinn, into the Fire.''

كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا حَتَّى إِذَا ادَّارَكُواْ فِيهَا جَمِيعًا

Every time a new nation enters, it curses its sister nation (that went before) until they are all together in the Fire.

قَالَتْ أُخْرَاهُمْ لاٍّولَـهُمْ رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاءِ أَضَلُّونَا فَـَاتِهِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ

The last of them will say to the first of them: "Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire.''

قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ

He will say: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.''

39

 وَقَالَتْ أُولَـهُمْ لاٌّخْرَاهُمْ فَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ فَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ

The first of them will say to the last of them: "You were not better than us, so taste the torment for what you used to earn.''

People of the Fire will dispute and curse Each Other

Allah mentioned what He will say to those who associate others with Him, invent lies about Him, and reject His Ayat,

قَالَ ادْخُلُواْ فِي أُمَمٍ ...

(Allah) will say: Enter you in the company of nations,

who are your likes and similar to you in conduct,

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِكُم ...

Who passed away before you,

from the earlier disbelieving nations,

مِّن الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ فِي النَّارِ ...

Of men and Jinn, into the Fire.

Allah said next,

كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا ...

Every time a new nation enters, it curses its sister nation (that went before),

Al-Khalil (Prophet Ibrahim), peace be upon him, said,

ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ

"But on the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other. (29:25)

Also, Allah said,

إِذْ تَبَرَّأَ الَّذِينَ اتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَنَا كَرَّةً فَنَتَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُمْ كَمَا تَبَرَّءُواْ مِنَّا كَذَلِكَ يُرِيهِمُ اللَّهُ أَعْمَـلَهُمْ حَسَرَتٍ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ

When those who were followed declare themselves innocent of those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them. And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would declare ourselves as innocent from them as they have declared themselves as innocent from us.''

Thus Allah will show them their deeds as regrets for them. And they will never get out of the Fire. (2:166-167)

Allah's statement,

حَتَّى إِذَا ادَّارَكُواْ فِيهَا جَمِيعًا ...

until they are all together in the Fire,

means, they are all gathered in the Fire,

قَالَتْ أُخْرَاهُمْ لأُولاَهُمْ ...

The last of them will say to the first of them,

that is, the nation of followers that enter last will say this to the first nations to enter.

This is because the earlier nations were worse criminals than those who followed them, and this is why they entered the Fire first. For this reason, their followers will complain against them to Allah, because they were the ones who misguided them from the correct path, saying,

رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاء أَضَلُّونَا فَآتِهِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ ...

"Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire.''

multiply their share of the torment.

Allah said in another instance,

يَوْمَ تُقَلَّبُ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِى النَّارِ يَقُولُونَ يلَيْتَنَآ أَطَعْنَا اللَّهَ وَأَطَعْنَا الرَّسُولاَ

وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّآ أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَآءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا السَّبِيلاْ

رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِهِمْ ضِعْفَيْنِ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ

On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Oh! Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger.'' And they will say: "Our Lord! Verily, we obeyed our chiefs and our great ones, and they misled us from the (right) way. Our Lord! Give them a double torment.'' (33:66-68)

Allah said in reply,

... قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾

He will say: "For each one there is double (torment) but you know not.''

We did what you asked, and recompensed each according to their deeds.'

Allah said in another Ayah,

الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ زِدْنَـهُمْ عَذَابًا

Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment. (16:88)

Furthermore, Allah said,

وَلَيَحْمِلُنَّ أَثْقَالَهُمْ وَأَثْقَالاً مَّعَ أَثْقَالِهِمْ

And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own. (29:13)

and,

وَمِنْ أَوْزَارِ الَّذِينَ يُضِلُّونَهُمْ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ

And also (some thing) of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. (16:25)

وَقَالَتْ أُولاَهُمْ لأُخْرَاهُمْ ...

The first of them will say to the last of them,

meaning, the followed will say to the followers,

فَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا مِن فَضْلٍ ...

"You were not better than us. ..''

meaning, you were led astray as we were led astray, according to As-Suddi.

... فَذُوقُواْ الْعَذَابَ بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ ﴿٣٩﴾

"So taste the torment for what you used to earn.''

Allah again described the condition of the idolators during the gathering (of Resurrection), when He said;

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ أَنَحْنُ صَدَدنَـكُمْ عَنِ الْهُدَى بَعْدَ إِذْ جَآءَكُمْ بَلْ كُنتُمْ مُّجْرِمِينَ

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ بَلْ مَكْرُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ إِذْ تَأْمُرُونَنَآ أَن نَّكْفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجْعَلَ لَهُ أَندَاداً وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُاْ اْلَعَذَابَ وَجَعَلْنَا الاٌّغْلَـلَ فِى أَعْنَاقِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it come to you! Nay, but you were criminals.''

Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!''

And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets, when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do! (34:32-33)

40

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَبُ السَّمَآءِ وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِى سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ

Verily, those who belie Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance, for them the gates of the heavens will not be opened, and they will not enter Paradise until the Jamal goes through the eye of the needle.

وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُجْرِمِينَ

Thus do We recompense the criminals.

41

 لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ وَمِن فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ

Theirs will be Mihad from the Fire, and over them Ghawash.

وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الظَّـلِمِينَ

Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers.

Doors of Heaven shall not open for Those Who deny Allah's Ayat, and They shall never enter Paradise

Allah said,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ عَنْهَا ...

Verily, those who belie Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance,

لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء ...

for them the gates of the heavens will not be opened,

According to Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ibn Abbas, as Al-`Awfi and Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from him, meaning, their good deeds and supplication will not ascend through it,

Ath-Thawri narrated that, Layth said that Ata narrated this from Ibn Abbas.

According to Ad-Dahhak who reported this from Ibn Abbas that it was also said that; the meaning here is that the doors of the heavens will not be opened for the disbelievers' souls,

As-Suddi and several others mentioned this meaning.

What further supports this meaning, is the report from Ibn Jarir that Al-Bara' said that the Messenger of Allah mentioned capturing the soul of the `Fajir' (wicked sinner or disbeliever), and that his or her soul will be ascended to heaven. The Prophet said,

فَيَصْعَدُونَ بِهَا، فَلَا تَمُرُّ عَلَى مَلَأٍ مِنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ إِلَّا قَالُوا مَا هَذِهِ الرُّوحُ الْخَبِيثَةُ؟

فَيَقُولُونَ: فُلَانٌ بِأَقْبَحِ أَسْمَائِهِ الَّتِي كَانَ يُدْعَى بِهَا فِي الدُّنْيَا،

حَتَّى يَنْتَهَوا بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيَسْتَفْتَحُونَ بَابَهَا لَهُ فَلَا يَفْتَحُ لَه

So they (angels) ascend it and it will not pass by a gathering of the angels, but they will ask, who's wicked soul is this?'

They will reply, `The soul of so-and-so,' calling him by the worst names he was called in this life.

When they reach the (lower) heaven, they will ask that its door be opened for the soul, but it will not be opened for it.

The Prophet then recited, لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء (For them the gates of heaven will not be opened).

This is a part of a long Hadith which was also recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

Ibn Jurayj commented on the Ayah, لاَ تُفَتَّحُ لَهُمْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاء (for them the gates of heaven will not be opened), "(The gates of heaven) will not be opened for their deeds or souls.''

This explanation combines the two meanings we gave above, and Allah knows best.

Allah's statement,

وَلاَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ حَتَّى يَلِجَ الْجَمَلُ فِي سَمِّ الْخِيَاطِ ...

and they will not enter Paradise until the Jamal goes through the eye of the needle.

refers to the male camel.

Ibn Mas`ud said it is a male camel from the she camel.

In another narration it refers to the spouse of the she camel.

Mujahid and Ikrimah said that Ibn Abbas used to recite this Ayah this way, "Until the Jummal goes through the eye of the needle,'' whereas `Jummal' is a thick rope.

... وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٤٠﴾

hus do We recompense the criminals.

Allah's statement,

لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ ...

Theirs will be Mihad from the Fire,

means, beds, while;

وَمِن فَوْقِهِمْ غَوَاشٍ ...

and over them Ghawash,

A ccording to Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, means, coverings,

Similar was said by Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim and As-Suddi.

Allah said next,

... وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤١﴾

Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers.

42

 وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ

But those who believed, and worked righteousness -- We burden not any person beyond his scope -- such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein.

43

 وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِى صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الاٌّنْهَـرُ وَقَالُواْ

And We shall remove from their breasts any Ghill; rivers flowing under them, and they will say:

الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِىَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللَّهُ لَقَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ

"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth.''

وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.''

Destination of Righteous Believers

After Allah mentioned the condition of the miserable ones, He then mentioned the condition of the happy ones, saying,

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ ...

But those who believed, and worked righteousness,

Their hearts have believed and they performed good deeds with their limbs and senses, as compared to those who disbelieved in the Ayat of Allah and were arrogant with them.

Allah also said that embracing faith and implementing it are easy, when He said,

وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّالِحَاتِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا أُوْلَـئِكَ أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿٤٢﴾

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ ...

But those who believed, and worked righteousness -- We burden not any person beyond his scope -- such are the dwellers of Paradise. They will abide therein. And We shall remove from their breasts any Ghill;

meaning, envy and hatred.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا خَلَصَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ مِنَ النَّارِ حُبِسُوا عَلَى قَنْطَرَةٍ بَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ فَاقْتُصَّ لَهُمْ مَظَالِمَ كَانَتْ بَيْنَهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَتَّى إِذَا هُذِّبُوا وَنُقُّوا أُذِنَ لَهُمْ فِي دُخُولِ الْجَنَّةِ فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَهُمْ بِمَنْزِلِهِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَدَلُّ مِنْهُ بِمَسْكَنِهِ كَانَ فِي الدُّنْيَا

After the believers are saved from entering the Fire, they will be kept in wait by a bridge between Paradise and Hellfire. Then, transgression that occurred between them in the life of this world will be judged. Until, when they are purified and cleansed, they will be given permission to enter Paradise. By He in Whose Hand is my soul! One of them will be able to find his dwelling in Paradise more so than he did in the life of this world.

وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِي صُدُورِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَارُ ...

And We shall remove from their breasts any Ghill; rivers flowing under them,

As-Suddi said,

"When the people of Paradise are taken to it, they will find a tree close to its door, and two springs from under the trunk of that tree. They will drink from one of them, and all hatred will be removed from their hearts, for it is the cleansing drink. They will take a bath in the other, and the brightness of delight will radiate from their faces. Ever after, they will never have messy hair or become dirty.''

An-Nasa'i and Ibn Marduwyah (this being his wording) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

كُلُّ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، فَيَقُولُ: لَوْلَا أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي، فَيَكُونُ لَهُ شُكْرًا، وَكُلُّ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَرَى مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ: لَوْ أَنَّ اللهَ هَدَانِي، فَيَكُونُ لَهُ حَسْرَة

Each of the people of Paradise will see his seat in the Fire and he will say, `Had not Allah guided me! And this will cause him to be grateful. Each of the people of the Fire will see his seat in Paradise, and he will say, `Might that Allah had guided me!' So it will be a cause of anguish for him.

وَقَالُواْ ...

and they will say:

الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ لَقَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ

"All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has guided us to this, and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us! Indeed, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth.''

This is why when the believers are awarded seats in Paradise that belonged to the people of the Fire, they will be told,

... وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٤٣﴾

And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.''

This means, because of your good deeds, you earned Allah's mercy and thus entered Paradise and took your designated dwellings in it, comparable to your deeds.

This is the proper meaning here, for it is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said,

وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ لَنْ يُدْخِلَهُ عَمَلُهُ الْجَنَّة

And know that the good deeds of one of you will not admit him into Paradise.

They said, "Not even you, O Allah's Messenger!''

He said,

وَلَا أَنَا إِلّا أَنْ يَتَغَمَّدَنِيَ اللهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِنْهُ وَفَضْل

Not even I, unless Allah grants it to me out of His mercy and favor.

44

 وَنَادَى أَصْحَـبُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَـبَ النَّارِ أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا

And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying): "We have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you also found true what your Lord promised (warned)!''

قَالُواْ نَعَمْ

They shall say: "Yes.''

فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الظَّـلِمِينَ

Then a crier will proclaim between them: "The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.''

45

 الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا وَهُم بِالاٌّخِرَةِ كَـفِرُونَ

Those who hindered (men) from the path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked, and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.

People of Hellfire will feel Anguish upon Anguish

Allah tells;

وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الْجَنَّةِ أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ ...

And the dwellers of Paradise will call out to the dwellers of the Fire (saying):

Allah mentioned how the people of the Fire will be addressed, chastised and admonished when they take their places in the Fire,

أَن قَدْ وَجَدْنَا مَا وَعَدَنَا رَبُّنَا حَقًّا فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا قَالُواْ نَعَمْ ...

"We (dwellers of Paradise) have indeed found true what our Lord had promised us; have you (dwellers of Hell) also found true what your Lord promised (warned)!''

They shall say: "Yes.''

In Surah As-Saffat, Allah mentioned the one who had a disbelieving companion,

فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَءَاهُ فِى سَوَآءِ الْجَحِيمِ ... إِلاَّ مَوْتَتَنَا الاٍّولَى وَمَا نَحْنُ بِمُعَذَّبِينَ

So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire. He said: "By Allah! You have nearly ruined me. Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).''

(The dwellers of Paradise will say!) "Are we then not to die (any more) Except our first death, and we shall not be punished.'' (37:55-59)

Allah will punish the disbeliever for the claims he used to utter in this life. The angels will also admonish the disbelievers, saying,

هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ

أَفَسِحْرٌ هَـذَا أَمْ أَنتُمْ لاَ تُبْصِرُونَ

اصْلَوْهَا فَاصْبِرُواْ أَوْ لاَ تَصْبِرُواْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

This is the Fire which you used to belie. Is this magic or do you not see! Taste you therein its heat and whether you are patient of it or impatient of it, it is all the same. You are only being requited for what you used to do. (52:14-16)

The Messenger of Allah admonished the inhabitants of the well at Badr:

يَا أَبَا جَهْلِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ وَيَا عُتْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَيَا شَيْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَسَمَّى رُؤُوسَهُمْ هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا فَإِنِّي وَجَدْتُ مَا وَعَدَنِي رَبِّي حَقًّا

O Abu Jahl bin Hisham! O Utbah bin Rabi`ah! O Shaybah bin Rabi`ah (and he called their leaders by name)! Have you found what your Lord promised to be true (the Fire)! I certainly found what my Lord has promised me to be true (victory).

Umar said, "O Allah's Messenger! Do you address a people who have become rotten carrion!''

He said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنْتُمْ بِأَسْمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِنْ لَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ أَنْ يُجِيبُوا

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You do not hear what I am saying better than they do, but they cannot reply.

Allah's statement,

فَأَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ بَيْنَهُمْ ...

Then a crier will proclaim between them,

will herald and announce,

... أَن لَّعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾

The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.

meaning, the curse will reside with the wrongdoers.

Allah then described them by saying,

الَّذِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَيَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا ...

Those who hindered (men) from the path of Allah, and would seek to make it crooked,

meaning, they hindered the people from following Allah's path, His Law, and what the Prophets brought. They sought to make Allah's path appear crooked and winding, so that no one would follow it.

Allah said,

... وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٤٥﴾

and they were disbelievers in the Hereafter.

They disbelieved in the Meeting with Allah in the Hereafter, They used to deny this will ever occur, not accepting it nor believing in it. This is why they used to discount the seriousness of the evil deeds and statements that they committed, because they did not fear any reckoning or punishment. Therefore, they were and are indeed the worst people in statement and action.

46

 وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ وَعَلَى الاٌّعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَـهُمْ

And between them will be a (barrier) screen and on Al-A`raf will be men, who would recognize all, by their marks.

وَنَادَوْاْ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ

And they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Peace be on you'' and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it).

47

 وَإِذَا صُرِفَتْ أَبْصَـرُهُمْ تِلْقَآءَ أَصْحَـبِ النَّارِ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تَجْعَلْنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـلِمِينَ

And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are wrongdoers.''

The People of Al-A`raf

Allah says;

وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ ...

And between them will be a (barrier) screen,

After Allah mentioned that the people of Paradise will address the people of the Fire, He stated that there is a barrier between Paradise and the Fire, which prevents the people of the Fire from reaching Paradise.

Ibn Jarir said, "It is the wall that Allah described,

فَضُرِبَ بَيْنَهُم بِسُورٍ لَّهُ بَابٌ بَاطِنُهُ فِيهِ الرَّحْمَةُ وَظَـهِرُهُ مِن قِبَلِهِ الْعَذَابُ

So a wall will be put up between them, with a gate therein. Inside it will be mercy, and outside it will be torment. (57:13)

It is also about Al-A`raf that Allah said,

وَعَلَى الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالٌ ...

and on Al-A`raf will be men.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that As-Suddi said about Allah's statement, وَبَيْنَهُمَا حِجَابٌ  (And between them will be a screen), "It is the wall, it is Al-A`raf.''

Mujahid said, "Al-A`raf is a barrier between Paradise and the Fire, a wall that has a gate.''

Ibn Jarir said, "Al-A`raf is plural for Urf, where every elevated piece of land is known as Urf to the Arabs.''

As-Suddi said, "Al-A`raf is so named because its residents recognize (Ya`rifun) the people. Al-A`raf's residents are those whose good and bad deeds are equal, as Hudhayfah, Ibn Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and several of the Salaf and later generations said.''

Ibn Jarir recorded that Hudhayfah was asked about the people of Al-A`raf and he said,

"A people whose good and bad deeds are equal. Their evil deeds prevented them from qualifying to enter Paradise, and their good deeds qualified them to avoid the Fire. Therefore, they are stopped there on the wall until Allah judges them.''

يَعْرِفُونَ كُلاًّ بِسِيمَاهُمْ ...

who would recognize all, by their marks.

... وَنَادَوْاْ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَن سَلاَمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ ﴿٤٦﴾

And they will call out to the dwellers of Paradise, "Peace be on you!'' and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it).

Ma`mar said that Al-Hasan recited this Ayah,  لَمْ يَدْخُلُوهَا وَهُمْ يَطْمَعُونَ  (and at that time they will not yet have entered it (Paradise), but they will hope to enter (it), Then he said,

"By Allah! Allah did not put this hope in their hearts, except for an honor that He intends to bestow on them.''

Qatadah said; "Those who hope are those among you whom Allah informed of their places.''

Allah said next,

وَإِذَا صُرِفَتْ أَبْصَارُهُمْ تِلْقَاء أَصْحَابِ النَّارِ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا لاَ تَجْعَلْنَا مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٤٧﴾

And when their eyes will be turned towards the dwellers of the Fire, they will say: "Our Lord! Place us not with the people who are wrongdoers.''

Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"When the people of Al-A`raf look at the people of the Fire and recognize them, they will supplicate, `O Lord! Do not place us with the people who are wrongdoers.'''

48

 وَنَادَى أَصْحَـبُ الاٌّعْرَافِ رِجَالاً يَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِسِيمَـهُمْ قَالُواْ مَآ أَغْنَى عَنكُمْ جَمْعُكُمْ وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

And the men on Al-A`raf will call unto the men whom they would recognize by their marks, saying: "Of what benefit to you was your gathering, and your arrogance!''

49

 أَهَـؤُلاءِ الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْتُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمُ اللَّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ

"Are they those, of whom you swore that Allah would never show them mercy!

ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ

(Behold! It has been said to them): `Enter Paradise, no fear shall be on you, nor shall you grieve.'''

Allah tells;

وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ الأَعْرَافِ رِجَالاً يَعْرِفُونَهُمْ بِسِيمَاهُمْ قَالُواْ ...

And the men on Al-A`raf will call unto the men whom they would recognize by their marks, saying:

Allah states that the people of Al-A`raf will admonish some of the chiefs of the idolators whom they recognize by their marks in the Fire,

مَا أَغْنَى عَنكُمْ جَمْعُكُمْ ...

"Of what benefit to you was your gathering...''

meaning, your great numbers,

... وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَكْبِرُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾

"...and your arrogance!''

This Ayah means, your great numbers and wealth did not save you from Allah's torment. Rather, you are dwelling in His torment and punishment.

أَهَـؤُلاء الَّذِينَ أَقْسَمْ تُمْ لاَ يَنَالُهُمُ اللّهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ ...

Are they those, of whom you swore that Allah would never show them mercy,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, refers to the people of Al-A`raf who will be told when Allah decrees:

... ادْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ لاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلاَ أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾

(Behold! It has been said to them): "Enter Paradise, no fear shall be on you, nor shall you grieve.''

51

 وَنَادَى أَصْحَـبُ النَّارِ أَصْحَـبَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَآءِ أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللَّهُ

And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: "Pour on us some water or anything that Allah has provided you with.''

قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ

They will say: "Both (water and provision) Allah has forbidden for the disbelievers.

52

 الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا

"Who took their religion as amusement and play, and the life of the world deceived them.''

فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَـهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَآءَ يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا وَمَا كَانُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ

So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day, and as they used to reject Our Ayat.

The Favors of paradise are Prohibited for the People of the Fire

Allah emphasizes the disgrace of the people of the Fire. They will ask the people of Paradise for some of their drink and food, but they will not be given any of that.

He says;

وَنَادَى أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ أَصْحَابَ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ أَفِيضُواْ عَلَيْنَا مِنَ الْمَاء أَوْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ ...

And the dwellers of the Fire will call to the dwellers of Paradise: "Pour on us some water or anything that Allah has provided you with.''

As-Suddi said, "That is food''.

Ath-Thawri said that Uthman Ath-Thaqafi said that Sa`id bin Jubayr commented on this Ayah,

"One of them will call his father or brother, `I have been burned, so pour some water on me.'

The believers will be asked to reply, and they will reply,

... قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿٥٠﴾

hey will say: "Both Allah has forbidden to the disbelievers.''''

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that, إِنَّ اللّهَ حَرَّمَهُمَا عَلَى الْكَافِرِينَ  ("Both Allah has forbidden to the disbelievers).'' "Refers to the food and drink of Paradise.''

Allah says,

الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ دِينَهُمْ لَهْوًا وَلَعِبًا وَغَرَّتْهُمُ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا ...

"Who took their religion as amusement and play, and the life of the world deceived them.''

Allah describes the disbelievers by what they used to do in this life, taking the religion as amusement and play, and being deceived by this life and its adornment, rather than working for the Hereafter as Allah commanded,

فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَاء يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا ...

So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day,

meaning, Allah will treat them as if He has forgotten them. Certainly, nothing escapes Allah's perfect watch and He never forgets anything.

Allah said in another Ayah,

فِى كِتَـبٍ لاَّ يَضِلُّ رَبِّى وَلاَ يَنسَى

In a Record. My Lord neither errs nor forgets. (20:52)

Allah said -- that He will forget them on that Day -- as just recompense for them, because,

نَسُواْ اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ

They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. (9:67)

كَذَلِكَ أَتَتْكَ آيَـتُنَا فَنَسِيتَهَا وَكَذلِكَ الْيَوْمَ تُنْسَى

Like this: Our Ayat came unto you, but you disregarded them, and so this Day, you will be neglected. (20:126)

and,

وَقِيلَ الْيَوْمَ نَنسَاكُمْ كَمَا نَسِيتُمْ لِقَآءَ يَوْمِكُمْ هَـذَا

And it will be said: "This Day We will forget you as you forgot the meeting of this Day of yours.'' (45:34)

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas commented on, فَالْيَوْمَ نَنسَاهُمْ كَمَا نَسُواْ لِقَاء يَوْمِهِمْ هَـذَا  (So this Day We shall forget them as they forgot their meeting of this Day), "Allah will forget the good about them, but not their evil.''

And Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "We shall forsake them as they have forsaken the meeting of this Day of theirs.''

Mujahid said, "We shall leave them in the Fire.''

As-Suddi said, "We shall leave them from any mercy, just as they left any action on behalf of the meeting on this Day of theirs.''

It is recorded in the Sahih that Allah will say to the servant on the Day of Resurrection:

أَلَمْ أُزَوِّجْكَ ؟

أَلَمْ أُكْرِمْكَ ؟

أَلَمْ أُسَخِّرْ لَكَ الْخَيْلَ وَالْإِبِلَ وَأَذَرْكَ تَرْأَسُ وَتَرْبَعُ ؟

فَيَقُولُ: بَلَى،

فَيَقُولُ: أَظَنَنْتَ أَنَّكَ مُلَاقِيَّ ؟

فَيَقُولُ: لَا،

فَيَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: فَالْيَوْمَ أَنْسَاكَ كَمَا نَسِيتَنِي

"Have I not gotten you married?

Have I not honored you?

Have I not made horses and camels subservient for you and allowed you to become a leader and a master?''

He will say, "Yes.''

Allah will say, "Did you think that you will meet Me?''

He will say, "No.''

Allah the Exalted will say, `Then this Day, I will forget you as you have forgotten Me.''

... وَمَا كَانُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ ﴿٥١﴾

and as they used to reject Our Ayat.

52

 وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَـهُمْ بِكِتَـبٍ فَصَّلْنَـهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur'an) which We have explained in detail with knowledge, a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe.

53

  هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ

Await they just for the final fulfillment of the event!

يَوْمَ يَأْتِى تَأْوِيلُهُ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِن قَبْلُ

On the Day the event is finally fulfilled, those who neglected it before will say:

قَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَل لَّنَا مِن شُفَعَآءَ فَيَشْفَعُواْ لَنَآ أَوْ نُرَدُّ فَنَعْمَلَ غَيْرَ الَّذِى كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ

"Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf! Or could we be sent back (to the first life of the world) so that we might do (good) deeds other than those (evil) deeds which we used to do!''

قَدْ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ

Verily, they have lost themselves and that which they used to fabricate has gone away from them.

The Idolators have no Excuse

Allah says

وَلَقَدْ جِئْنَاهُم بِكِتَابٍ ...

Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur'an) which,

Allah states that He has left no excuse for the idolators, for He has sent to them the Book that the Messenger came with, and which is explained in detail,

كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ ءايَـتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ

(This is) a Book, the Ayat whereof are perfected (in every sphere of knowledge), and then explained in detail. (11:1)

Allah said next,

فَصَّلْنَاهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ ...

We have explained in detail with knowledge,

meaning, `We have perfect knowledge of what We explained in it.'

Allah said in another Ayah,

أَنزَلَهُ بِعِلْمِهِ

He has sent it down with His Knowledge, (4:166)

The meaning here is that after Allah mentioned the loss the idolators end up with in the Hereafter, He stated that He has indeed sent Prophets and revealed Books in this life, thus leaving no excuse for them.

Allah also said;

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً

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

Allah said,

... هُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٥٢﴾

a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe.

Allah said here,

هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ ...

Await they just for the final fulfillment of the event,

in reference to what they were promised of torment, punishment, the Fire; or Paradise, according to Mujahid and several others.

يَوْمَ يَأْتِي تَأْوِيلُهُ ...

On the Day the event is finally fulfilled,

According to Ibn Abbas, on the Day of Resurrection,

يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِن قَبْلُ ...

those who neglected it before will say,

those who ignored it in this life and neglected abiding by its implications will say,

قَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ فَهَل لَّنَا مِن شُفَعَاء فَيَشْفَعُواْ لَنَا ...

"Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf!''

so that we are saved from what we ended up in.

أَوْ نُرَدُّ ...

"Or could we be sent back,''

to the first life,

فَنَعْمَلَ غَيْرَ الَّذِي كُنَّا نَعْمَلُ ...

"So that we might do (good) deeds other than those (evil) deeds which we used to do.''

This part of the Ayah is similar to Allah's statement,

وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

بَلْ بَدَا لَهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ

If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!''

Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars. (6:27-28)

Allah said here,

قَدْ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ ...

Verily, they have lost themselves,

meaning, they destroyed themselves by entering the Fire for eternity,

... وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ ﴿٥٣﴾

And that which they used to fabricate has gone away from them.

What they used to worship instead of Allah abandoned them and will not intercede on their behalf, aid them or save them from their fate.

54

 إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ

Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne.

يُغْشِى الَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالاٌّمْرُ

He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment.

تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

Blessed is Allah, the Lord of all that exists!

The Universe was created in Six Days

Allah says;

إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ اللّهُ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ...

Indeed, your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days,

Allah states that He created the universe, the heavens and earth and all that is in, on and between them in six days, as He has stated in several Ayat in the Qur'an.

These six days are: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday, the entire creation was assembled and on that day, Adam was created. There is a difference of opinion whether these days were the same as our standard days as suddenly comes to the mind, or each day constitutes one thousand years, as reported from Mujahid, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, and from Ibn Abbas according to Ad-Dahhak's narration from him. As for Saturday, no creation took place in it since it is the seventh day of (of the week). The word `As-Sabt' means stoppage, or break.

Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Hurayrah saying: Allah's Messenger told me:

خَلَقَ اللهُ، (عَزَّ وَجَلَّ)، التُّرْبَةَ يَوْمَ السَّبْتِ، وَخَلَقَ فِيهَا الْجِبَالَ يَوْمَ الْأَحَدِ، وَخَلَقَ الشَّجَرَ يَوْمَ الْاثْنَيْنِ، وَخَلَقَ الْمَكْرُوهَ يَوْمَ الثُّلَاثَاءِ، وَخَلَقَ النُّورَ يَوْمَ الْأَرْبِعَاءِ، وَبَثَّ فِيهَا الدَّوَابَّ يَوْمَ الْخَمِيسِ، وَخَلَقَ آدَمَ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، بَعْدَ الْعَصْرِ مِنْ يَوْم الْجُمُعَةِ، فِي آخِرِ الْخَلْقِ، فِي آخِرِ سَاعَةٍ مِنْ سَاعَاتِ الْجُمُعَةِ، فِيمَا بَيْنَ الْعَصْرِ إِلَى اللَّيْل

Allah created the dust on Saturday, and He created the mountains on Sunday, and He created the trees on Monday, and He created the unpleasant things on Tuesday and He created the light on Wednesday and He spread the creatures through out it on Thursday and He created Adam after Asr on Friday. He was the last created during the last hour of Friday, between Asr and the night.

Meaning of Istawa

As for Allah's statement,

ثُمَّ اسْتَوَى عَلَى الْعَرْشِ ...

and then He rose over (Istawa) the Throne.

the people had several conflicting opinions over its meaning. However, we follow the way that our righteous predecessors took in this regard, such as Malik, Al-Awza`i, Ath-Thawri, Al-Layth bin Sa`d, Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad, Ishaq bin Rahwayh and the rest of the scholars of Islam, in past and present times.

Surely, we accept the apparent meaning of, Al-Istawa, without discussing its true essence, equating it (with the attributes of the creation), or altering or denying it (in any way or form). We also believe that the meaning that comes to those who equate Allah with the creation is to be rejected, for nothing is similar to Allah,

لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَىْءٌ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ

There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (42:11)

Indeed, we assert and affirm what the Imams said, such as Nu`aym bin Hammad Al-Khuza'i, the teacher of Imam Al-Bukhari, who said,

· "Whoever likens Allah with His creation, will have committed Kufr.

· Whoever denies what Allah has described Himself with, will have committed Kufr.

· Certainly, there is no resemblance (of Allah with the creation) in what Allah and His Messenger have described Him with.

· Whoever attests to Allah's attributes that the plain Ayat and authentic Hadiths have mentioned, in the manner that suits Allah's majesty, all the while rejecting all shortcomings from Him, will have taken the path of guidance.''

The Day and the Night are among the Signs of Allah

Allah said,

يُغْشِي اللَّيْلَ النَّهَارَ يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا ...

He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly,

meaning, the darkness goes away with the light, and the light goes away with the darkness. Each of them seeks the other rapidly, and does not come late, for when this vanishes, the other comes, and vice versa.

Allah also said;

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ ... وَكُلٌّ فِى فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ

And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit. (36:37-40)

Allah's statement,  وَلاَ الَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ  (Nor does the night outstrip the day) (36:40) means, the night follows the day in succession and does not come later or earlier than it should be.

This is why Allah said here,

... يَطْلُبُهُ حَثِيثًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ وَالنُّجُومَ مُسَخَّرَاتٍ بِأَمْرِهِ ...

seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His command.

meaning, all are under His command, will and dominion.

Allah alerted us afterwards,

أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالأَمْرُ ...

Surely, His is the creation and commandment,

the dominion and the decision.

Allah said next,

... تَبَارَكَ اللّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٥٤﴾

Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the all that exists!

which is similar to the Ayah,

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً

Blessed be He Who has placed in the heaven big stars. (25:61)

Abu Ad-Darda' said a supplication, that was also attributed to the Prophet,

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْمُلْكُ كُلُّـهُ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ كُلُّهُ وَإِلَيْكَ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ، أَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّه

O Allah! Yours is all the kingdom, all the praise, and Yours is the ownership of all affairs. I ask You for all types of good and seek refuge with You from all types of evil.

55

 ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

Invoke your Lord Tadarru`an and Khufyah. He likes not the aggressors.

56

 وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَـحِهَا وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا

And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order, and invoke Him with fear and hope.

إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers.

Encouraging supplicating to Allah

Allah commands His servants to supplicate to Him, for this will ensure their welfare in this life and the Hereafter.

Allah said,

ادْعُواْ رَبَّكُمْ تَضَرُّعًا وَخُفْيَةً ...

Invoke your Lord Tadarru`an and Khufyah,

meaning, in humbleness and humility.

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ

And remember your Lord within yourself. (7:205)

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said,

"The people raised their voices with supplications but the Messenger of Allah said,

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ارْبَعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ فَإِنَّكُمْ لَا تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ وَلَا غَائِبًا إِنَّ الَّذِي تَدْعُونَ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيب

O people! Take it easy on yourselves. Verily, you are not calling one who is deaf or absent, rather, the One you are calling is All-Hearer, Near (to His servants by His knowledge).

Ibn Jarir said that, تَضَرُّعًا  (Tadarru`an), means obeying Him in humility and humbleness,

وَخُفْيَةً  (and Khufyah), with the humbleness in your hearts and certainty of His Oneness and Lordship not supplicating loudly to show off.

Forbidding Aggression in Supplications

Allah's statement,

... إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ ﴿٥٥﴾

He likes not the aggressors.

Ata Al-Khurasani narrated from Ibn Abbas, who said about Allah's statement, "In the Du`a and otherwise.''

Abu Mijlaz commented on, إِنَّهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ  (He likes not the aggressors), "Such (aggression) as asking to reach the grade of the Prophets.''

Imam Ahmad narrated that Abu Ni`amah said that Abdullah bin Mughaffal heard his son supplicating,

"O Allah! I ask you for the white castle on the right side of Paradise, if I enter it.''

So Abdullah said, "O my son! Ask Allah for Paradise and seek refuge with Him from the Fire, for I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

يَكُونُ قَوْمٌ يَعْتَدُونَ فِي الدُّعَاءِ وَالطَّهُور

There will come some people who transgress in supplication and purification.''

Ibn Majah and Abu Dawud recorded this Hadith with a good chain that there is no harm in, and Allah knows best.

The Prohibition of causing Mischief in the Land

Allah said next,

وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا ...

And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order,

Allah prohibits causing mischief on the earth, especially after it has been set in order. When the affairs are in order an d then mischief occurs, it will cause maximum harm to the people; thus Allah forbids causing mischief and ordained worshipping Him, supplicating to Him, begging Him and being humble to Him.

Allah said,

وَادْعُوهُ خَوْفًا وَطَمَعًا ...

and invoke Him with fear and hope,

fearing what He has of severe torment and hoping in what He has of tremendous reward.

Allah then said,

... إِنَّ رَحْمَتَ اللّهِ قَرِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٥٦﴾

Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers.

meaning, His mercy is for the good-doers who obey His commands and avoid what He prohibited.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ

And My mercy envelopes all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who who have Taqwa. (7:156)

Matar Al-Warraq said, "Earn Allah's promise by obeying Him, for He ordained that His mercy is near to the good-doers.''

Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement.

57

 وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرىً بَيْنَ يَدَىْ رَحْمَتِهِ

And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy (rain).

حَتَّى إِذَآ أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالاً سُقْنَـهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَآءَ فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَتِ

Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead, then We cause water (rain) to descend thereon. Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith.

كَذَلِكَ نُخْرِجُ الْموْتَى لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed.

58

 وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ وَالَّذِى خَبُثَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا

The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the permission of its Lord; and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but (a little) with difficulty.

كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَـتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ

Thus do We explain variously the Ayat for a people who give thanks.

Among Allah's Signs, He sends down the Rain and brings forth the Produce

Allah tells;

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا ...

And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings,

After Allah stated that He created the heavens and earth and that He is the Owner and Possessor of the affairs Who makes things subservient (for mankind), He ordained that He be invoked in Du`a, for He is able to do all things. Allah also stated that He is the Sustainer and He resurrects the dead on the Day of Resurrection.

Here, Allah said that He sends the wind that spreads the clouds that are laden with rain.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَمِنْ ءَايَـتِهِ أَن يُرْسِلَ الرِّيَـحَ مُبَشِّرَتٍ

And among His signs is this, that He sends the winds with glad tidings. (30:46)

Allah's statement,

بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ ...

going before His mercy,

means, before the rain.

Allah also said;

وَهُوَ الَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ الْغَيْثَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ وَيَنشُرُ رَحْمَتَهُ وَهُوَ الْوَلِىُّ الْحَمِيدُ

And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is Al-Wali (the Guardian), Al-Hamid (the praiseworthy). (42:28)

and,

فَانظُرْ إِلَى ءَاثَـرِ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ كَيْفَ يُحْىِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَآ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

Look then at the results of Allah's mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily, that (is the one Who) shall indeed raise the dead, and He is able to do all things. (30:50)

Allah said next,

حَتَّى إِذَا أَقَلَّتْ سَحَابًا ثِقَالاً ...

Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud,

when the wind carries clouds that are heavy with rain, and this is why these clouds are heavy, close to the earth, and their color is dark.

Allah's statement,

سُقْنَاهُ لِبَلَدٍ مَّيِّتٍ ...

We drive it to a land that is dead,

that is, a dry land that does not have any vegetation.

This Ayah is similar to another Ayah,

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الاٌّرْضُ الْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـهَا

And a sign for them is the dead land. We give it life. (36:33)

This is why Allah said here,

فَأَنزَلْنَا بِهِ الْمَاء فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ كَذَلِكَ نُخْرِجُ الْموْتَى ...

Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead.

meaning, just as We bring life to dead land, We shall raise up the dead on the Day of Resurrection, after they have disintegrated.

Allah will send down rain from the sky and the rain will pour on the earth for forty days. The corpses will then be brought up in their graves, just as the seeds become grow in the ground (on receiving rain).

Allah often mentions this similarity in the Qur'an when He gives the example of what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, and bringing life to dead land,

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾

so that you may remember or take heed.

Allah's statement,

وَالْبَلَدُ الطَّيِّبُ يَخْرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ ...

The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the permission of its Lord;

meaning, the good land produces its vegetation rapidly and proficiently.

Allah said in another Ayah (about Maryam, mother of `Isa, peace be upon him);

وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا

He made her grow in a good manner. (3:37)

The Ayah continues,

وَالَّذِي خَبُثَ لاَ يَخْرُجُ إِلاَّ نَكِدًا ...

and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but with difficulty.

Mujahid, and others such as As-Sibakh, etc, also said this.

... كَذَلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٥٨﴾

Thus do We explain variously the Ayat for a people who give thanks.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Musa said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَثَلُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ وَالْهُدَى كَمَثَلِ الْغَيْثِ الْكَثِيرِ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا فَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا نَقِيَّةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ

The parable of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is that of an abundant rain falling on a land, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance.

وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ فَنَفَعَ اللهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ فَشَرِبُوا وَسَقَوْا وَزَرَعُوا

And another portion of it was hard and held the rain water; and Allah benefited the people with it, they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it, and for irrigation of the land for cultivation.

وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةً أُخْرَى إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً،

And a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation.

فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ وَنَفَعَهُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِه

The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit which Allah sent me with, by learning and teaching others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not accept the guidance Allah sent me with.

59

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّى أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

Indeed, We sent Nuh to his people and he said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!''

60

قَالَ الْمَلأ مِن قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ

The leaders of his people said: "Verily, we see you in plain error.''

61

 قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِى ضَلَـلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

 (Nuh) said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!

62

 أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَـلـتِ رَبِّى وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

I convey unto you the Me ssages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.''

The Story of Nuh and His People

After Allah mentioned the story of Adam in the beginning of this Surah, He started mentioning the stories of the Prophets, the first then the latter of them.

Allah mentioned the story of Nuh, because he was the first Messenger Allah sent to the people of the earth after Adam. His name was Nuh bin Lamak bin Matushalakh bin Khanukh.

And Khanukh was, as they claim, the Prophet Idris. And Idris was the first person to write letters using pen, and he was the son of Barad bin Mahlil, bin Qanin bin Yanish bin Shith bin Adam, upon them all be peace.

This lineage is mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq and other Imams who document lineage.

Abdullah bin Abbas and several other scholars of Tafsir said that;

the first idol worship began when some righteous people died and their people built places of worship over their graves. They made images of them so that they could remember their righteousness and devotion, and thus, imitate them. When time passed, they made statues of them and later on worshipped these idols, naming them after the righteous people: Wadd, Suwa, Yaghuth, Ya`uq and Nasr.

After this practice became popular, Allah sent Nuh as a Messenger, all thanks are due to Him.

Allah tells;

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَى قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ ...

Indeed, We sent Nuh to his people and he said:

Nuh commanded his people to worship Allah alone without partners, saying,

... يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿٥٩﴾

"O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!''

the torment of the Day of Resurrection, if you meet Allah while associating others with Him.

قَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِهِ ...

The leaders of his people said;

meaning, the general public, chiefs, commanders and great ones of his people said,

... إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٦٠﴾

"Verily, we see you in plain error.''

because of your calling us to abandon the worship of these idols that we found our forefathers worshipping.

This, indeed, is the attitude of evil people, for they consider the righteous people to be following misguidance. Allah said in other Ayat,

وَإِذَا رَأَوْهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ لَضَآلُّونَ

And when they saw them, they said: "Verily, these have indeed gone astray!'' (83:32)

and,

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْ كَانَ خَيْراً مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيْهِ وَإِذْ لَمْ يَهْتَدُواْ بِهِ فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَـذَآ إِفْكٌ قَدِيمٌ

And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'' And when they have not let themselves be guided by it (this Qur'an), they say: "This is an ancient lie!'' (46:11)

There are several other Ayat on this subject.

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي ضَلاَلَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٦١﴾

(Nuh) said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!''

meaning, the re is nothing wrong with me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists, Lord and King of all things,

أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾

"I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.''

This is the attribute of a Messenger, that he conveys using plain, yet eloquent words, offers sincere advice and is knowledgeable about Allah; indeed, no other people can compete with the Prophets in this regard.

In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions on the Day of Arafah, when their gathering was as large as it ever was,

أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ ؟

O people! You will be asked about me, so what will you say?

They said, "We testify that you have conveyed and delivered (the Message) and offered sincere advice.''

So he kept raising his finger to the sky and lowering it towards them, saying,

اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَد

O Allah! Bear witness, O Allah! Bear witness.

63

 أَوَ عَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَآءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَلِتَتَّقُواْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

"Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you, so that you may fear Allah and that you may receive (His) mercy!''

64

 فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَنجَيْنَـهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَآ

But they belied him, so We saved him and those along with him in the Fulk, and We drowned those who belied Our Ayat.

إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً عَمِينَ

They were indeed a blind people.

Allah said that Nuh proclaimed to his people,

أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ ...  

"Do you wonder...,''

do not wonder because of this.

أَن جَاءكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ وَلِتَتَّقُواْ ...

... hat there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you, so that you may fear Allah,

Surely, it is not strange that Allah sends down revelation to a man among you as mercy, kindness and compassion for you, so that he warns you that you may avoid Allah's torment by associating none with Him,

... وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾

"and that you may receive (His) mercy.''

Allah said,

فَكَذَّبُوهُ ...

But they belied him,

but they insisted on rejecting and opposing him, and only a few of them believed in him, as Allah stated in another Ayah.

Allah said next,

فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ فِي الْفُلْكِ ...

So We saved him and those along with him in the Fulk, (the ark),

وَأَغْرَقْنَا الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...

And We drowned those who belied Our Ayat.

Allah said in another Ayah,

مِّمَّا خَطِيئَـتِهِمْ أُغْرِقُواْ فَأُدْخِلُواْ نَاراً فَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ لَهُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنصَاراً

Because of their sins they were drowned, then they were admitted into the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah. (71:25)

Allah said,

... إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً عَمِينَ ﴿٦٤﴾

They were indeed a blind people.

meaning, blind from the Truth, unable to recognize it or find their way to it.

Here, Allah said that He has taken revenge from His enemies and saved His Messenger and those who believed in him, while destroying their disbelieving enemies. Allah said in a another Ayah,

إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا

Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers. (40:51)

This is Allah's Sunnah (way) with His servants, in this life and the Hereafter, that the good end, victory and triumph is for those who fear Him. For example, Allah destroyed the people of Nuh, and saved Nuh and his believing followers.

Ibn Wahb said that he was told that Ibn Abbas said that; eighty men were saved with Nuh in the ship, one of them was Jurhum, who spoke Arabic.

Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement, which was also narrated with a continuous chain of narration from Ibn Abbas.

65

 وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُودًا

And to `Ad (the people, We sent) their brother Hud.

قَالَ يَاقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ

He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Will you then not have Taqwa!''

66

 قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وِإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَـذِبِينَ

The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said: "Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars.''

67

 قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِى سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّى رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

 (Hud) said: "O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but (I am) a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!

68

 أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَـلـتِ رَبِّى وَأَنَاْ لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ

"I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser (or well-wisher) for you.

69

 أَوَ عَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَآءَكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ

"Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder (and an advice) from your Lord through a man from among you to warn you!

وَاذكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ وَزَادَكُمْ فِى الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً

And remember that He made you successors (generations after generations) after the people of Nuh and increased you amply in stature.

فَاذْكُرُواْ ءَالآءَ اللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah so that you may be successful.''

The Story of Hud, Peace be upon Him, and the Lineage of the People of `Ad

Allah says,

وَإِلَى عَادٍ أَخَاهُمْ هُوداً قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ أَفَلاَ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿٦٥﴾

And to `Ad (the people, We sent) their brother Hud. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Will you then not have Taqwa!''

Allah says, just as We sent Nuh to his people, similarly, to the `Ad people, We sent Hud one of their own brethren.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that the tribe of `Ad were the descendants of `Ad, son of Iram, son of `Aws, son of Sam, son of Nuh.

I say, these are indeed the ancient people of `Ad whom Allah mentioned, the children of `Ad, son of Iram who were living in the deserts with lofty pillars or statues.

Allah said,

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ فَعَلَ رَبُّكَ بِعَادٍ

إِرَمَ ذَاتِ الْعِمَادِ

الَّتِى لَمْ يُخْلَقْ مِثْلُهَا فِى الْبِلَـدِ

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

because of their might and strength.

Allah said in another instance,

فَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَقَالُواْ مَنْ أَشَدُّ مِنَّا قُوَّةً أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَهُمْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُمْ قُوَّةً وَكَانُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا يَجْحَدُونَ

As for `Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: "Who is mightier than us in strength!''

See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them. And they used to deny Our Ayat! (41:15)

The Land of `Ad

The people of `Ad lived in Yemen, in the area of Ahqaf, which means sand mounds.

Muhammad bin Ishaq narrated that Abu At-Tufayl Amir bin Wathilah said that;

he heard Ali (bin Abi Talib) saying to a man from Hadramawt (in Yemen), "Have you seen a red sand mound, where there are a lot of Arak and Lote trees in the area of so-and-so in Hadramawt?

Have you seen it?''

He said, "Yes, O Commander of the faithful! By Allah, you described it as if you have seen it before.''

Ali said, `I have not seen it, but it was described to me.''

The man asked, "What about it, O Commander of the faithful?''

Ali said, "There is the grave of Hud, peace be upon him, in its vicinity.''

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement, which gives the benefit of indicating that `Ad used to live in Yemen, since Prophet Hud was buried there. Prophet Hud was among the noble men and chiefs of `Ad, for Allah chose the Messengers from among the best, most honorable families and tribes.

Hud's people were mighty and strong, but their hearts were mighty and hard, for they were among the most denying of Truth among the nations.

Prophet Hud called `Ad to worship Allah alone without partners, and to obey and fear Him.

Debate between Hud and his People

Allah tells;

قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ ...  

The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said...

meaning, the general public, chiefs, masters and commanders of his people said,

... إِنَّا لَنَرَاكَ فِي سَفَاهَةٍ وِإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٦٦﴾

"Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars.''

meaning, you are misguided because you call us to abandon worshipping the idols in order to worship Allah Alone.

Similarly, the chiefs of Quraysh wondered at the call to worship One God, saying,

أَجَعَلَ الاٌّلِهَةَ إِلَـهاً وَحِداً

"Has he (Muhammad) made the gods (all) into One God!'' (38:5)

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَيْسَ بِي سَفَاهَةٌ وَلَكِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٦٧﴾

(Hud) said: "O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but (I am) a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!''

Hud said, I am not as you claim. Rather, I brought you the Truth from Allah, Who created everything, and He is the Lord and King of all things,

أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَاْ لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿٦٨﴾

"I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser for you.''

These, indeed, are the qualities of the Prophets: conveying, sincerity and honesty,

أَوَعَجِبْتُمْ أَن جَاءكُمْ ذِكْرٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنكُمْ لِيُنذِرَكُمْ ...

"Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you to warn you!''

Prophet Hud said, do not wonder because Allah sent a Messenger to you from among yourselves to warn you about Allah's Days (His torment) and meeting with Him. Rather than wondering, you should thank Allah for this bounty.

وَاذكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاء مِن بَعْدِ قَوْمِ نُوحٍ ...

"And remember that He made you successors (generations after generations) after the people of Nuh...''

meaning, remember Allah's favor on you in that He made you among the offspring of Nuh, because of whose supplication Allah destroyed the people of the earth after they defied and opposed him.

وَزَادَكُمْ فِي الْخَلْقِ بَسْطَةً ...

"and increased you amply in stature.''

making you taller than other people.

Similarly, Allah said in the description of Talut (Saul),

وَزَادَهُ بَسْطَةً فِي الْعِلْمِ وَالْجِسْمِ

And has increased him abundantly in knowledge and stature. (2:247)

Hud continued,

فَاذْكُرُواْ آلاء اللّهِ ...

"So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah.''

in reference to Allah's favors and blessings

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾

"so that you may be successful.''

70

 قَالُواْ أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللَّهَ وَحْدَهُ وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ

They said: "You have come to us that we should worship Allah Alone and forsake that which our fathers used to worship. So bring us that wherewith you have threatened us if you are of the truthful.''

71

 قَالَ قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ أَتُجَـدِلُونَنِي فِى أَسْمَآءٍ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤكُمُ مَّا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَـنٍ

(Hud) said: "Rijs (torment) and wrath have already fallen on you from your Lord. Dispute you with me over names which you have named -- you and your fathers -- with no authority from Allah

فَانتَظِرُواْ إِنِّى مَعَكُم مِّنَ الْمُنتَظِرِينَ

Then wait, I am with you among those who wait.''

72

 فَأَنجَيْنَـهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَمَا كَانُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ

So We saved him and those who were with him out of mercy from Us, and We severed the roots of those who belied Our Ayat; and they were not believers.

Allah mentions the rebellion, defiance and stubbornness of Hud's people, and their opposition to him, peace be upon him,

Allah said;

قَالُواْ أَجِئْتَنَا لِنَعْبُدَ اللّهَ وَحْدَهُ ....

They said: "You have come to us that we should worship Allah Alone,''

... وَنَذَرَ مَا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ آبَاؤُنَا فَأْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٧٠﴾

and forsake that which our fathers used to worship. So bring us that wherewith you have threatened us if you are of the truthful.''

The disbelievers of Quraysh said,

وَإِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

And (remember) when they said: "O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.''

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that the people of Hud used to worship several idols, such as Suda, Samud and Al-Haba.

This is why,

قَالَ ... 

(Hud) said:

Hud, peace be upon him, said to them,

قَدْ وَقَعَ عَلَيْكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ رِجْسٌ وَغَضَبٌ ...

"Rijs and wrath have already fallen on you from your Lord.''

you deserve `Rijs' from your Lord because of what you said.

Ibn Abbas said that, `Rijs', means scorn and anger.

أَتُجَادِلُونَنِي فِي أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤكُم ...

"Dispute you with me over names which you have named -- you and your fathers.''

Hud said, do you dispute with me over these idols that you and your fathers made gods, even though they do not bring harm or benefit; did Allah give you authority or proof allowing you to worship them!

Hud further said,

... مَّا نَزَّلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ فَانتَظِرُواْ إِنِّي مَعَكُم مِّنَ الْمُنتَظِرِينَ ﴿٧١﴾

"with no authority from Allah. Then wait, I am with you among those who wait.''

this is a threat and warning from the Messenger to his people.

The End of `Ad

So Allah said;

فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَقَطَعْنَا دَابِرَ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَمَا كَانُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٧٢﴾

So We saved him and those who were with him out of mercy from Us, and We severed the roots of those who belied Our Ayat; and they were not believers.

Allah mentioned several times in the Qur'an, the way the people of `Ad were destroyed stating that He sent a barren wind that destroyed everything it passed by.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُواْ بِرِيحٍ صَرْصَرٍ عَاتِيَةٍ

سَخَّرَهَا عَلَيْهِمْ سَبْعَ لَيَالٍ وَثَمَـنِيَةَ أَيَّامٍ حُسُوماً فَتَرَى الْقَوْمَ فِيهَا صَرْعَى كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ

فَهَلْ تَرَى لَهُم مِّن بَاقِيَةٍ

And as for `Ad, they were destroyed by a furious violent wind! They were subjected to it for seven nights and eight days in succession, so that you could see men lying overthrown (destroyed), as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! Do you see any remnants of them! (69:6-8)

When `Ad rebelled and transgressed, Allah destroyed them with a strong wind that carried them, one by one, up in the air and brought e ach one of them down on his head, thus smashing his head and severing it from its body. This is why Allah said,

كَأَنَّهُمْ أَعْجَازُ نَخْلٍ خَاوِيَةٍ

as if they were hollow trunks of date palms! (69:7)

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that;

`Ad used to live i n Yemen between Oman and Hadramawt. They also spread throughout the land and defeated various peoples, because of the strength that Allah gave them.

They used to worship idols instead of Allah, and Allah sent to them Prophet Hud, peace be upon him. He was from their most common lineage and was the best among them in status.

Hud commanded them to worship Allah Alone and associate none with him. He also ordered them to stop committing injustice against the people. But they rejected him and ignored his call. They said, `Who is stronger than us!'

Some of them, however, followed Hud, although they were few and had to conceal their faith. When `Ad defied the command of Allah, rejected His Prophet, committed mischief in the earth, became arrogant and built high palaces on every high place -- without real benefit to them -- Hud spoke to them, saying,

أَتَبْنُونَ بِكُلِّ رِيعٍ ءَايَةً تَعْبَثُونَ

وَتَتَّخِذُونَ مَصَانِعَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَخْلُدُونَ

وَإِذَا بَطَشْتُمْ بَطَشْتُمْ جَبَّارِينَ فَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُونِ

"Do you build high palaces on every high place, while you do not live in them And do you get for yourselves palaces (fine buildings) as if you will live therein forever. And when you seize (somebody), seize you (him) as tyrants.

Have Taqwa of Allah, and obey me.'' (26:128-131)

However,

قَالُواْ يَهُودُ مَا جِئْتَنَا بِبَيِّنَةٍ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَارِكِى ءالِهَتِنَا عَن قَوْلِكَ وَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ

They said: "O Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil.''

meaning, madness,

إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ قَالَ إِنِّى أُشْهِدُ اللَّهِ وَاشْهَدُواْ أَنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ

 مِن دُونِهِ فَكِيدُونِى جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ لاَ تُنظِرُونِ

إِنِّى تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ رَبِّى وَرَبِّكُمْ مَّا مِن دَآبَّةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ ءاخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَآ إِنَّ رَبِّى عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

He said: "I call Allah to witness, and bear you witness that I am free from that which you associate with Him. So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has the grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path (the truth).'' (11:53-56)

Story of the Emissary of `Ad

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Harith Al-Bakri said:

"I went to the Messenger of Allah to complain to him about Al-Ala bin Al-Hadrami. When I passed by the area of Ar-Rabdhah, I found an old woman from Bani Tamim who was alone in that area. She said to me, "O servant of Allah! I need to reach the Messenger of Allah to ask him for some of my needs, will you take me to him''

So I took her along with me to Al-Madinah and found the Masjid full of people. I also found a black flag raised high, while Bilal was holding a sword before the Messenger of Allah.

I asked, "What is the matter with the people?''

They said, "The Prophet intends to send Amr bin Al-`As (on a military expedition) somewhere.''

So I sat down. When the Prophet went to his house, I asked for permission to see him, and he gave me permission. I entered and greeted him. He said, "Was there a dispute between you and Bani Tamim?''

I said, "Yes. And we had been victorious over them. I passed by an old woman from Bani Tamim, who was alone, and she asked me to bring her to you, and she is at the door.''

So he allowed her in and I said, "O Allah's Messenger! What if you make a barrier between us and (the tribe of) Bani Tamim, such as Ad-Dahna' (Desert)?''

The old woman became angry and opposed me.

So I said, "My example is the example of a sheep that carried its own destruction. I carried this woman and did not know that she was an opponent. I seek refuge with Allah and His Messenger that I become like the emissary of `Ad.'"

So the Prophet asked me about the emissary of `Ad, having better knowledge in it, but he liked to hear the story again.

I said,

"Once, `Ad suffered from a famine and they sent an emissary (to get relief), whose name was Qayl. Qayl passed by Mu`awiyah bin Bakr and stayed with him for a month. Mu`awiyah supplied him with alcoholic drinks, and two female singers were singing for him. When a month ended, Qayl went to the mountains of Muhrah and said,

`O Allah! You know that I did not come here to cure an ill person or to ransom a prisoner. O Allah! Give `Ad water as You used to.'

So black clouds came and he was called, `Choose which one of them you wish (to go to `Ad)!'

So he pointed to one of the black clouds and he heard someone proclaiming from it, `Take it, as ashes that will leave none in `Ad.'

And it has been conveyed to me that the wind sent to them was no more than what would pass through this ring of mine, but it destroyed them.''

Abu Wa'il said, "That is true. When a man or a woman would send an emissary, they would tell him, `Do not be like the emissary of `Ad (bringing disaster and utter destruction to them instead of relief).,''

Imam Ahmad collected this story in the Musnad.

At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for it, as did An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

73

 وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَـلِحًا

And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih.

قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ قَدْ جَآءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ

He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Indeed there has come to you a clear sign from your Lord.

هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ ءَايَةً فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِى أَرْضِ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you; so you leave her to graze in Allah's earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should seize you.

74

 وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَآءَ مِن بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِى الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِن سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا

And remember when He made you successors (generations) after `Ad and gave you habitations in the land, you build for yourselves palaces in plains, and carve out homes in the mountains.

فَاذْكُرُواْ ءَالآءَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْاْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah, and do not go about making mischief on the earth.

75

 قَالَ الْمَلأ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِمَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَـلِحاً مُّرْسَلٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ

The leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.''

قَالُواْ إِنَّا بِمَآ أُرْسِلَ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ

They said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.''

76

 قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا بِالَّذِى ءَامَنتُمْ بِهِ كَـفِرُونَ

Those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.''

77

 فَعَقَرُواْ النَّاقَةَ وَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُواْ يَاصَـحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

So they killed the she-camel and insolently defied the commandment of their Lord, and said: "O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah).''

78

 فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ

So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.

Thamud: Their Land and Their Lineage

Scholars of Tafsir and genealogy say that (the tribe of Thamud descended from) Thamud bin Athir bin Iram bin Sam bin Nuh, and he is brother of Jadis son of Athir, similarly the tribe of Tasm, and they were from the ancient Arabs, Al-Aribah, before the time of Ibrahim, Thamud came after `Ad. They dwelled between the area of the Hijaz (Western Arabia) and Ash-Sham (Greater Syria).

The Messenger of Allah passed by the area and ruins of Thamud when he went to Tabuk (in northern Arabia) during the ninth year of Hijrah.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Umar said,

"When the Messenger of Allah went to the area of Al-Hijr in Tabuk with the people, he camped near the homes of Thamud, in Al-Hijr and the people brought water from the wells that Thamud used before. They used that water to make dough and placed the pots (on fire) for cooking. However, the Prophet commanded them to spill the contents of the pots and to give the dough to their camels. He then marched forth with them from that area to another area, near the well that the camel (as will follow) used to drink from. He forbade the Companions from entering the area where people were tormented, saying,

إِنِّي أَخْشَى أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلُ مَا أَصَابَهُمْ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِم

I fear that what befell them might befall you as well. Therefore, do not enter on them.''

Ahmad narrated that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said while in the Hijr area,

لَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَى هؤُلَاءِ الْمُعَذَّبِينَ إِلَّا أَنْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُونُوا بَاكِينَ فَلَا تَدْخُلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْ يُصِيبَكُمْ مِثْلَ مَا أَصَابَهُم

Do not enter on these who were tormented, unless you do so while crying. If you are not crying, then do not enter on them, so that what befell them does not befall you, as well.

The basis of this Hadith is mentioned in Two Sahihs.

The Story of Prophet Salih and Thamud

Allah said,

وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا ...

And to Thamud (people, We sent) their brother Salih.

meaning, to the tribe of Thamud, We sent their brother Salih,

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ ...

He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him.''

All Allah's Messengers called to the worship of Allah alone without partners.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ نُوحِى إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدُونِ

And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): "None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.'' (21:25)

and,

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid Taghut (all false deities).'' (16:36)

Thamud asked that a Camel appear from a Stone, and it did

Prophet Salih said,

قَدْ جَاءتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ هَـذِهِ نَاقَةُ اللّهِ لَكُمْ آيَةً ...

"Indeed there has come to you a clear sign from your Lord. This she-camel of Allah is a sign unto you;''

meaning, a miracle has come to you from Allah testifying to the truth of what I came to you with.

Salih's people asked him to produce a miracle and suggested a certain solid rock that they chose, which stood lonely in the area of Hijr, and which was called Al-Katibah. They asked him to bring a pregnant camel out of that stone.

Salih took their covenant and promises that if Allah answers their challenge, they would believe and follow him. When they gave him their oaths and promises to that, Salih started praying and invoked Allah (to produce that miracle). All of a sudden, the stone moved and broke apart, producing a she-camel with thick wool. It was pregnant and its fetus was visibly moving in its belly, exactly as Salih's people asked. This is when their chief, Jundu bin `Amr, and several who followed him believed.

The rest of the noblemen of Thamud wanted to believe as well, but Dhu'ab bin `Amr bin Labid, Al-Habbab, who tended their idols, and Rabbab bin Sum`ar bin Jilhis stopped them.

One of the cousins of Jundu bin `Amr, whose name was Shihab bin Khalifah bin Mikhlat bin Labid bin Jawwas, was one of the leaders of Thamud, and he also wanted to accept the message. However, the chiefs whom we mentioned prevented him, and he conceded to their promptings.

The camel remained in Thamud, as well as, its offspring after she delivered it before them. The camel used to drink from its well on one day and leave the well for Thamud the next day. They also used to drink its milk, for on the days she drank water, they used to milk her and fill their containers from its milk.

Allah said in other Ayat,

وَنَبِّئْهُمْ أَنَّ الْمَآءَ قِسْمَةٌ بَيْنَهُمْ كُلُّ شِرْبٍ مُّحْتَضَرٌ

And inform them that the water is to be shared between (her and) them, each one's right to drink being established (by turns). (54:28)

and,

هَـذِهِ نَاقَةٌ لَّهَا شِرْبٌ وَلَكُمْ شِرْبُ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ

Here is a she-camel: it has a right to drink (water), and you have a right to drink (water) (each) on a day, known. (26:155)

The camel used to graze in some of their valleys, going through a pass and coming out through another pass. She did that so as to be able to move easily, because she used to drink a lot of water. She was a tremendous animal that had a strikingly beautifu l appearance. When she used to pass by their cattle, the cattle would be afraid of her.

When this matter continued for a long time and Thamud's rejection of Salih became intense, they intended to kill her so that they could take the water for themselves every day. It was said that all of them (the disbelievers of Thamud) conspired to kill the camel.

Qatadah said that he was told that,

"The designated killer of the camel approached them all, including women in their rooms and children, and found out that all of them agreed to kill her.'' This fact is apparent from the wording of the Ayat,

فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمْدمَ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ بِذَنبِهِمْ فَسَوَّاهَا

Then they denied him and they killed it. So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin, and made them equal in destruction! (91:14)

and,

وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا

And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. (17:59)

... فَذَرُوهَا تَأْكُلْ فِي أَرْضِ اللّهِ وَلاَ تَمَسُّوهَا بِسُوَءٍ فَيَأْخُذَكُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٣﴾

so you leave her to graze in Allah's earth, and touch her not with harm, lest a painful torment should seize you.

وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ جَعَلَكُمْ خُلَفَاء مِن بَعْدِ عَادٍ وَبَوَّأَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ تَتَّخِذُونَ مِن سُهُولِهَا قُصُورًا وَتَنْحِتُونَ الْجِبَالَ بُيُوتًا فَاذْكُرُواْ آلاء اللّهِ وَلاَ تَعْثَوْا فِي الأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٧٤﴾

And remember when He made you successors (generations) after `Ad and gave you habitations in the land, you build for yourselves palaces in plains, and carve out homes in the mountains. So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah, and do not go about making mischief on the earth.

قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ لِمَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُمْ أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صَالِحًا مُّرْسَلٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ قَالُواْ إِنَّا بِمَا أُرْسِلَ بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿٧٥﴾  

he leaders of those who were arrogant among his people said to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.''

they said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.''

قَالَ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ إِنَّا بِالَّذِيَ آمَنتُمْ بِهِ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٧٦﴾

those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.''

Allah said here,

فَعَقَرُواْ النَّاقَةَ ...  

So they killed the she-camel,

Therefore, these Ayat stated that the entire tribe shared in agreeing to this crime, and Allah knows best.

... وَعَتَوْاْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِمْ وَقَالُواْ يَا صَالِحُ ائْتِنَا بِمَا تَعِدُنَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ ﴿٧٧﴾

and insolently defied the commandment of their Lord, and said: "O Salih! Bring about your threats if you are indeed one of the Messengers (of Allah).''  

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ ﴿٧٨﴾   

So the earthquake seized them, and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.

Thamud kills the She-Camel

Imam Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir and other scholars of Tafsir said that;

the reason behind killing the camel was that a disbelieving old woman among them named Umm Ghanm Unayzah, the daughter of Ghanm bin Mijlaz, had the severest enmity among Thamud towards Salih, peace be upon him. She had beautiful daughters and she was wealthy, and Dhu'ab bin `Amr, one of the leaders of Thamud, was her husband.

There was another noblewoman whose name was Saduf bint Al-Muhayya bin Dahr bin Al-Muhayya, who was of noble family, wealthy and beautiful. She was married to a Muslim man from Thamud, but she left him.

These two women offered a prize for those who swore to them that they would kill the camel.

Once, Saduf summoned a man called Al-Habbab and offered herself to him if he would kill the camel, but he refused. So she called a cousin of hers whose name was Musaddi bin Mihraj bin Al-Muhayya, and he agreed.

As for Unayzah bint Ghanm, she called Qudar bin Salif bin Jundu, a short person with red-blue skin, a bastard, according to them. Qudar was not the son of his claimed father, Salif, but the son of another man called, Suhyad. However, he was born on Salif's bed (and thus named after him).

Unayzah said to Qudar, "I will give you any of my daughters you wish, if you kill the camel.''

Qudar bin Salif and Musaddi bin Mihraj went along and recruited several mischievous persons from Thamud to kill the camel. Seven more from Thamud agreed, and the group became nine, as Allah described, when He said,

وَكَانَ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ تِسْعَةُ رَهْطٍ يُفْسِدُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ يُصْلِحُونَ

And there were in the city nine men, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform. (27:48)

These nine men were chiefs of their people, and they lured the entire tribe into agreeing to kill the camel. So they waited until the camel left the water well, where Qudar waited beside a rock on its path, while Musaddi waited at another rock.

When the camel passed by Musaddi he shot an arrow at her and the arrow pierced her leg. At that time, Unayzah came out and ordered her daughter, who was among the most beautiful women, to uncover her face for Qudar, encouraging Qudar to swing his sword, hitting the camel on her knee. So she fell to the ground and screamed once to warn her offspring. Qudar stabbed her in her neck and slaughtered her. Her offspring went up a high rock and screamed.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded from Ma`mar that someone reported from Al-Hasan Al-Basari that the offspring said, "O my Lord! Where is my mother?''

It was said that her offspring screamed thrice and entered a rock and vanished in it, or, they followed it and killed it together with its mother. Allah knows best.

When they finished the camel off and the news reached Prophet Salih, he came to them while they were gathered. When he saw the camel, he cried and proclaimed, تَمَتَّعُواْ فِي دَارِكُمْ ثَلاَثَةَ أَيَّامٍ  ("Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days.'' (11:65)

The Wicked Ones Plot to Kill Prophet Salih, But the Torment descended on Them

The nine wicked persons killed the camel on a Wednesday, and that night, they conspired to kill Salih. They said,

"If he is truthful, we should finish him before we are finished. If he is a liar, we will make him follow his camel.''

قَالُواْ تَقَاسَمُواْ بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَـدِقُونَ

وَمَكَرُواْ مَكْراً وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْراً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

They said: "Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth.'''

So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. (27:49-50)

When they conspired to kill Salih and gathered at night to carry out their plot, Allah, to Whom belongs all might and Who protects His Messengers, rained down stones that smashed the heads of these nine people before the rest of the tribe.

On Thursday, the first of the three days of respite, the people woke up and their faces were pale (yellow), just as Prophet Salih had promised them.

On the second day of respite, Friday, they woke up and found their faces had turned red.

On the third day of the respite, Saturday, they woke up with their faces black.

On Sunday, they wore the fragrance of Hanut (the perfume for enshrouding the dead before burial) and awaited Allah's torment and revenge, we seek refuge with Allah from it.

They did not know what will be done to them or how and from where the torment would come. When the sun rose, the Sayhah (loud cry) came fr om the sky and a severe tremor overtook them from below; the souls were captured and the bodies became lifeless, all in an hour.  فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ (And they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes).

They became dead and lifeless and none among them, whether young, old, male or female, escaped the torment.

The scholars of Tafsir said that none from the offspring of Thamud remained, except Prophet Salih and those who believed in him.

A disbelieving man called Abu Righal was in the Sacred Area at the time and the torment that befell his people did not touch him. When he went out of the Sacred Area one day, a stone fell from the sky and killed him.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Isma`il bin Umayyah said that; the Prophet passed by the gravesite of Abu Righal and asked the Companions if they knew whose grave it was.

They said, "Allah and His Messenger know better.''

He said,

هَذَا قَبْرُ أَبِي رِغَالٍ رَجُلٍ مِنْ ثَمُودَ كَانَ فِي حَرَمِ اللهِ فَمَنَعَهُ حَرَمُ اللهِ عَذَابَ اللهِ، فَلَمَّا خَرَجَ أَصَابَهُ مَا أَصَابَ قَومهُ فَدُفِنَ هَاهُنَا وَدُفِنَ مَعَهُ غُصْنٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ، فَنَزَلَ الْقَوْمُ فَابْتَدَرُوهُ بِأَسْيَافِهِمْ فَبَحَثُوا عَنْهُ فَاسْتَخْرَجُوا الْغُصْن

This is the grave of Abu Righal, a man from Thamud. He was in the Sacred Area of Allah and this fact saved him from receiving Allah's torment. When he went out of the Sacred Area, what befell his people also befell him. He was buried here along with a branch made from gold.

So the people used their swords and looked for the golden branch and found it.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Az-Zuhri said that; Abu Righal is the father of the tribe of Thaqif.

79

 فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَـقَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّى وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ وَلَكِن لاَّ تُحِبُّونَ النَّـصِحِينَ

Then he (Salih) turned from them, and said: "O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given y ou good advice, but you like not good advisers.''

Allah tells;

فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ ...

Then he (Salih) turned from them, and said: "O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given y ou good advice,

These are the words of admonishment that Salih conveyed to his people after Allah destroyed them for defying Him, rebelling against Him, refusing to accept the truth, avoiding guidance, and preferring misguidance instead. Salih said these words of admonishment and criticism to them after they perished, and they heard him (as a miracle for Prophet Salih from Allah).

Similarly, it is recorded in the Two Sahihs that; after the Messenger of Allah defeated the disbelievers in the battle of Badr, he remained in that area for three days, and then rode his camel, which was prepared for him during the latter part of the night. He went on until he stood by the well of Badr (where the corpses of the disbelievers were thrown) and said,

يَا أَبَا جَهْلِ بْنَ هِشَامٍ يَا عُتْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ يَا شَيْبَةَ بْنَ رَبِيعَةَ وَيَا فُلَانَ بْنَ فُلَانٍ هَلْ وَجَدْتُمْ مَا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا،؟ فَإِنِّي وَجَدْتُ مَا وَعَدَنِي رَبِّي حَقًّا

O Abu Jahl bin Hisham! O Utbah bin Rabiah! O Shaybah bin Rabiah! Did you find what your Lord has promised you (of torment) to be true, for I found what my Lord promised me (of victory) to be true.

Umar said to him, "O Allah's Messenger! Why do you speak to a people who have rotted?''

He said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ مَا أَنْتُمْ بِأَسْمَعَ لِمَا أَقُولُ مِنْهُمْ وَلَكِنْ لَا يُجِيبُون

By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You do not hear what I am saying better than they, but they cannot reply.

Similarly, Prophet Salih, peace be upon him, said to his people,

... لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ ...

"I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord, and have given you good advice,''

but you did not benefit from it because you do not like the Truth and do not follow those who give you sincere advice,

... وَلَكِن لاَّ تُحِبُّونَ النَّاصِحِينَ ﴿٧٩﴾

"but you like not good advisers.''

80

 وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَـحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُمْ بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَـلَمِينَ

And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: "Do you commit lewdness such as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations!

81

 إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَآءِ

"Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women.

بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ

Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds.''

The Story of Prophet Lut, upon Him be Peace, and His People

Allah said,

وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾

And (remember) Lut, when he said to his people: "Do you commit lewdness such as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations!

Lut (Lot) is the son of Haran the son of Azar (Terah), and he was the nephew of Ibrahim, peace be upon them both.

Lut had believed in Ibrahim and migrated with him to the Sham area. Allah then sent Lut to the people of Sadum (Sodom) and the surrounding villages, to call them to Allah, enjoin righteousness and forbid them from their evil practices, their sin, and wickedness. In this area, they did things that none of the children of Adam or any other creatures ever did before them. They used to have sexual intercourse with males instead of females. This evil practice was not known among the Children of Adam before, nor did it even cross their minds, so they were unfamiliar with it before the people of Sodom invented it, may Allah's curse be on them.

Amr bin Dinar commented on; مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ  (...as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations), "Never before the people of Lut did a male have sex with another male.''

This is why Lut said to them,

أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ مَا سَبَقَكُم بِهَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن الْعَالَمِينَ

إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاء ...  

"Do you commit lewdness such as none preceding you has committed in all of the nations Verily, you practice your lusts on men instead of women.''

meaning, you left women whom Allah created for you and instead had sex with men! Indeed, this behavior is evil and ignorant because you have placed things in their improper places. Lut, peace be upon him, said to them: هَؤُلاء بَنَاتِي إِن كُنتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ ("these (the girls of the nation) are my daughters (to marry lawfully), if you must act (so)).'' (15:71) So he reminded them of their women, and they replied that they do not desire women!,

قَالُواْ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا لَنَا فِى بَنَاتِكَ مِنْ حَقٍّ وَإِنَّكَ لَتَعْلَمُ مَا نُرِيدُ

They said: "Surely, you know that we have neither any desire nor need of your daughters, and indeed you know well what we want!'' (11:79)

meaning, you know that we have no desire for women and you know what we desire with your guests.

And Allah said;

... بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ مُّسْرِفُونَ ﴿٨١﴾

Nay, but you are a people transgressing beyond bounds.''

82

 وَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلاَ أَن قَالُواْ أَخْرِجُوهُم مِّن قَرْيَتِكُمْ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ

And the answer of his people was only that they said: "Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!''

Allah tells;

وَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَخْرِجُوهُم مِّن قَرْيَتِكُمْ ...

And the answer of his people was only that they said: "Drive them out of your town, these are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!''

So they answered Prophet Lut by trying to expel and banish him from their village, along with those who believed with him.

Allah indeed removed Prophet Lut safely from among them, and He destroyed them in their land in disgrace and humiliation.

They said (about Lut and the believers):

... إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾

"These are indeed men who want to be pure (from sins)!''

Qatadah commented, "They shamed them (Lut and the believers) with what is not a shame at all.''

Mujahid commented, "(Lut's people said about Lut and the believers,) They are a people who want to be pure from men's anuses and women's anuses!''

Similar was narrated from Ibn Abbas.

83

 فَأَنجَيْنَـهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَـبِرِينَ

Then We saved him and his family, except his wife; she was of the Ghabirin (those who lagged behind).

84

 وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ مَّطَرًا فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). Then see what was the end of the criminals.

Allah tells;

فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ...  

Then We saved him and his family, except his wife; she was of the Ghabirin (those who lagged behind).

Allah says, We saved Lut and his family, for only his household believed in him.

Allah said in another Ayah,

فَأَخْرَجْنَا مَن كَانَ فِيهَا مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

فَمَا وَجَدْنَا فِيهَا غَيْرَ بَيْتٍ مِّنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

So We brought out from therein the believers. But We found not there any household of the Muslims except one (of Lut and his daughters). (51:35-36)

Only his wife (from his family) did not believe, remaining on the religion of her peopl e. She used to conspire with them against Lut and inform them of who came to visit him, using certain signals that they agreed on. This is why when Lut was commanded to leave by night with his family, he was ordered not to inform his wife or take her with him.

Some said that she followed them, and when the torment struck her people, she looked back and suffered the same punishment as them.

However, it appears that she did not leave the town and that Lut did not tell her that they would depart. So she remained with her people, as apparent from Allah's statement,

... إِلاَّ امْرَأَتَهُ كَانَتْ مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ ﴿٨٣﴾

except his wife; she was of the Ghabirin.

meaning, of those who remained, or they say: of those who were destroyed, and this is the more obvious explanation.

Allah's statement,

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا ...

And We rained down on them a rain,

is explained by His other statement,

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنْضُودٍ

مُّسَوَّمَةً عِندَ رَبّكَ وَمَا هِى مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ بِبَعِيدٍ

And rained on them stones of baked clay, in a well-arranged manner one after another. Marked from your Lord; and they are not ever far from the wrongdoers. (11:82-83)

Allah said here,

... فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿٨٤﴾

Then see what was the end of the criminals.

This Ayah means: `See, O Muhammad, the end of those who dared to disobey Allah and reject His Messengers.'

Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, all recorded a Hadith (from) Ibn Abbas who said that Allah's Messenger said;

مَنْ وَجَدْتُمُوهُ يَعْمَلُ عَمَلَ قَوْمِ لُوطٍ فَاقْتُلُوا الْفَاعِلَ وَالْمَفْعُول بِه

Whoever is found doing the act of the people of Lut, then kill them; the doer and the one it is done to.

85

 وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا

And to (the people of) Madyan, (We sent) their brother Shu`ayb.

قَالَ يَـقَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ مَا لَكُمْ مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ

He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him.

قَدْ جَآءَتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلَـحِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ مُّؤْمِنِينَ

Verily, a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not do mischief on the earth after it has been set in order, that will be better for you, if you are believers.

Story of Shu`ayb, upon him be Peace, and the Land of Madyan

Allah says;

وَإِلَى مَدْيَنَ أَخَاهُمْ شُعَيْبًا ...

And to (the people of) Madyan, (We sent) their brother Shu`ayb.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "They (the people of Madyan) are the descendents of Madyan, son of Midyan, son of Ibrahim. Shu`ayb was the son of Mikil bin Yashjur. And in the Syrian language, his name was Yathrun (Jethro).''

I (Ibn Kathir) say, Madyan was the name of the tribe and also a city that is close to Ma`an on route to the Hijaz (from Ash-Sham).

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَلَمَّا وَرَدَ مَآءَ مَدْيَنَ وَجَدَ عَلَيْهِ أُمَّةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ يَسْقُونَ

And when he arrived at the water (a well) of Madyan he found there a group of men watering (their flocks). (28:23)

They are also the people of Al-Aykah (the Woods), as we will mention later on, Allah willing, and our trust is in Him.

قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ ...

He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him,''

and this is the call of all Messengers,

قَدْ جَاءتْكُم بَيِّنَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...

"Verily, a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you;''

meaning, `Allah has presented the proof and evidences of the truth of what I brought you.'

He then advised and commanded them,

فَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ وَلاَ تَبْخَسُواْ النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءهُمْ ...

so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things,

meaning, to refrain from cheating people in buying and selling.

They used to treacherously avoid giving full weight and measure.

Allah said in other Ayat, وَيْلٌ لِّلْمُطَفِّفِينَ (Woe to Al-Mutaffifin (those who give less in measure and weight)... (83:1) until He said, لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ  (before the Lord of all that exists). (83:6)

... وَلاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ بَعْدَ إِصْلاَحِهَا ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ﴿٨٥﴾

and do not do mischief on the earth after it has been set in order, that will be better for you, if you are believers.

These Ayat contain a stern warning and sure promise that we ask Allah to save us from.

Shu`ayb was called `Speaker of the Prophets', because of his eloquent words and eloquent advice, and Allah stated that Shu`a yb said:

86

 وَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ بِكُلِّ صِرَطٍ تُوعِدُونَ وَتَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ وَتَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا

"And sit not on every road, threatening, and hindering from the path of Allah those who believe in Him, and seeking to make it crooked.

وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ قَلِيلاً فَكَثَّرَكُمْ وَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you. And see what was the end of the mischief-makers.

87

 وَإِن كَانَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنكُمْ ءامَنُواْ بِالَّذِى أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ وَطَآئِفَةٌ لَّمْ يْؤْمِنُواْ فَاصْبِرُواْ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَنَا وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَـكِمِينَ

"And if there is a party of you who believes in that with which I have been sent and a party who does not believe, so be patient until Allah judges between us, and He is the best of judges.''

Prophet Shu`ayb forbade his people from setting up blockades on the roads, saying,

وَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ بِكُلِّ صِرَاطٍ تُوعِدُونَ ...   

"And sit not on every road, threatening,''

According to As-Suddi, threatening people with death if they do not give up their money, as they were bandits,

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and several others commented: the believers who come to Shu`ayb to follow him.''

The first meaning is better, because Prophet Shu`ayb first said to them, بِكُلِّ صِرَاطٍ  ("on every road...''). He then mentioned the second meaning,

وَتَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ مَنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَتَبْغُونَهَا عِوَجًا ...

"and hindering from the path of Allah those who believe in Him, and seeking to make it crooked.''

meaning, you seek to make the path of Allah crooked and deviated.

وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ قَلِيلاً فَكَثَّرَكُمْ ...

"And remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you.''

meaning, you were weak because you were few. But you later on became mighty because of your large numbers. Therefore, remember Allah's favor.

... وَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿٨٦﴾

"And see what was the end of the mischief-makers.''

from the previous nations and earlier generations. See the torment and punishment they suffered, because they disobeyed Allah and rejected His Messengers.

Shu`ayb continued;

وَإِن كَانَ طَآئِفَةٌ مِّنكُمْ آمَنُواْ بِالَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ وَطَآئِفَةٌ لَّمْ يْؤْمِنُواْ ...

"And if there is a party of you who believes in that with which I have been sent and a party who does not believe,''

that is, if you divided concerning me,

فَاصْبِرُواْ ...

"so be patient,''

that is, then wait and see,

حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللّهُ بَيْنَنَا ...

"until Allah judges between us,'' (and you),

... وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ ﴿٨٧﴾

"and He is the best of judges.''

Surely, Allah will award the best end to those who fear and obey Him and He will destroy the disbelievers.

88

 قَالَ الْمَلأ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكَ يـشُعَيْبُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَكَ مِن قَرْيَتِنَآ أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا

The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: "We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu`ayb and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you (all) shall return to our religion.''

قَالَ أَوَلَوْ كُنَّا كَـرِهِينَ

He said: "Even though we hate it!''

89

 قَدِ افْتَرَيْنَا عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا إِنْ عُدْنَا فِى مِلَّتِكُمْ بَعْدَ إِذْ نَجَّانَا اللَّهُ مِنْهَا

"We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion, after Allah has rescued us from it.

وَمَا يَكُونُ لَنَآ أَن نَّعُودَ فِيهَآ إِلاَ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّنَا

And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will.

وَسِعَ رَبُّنَا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا

Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge.

عَلَى اللَّهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا

In Allah (Alone) we put our trust.

رَبَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَـتِحِينَ

Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the best of those who give judgment.''

Allah describes the way the disbelievers answered His Prophet Shu`ayb and those who believed in him, by threatening them with expulsion from their village, or with forceful reversion to the disbeliever's religion.

Allah tells,

قَالَ الْمَلأُ الَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكَ يَا شُعَيْبُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ مَعَكَ مِن قَرْيَتِنَا أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا...

he chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: "We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu`ayb and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you (all) shall return to our religion.''

The chiefs spoke the words mentioned here to the Messenger Shu`ayb, but intended it for those who followed his religion too.

The statement,

... قَالَ أَوَلَوْ كُنَّا كَارِهِينَ ﴿٨٨﴾

He said: "Even though we hate it!''

means, would you force us to do that, even though we hate what you are calling us to!

قَدِ افْتَرَيْنَا عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا إِنْ عُدْنَا فِي مِلَّتِكُم بَعْدَ إِذْ نَجَّانَا اللّهُ مِنْهَا ...

"We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion, after Allah has rescued us from it.

Certainly if we revert to your religion and accept your ways, we will have uttered a tremendous lie against Allah by calling partners as rivals to Him,

وَمَا يَكُونُ لَنَا أَن نَّعُودَ فِيهَا إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء اللّهُ رَبُّنَا ...

And it is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will.

This part of the Ayah refers all matters to Allah's will, and certainly, He has perfect knowledge of all matters and His observation encompasses all things,

وَسِعَ رَبُّنَا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا ...

Our Lord comprehends all things in His knowledge.

عَلَى اللّهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا ...

In Allah (Alone) we put our trust.

concerning all our affairs, what we practice of them and what we ignore,

رَبَّنَا افْتَحْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ قَوْمِنَا بِالْحَقِّ ...

Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth,

judge between us and our people and give us victory over them,

... وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْفَاتِحِينَ ﴿٨٩﴾

for You are the best of those who give judgment.

and You are the Most Just Who never wrongs any in His judgment.

90

 وَقَالَ الْمَلأ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوْمِهِ لَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتُمْ شُعَيْبًا إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَـسِرُونَ

The chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said (to their people): "If you follow Shu`ayb, be sure then you will be the losers!''

91

 فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دَارِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ

So the earthquake seized them and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.

92

 الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَا الَّذِينَ

Those who belied Shu`ayb, became as if they had never dwelt there (in their homes).

كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَانُواْ هُمُ الْخَـسِرِينَ

Those who belied Shu`ayb, they were the losers.

93

 فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ

Then he (Shu`ayb) turned from them and said:

يَقَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَـلَـتِ رَبِّى وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ فَكَيْفَ ءَاسَى عَلَى قَوْمٍ كَـفِرِينَ

"O my people! I have indeed conveyed my Lord's Messages unto you and I have given you good advice. Then how can I grieve over people who are disbelievers.''

Allah tells,

وَهُوَ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا ...

he chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said (to their people):

Allah describes the enormity of disbelief, rebellion, transgression and misguidance (of Shu`ayb's people) and the defiance of truth encrypted in their hearts. They vowed, saying,

... لَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتُمْ شُعَيْباً إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّخَاسِرُونَ ﴿٩٠﴾

"If you follow Shu`ayb, be sure then you will be the losers!''

Allah answered them,

فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ ﴿٩١﴾

So the earthquake seized them and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes.

Allah said that the earthquake shook them, as punishment for threatening to expel Shu`ayb and his followers.

Allah mentioned their end again in Surah Hud,

وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا شُعَيْبًا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَأَخَذَتِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دِيَـرِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ

And when Our commandment came, We saved Shu`ayb and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us. And the Sayhah (loud cry) seized the wrongdoers, and they lay (dead) prostrate in their homes. (11:94)

This Ayah mentions the Sayhah (cry) that struck them after they mocked Shu`ayb, saying, أَصَلاَتُكَ تَأْمُرُكَ.  (Does your Salah (prayer) command you...11:87), so it was befitting to mention here the cry that made them silence.

In Surah Ash-Shu`ara, Allah said, فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمِ الظُّلَّةِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ  But they belied him, so the torment of the Day of Shadow (a gloomy cloud) seized them. Indeed that was the torment of a Great Day. (26:189) because they challenged Shu`ayb, فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء  ("So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!)'' (26:187).

Therefore, Allah stated that each of these forms of punishment struck them on the Day of the Shadow.

First, فَأَخَذَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمِ الظُّلَّةِ  So the torment of the Day of Shadow (a gloomy cloud) seized them (26:189), when a gloomy cloud came over them (containing) fire, flames and a tremendous light.

Next, a cry from the sky descended on them and a tremor shook them from beneath. Consequently, their souls were captured, their lives were taken and their bodie s became idle, فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِي دَارِهِمْ جَاثِمِينَ   (and they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes).

Allah said next,

الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَا ...

hose who belied Shu`ayb, became as if they had never dwelt there (in their homes).

meaning, after the torment seized them, it looked as if they never dwelled in the land from which they wanted to expel their Messenger Shu`ayb and his followers.

Here, Allah refuted their earlier statement,

... الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ شُعَيْبًا كَانُواْ هُمُ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿٩٢﴾ 

Those who belied Shu`ayb, they were the losers.

Allah tells;

فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ ...

Then he (Shu`ayb) turned from them and said:

Prophet Shu`ayb, peace be upon him, turned away from his people after the torment, punishment and destruction struck them, admonishing and censuring them by saying to them,

يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالاَتِ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ ...

"O my people! I have indeed conveyed my Lord's Messages unto you and I have given you good advice.''

Shu`ayb said, I have conveyed to you what I was sent with, so I will not feel any sorrow for you since you disbelieved in what I brought you,

... فَكَيْفَ آسَى عَلَى قَوْمٍ كَافِرِينَ ﴿٩٣﴾   

"Then how can I grieve over people who are disbelievers!''

94

 وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّبِىٍّ إِلاَ أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَآءِ وَالضَّرَّآءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ

And We sent no Prophet unto any town (and they denied him), but We seized its people with Ba'sa' and Darra', so that they might humble themselves (to Allah).

95

 ثُمَّ بَدَّلْنَا مَكَانَ السَّيِّئَةِ الْحَسَنَةَ حَتَّى عَفَواْ وَّقَالُواْ قَدْ مَسَّ ءَابَاءَنَا الضَّرَّآءُ وَالسَّرَّآءُ فَأَخَذْنَـهُمْ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

Then We changed the evil for the good, until they `Afaw (increased), and said: "Our fathers were touched with evil and with good.'' So We seized them all of a sudden while they were unaware.

Afflictions that struck Earlier Nations

Allah says;

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّبِيٍّ إِلاَّ أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاء وَالضَّرَّاء لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ ﴿٩٤﴾

And We sent no Prophet unto any town (and they denied him), but We seized its people with Ba'sa' and Darra', so that they might humble themselves (to Allah).

Allah mentions the Ba'sa' and Darra' that struck the earlier nations to whom He sent Prophets.

Ba'sa', refers to the physical sicknesses and ailments that they suffered, while Darra', refers to the poverty and humiliation that they experienced, لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ  (so that they might humble themselves) supplicate, humble themselves and invoke Allah, that He might remove the afflictions that they suffered from.

This Ayah indicates that Allah sent down severe afflictions to them so that they might invoke Him, but they did not do what He ordered them. Therefore, He changed the affliction into prosperity to test them,

ثُمَّ بَدَّلْنَا مَكَانَ السَّيِّئَةِ الْحَسَنَةَ ...

Then We changed the evil for the good,

Therefore, Allah changed the hardship into prosperity, disease and sickness into health and well-being, and poverty into richness in provision, so that they might be thankful to Allah for this, but they did none of that.

Allah's statement,

حَتَّى عَفَواْ ...

until they `Afaw,

refers to increase in numbers, wealth and offspring.

Allah said next,

وَّقَالُواْ قَدْ مَسَّ آبَاءنَا الضَّرَّاء وَالسَّرَّاء ...

... and they said: "Our fathers were touched with evil and with good.''

He tested them with this (afflictions) and that (ease and abundance) so that they may humble themselves and repent to Him. However, they failed both tests, for neither this nor that compelled them to change their ways.

They said, "We suffered Ba'sa' and Darra', but prosperity came afterwards, just as like our forefathers in earlier times.'' "Therefore,'' they said, "it is a cycle where we sometimes suffer a hardship and at other times, we enjoy a bounty.''

However, they did not comprehend Allah's wisdom, nor the fact that He is testing them in both cases. To the contrary, the believers are grateful to Allah in good times and practice patience in hard times.

In the Sahih, there is a Hadith that says;

عَجَبًا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لَهُ قَضَاءً إِلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ،

· وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ،

· وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَه

The matter of the believer is amazing, for nothing that Allah decrees for him, but it is better for him.

· If a Darra' (harm) strikes him, he is patient, and this is better for him,

· if he is given Sarra' (prosperity), he thanks (Allah) for it and this is better for him.

The believer, therefore, is aware of the test behind the afflictions whether it may be prosperity or adversity that Allah sends to him, as well as the blessings.

Similarly, in another Hadith,

لَايَزَالُ الْبَلَاءُ بِالْمُؤْمِنِ حَتَّى يَخْرُجَ نَقِيًّا مِنْ ذُنُوبِهِ،

The believer will continue to be tested by afflictions until he ends up pure from sin.

وَالْمُنَافِق مِثْله كَمَثَلِ الْحِمَارِ لَا يَدْرِي فِيمَ رَبَطَهُ أَهْلُهُ وَلَا فِيمَ أَرْسَلُوه

And the parable of the hypocrite is that of a donkey, it does not know why its owners tied it or released it.

Allah said next,

... فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿٩٥﴾

So We seized them all of a sudden while they were unaware.

meaning, We struck them with punishment all of a sudden, while they were unaware.

A Hadith describes sudden death,

مَوْتُ الْفَجْأَةِ رَحْمَةٌ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ وَأَخْذَةُ أَسَفٍ لِلْكَافِر

Sudden death is a mercy for the believer, but a sorrowful punishment for the disbeliever.

96

 وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى ءَامَنُواْ وَاتَّقَوْاْ لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَـتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَلَـكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذْنَـهُمْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ

And if the people of the towns had believed and had Taqwa, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn.

97

 أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ

Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep!

98

 أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ

Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing!

99

 أَفَأَمِنُواْ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ

Did they then feel secure against Allah's plan!

فَلاَ يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ

None feels secure from Allah's plan except the people who are the losers.

Blessings come with Faith, while Kufr brings Torment

Allah mentions here the little faith of the people of the towns to whom He sent Messengers. In another instance, Allah said,

فَلَوْلاَ كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ ءَامَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَآ إِيمَانُهَا إِلاَّ قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّآ ءَامَنُواْ كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الخِزْىِ فِى الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ

Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment) -- Except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while. (10:98)

This Ayah indicates that no city believed in its entirety, except the city of Prophet Yu nus, for they all believed after they were stricken by punishment.

Allah said (about Prophet Yunus),

وَأَرْسَلْنَـهُ إِلَى مِاْئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ

فَـَامَنُواْ فَمَتَّعْنَـهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ

And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more. And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while. (37:147-148)

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ

And We did not send a warner to a township.... (34:34)

Allah said here,

وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُواْ وَاتَّقَواْ ...

And if the people of the towns had believed and had Taqwa...

meaning their hearts had faith in what the Messenger brought them, believed and obeyed him, and had Taqwa by performing the acts of obedience and abstaining from the prohibitions,

لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِم بَرَكَاتٍ مِّنَ السَّمَاء وَالأَرْضِ ...

We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth,

in reference to the rain that falls from the sky and the vegetation of the earth.

Allah said,

... وَلَـكِن كَذَّبُواْ فَأَخَذْنَاهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَكْسِبُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾

but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn.

They denied their Messengers, so that We punished them and sent destruction on them as a result of the sins and wickedness that they earned.

Allah then said, while warning and threatening against defying His orders and daring to commit His prohibitions,

أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى ...

Did the people of the towns then feel secure!

meaning the disbelievers among them,

أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ...

that should come to them our punishment,

Our torment and punishing example,

بَيَاتاً ....

Bayatan,

during the night,

.. وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ ﴿٩٧﴾

أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ ﴿٩٨﴾

while they were asleep.

Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing!

while they are busy in their affairs and unaware.

أَفَأَمِنُواْ مَكْرَ اللّهِ ...

Did they then feel secure against Allah's plan!

His torment, vengeance, and His power to destroy them while they are inattentive and heedless,

... فَلاَ يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿٩٩﴾

None feels secure from Allah's plan except the people who are the losers.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The believer performs the acts of worship, all the while feeling fear, in fright and anxiety. The Fajir (wicked sinner, or disbeliever) commits the acts of disobedience while feeling safe (from Allah's torment)!''

10

 أَوَلَمْ يَهْدِ لِلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِ أَهْلِهَآ أَن لَّوْ نَشَآءُ أَصَبْنَـهُمْ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ

Is it not a guidance for those who inherit the earth from its previous inhabitants that had We willed, We would have punished them for their sins.

وَنَطْبَعُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ فَهُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ

And We seal up their hearts so that they hear not.

Allah says,

أَوَلَمْ يَهْدِ لِلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِ أَهْلِهَا أَن لَّوْ نَشَاء أَصَبْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ ...

Is it not a guidance for those who inherit the earth from its previous inhabitants that had We willed, We would have punished them for their sins.

Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, أَوَلَمْ يَهْدِ لِلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِ أَهْلِهَا (Is it not a guidance for those who inherit the earth from its previous inhabitants. ..), "(Allah says,) did We not make clear to them that had We willed, We would have punished them because of their sins!''

Mujahid and several others said similarly.

Abu Jafar bin Jarir At-Tabari explained this Ayah,

"Allah says, `Did We not make clear to those who succeeded on the earth after destroying the previous nations who used to dwell in that land. Then they followed their own ways, and behaved as they did and were unruly with their Lord. (Did We not make clear to them) t hat, أَن لَّوْ نَشَاء أَصَبْنَاهُم بِذُنُوبِهِمْ (that had We willed, We would have punished them for their sins) by bringing them the same end that was decreed for those before them,

وَنَطْبَعُ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ ...

And We seal up their hearts,

We place a cover over their heart,

... فَهُمْ لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ ﴿١٠٠﴾

so that they hear not,

words of advice or reminding'''

I say that similarly, Allah said,

أَفَلَمْ يَهْدِ لَهُمْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّنَ الْقُرُونِ يَمْشُونَ فِى مَسَـكِنِهِمْ إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لأَيَـتٍ لاٌّوْلِى النُّهَى

Is it not a guidance for them: how many generations We have destroyed before them, in whose dwellings they walk Verily, in this are signs indeed for men of understanding. (20:128)

أَوَلَمْ يَهْدِ لَهُمْ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِن قَبْلِهِمْ مِّنَ الْقُرُونِ يَمْشُونَ فِى مَسَاكِنِهِمْ إِنَّ فِى ذَلِكَ لاّيَاتٍ أَفَلاَ يَسْمَعُونَ

Is it not a guidance for them: how many generations We have destroyed before them in whose dwellings they do walk about Verily, therein indeed are signs. Would they not then listen! (32:26)

and,

أَوَلَمْ تَكُونُواْ أَقْسَمْتُمْ مِّن قَبْلُ مَا لَكُمْ مِّن زَوَالٍوَسَكَنتُمْ فِى مَسَـكِنِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ

Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter). And you dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged themselves! (14:44-45)

Also, Allah said,

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْنٍ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْهُمْ مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَوْ تَسْمَعُ لَهُمْ رِكْزاً

And how many a generation before them have We destroyed! Can you find a single one of them or hear even a whisper of them! (19:98)

meaning, do you see any of them or hear their voices.

There are many other Ayat that testify that Allah's torment strikes His enemies, while His bounty reaches His faithful believers. Thereafter comes Allah's statement, and He is the Most Truthful, the Lord of all that exists,

101

 تِلْكَ الْقُرَى نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ مِنْ أَنبَآئِهَا

Those were the towns whose story We relate unto you.

وَلَقَدْ جَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَمَا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ بِمَا كَذَّبُواْ مِن قَبْلُ

And there came indeed to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they were not such who would believe in what they rejected before.

كَذَلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللَّهُ عَلَى قُلُوبِ الْكَـفِرِينَ

Thus Allah does seal up the hearts of the disbelievers.

102

 وَمَا وَجَدْنَا لاًّكْثَرِهِم مِّنْ عَهْدٍ وَإِن وَجَدْنَآ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَفَـسِقِينَ

And most of them We found not true to their covenant, but most of them We found indeed rebellious.

After narrating the stories of the people of Prophets Nuh, Hud, Salih, Lut and Shu`ayb, destroying the disbelievers, saving the believers, warning these nations by explaining the truth to them with the evidence sent in the words of His Messengers, may Allah's peace and blessings be on them all, Allah said;

تِلْكَ الْقُرَى نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ ...

Those were the towns that We relate to you (O Muhammad),

مِنْ أَنبَآئِهَا ...

their story, (and news),

وَلَقَدْ جَاءتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ ...

And there came indeed to them their Messengers with clear proofs,

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً

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

and,

ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَآءِ الْقُرَى نَقُصُّهُ عَلَيْكَ مِنْهَا قَآئِمٌ وَحَصِيدٌ وَمَا ظَلَمْنَـهُمْ وَلَـكِن ظَلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ

That is some of the news of the towns which We relate unto you; of them, some are standing, and some have been reaped. We wronged them not, but they wronged themselves. (11:100-101)

Allah said

فَمَا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ بِمَا كَذَّبُواْ مِن قَبْلُ ...

but they were not such who would believe in what they had rejected before.

A ccording to the Tafsir of Ibn Atiyyah, meaning they would not have later on believed in what the Messengers brought them, because they denied the truth when it first came to them (although they recognized it),

This explanation is sound, and is supported by Allah's statement,

وَمَا يُشْعِرُكُمْ أَنَّهَآ إِذَا جَآءَتْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ

And what will make you perceive that if it came, they will not believe. And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time. (6:109-110)

This is why Allah said here,

...كَذَلِكَ يَطْبَعُ اللّهُ عَلَىَ قُلُوبِ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿١٠١﴾

وَمَا وَجَدْنَا لأَكْثَرِهِم ...

Thus Allah does seal up the hearts of the disbelievers. And most of them We found not...

meaning, We did not find most of the previous nations,

... مِّنْ عَهْدٍ وَإِن وَجَدْنَا أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَفَاسِقِينَ ﴿١٠٢﴾

true to their covenant, but most of them We found to indeed be rebellious.

This Ayah means, We found most of them to be rebellious, deviating away from obedience and compliance.

The covenant mentioned here is the Fitrah that Allah instilled in them while still in their fathers' loins, and taking their covenant, that He is their Lord, King, and that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. They affirmed this covenant and testified against themselves to this fact. However, they defied this covenant, threw it behind their backs and worshipped others besides Allah, having no proof or plea, nor support from rationality or by divine law. Surely, the pure Fitrah defies these actions, while all the honorable Messengers, from beginning to end, forbade them.

Muslim collected the Hadith,

يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُم

Allah said, "I created My servants Hunafa (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion and prohibited them what I allowed them.''

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs,

كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِه

Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.

10

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِم مُّوسَى بِـَايَـتِنَآ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلإِيِهِ فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

Then after them We sent Musa with Our signs to Fir`awn and his chiefs, but they wrongfully rejected them. So see how was the end of the mischief-makers!

Story of Prophet Musa, upon him be Peace, and Fir`awn

Allah said,

ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِم ...

Then after them We sent,

after the Messengers whom We mentioned, such as Nuh, Hud, Salih Lut and Shu`ayb (may Allah's peace and blessings be on them and the rest of Allah's Prophets), We sent,

مُّوسَى بِآيَاتِنَا ...

Musa with Our signs,

proofs and clear evidences,

إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ ...

to Fir`awn,

who was ruler of Egypt during the time of Musa,

وَمَلَئِهِ ...

and his chiefs,

the people of Fir`awn,

فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا ...

but they wrongfully rejected them,

they denied and disbelieved in the signs, out of injustice and stubbornness on their part.

Allah said about them in another Ayah,

وَجَحَدُواْ بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَآ أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْماً وَعُلُوّاً فَانْظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

And they belied them (those Ayat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though they were themselves convinced thereof. So see what was the end of the evildoers. (27:14)

The Ayah says, `those who hindered from the path of Allah and belied in His Messengers, look how We punished them, We caused them to drown, all of them, while Musa and his people were watching.' Public drowning added disgrace to the punishment that Fir`awn and his people suffered, while adding comfort to the hearts of Allah's party, Musa and those people who believed in him.

... فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿١٠٣﴾

So see how was the end of the mischief-makers!

104

 وَقَالَ مُوسَى يَفِرْعَوْنُ إِنَّى رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

And Musa said: "O Fir`awn! Verily, I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists.''

105

 حَقِيقٌ عَلَى أَن لاَ أَقُولَ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ

"Proper it is for me that I say nothing concerning Allah but the truth.

قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِبَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعِىَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

Indeed I have come unto you from your Lord with a clear proof. So let the Children of Israel depart along with me.''

106

 قَالَ إِن كُنتَ جِئْتَ بِـَايَةٍ فَأْتِ بِهَآ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ

 (Fir`awn) said: "If you have come with a sign, s how it forth, if you are one of those who tell the truth.''

Allah mentions a debate that took place between Musa and Fir`awn, and Musa's refuting Fir`awn with the unequivocal proof and clear miracles, in the presence of Fir`awn and his people, the Copts of Egypt.

Allah said,

وَقَالَ مُوسَى يَا فِرْعَوْنُ إِنِّي رَسُولٌ مِّن رَّبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٠٤﴾

And Musa said: "O Fir`awn! Verily, I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists''.

meaning Musa said, `the one Who sent me is the Creator, Lord and King of all things,'

حَقِيقٌ عَلَى أَن لاَّ أَقُولَ عَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ ...

"Proper it is for me that I say nothing concerning Allah but the truth.''

`It is incumbent and a duty for me to convey only the Truth from Him, because of what I know of His might and power.'

قَدْ جِئْتُكُم بِبَيِّنَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...

"Indeed I have come unto you from your Lord with a clear proof.''

`I brought unequivocal evidence that Allah gave me to prove that I am conveying the truth to you,'

... فَأَرْسِلْ مَعِيَ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ ﴿١٠٥﴾

"So let the Children of Israel depart along with me.''

means, release them from your slavery and subjugation. Let them worship your Lord and their Lord. They are from the offspring of an honorable Prophet, Israel, who is Yaqub son of Ishaq son of Ibrahim, the Khalil (intimate friend) of Allah.

قَالَ إِن كُنتَ جِئْتَ بِآيَةٍ فَأْتِ بِهَا إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿١٠٦﴾

(Fir`awn) said: "If you have come with a sign, show it forth, if you are one of those who tell t he truth.''

Fir`awn said, `I will not believe in what you have said nor entertain your request'. Therefore, he said, `if you have proof, then produce it for us to see, so that we know if your claim is true.'

107

 فَأَلْقَى عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِىَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ

Then (Musa) threw his staff and behold! it was a (Thu`ban) serpent, manifest!

108

 وَنَزَعَ يَدَهُ فَإِذَا هِىَ بَيْضَآءُ لِلنَّـظِرِينَ

And he drew out his hand, and behold! it was white (with radiance) for the beholders.

Allah tells;

فَأَلْقَى عَصَاهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٠٧﴾

Then (Musa) threw his staff and behold! it was a (Thu`ban) serpent, manifest!

Ali bin Abi T alhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement, ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ  (a (Thu`ban) serpent, manifest), refers to "The male snake.''

As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak said similarly.

A report from Ibn Abbas said, "(فَأَلْقَى عَصَاهُ Then (Musa) threw his staff), and it turned into a huge snake that opened its mouth and rushed towards Fir`awn. When Fir`awn saw the snake rushing towards him, he jumped from his throne and cried to Musa for help, so that Musa would remove the snake from his way. Musa did that.''

As-Suddi commented, فَإِذَا هِيَ ثُعْبَانٌ مُّبِينٌ  (and behold! It was a (Thu`ban) serpent, manifest!),

"This (Thu`ban) refers to male snakes. The snake opened its mouth and headed towards Fir`awn to swallow him, placing its lower jaw on the ground and its upper jaw reaching the (top of the) wall of the palace. When Fir`awn saw the snake, he was frightened, so he jumped and wet himself and he never wet himself before this incident. He cried, `O Musa! Take it away and I will believe in you and release the Children of Israel to you.'

So Musa, peace be on him, took it, and it became a staff again.''

وَنَزَعَ يَدَهُ فَإِذَا هِيَ بَيْضَاء لِلنَّاظِرِينَ ﴿١٠٨﴾

And he drew out his hand, and behold! it was white (with radiance) for the beholders.

Musa took his hand out of his cloak after he inserted his hand in it and it was shining, not because of leprosy or sickness.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَأَدْخِلْ يَدَكَ فِى جَيْبِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَآءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ

And put your hand into your bosom, it will come forth white without hurt. (27:12)

Ibn Abbas said, "without hurt', means, `not because of leprosy'. Musa inserted his hand again in his sleeve and it returned back to its normal color.''

Mujahid and several others said similarly.

109

 قَالَ الْمَلأ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَسَـحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ

The chiefs of the people of Fir`awn said: "This is indeed a well-versed sorcerer.''

110

 يُرِيدُ أَن يُخْرِجَكُم مِّنْ أَرْضِكُمْ

He wants to get you out of your land,

فَمَاذَا تَأْمُرُونَ

so what do you advise?''

Fir`awn's People say that Musa is a Magician!

Alla h tells;

قَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿١٠٩﴾

يُرِيدُ أَن يُخْرِجَكُم مِّنْ أَرْضِكُمْ فَمَاذَا تَأْمُرُونَ ﴿١١٠﴾

he chiefs of the people of Fir`awn said: "This is indeed a well-versed sorcerer.''

"He wants to get you out of your land, so what do you advise?''

The chiefs and noblemen of the people of Fir`awn agreed with Fir`awn's statement about Musa. After Fir`awn felt safe and returned to his throne, he said to the chiefs of his people, إِنَّ هَـذَا لَسَاحِرٌ عَلِيمٌ  (This is indeed a well-versed sorcerer) and they agreed.

They held counsel to decide what they should do about Musa. They conspired to extinguish the light that he brought and bring down his word. They plotted to portray Musa as a liar and fake. They feared that he might lure people to his side by his magic, they claimed, and thus prevail over them and drive them away from their land. What they feared occurred, just as Allah said,

وَنُرِىَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَـمَـنَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَحْذَرونَ

And We let Fir`awn and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared. (28:6)

After they conferred about Musa, they agreed on a plot, as Alla h said about them,

111

 قَالُواْ أَرْجِهْ وَأَخَاهُ وَأَرْسِلْ فِى الْمَدَآئِنِ حَـشِرِينَ

They said: "Put him and his brother off (for a time), and send callers to the cities to collect,''

112

 يَأْتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَـحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ

"That they bring to you all well-versed sorcerers.''

Allah tells;

قَالُواْ أَرْجِهْ وَأَخَاهُ ...

hey said: "Put him and his brother off (for a time),

Ibn Abbas commented, أَرْجِهْ  ("Put him off''), means, "delay him (for a time).''

 وَأَرْسِلْ فِي الْمَدَآئِنِ ...

"and send to the cities,''

areas and provinces of your kingdom -- O Fir`awn,

... حَاشِرِينَ ﴿١١١﴾

"to collect.''

to gather magicians from various lands.

يَأْتُوكَ بِكُلِّ سَاحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ ﴿١١٢﴾

"That they bring to you all well-versed sorcerers.''

At this time, magic was the trade of the day and it was widespread and popular. They had the idea that what Musa brought was a type of magic similar to the magic that the sorcerers of their time practiced. Because of this incorrect assumption, they brought all the magicians in order to defeat the miracles that he showed them.

Allah said about Fir`awn,

فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّكَ

بِسِحْرٍ مِّثْلِهِ فَاجْعَلْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكَ مَوْعِداً لاَّ نُخْلِفُهُ نَحْنُ وَلاَ أَنتَ مَكَاناً سُوًى

قَالَ مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ وَأَن يُحْشَرَ النَّاسُ ضُحًى

فَتَوَلَّى فِرْعَوْنُ فَجَمَعَ كَيْدَهُ ثُمَّ أَتَى

Then verily, we can produce magic the like thereof; so appoint a meeting between us and you, which neither we nor you shall fail to keep, in an open place where both shall have a just and equal chance.''

(Musa) said: "Your appointed meeting is the day of the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen (forenoon).''

So Fir`awn withdrew, devised his plot and then came back. (20:58-60)

113

 وَجَآءَ السَّحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ قَالْواْ إِنَّ لَنَا لأَجْرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَـلِبِينَ

And so the sorcerers came to Fir`awn. They said: "Indeed there will be a (good) reward for us if we are the victors.''

114

 قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإِنَّكُمْ لَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ

He said: "Yes, and moreover you will (in that case) be of the nearest (to me).''

The Magicians convene and change Their Ropes into Snakes before Musa

Allah tells,

وَجَاء السَّحَرَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ قَالْواْ إِنَّ لَنَا لأَجْرًا إِن كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَالِبِينَ ﴿١١٣﴾

قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإَنَّكُمْ لَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ﴿١١٤﴾

And so the sorcerers came to Fir`awn. They said: "Indeed there will be a (good) reward for us if we are the victors.''

He said: "Yes, and moreover you will (in that case) be of the nearest (to me).''

Allah describes the conversation that took place between Fir`awn and the magicians he collected to defeat Musa, peace be upon him. Fir`awn told them that he will reward them and give them tremendous provisions. He made them hope in acquiring what they wished for and to make them among his private audience and best associates. When they were assured of the cursed Fir`awn's promises,

115

 قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى إِمَّآ أَن تُلْقِىَ وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ

They said: "O Musa! Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw.''

116

 قَالَ أَلْقَوْاْ

He (Musa) said: "Throw you (first).''

فَلَمَّآ أَلْقُوْاْ سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَآءُو بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ

So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great trick.

The Magicians convene and change Their Ropes into Snakes before Musa

Th e magicians challenged Musa, when they said,

قَالُواْ يَا مُوسَى إِمَّا أَن تُلْقِيَ وَإِمَّا أَن نَّكُونَ نَحْنُ الْمُلْقِينَ ﴿١١٥﴾

hey said: "O Musa! Either you throw (first), or shall we have the (first) throw (before you).

In another Ayah, they said,

وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَلْقَى

Or we be the first to throw. (20:65)

قَالَ أَلْقُوْاْ ...

He (Musa) said: "Throw you (first).''

Musa said to them, you throw first.

It was said that the wisdom behind asking them to throw first, is that - Allah knows best - the people might witness the magicians' sorcery first. When the magicians had cast t heir spell and captured the eyes, the clear and unequivocal truth came, at a time when they all anticipated and waited for it to come, thus making the truth even more impressive to their hearts. This is what happened.

Allah said,

فَلَمَّا أَلْقَوْاْ سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ ...

So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them,

meaning, they deceived the eyes and made them think that that trick was real, when it was only an illusion, just as Allah said,

فَأَوْجَسَ فِى نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى

قُلْنَا لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاٌّعْلَى

وَأَلْقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُواْ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلاَ يُفْلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَى

So Musa conceived fear in himself. We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand. And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.'' (20:67-69)

Ibn Abbas commented that the magicians threw, "Thick ropes and long sticks, and they appeared to be crawling, an illusion that they created with their magic.''

... وَجَاءوا بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿١١٦﴾

and they displayed a great trick.

117

 وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ

And We revealed to Musa (saying): "Throw your stick,''

فَإِذَا هِىَ تَلْقَفُ مَا يَأْفِكُونَ

and behold! It swallowed up straight away all the falsehood which they showed.

118

 فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.

119

 فَغُلِبُواْ هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُواْ صَـغِرِينَ

So they were defeated there and returned disgraced.

120

 وَأُلْقِىَ السَّحَرَةُ سَـجِدِينَ

And the sorcerers fell down prostrate.

121

 قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِرَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

They said: "We believe in the Lord of all that exists.

122

 رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ

"The Lord of Musa and Harun.''

Musa defeats the Magicians, Who believe in Him

Allah tells;

وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَى مُوسَى أَنْ أَلْقِ عَصَاكَ ...

And We revealed to Musa (saying): "Throw your stick,''

Allah states that at that tremendous moment, in which Allah differentiated between Truth and Falsehood, He sent a revelation to His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, ordering him to throw the stick that he held in his right hand,

فَإِذَا هِيَ تَلْقَفُ ...

It swallowed straight away,

and devoured,

... مَا يَأْفِكُونَ ﴿١١٧﴾

all the falsehood which they showed.

the magic that they caused the illusion with, of magic with which they caused making it appear real, whereas it was not real at all.

Ibn Abbas said that; Musa's stick swallowed all the ropes and sticks that the magicians threw.

فَوَقَعَ الْحَقُّ وَبَطَلَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١١٨﴾

فَغُلِبُواْ هُنَالِكَ وَانقَلَبُواْ صَاغِرِينَ ﴿١١٩﴾

وَأُلْقِيَ السَّحَرَةُ سَاجِدِينَ ﴿١٢٠﴾

hus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect. So they were defeated there and returned disgraced.And the sorcerers fell down prostrate.

The magicians realized that this was from heaven and was by no means magic. They fell in prostration and proclaimed,

قَالُواْ آمَنَّا بِرِبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٢١﴾

رَبِّ مُوسَى وَهَارُونَ ﴿١٢٢﴾

"We believe in the Lord of all that exists. The Lord of Musa and Harun.

Muhammad bin Ishaq commented,

"It followed the ropes and sticks one after another, until nothing that the sorcerers threw remained. Musa then held it in his hand, and it became a stick again just as it was before. The magicians fell in prostration and proclaimed, `We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun. Had Musa been a magician, he would not have prevailed over us.'''

Al-Qasim bin Abi Bazzah commented,

"Allah revealed to Musa to throw his stick. When he threw his stick, it became a huge, manifest snake that opened its mouth and swallowed the magicians' ropes and sticks. On that, the magicians fell in prostration. They did not raise their heads before seeing the Paradise, the Fire, and the recompense of their inhabitants.''

123

 قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ءَامَنتُمْ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمْ إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ لِتُخْرِجُواْ مِنْهَآ أَهْلَهَا فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Fir`awn said: "You have believed in him (Musa) before I gave you permission. Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people, but you shall come to know.''

124

 لأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ ثُمَّ لأصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

"Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides, then I will crucify you all.''

125

 قَالُواْ إِنَّآ إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ

They said: "Verily, we are returning to our Lord.''

126

 وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّآ إِلاَ أَنْ ءَامَنَّا بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَآءَتْنَا

"And you take vengeance on us only because we believed in the Ayat of our Lord when they reached us!

رَبَّنَآ أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ

Our Lord! pour out on us patience, and cause us to die as Muslims.''

Fir`awn threatens the Magicians after They believed in Musa and Their Response to Him

Allah tells,

قَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ آمَنتُم بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن آذَنَ لَكُمْ ...

Fir`awn said: "You have believed in him (Musa) before I gave you permission.

Allah mentions the threats that the Fir`awn - may Allah curse him - made to the magicians after they believed Musa, peace be upon him, and the deceit and cunning that Fir`awn showed the people.

Fir`awn said,

إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لِتُخْرِجُواْ مِنْهَا أَهْلَهَا ...

Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people,

meaning Fir`awn proclaimed, `Musa's defeating you today was because you plotted with him and agreed to that.'

Fir`awn also said,

إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ

He (Musa) is your chief who has taught you magic. (20:71)

However, F ir`awn and all those who had any sense of reason knew for sure that what Fir`awn said was utterly false. As soon as Musa came from Madyan, he called Fir`awn to Allah and demonstrated tremendous miracles and clear proofs for the Truth that he brought. Fir`awn then sent emissaries to various cities of his kingdom and collected magicians who were scattered throughout Egypt. Fir`awn and his people chose from them, summoned them, and Fir`awn promised them great rewards. These magicians were very eager to prevail over Musa in front of Fir`awn, so that they might become closer to him. Musa neither knew any of them nor saw or met them before. Fir`awn knew that, but he claimed otherwise to deceive the ignorant masses of his kingdom, just as Allah described them, فَاسْتَخَفَّ قَوْمَهُ فَأَطَاعُوهُ (Thus he (Fir`awn) fooled his people, and they obeyed him. (43:54) Certainly, a people who believed Fir`awn in his statement, أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْأَعْلَى  (I am your lord, most high). (79:24), are among the most ignorant and misguided creatures of Allah.

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn Abbas, and several other Companions, commented, إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ  (Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city...),

"Musa met the leader of the magicians and said to him, `If I defeat you, will you believe in me and bear witness that what I brought is the truth.'

The magician said, `Tomorrow, I will produce a type of magic that cannot be defeated by another magic. By Allah! If you defeat me, I will believe in you and testify to your truth.'

Fir`awn was watching them, and this is why he said what he said.''

His statement, لِتُخْرِجُواْ مِنْهَا أَهْلَهَا  (to drive out its people), means, so that you all cooperate to gain influence and power, replacing the chiefs and masters of this land. In this case, power in the state will be yours,

... فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٢٣﴾

"but you shall come to know,''

what I will do to you.

He then explained his threat,

لأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُم مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ ...

"Surely, I will cut off your hands and your feet from opposite sides.''

by cutting the right hand and the left leg or the opposite,

... ثُمَّ لأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿١٢٤﴾

"then I will crucify you all.''

just as he said in another Ayah,

فِى جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ

"Fi the trunks of date palms.'' (20:71)

Fi in this Ayah means "on''.

Ibn Abbas said that Fir`awn was the first to crucify and cut off hands and legs on opposite sides.

The magicians said,

قَالُواْ إِنَّا إِلَى رَبِّنَا مُنقَلِبُونَ ﴿١٢٥﴾

وَمَا تَنقِمُ مِنَّا إِلاَّ أَنْ آمَنَّا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّنَا لَمَّا جَاءتْنَا ...

hey said: "Verily, we are returning to our Lord. And you take vengeance on us only because we believed in the Ayat of our Lord when they reached us!

They said, `We are now sure that we will go back to Allah. Certainly, Allah's punishment is more severe than your punishment and His torment for what you are calling us to, this day, and the magic you forced us to practice, is greater than your torment. Therefore, we will observe patience in the face of your punishment today, so that we are saved from Allah's torment.'

They continued,

رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا ...

"Our Lord! pour out on us patience,''

with your religion and being firm in it,

... وَتَوَفَّنَا مُسْلِمِينَ ﴿١٢٦﴾

"and cause us to die as Muslims.''

as followers of Your Prophet Musa, peace be upon him.

They also said to Fir`awn,

قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَى مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالَّذِى فَطَرَنَا فَاقْضِ مَآ أَنتَ قَاضٍ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِى هَـذِهِ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَآ

إِنَّآ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا وَمَآ أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى

إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِماً فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَى

وَمَن يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِناً قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَـتُ الْعُلَى

"So decide whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decide for the life of this world. Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better (to reward) and more lasting (in punishment).

Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal, then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live. But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter). (20:72-75)

The magicians started the day as sorcerers and ended as honorable martyrs!

Ibn Abbas, Ubayd bin Umayr, Qatadah and Ibn Jurayj commented,

"They started the day as sorcerers and ended it as martyrs.''

127

 وَقَالَ الْمَلأ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَونَ أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ لِيُفْسِدُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَيَذَرَكَ وَءالِهَتَكَ

The chiefs of Fir`awn's people said: "Will you leave Musa and his people to spread mischief in the land, and to abandon you and your gods!''

قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَآءَهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِـى نِسَآءَهُمْ وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَـهِرُونَ

He said: "We will kill their sons, and let their women live, and we have indeed irresistible power over them.''

128

 قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَاصْبِرُواْ

Musa said to his people: "Seek help in Allah and be patient.

إِنَّ الأَرْضَ للَّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَآءُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَـقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ

Verily, the earth is Allah's. He gives it as a heritage to whom He wills of His servants; and the (blessed) end is for the pious and righteous persons.''

129

 قَالُواْ أُوذِينَا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَأْتِيَنَا وَمِن بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا

They said: "We suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us.''

قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَيَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ

He said: "It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act!''

Fir`awn vows to kill the Children of Israel, Who complain to Musa; Allah promises Them Victory

Allah mentions the conspiracy of Fir`awn and his people, their ill intentions and their hatred for Musa and his people.

وَقَالَ الْمَلأُ مِن قَوْمِ فِرْعَونَ ...

The chiefs of Fir`awn's people said, (to Fir`awn),

أَتَذَرُ مُوسَى وَقَوْمَهُ ...

"Will you leave Musa and his people!''

will you let them be free,

لِيُفْسِدُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ ...

"to spread mischief in the land,''

spreading unrest among your subjects and calling them to worship their Lord instead of you.

Amazingly, these people were worried that Musa and his people would cause mischief! Rather, Fir`awn and his people are the mischief-makers, but they did not realize it. They said,

وَيَذَرَكَ وَآلِهَتَكَ ...

"and to abandon you and your gods.''

`Your gods', According to Ibn Abbas, as As-Suddi narrated from him,

"Were cows. Whenever they saw a beautiful cow, Fir`awn would command them to worship it. This is why As-Samiri, made the statue of a calf that seemed to moo for the Children of Israel.''

Fir`awn accepted his people's recommendation,

قَالَ سَنُقَتِّلُ أَبْنَاءهُمْ وَنَسْتَحْيِـي نِسَاءهُمْ ...

He said: "We will kill their sons, and let their women live,''

thus reiterating his previous order concerning the Children of Israel.

... وَإِنَّا فَوْقَهُمْ قَاهِرُونَ ﴿١٢٧﴾

and we have indeed irresistible power over them.''

He had tormented them (killing every newly born male) before Musa was born, so that Musa would not live. However, the opposite of what Fir`awn sought and intended occurred. The same end struck Fir`awn that he intended to subjugate and humiliate the Children of Israel with. Allah gave victory to the Children of Israel, humiliated and disgraced Fir`awn, and caused him to drown along with his soldiers. When Fir`awn insisted on his evil plot against the Children of Israel,

قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ اسْتَعِينُوا بِاللّهِ وَاصْبِرُواْ ...

Musa said to his people: "Seek help in Allah and be patient,''

and promised them that the good end will be theirs and that they will prevail, saying,

إِنَّ الأَرْضَ لِلّهِ يُورِثُهَا مَن يَشَاء مِنْ عِبَادِهِ وَالْعَاقِبَةُ لِلْمُتَّقِينَ ﴿١٢٨﴾

قَالُواْ أُوذِينَا مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَأْتِينَا وَمِن بَعْدِ مَا جِئْتَنَا ...

"Verily, the earth is Allah's. He gives it as a heritage to whom He wills of His servants; and the (blessed) end is for the pious and righteous persons.''

They said: "We suffered troubles before you came to us, and since you have come to us.''

The Children of Israel replied to Musa, `they (Fir`awn and his people) inflicted humiliation and disgrace on us, some you witnessed, both before and after you came to us, O Musa'!

Musa replied, reminding them of their present situation and how it will change in the future,

قَالَ عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُهْلِكَ عَدُوَّكُمْ ...

"It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemy. ..''

encouraging them to appreciate Allah when the afflictions are removed and replaced by a bounty.

وَيَسْتَخْلِفَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرَ كَيْفَ تَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٢٩﴾

and make you successors on the earth, so that He may see how you act!''

130

 وَلَقَدْ أَخَذْنَآ ءالَ فِرْعَوْنَ بِالسِّنِينَ وَنَقْصٍ مِّن الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ

And indeed We punished the people of Fir`awn with years of drought and lack of fruits (crops), that they might remember (take heed).

131

 فَإِذَا جَآءَتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ يَطَّيَّرُواْ بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ

But whenever good came to them, they said: "This is for us.'' And if evil afflicted them, they considered it an omen about Musa and those with him.

أَلاَ إِنَّمَا طَائِرُهُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

Be informed! Verily, their omens are with Allah but most of them know not.

Fir`awn and His People suffer Years of Drought

Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ أَخَذْنَا آلَ فِرْعَونَ ...

And indeed We punished the people of Fir`awn,

We tested and tried them,

بِالسِّنِينَ ...

with years of drought,

of famine due to little produce,

وَنَقْصٍ مِّن الثَّمَرَاتِ ...

and lack of fruits,

According to Mujahid, which is less severe.

Abu Ishaq narrated that Raja' bin Haywah said, "The date tree used to produce only one date!''

... لَعَلَّهُمْ يَذَّكَّرُونَ ﴿١٣٠﴾

فَإِذَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْحَسَنَةُ ...

That they might remember (take heed). But whenever good came to them,

such as a fertile season and provisions,

قَالُواْ لَنَا هَـذِهِ ...

they said, "This is for us.''

because we deserve it,

وَإِن تُصِبْهُمْ سَيِّئَةٌ ...

and if evil afflicted them,

drought and famine,

يَطَّيَّرُواْ بِمُوسَى وَمَن مَّعَهُ ...

they considered it an omen about Musa and those with him.

saying that this hardship is because of them and what they have done.

Verily, their omens are with Allah.

أَلا إِنَّمَا طَائِرُهُمْ عِندَ اللّهُ ...

Verily, their omens are with Allah,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented, "Allah says that their afflictions are with and from Him,

... وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٣١﴾

but most of them know not.''

132

 وَقَالُواْ مَهْمَا تَأْتِنَا بِهِ مِن ءَايَةٍ لِّتَسْحَرَنَا بِهَا فَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

They said (to Musa): "Whatever Ayat you may bri ng to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you.''

133

  فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ ءَايَـتٍ مّفَصَّلاَتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْماً مُّجْرِمِينَ

So We sent on them: the Tuwfan, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs, and the blood (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals.

134

 وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّجْزُ قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ لَئِن كَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

And when the punishment struck them, they said: "O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.''

135

 فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْزَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ هُم بَـلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ

But when We removed the punishment from them for a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word!

Allah punishes the People of Fir`awn because of Their Rebellion

Allah describes the rebellion, tyranny, defiance of the truth and insistence on falsehood of the people of Fir`awn,

وَقَالُواْ مَهْمَا تَأْتِنَا بِهِ مِن آيَةٍ لِّتَسْحَرَنَا بِهَا فَمَا نَحْنُ لَكَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٣٢﴾

They said (to Musa): " Whatever Ayat you may bring to us, to work therewith your sorcery on us, we shall never believe in you.''

They said, `whatever miracle, proof and evidence you bring us, we will neither accept it from you nor believe in you or what you came with.'

Allah said,

فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ وَالْقُمَّلَ وَالضَّفَادِعَ وَالدَّمَ آيَاتٍ مُّفَصَّلاَتٍ فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْمًا مُّجْرِمِينَ ﴿١٣٣﴾

So We sent on them: the Tuwfan, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs, and the blood (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals.

فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ  (So We sent on them the Tufan), Ibn Abbas commented; "It was a heavy rain that ruined the produce and fruits.''

He is also reported to have said that; Tuwfan refers to mass death.

Mujahid said, it is water that carries the plague every where. As for the locust, it is the well-known insect, which is permissible to eat.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs, that Abu Yafur said that he asked Abdullah bin Abi Awfa about locust. He said, "We participated in seven battles with the Messenger of Allah , and we used to eat locusts.''

Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad bin Hanbal and Ibn Majah recorded from `]Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam that his father narrated from Ibn `]Umar that the Prophet said,

أُحِلَّتْ لَنَا مَيْتَتَانِ وَدَمَانِ:

· الْحُوتُ وَالْجَرَادُ

· وَالْكَبِدُ وَالطِّحَال

We were allowed two dead animals and two (kinds of) blood:

· fish and locust, and

· kidney and splee n

Ibn Abi Najih narrated from Mujahid about Allah's statement, فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الطُّوفَانَ وَالْجَرَادَ  (So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts ...), "Eating the nails on their doors and leaving the wood.''

As for the Qummal, Ibn Abbas said that it is the grain bug, or, according to another view; small locusts that do not have wings.

Similar was reported from Mujahid, Ikrimah and Qatadah.

Al-Hasan and Sa`id bin Jubayr said that; `Qummal' are small black insects.

Abu Jafar bin Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said,

"When Musa came to Fir`awn, he demanded, `Release the Children of Israel to me.' But, Fir`awn did not comply; and Allah sent the Tuwfan, and that is a rain which continued until they feared that it was a form of torment.

They said to Musa, `Invoke your Lord to release us from this rain, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.'

Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction from them. However, they did not believe, nor did they send the Children of Israel with him.

In that year, Allah allowed (the earth) to grow various types of produce, fruits and grass for them as never before. They said, `This is what we hoped for.' So Allah sent the locusts, and the locusts started to feed on the grass. When they saw the effect the locusts had on the grass, they knew that no vegetation would be saved from devastation. They said, `O Musa! Invoke your Lord so that He will remove the locusts from us, and we will believe in you and release the Children of Israel to you.'

Musa invoked his Lord, and He removed the locusts. Still, they did not believe and did not send the Children of Israel with him.

They collected grains and kept them in their homes. They said, `We saved our crops.' However, Allah sent the Qummal, grain bugs, and one of them would take ten bags of grains to the mill, but only reap three small bags of grain.

They said, `O Musa! Ask your Lord to remove the Qummal (weevil) from us and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.'

Musa invoked his Lord, and Allah removed the Qummal from them. However, they did not send the Children of Israel with him.

Once, when he was with Fir`awn, Musa heard the sound of a frog and said to Fir`awn, `What will you and your people suffer from this (the frogs)!'

Fir`awn said, `What can frogs do!'

Yet, by the time that night arrived a person would be sitting in a crowd of frogs that reached up to his chin and could not open his mouth to speak without a frog jumping in it. They said to Musa, `Invoke your Lord to remove these frogs from us, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.'

Musa invoked his Lord, but they did not believe.

Allah then sent blood that filled the rivers, wells and the water containers they had. They complained to Fir`awn, saying, `We are inflicted with blood and do not have anything to drink.' He said, `Musa has bewitched you.'

They said, `How could he do that when whenever we look for water in our containers we found that it has turned into blood!'

They came to Musa and said, `Invoke your Lord to save us from this blood, and we will believe in you and send the Children of Israel with you.'

Musa invoked his Lord and the blood stopped, but they did not believe nor send the Children of Israel with him.''

A similar account was attributed to Ibn Abbas, As-Suddi, Qatadah and several others among the Salaf.

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said,

"The enemy of Allah, Fir`awn, went back defeated and humiliated, after the sorcerers believed (in Musa). He insisted on remaining in disbelief and persisted in wickedness. Allah sent down the signs to him, and he (and his people) were first inflicted by famine. Allah then sent the flood, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs then blood, as consecutive signs. When Allah sent the flood, it filled the surface of the earth with water. But the water level receded, and they could not make use of it to till the land or do anything else.

وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّجْزُ ...

And when the punishment struck them,

They became hungry. This is when,

قَالُواْ يَا مُوسَى ادْعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ لَئِن كَشَفْتَ عَنَّا الرِّجْزَ لَنُؤْمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرْسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ ﴿١٣٤﴾

They said: "O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.''

Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction from them, but they did not keep their promises. So Allah sent locusts that ate the trees and consumed the nails on their doors, until the doors fell from their homes and residences.

They again said what they said to Musa before, and he called on his Lord and He removed the affliction. Still, they did not keep their promises, and Allah sent the Qummal.

Musa, peace be upon him, was commanded to go to a mound and strike it with his staff. So Musa went to a huge mound, struck it with his staff and the Qummal fell out of it in tremendous numbers, until they overwhelmed the houses and food reserves, ultimately depriving them of sleep and rest. When they suffered under this affliction, they said similar to what they said before, and Musa invoked his Lord and He removed the affliction.

They did not keep their promise and Allah sent the frogs to them, and they filled the houses, foods and pots. One of them would not pick up a piece of clothing, or uncover some food, without finding frogs in it. When this affliction became hard on them, they made similar promises as before, Musa supplicated to his Lord and Allah removed the affliction.

They did not keep any of the promises they made, and Allah sent the blood, and the waters of the people of Fir`awn turned to blood. Any water they collected from a well, a river, or a container, turned to blood.''

فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْزَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ هُم بَالِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمْ يَنكُثُونَ ﴿١٣٥﴾

But when We removed the punishment from them for a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word!

136

 فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَـهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَـفِلِينَ

So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our Ayat and were heedless with them.

137

 وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَـرِقَ الاٌّرْضِ وَمَغَـرِبَهَا الَّتِى بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا

And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed.

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِى إِسْرءِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ

And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance.

وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْرِشُونَ

And We destroyed what Fir`awn and his people produced, and what they erected.

The People of Fir`awn drown in the Sea; the Children of Israel inherit the Holy Land

Allah tells;

فَانتَقَمْنَا مِنْهُمْ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُمْ فِي الْيَمِّ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ ﴿١٣٦﴾

وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُواْ يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ ...

So We took retribution from them. We drowned them in the sea, because they belied Our Ayat and were heedless with them. And We made the people who were considered weak to inherit...

Allah states that when the people of Fir`awn rebelled and transgressed, even though He inflicted them with consecutive signs, one after another, He took retribution from them by drowning them in the sea that Musa parted by Allah's power, and he and the Children of Israel passed through. In their pursuit, Fir`awn and his soldiers went in the sea chasing Musa and his people. When they all had gone inside the water, the sea closed in on them and they all drowned, because they belied the Ayat of Allah and were heedless of them. Allah said that He has granted the people who were considered weak, the Children of Israel, to inherit the eastern and western parts of the land.

مَشَارِقَ الأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا ...

...the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We have blessed.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah commented that Allah's statement, refers to the Sham area (Greater Syria).

وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ ...

And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance.

Mujahid and Ibn Jarir said that Allah's statement, is explained by Allah's other statement,

وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ

وَنُمَكِّنَ لَهُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَنُرِىَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَهَـمَـنَ وَجُنُودَهُمَا مِنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَحْذَرونَ

And We wished to do a favor to those who were weak (and oppressed) in the land, and to make them rulers and to make them the inheritors. And to establish them in the land, and We let Fir`awn and Haman and their hosts receive from them that which they feared. (28:5-6)

Further, Allah's statement,

وَدَمَّرْنَا مَا كَانَ يَصْنَعُ فِرْعَوْنُ وَقَوْمُهُ ...

And We destroyed what Fir`awn and his people produced,

meaning, We destroyed what Fir`awn and his people produced, such as agriculture and buildings.

... وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْرِشُونَ ﴿١٣٧﴾

and what they erected.

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said that يَعْرِشُونَ  (they erected), means, they built.

138

 وَجَـوَزْنَا بِبَنِى إِسْرءِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتَوْاْ عَلَى قَوْمٍ يَعْكُفُونَ عَلَى أَصْنَامٍ لَّهُمْ

And We brought the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea, and they came upon a people devoted to some of their idols (in worship).

قَالُواْ يَمُوسَى اجْعَلْ لَّنَآ إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ ءَالِهَةٌ

They said: "O Musa! Make for us a god as they have gods.''

قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ

He said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people.''

139

 إِنَّ هَـؤُلاءِ مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَـطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

 (Musa added:) "Verily, these pe ople will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in (idols' worship). And all that they are doing is in vain.''

The Children of Israel safely cross the Sea, but still held on to the Idea of Idol Worshipping

Allah tells;

وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِي إِسْرَآئِيلَ الْبَحْرَ ...

And We brought the Children of Israel (with safety) across the sea,

Allah mentions the words that the ignorant ones among the Children of Israel uttered to Musa after they crossed the sea and witnessed Allah's Ayat and great power.

فَأَتَوْاْ عَلَى قَوْمٍ يَعْكُفُونَ عَلَى أَصْنَامٍ لَّهُمْ ...

And they came upon a people devoted to some of their idols (in worship).

Some scholars of Tafsir said that the people mentioned here were from Canaan, or from the tribe of Lakhm.

Ibn Jarir commented, "They were worshipping idols that they made in the shape of cows, and this influenced the Children of Israel later when they worshipped the calf."

They said here,

قَالُواْ يَا مُوسَى اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ ...

They said: "O Musa! Make for us a god as they have gods.''

... قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ ﴿١٣٨﴾

He said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people.''

Musa replied, you are ignorant of Allah's greatness and majesty and His purity from any partners or anything resembling Him.

إِنَّ هَـؤُلاء مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ ...

"Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in, (they will perish),

... وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٣٩﴾

"and all that they are doing is in vain.''

Commenting on this Ayah, Imam Abu Jafar bin Jarir reported from Abu Waqid Al-Laythi that;

they (the Companions) went out from Makkah with the Messenger of Allah for (the battle of) Hunayn. Abu Waqid said, "Some of the disbelievers had a lote tree whose vicinity they used to remain in, and upon which they would hang their weapons on. That tree was called `Dhat Al-Anwat'. So when we passed by a huge, green lote tree, we said, `O Messenger of Allah! Appoint for us a Dhat Al-Anwat as they have.'

He said,

قُلْتُمْ وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ كَمَا قَالَ قَوْمُ مُوسَى لِمُوسَى:

by He in Whose Hand is my soul! You said just as what the people of Musa said to him:

اجْعَل لَّنَا إِلَـهًا كَمَا لَهُمْ آلِهَةٌ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ

إِنَّ هَـؤُلاء مُتَبَّرٌ مَّا هُمْ فِيهِ وَبَاطِلٌ مَّا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

"Make for us a god as they have gods.'' He said: "Verily, you are an ignorant people. Verily, these people will be destroyed for that which they are engaged in, and all that they are doing is in vain.''

140

 قَالَ أَغَيْرَ اللَّهِ أَبْغِيكُمْ إِلَـهًا وَهُوَ فَضَّلَكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ

He said: "Shall I seek for you an ilah (a god) other than Allah, while He has given you superiority over the nations.''

141

 وَإِذْ أَنْجَيْنَـكُمْ مِّنْ ءَالِ فِرْعَونَ يَسُومُونَكُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ يُقَتِّلُونَ أَبْنَآءَكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيُونَ نِسَآءَكُمْ وَفِي ذَلِكُمْ بَلاءٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَظِيمٌ

And (remember) when We rescued you from Fir`awn's people, who were afflicting you with the worst torment, killing your sons and letting your women live. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.

Reminding the Children of Israel of Allah's Blessings for Them

Allah tells;

قَالَ أَغَيْرَ اللّهِ أَبْغِيكُمْ إِلَـهًا وَهُوَ فَضَّلَكُمْ عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٤٠﴾

وَإِذْ أَنجَيْنَاكُم مِّنْ آلِ فِرْعَونَ يَسُومُونَكُمْ سُوَءَ الْعَذَابِ يُقَتِّلُونَ أَبْنَاءكُمْ وَيَسْتَحْيُونَ نِسَاءكُمْ وَفِي ذَلِكُم بَلاء مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ عَظِيمٌ ﴿١٤١﴾

He said: "Shall I seek for you an ilah (a god) other than Allah, while He has given you superiority over the nations.''

And (remember) when We rescued you from Fir`awn's people, who were afflicting you with the worst torment, killing your sons and letting your women live. And in that was a great trial from your Lord.

Musa reminded the Children of Israel of Allah's blessings, such as saving them from Fir`awn, his tyranny and the humiliation and disgrace they suffered. He reminded them of the glory and revenge against their enemy, when they watched them suffering in disgrace, destroyed by drowning and meeting utter demise. We mentioned this subject in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah.

142

 وَوَعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلَـثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَـتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً

And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added ten, and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights.

وَقَالَ مُوسَى لاًّخِيهِ هَـرُونَ اخْلُفْنِى فِى قَوْمِى وَأَصْلِحْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ

And Musa said to his brother Harun: "Replace me among my people, act in the right way and follow not the way of the mischief-makers.''

Musa fasts and worships Allah for Forty Days

Allah reminds the Children of Israel of the guidance that He sent to them by speaking directly to Musa and revealing the Tawrah to him. In it, was their law and the details of their legislation.

وَوَاعَدْنَا مُوسَى ثَلاَثِينَ لَيْلَةً وَأَتْمَمْنَاهَا بِعَشْرٍ فَتَمَّ مِيقَاتُ رَبِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً ...

And We appointed for Musa thirty nights and added ten, and he completed the term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights.

Allah stated here that He appointed thirty nights for Musa. The scholars of Tafsir said that Musa fasted this period, and when they ended, Musa cleaned his teeth with a twig. Allah commanded him to complete the term adding ten more days, making the total forty. When the appointed term finished, Musa was about to return to Mount Tur , as Allah said,

يبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ قَدْ أَنجَيْنَـكُمْ مِّنْ عَدُوِّكُمْ وَوَاعَدْنَـكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّورِ الاٌّيْمَنَ

O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount. (20:80)

وَقَالَ مُوسَى لأَخِيهِ هَارُونَ اخْلُفْنِي فِي قَوْمِي وَأَصْلِحْ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ﴿١٤٢﴾

And Musa said to his brother Harun: "Replace me among my people, act in the right way and follow not the way of the mischief-makers.''

Musa left his brother Harun with the Children of Israel and commanded him to use wisdom and refrain from mischie f.

This was only a reminder, for Harun was an honorable and noble Prophet who had grace and exalted standard with Allah, may Allah's peace and blessings be upon him and the rest of the Prophets.

143

 وَلَمَّا جَآءَ مُوسَى لِمِيقَـتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ أَرِنِى أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ

And when Musa came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord (Allah) spoke to him; he said: "O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.''

قَالَ لَن تَرَانِى وَلَـكِنِ انْظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِى

Allah said: "You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain; if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me.''

فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا

So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious.

فَلَمَّآ أَفَاقَ قَالَ سُبْحَـنَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Then when he recovered his senses he said: "Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.''

Musa asks to see Allah

Allah tells;

وَلَمَّا جَاء مُوسَى لِمِيقَاتِنَا وَكَلَّمَهُ رَبُّهُ قَالَ ...

And when Musa came at the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord (Allah) spoke to him; he said:

Allah said that when Musa came for His appointment and spoke to Him directly, he asked to see Him,

رَبِّ أَرِنِي أَنظُرْ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ لَن تَرَانِي ...

"O my Lord! Show me (Yourself), that I may look upon You.''

Allah said: "You cannot see Me,''

`You cannot' (Lan) by no means indicates that seeing Allah will never occur, as (the misguided sect of) Al-Mutazilah claimed.

The Hadiths of Mutawatir grade narrated from the Messenger of Allah, affirm that the believers will see Allah in the Hereafter. We will mention these Hadiths under the explanation of Allah's statement,

وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ نَّاضِرَةٌ

إِلَى رَبِّهَا نَاظِرَةٌ

Some faces that Day shall be radiant. Looking at their Lord. (75:22-23)

In earlier Scriptures, it was reported that Allah said to Musa, "O Musa ! No living soul sees Me, but will perish, and no solid but will be demolished.''

وَلَـكِنِ انظُرْ إِلَى الْجَبَلِ فَإِنِ اسْتَقَرَّ مَكَانَهُ فَسَوْفَ تَرَانِي ...

Allah said: "You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain; if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me.''

Allah said here,

فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا ...

So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious.

In his Musnad Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that; the Prophet said about Allah's saying; فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ  (And when his Lord appeared to the mountain), هكذا Like this, then he held out the tip of his little finger.

At-Tirmidhi recorded this in the chapter of Tafsir for this Ayah, then he said; "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih Gharib.''

This was also recorded by Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak through the route of Hamad bin Salamah, and he said; "This Hadith is Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim and they did not record it.''

And As-Suddi reported that Ikrimah reported from Ibn Abbas about Allah's saying, فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ  (And when his Lord appeared to the mountain), Only the extent of the little finger appeared from Him, جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا  (He made it collapse) as dust; وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا  (And Musa fell down unconscious) fainting from it.

Ibn Jarir recorded these because of the relation to the word Al-Ghashi.

فَلَمَّا أَفَاقَ ...

Then when he (Musa) recovered his senses, (after he lost consciousness),

قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ ...

he said: "Glory be to You,''

thus, praising, glorifying and honoring Allah since no living soul could see Him in this life and remain alive.

Musa' statement,

تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ ...

"I turn to You in repentance,''

According to Mujahid, means, from asking you to look at you,

... وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٤٣﴾

"and I am the first of the believers.''

among the Children of Israel, according to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, and Ibn Jarir preferred this view.

Or, according to another narration from Ibn Abbas, the meaning of,  وَأَنَاْ أَوَّلُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ  (and I am the first of the believers), is that `none shall see You (in this life).'

Allah said, وَخَرَّ موسَى صَعِقًا (And Musa fell down unconscious),

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurayrah narrated a Hadith from the Prophet that is suitable to mention here.

As for the Hadith from Abu Sa`id, Al-Bukhari recorded in his Sahih that he said:

A Jew came to the Prophet after his face was smacked, and said, "O Muhammad! One of your companions from Al-Ansar smacked me on the face.''

The Prophet said, ادْعُوه  (Summon him)and he was summoned.

The Prophet asked him,

لِمَ لَطَمْتَ وَجْهَهُ ؟

Why did you smack his face?

He said, "O Allah's Messenger! I passed by that Jew and heard him swearing, `No, by He Who has chosen Musa over mankind!'

I said, `Over Muhammad too', and I became angry and struck his face.''

The Prophet said,

لَا تُخَيِّرُونِي مِنْ بَيْنِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ فَإِنَّ النَّاسَ يَصْعَقُونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَأَكُونُ أَوَّلَ مَنْ يُفِيقُ، فَإِذَا أَنَا بِمُوسَى آخِذٌ بِقَائِمَةٍ مِنْ قَوَائِمِ الْعَرْشِ، فَلَا أَدْرِي أَفَاقَ قَبْلِي أَمْ جُوزِيَ بِصَعْقَةِ الطُّور

Do not prefer me above the Prophets. Verily, on the Day of Resurrection, people will be struck unconscious, and I (feel that I) am the first to wake up. Thereupon I will find that Musa is holding onto a pillar of the Throne (Arsh of Allah). I will not know if he woke up before me or he received his due (because of his) unconsciousness on (Mount) At-Tur.

Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith in many locations of his Sahih, as did Muslim and Abu Dawud.

As for the Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, Imam Ahmad and the Two Sheikhs (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) collected his narration.

145

 قَالَ يَمُوسَى إِنْى اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَـلَـتِي وَبِكَلَـمِي فَخُذْ مَآ ءاتَيْتُكَ وَكُنْ مِّنَ الشَّـكِرِينَ

 (Allah) said: "O Musa I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.''

146

 وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِى الاٌّلْوَاحِ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مَّوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلاً لِّكُلِّ شَىْءٍ

And We wrote for him on the Tablets the exhortation all things and the explanation for all things (and said):

فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُواْ بِأَحْسَنِهَا سَأُوْرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَـسِقِينَ

Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein. I shall show you the home of the rebellious.

Allah chooses Musa and gives Him the Tablets

Allah says;

قَالَ يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَالاَتِي وَبِكَلاَمِي ...

(Allah) said: "O Musa I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you).

Allah states that He spoke to Musa directly and informed him that He has chosen him above the people of his time, by His Message and by speaking to him.

Here we should mention that there is no doubt that Muhammad is the chief of all the Children of Adam, the earlier and later ones among them. This is why Allah has chosen him to be the Final and Last Prophet and Messenger, whose Law shall remain dominant and valid until the commencement of the Last Hour. Muhammad's followers are more numerous than the followers of all Prophets and Messengers. After Muhammad, the next in rank of honor and virtue is Ibrahim upon him be peace,, then Musa, son of Imran, who spoke to the Most Beneficent directly.

Allah commanded Musa, saying,

فَخُذْ مَا آتَيْتُكَ ...

So hold to that which I have given you,

of My Speech and conversation with you,

... وَكُن مِّنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ ﴿١٤٤﴾

and be of the grateful,

for it and do not ask for what is beyond your capacity to bear.

وَكَتَبْنَا لَهُ فِي الأَلْوَاحِ مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْعِظَةً وَتَفْصِيلاً لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ ...

And We wrote for him on the Tablets the exhortation all things and the explanation for all things:

Allah stated that He has written lessons and exhortation for all things and explanations for all things on the Tablets.

It was said that in the Tablets, Allah wrote advice and the details of the commandments for lawful and prohibited matters. The Tablets contained the Tawrah, that Allah described;

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ مِن بَعْدِ مَآ أَهْلَكْنَا الْقُرُونَ الاٍّولَى بَصَآئِرَ لِلنَّاسِ

And indeed We gave Musa -- after We had destroyed the generations of old -- the Scripture as an enlightenment for mankind. (28:43)

It was also said that Allah gave Musa the Tablets before the Tawrah, and Allah knows best.

Allah said next,

فَخُذْهَا بِقُوَّةٍ ...

Hold unto these with firmness,

be firm on the obedience,

وَأْمُرْ قَوْمَكَ يَأْخُذُواْ بِأَحْسَنِهَا ...

and enjoin your people to take the better therein.

"Musa, peace be upon him, was commanded to adhere to the toughest of what was ordained on his people.''

Allah's statement,

... سَأُرِيكُمْ دَارَ الْفَاسِقِينَ ﴿١٤٥﴾

I shall show you the home of the rebellious,

means, you will witness the recompense of those who defy My order and deviate from My obedience, the destruction, demise and utter loss they will suffer.

146

 سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ ءَايَـتِي الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ ءَايَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا

I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right, and (even) if they see all the Ayat, they will not believe in them.

وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الرُّشْدِ لاَ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الْغَىِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً ذلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَـفِلِينَ

And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the way, but if they see the way of error, they will adopt that way, that is because they have rejected Our Ayat and were heedless of them.

147

 وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَلِقَآءِ الاٌّخِرَةِ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ

Those who deny Our Ayat and the meeting in the Hereafter, vain are their deeds.

هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

Are they requited with anything except what they used to do!

Arrogant People will be deprived of Allah's Ayat

Allah said,

 سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ ...

I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right.

Allah says, "I shall deprive the hearts of those who are too proud to obey Me, and arrogant with people without right, from understanding the signs and proofs that testify to My Might, Law and Commandments.''

And just as they acted arrogantly without justification, Allah has disgraced them with ignorance. Allah said in another Ayah,

وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفْئِدَتَهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرَهُمْ كَمَا لَمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ

And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time. (6:110)

and,

فَلَمَّا زَاغُواْ أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

So when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the right path). (61:5)

Sufyan bin Uyaynah commented on this Ayah, سَأَصْرِفُ عَنْ آيَاتِيَ الَّذِينَ يَتَكَبَّرُونَ فِي الأَرْضِ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ  (I shall turn away from My Ayat those who behave arrogantly on the earth, without a right), "(Allah says) I shall snatch away comprehension of the Qur'an from them and turn them away from My Ayat.''

Ibn Jarir commented on Sufyan's statement that, "This indicates that this part of the Ayah is addressed to this Ummah.''

This is not necessarily true, for Ibn `Uyaynah actually meant that this occurs in every Ummah and that there is no difference between one Ummah and another Ummah in this regard.

Allah knows best.

Allah said next,

وَإِن يَرَوْاْ كُلَّ آيَةٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَا ...

and (even) if they see all the Ayat, they will not believe in them.

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ

Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment. (10:96-97)

Allah's statement,

وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الرُّشْدِ لاَ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً ...

And if they see the way of righteousness, they will not adopt it as the way,

means, even if the way of guidance and safety appears before them, they will not take it,

وَإِن يَرَوْاْ سَبِيلَ الْغَيِّ يَتَّخِذُوهُ سَبِيلاً ...

but if they see the way of error, they will adopt that way,

but if the way that leads to destruction and misguidance appears to them, they adopt that way.

Allah explains why they do this,

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...

that is because they have rejected Our Ayat,

in their hearts,

... وَكَانُواْ عَنْهَا غَافِلِينَ ﴿١٤٦﴾

and were heedless of them.

gaining no lessons from the Ayat.

Allah's statement,

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا وَلِقَاء الآخِرَةِ حَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ ...

Those who deny Our Ayat and the meeting in the Hereafter, vain are their deeds.

indicates that whoever among them does this, remaining on this path until death, then all his deeds will be in vain.

Allah said next,

... هَلْ يُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٤٧﴾

Are they requited with anything except what they used to do!

meaning, `We only recompense them according to the deeds that they performed, good for good and evil for evil. Surely, as you bring forth, you reap the harvest thereof.'

148

 وَاتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوسَى مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِمْ عِجْلاً جَسَداً لَّهُ خُوَارٌ

And the people of Musa made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound.

أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلاَ يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلاً اتَّخَذُوهُ وَكَانُواْ ظَـلِمِينَ

Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way! They took it (for worship) and they were wrongdoers.

149

 وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فَى أَيْدِيهِمْ وَرَأَوْاْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ قَالُواْ

And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they said:

لَئِن لَّمْ يَرْحَمْنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغْفِرْ لَنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ

"If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers!''

Story of worshipping the Calf

Allah tells;

وَاتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوسَى مِن بَعْدِهِ مِنْ حُلِيِّهِمْ عِجْلاً جَسَدًا لَّهُ خُوَارٌ ...

And the people of Musa made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf (for worship). It had a sound.

Allah describes the misguidance of those who worshipped the calf that As-Samiri made for them from the ornaments they borrowed from the Copts. He made the shape of a calf with these ornaments and threw in it a handful of dust from the trace of the horse that the Angel Jibril was riding, and the calf seemed to moo. This occurred after Musa went for the appointed term with his Lord, where Allah told him about what happened when he was on Mount Tur.

Allah said about His Honorable Self,

قَالَ فَإِنَّا قَدْ فَتَنَّا قَوْمَكَ مِن بَعْدِكَ وَأَضَلَّهُمُ السَّامِرِىُّ

(Allah) said: "Verily, We have tried your people in your absence, and As-Samiri has led them astray.'' (20:85)

The scholars of Tafsir have different views over the calf, whether it actually became alive and mooi ng, or if it remained made of gold, but the air entering it made it appear to be mooing. These are two opinions. Allah knows best.

It was reported that when the statue mooed, the Jews started dancing around it and fell into misguidance because they adored it. They said that this, the calf, is your god and the god of Musa, but Musa forgot it!

Allah answered them,

أَفَلاَ يَرَوْنَ أَلاَّ يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْهِمْ قَوْلاً وَلاَ يَمْلِكُ لَهُمْ ضَرّاً وَلاَ نَفْعاً

Did they not see that it could not return them a word (for answer), and that it had neither power to harm them nor to do them good. (20:89)

Allah said here,

أَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّهُ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمْ وَلاَ يَهْدِيهِمْ سَبِيلاً ...

Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way,

Allah condemned the Jews for falling into misguidance, worshipping the calf and ignoring the Creator of the heavens and earth, the Lord and King of all things. They worshipped besides Him a statue made in the shape of a calf, that seemed to moo, but it neither spoke to them nor brought them any benefit. Rather, their very sense of reason was blinded because of ignorance and misguidance.

... اتَّخَذُوهُ وَكَانُواْ ظَالِمِينَ ﴿١٤٨﴾

hey took it (for worship) and they were wrongdoers.

Allah's statement,

وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فَي أَيْدِيهِمْ ...

And when they regretted,

and felt sorrow for their action,

وَرَأَوْاْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ قَالُواْ لَئِن لَّمْ يَرْحَمْنَا رَبُّنَا وَيَغْفِرْ لَنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ ﴿١٤٩﴾

and saw that they had gone astray, they said: "If our Lord have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we will certainly become among the losers.''

or among the destroyed ones. This was their recognition of their sin and their way of seeking salvation from Allah the Most Mighty and Majestic.

150

 وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَـنَ أَسِفًا قَالَ بِئْسَمَا خَلَفْتُمُونِى مِن بَعْدِى أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ رَبِّكُمْ

And when Musa returned to his people, angry and grieved, he said: "What an evil thing is that which you have done during my absence. Did you hasten in matter of your Lord!''

وَأَلْقَى الأَلْوَاحَ وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ

And he threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by (the hair of) his head and dragged him towards him.

قَالَ ابْنَ أُمَّ إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِى وَكَادُواْ يَقْتُلُونَنِى فَلاَ تُشْمِتْ بِىَ الأَعْدَآءَ وَلاَ تَجْعَلْنِى مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـلِمِينَ

He (Harun) said: "O son of my mother! Indeed the people judged me weak and were about to kill me, so make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me among the people who are wrongdoers.''

151

 قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِى وَلأَخِى وَأَدْخِلْنَا فِي رَحْمَتِكَ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَحِمِينَ

He (Musa) said: "O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your mercy, for You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.''

Allah tells;

وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا ...

And when Musa returned to his people, angry and grieved,

Allah states that when Musa returned to his people after conversation with his Lord, he became angry and full of regret.

Abu Ad-Darda' said that; Asif, or regret, is the severest type of anger.

قَالَ بِئْسَمَا خَلَفْتُمُونِي مِن بَعْدِيَ ...

He (Musa) said: "What an evil thing is that which you have done during my absence.''

evil it is that which you committed after I departed and left you, by worshiping the calf,

أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ رَبِّكُمْ ...

Did you hasten in the matter of your Lord,

Musa said, `You wanted me to rush back to you, even though (being there) this was Allah's decision!'

Allah said next,

وَأَلْقَى الألْوَاحَ وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ ...

And he threw down the Tablets and seized his brother by his head and dragged him towards him.

This Ayah demonstrates the meaning of the Hadith,

لَيْسَ الْخَبَرُ كَالْمُعَايَنَة

Information is not the same as observation.

It indicates that Musa threw down the Tablets because he was angry at his people, according to the majority of scholars of early and latter times.

Allah said, وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ  (and seized his brother by (the hair of), his head and dragged him towards him), for Musa feared that Harun might have not tried hard enough to forbid them from their evil action.

In another Ayah, Allah said,

قَالَ يهَـرُونُ مَا مَنَعَكَ إِذْ رَأَيْتَهُمْ ضَلُّواْ

أَلاَّ تَتَّبِعَنِ أَفَعَصَيْتَ أَمْرِى

قَالَ يَبْنَؤُمَّ لاَ تَأْخُذْ بِلِحْيَتِى وَلاَ بِرَأْسِى إِنِّى خَشِيتُ أَن تَقُولَ فَرَّقْتَ بَيْنَ بَنِى إِسْرءِيلَ وَلَمْ تَرْقُبْ قَوْلِى

He (Musa) said: "O Harun ! What prevented you when you saw them going astray. That you followed me not (according to my advice to you)! Have you then disobeyed my order!''

He (Harun) said: "O son of my mother! Seize (me) not by my beard, nor by my head! Verily, I feared lest you should say: `You have caused a division among the Children of Israel, and you have not respected (waited or observed) my word!''' (20:92-94)

Here, Allah said that;

قَالَ ابْنَ أُمَّ إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِي وَكَادُواْ يَقْتُلُونَنِي فَلاَ تُشْمِتْ بِيَ الأعْدَاء وَلاَ تَجْعَلْنِي مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿١٥٠﴾

He (Harun) said: "O son of my mother! Indeed the people judged me weak and were about to kill me, so make not the enemies rejoice over me, nor put me among the people who are wrongdoers.''

Harun said, `Do not place me on the same level as they are, as if I was one of them.'

Further, Harun said, `O son of my mother', so that Musa would feel more mercy and leniency towards him, even though Harun was also the son of Musa's father. When Musa was satisfied that his brother was innocent,

وَلَقَدْ قَالَ لَهُمْ هَـرُونُ مِن قَبْلُ يقَوْمِ إِنَّمَا فُتِنتُمْ بِهِ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ الرَّحْمَـنُ فَاتَّبِعُونِى وَأَطِيعُواْ أَمْرِى

And Harun indeed had said to them beforehand: "O my people! You are being tried in this, and verily, your Lord is (Allah) the Most Gracious, so follow me and obey my order.'' (20:90)

this is when,

قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلأَخِي وَأَدْخِلْنَا فِي رَحْمَتِكَ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿١٥١﴾

he (Musa) said , "O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and admit us into Your mercy, for you are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.''

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَرْحَمُ اللهُ مُوسَى لَيْسَ الْمُعَايِنُ كَالْمُخْبِرِ أَخْبَرَهُ رَبُّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنَّ قَوْمَهُ فُتِنُوا بَعْدَهُ فَلَمْ يَلْقَ الْأَلْوَاحَ فَلَمَّا رَآهُمْ وَعَايَنَهُمْ أَلْقَى الْأَلْوَاح

May Allah grant His mercy to Musa! Surely, he who observes (something) is nothing like he who is informed about it. His Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored, told him that his people were tested after him, but he did not throw the Tablets. When he saw them with his eyes, then he threw the Tablets.

152

 إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ سَيَنَالُهُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَذِلَّةٌ فِى الْحَيوةِ الدُّنْيَا

Certainly, those who took the calf (for worship), wrath from their Lord and humiliation will come upon them in the life of this world.

وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُفْتَرِينَ

Thus do We recompense those who invent lies.

153

 وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِهَا وَءَامَنُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But those who committed evil deeds and then repented afterwards and believed, verily, your Lord after (all) that is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Allah tells;

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُواْ الْعِجْلَ سَيَنَالُهُمْ غَضَبٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَذِلَّةٌ فِي الْحَياةِ الدُّنْيَا ...

Certainly, those who took the calf (for worship), wrath from their Lord and humiliation will come upon them in the life of this world.

The `wrath' mentioned here that struck the Children of Israel because of their worshipping the calf, means, Allah did not accept their repentance until some of them [who did not worship the calf (killed others) who worshipped the calf]. We mentioned this story in Surah Al-Baqarah,

فَتُوبُواْ إِلَى بَارِئِكُمْ فَاقْتُلُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ ذَلِكُمْ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ عِندَ بَارِئِكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِنَّهُ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

So turn in repentance to your Creator and kill yourselves (the guilty), that will be better for you before your Creator.'' Then He accepted your repentance. Truly, He is the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. (2:54)

As for the humiliation mentioned in the Ayah, it pertains to the disgrace and humiliation that the Jews suffered in the life of this world.

Allah's statement,

... وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُفْتَرِينَ ﴿١٥٢﴾

Thus do We recompense those who invent lies!

is for all those who invent an innovation (in religion).

Surely, the disgrace resulting from inventing an innovation (in religion) and defying Allah's Message, will be placed in the heart and from there on to the shoulders.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said; "The disgrace of innovation will weigh on their shoulders even if they were to gallop on their mules or trot on their work horses.''

Ayub As-Sakhtiyani narrated from Abu Qilabah Al-Jarmi that he commented on this Ayah, وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُفْتَرِينَ  (Thus do We recompense those who invent lies), "By Allah! This Ayah is for all those who invent a lie, until the Day of Resurrection.''

Also, Sufyan bin Uyaynah said, "Every person who invents a Bid`ah (innovation in the religion) will taste disgrace.''

Allah tells His servants that He accepts repentance from His servants for any sin, even Shirk, Kufr, hypocrisy and disobedience.

Allah said:

وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِهَا وَآمَنُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ ...

But those who committed evil deeds and then repented afterwards and believed, verily, your Lord, (O Muhammad, Messenger of Repentance and Prophet of Mercy),

مِن بَعْدِهَا ...

after that,

after committing that evil action,

... لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٥٣﴾

is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud was asked about a man committing fornication with a woman and then marrying her, and Ibn Mas`ud recited this Ayah,

وَالَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِن بَعْدِهَا وَآمَنُواْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِن بَعْدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

But those who committed evil deeds and then repented afterwards and believed, verily, your Lord after (all) that is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Abdullah recited this Ayah ten times, neither allowing nor disallowing it.

154

 وَلَمَّا سَكَتَ عَن مُّوسَى الْغَضَبُ أَخَذَ الاٌّلْوَاحَ وَفِى نُسْخَتِهَا هُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِرَبِّهِمْ يَرْهَبُونَ

And when the anger of Musa calmed, he took up the Tablets; and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.

Musa picked up the Tablets when His Anger subsided

Allah said next,

وَلَمَّا سَكَتَ ...

And when calmed (and subsided),

عَن مُّوسَى الْغَضَبُ ...

the anger of Musa (with his people),

أَخَذَ الأَلْوَاحَ ...

he took up the Tablets,

which he had thrown out of jealousy for Allah and anger for His sake, because of his people worshipping the calf,

... وَفِي نُسْخَتِهَا هُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلَّذِينَ هُمْ لِرَبِّهِمْ يَرْهَبُونَ ﴿١٥٤﴾

and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.

Several scholars of Tafsir said that when Musa threw the Tablets on the ground they were shattered and he collected the pieces afterwards. Musa found in its inscription guidance and mercy, but the specific details of the Law was lost, so they said.

They also claimed that the shattered pieces of the Tablets still remained in the treasury safes of some Israelite kings until the Islamic State came into existence.

Only Allah knows if these statements are true.

155

 وَاخْتَارَ مُوسَى قَوْمَهُ سَبْعِينَ رَجُلاً لِّمِيقَـتِنَا فَلَمَّا أَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ قَالَ

And Musa chose out of his people seventy (of the best) men for Our appointed time and place of meeting, and when they were seized with a violent earthquake, he said:

رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّـىَ أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَّآ

"O my Lord, if it had been Your Will, You could have destroyed them and me before; would You destroy us for the deeds of the foolish among us!

إِنْ هِىَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَتُكَ تُضِلُّ بِهَا مَن تَشَآءُ وَتَهْدِى مَن تَشَآءُ

It is only Your trial by which You lead astray whom You will, and keep guided whom You will.

أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَـفِرِينَ

You are our protector, so forgive us and have mercy on us: for You are the best of those who forgive.

156

 وَاكْتُبْ لَنَا فِى هَـذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الاٌّخِرَةِ إِنَّا هُدْنَـآ إِلَيْكَ

"And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter. Certainly we have Hudna unto You.''

قَالَ عَذَابِى أُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ أَشَآءُ وَرَحْمَتِى وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَـوةَ وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِـَايَـتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ

He said: (As to) My punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My mercy embraces all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who have Taqwa, and give Zakah; and those who believe in Our Ayat.

Seventy Men from the Children of Israel go for the appointed Meeting Place that Allah designated, Allah later on destroys Them

Allah tells;

وَاخْتَارَ مُوسَى قَوْمَهُ سَبْعِينَ رَجُلاً لِّمِيقَاتِنَا فَلَمَّا أَخَذَتْهُمُ الرَّجْفَةُ ...

And Musa chose out of his people seventy (of the best) men for Our appointed time and place of meeting, and when they were seized with a violent earthquake,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented;

"Allah commanded Musa to choose seventy men. So he chose them and proceeded with them in order that they supplicate to their Lord. Their supplication included asking Allah,

`O Allah! Give us what you have never given anyone before us and will never give anyone after us!' Allah disliked this supplication and they were seized with a violent earthquake,

قَالَ رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّايَ ...

He said: "O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before.'''

As-Suddi said,

"Allah commanded Musa to come with thirty men from the Children of Israel, apologizing for worshipping the calf; and He gave them an appointed time and place. وَاخْتَارَ مُوسَى قَوْمَهُ سَبْعِينَ رَجُل  (And Musa chose out of his people seventy (of the best) men).

He chose these men and went along with them so that they could apologize. When they reached the appointed place, they said, لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ  (We shall never believe in you), (2:55) `O Musa, حَتَّى نَرَى اللَّهَ جَهْرَةً  until we see Allah plainly, for you spoke to Him,' they said, `therefore, show Him to us.' فَأَخَذَتْهُمُ الصَّاعِقَةُ (but they were struck with a bolt of lightning) (4:153) and they died.

Musa stood up crying, invoking Allah, `O Lord! What should I tell the Children of Israel , when I go back to them after You destroyed their best men!' رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّايَ  ("O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before'').'''

Muhammad bin Ishaq said,

"Musa chose seventy of the best men from the Children of Israel. He said to them, `Go to the meeting with Allah and repent for what you committed. Beg His forgiveness for those of your people whom you left behind. Fast, purify yourselves and clean your clothes.'

So, he went with them to Mount Tur in Sinai for the meeting place and time designated by his Lord. He went there only with the leave and knowledge of Allah.

According to what has been mentioned to me, when the seventy did what he ordered them to do, and went with him to the meeting of Musa with his Lord, they said, `Request that we may also hear the words of our Lord.'

So he replied, `I shall.'

When Musa approached the mountain it became completely covered with columns of clouds, Musa approached it and entered in them. He said to the people, `Approach.'

But when Allah spoke to Musa, his cloak was surrounded by a brilliant light which no human could bear to look at, so below him a barrier was placed and the people approached.

When they entered the cloud they fell prostrate and they heard Him while he was speaking to Musa, commanding him and forbidding him, saying what to do and what not to do. When He completed commanding him, and removed the cloud from Musa, he faced the people and they said, `O Musa! We will not believe in you unless we see Allah directly.' So the thunder shook them, their souls were captured and they all died. Musa stood up invoking, begging and supplicating to his Lord, رَبِّ لَوْ شِئْتَ أَهْلَكْتَهُم مِّن قَبْلُ وَإِيَّايَ  ("O my Lord, if it had been Your will, You could have destroyed them and me before).'''

meaning, `They were foolish. Would You destroy anyone who comes after me from the Children of Israel'

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Mujahid and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said, "They were seized by the tremor or lightning, because they neither shunned nor forbade their people who worshipped the calf.''

This is supported by Musa's statement,

أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَاء مِنَّا ...

"would You destroy us for the deeds of the fools among us!''

He said next,

إِنْ هِيَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَتُكَ ...

"It is only Your Fitnah!''

According to Ibn Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Al-Aliyah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas and several among the Salaf and latter scholars, affliction, test and trial,

This is the only plausible meaning, in which Musa says,

تُضِلُّ بِهَا مَن تَشَاء وَتَهْدِي مَن تَشَاء ...

by which You lead astray whom You will, and keep guided whom You will.

"The decision is Yours (O Allah), and the judgment, and whatever You will occurs. You misguide whom You will, guide whom You will, and none can guide whom You misguide or misguide whom You guide. There is none who can give what You deprive or avert what You give. The sovereignty is all Yours, and Yours is the judgment, the creation and the decision.''

The Ayah,

.... أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَافِرِينَ ﴿١٥٥﴾

"You are our protector, so forgive us and have mercy on us: for You are the best of those who forgive.''

pertains to (Allah's) covering the mistake and not punishing for the sin.

Whenever mercy is mentioned along with forgiveness (such as in Musa's supplication to Allah), it includes the hope that Allah does not permit one to fall into that act again.

وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَافِرِينَ  ("for You are the best of those who forgive),'' for none except You can forgive the sin.

وَاكْتُبْ لَنَا فِي هَـذِهِ الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ ...

"And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter.''

The first part of Musa's supplication was to fend off what should be avoided, while this part is a request for what is sought.

The meaning of this Ayah is, `ordain for us and grant us all that is good in both lives.

We mentioned the meaning of `good' before in Surah Al-Baqarah.

إِنَّا هُدْنَـا إِلَيْكَ ...

"We have Hudna unto You.''

A ccording to the meaning of, `Hudna', given by Ibn Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Abu Al-Aliyah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibrahim At-Taymi, As-Suddi, Qatadah and several others, `we repent, go back and return unto You,'

Allah's Mercy is for Those Who have Taqwa and believe in Allah's Ayat and His Messenger

قَالَ عَذَابِي أُصِيبُ بِهِ مَنْ أَشَاء وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ...

He said: (As to) My punishment I afflict therewith whom I will and My mercy embraces all things.

Allah says here, `I do what I will, decide what I will and I have wisdom and justice in all matters.' Certainly, there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. Allah's statement, وَرَحْمَتِي وَسِعَتْ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ        (and My mercy embraces all things) testifies to His encompassing mercy.

Allah said that the angels who carry His Throne and those around the Throne supplicate,

رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُـلَّ شَىْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً

"Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge.'' (40:7)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jundub bin Abdullah Al-Bajali said,

"A Bedouin man came, he made his camel kneel and he tied it. Then he prayed behind the Messenger of Allah. When the Messenger of Allah finished the prayer, that man untied his camel mounted it and supplicated aloud, `O Allah! Grant Your mercy to me and to Muhammad, and do not give a share in it to anyone else.'

The Messenger of Allah commented (to his Companions),

أَتَقُولُونَ هَذَا أَضَلُّ أَمْ بَعِيرُهُ أَلَمْ تَسْمَعُوا مَا قَالَ ؟

Do you think that this man is more misguided or his camel! Did you not hear what this man has said?

They said, `Yes.'

He said,

لَقَدْ حَظَّرْتَ رَحْمَةً وَاسِعَةً إِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ خَلَقَ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ فَأَنْزَلَ رَحْمَةً يَتَعَاطَفُ بِهَا الخَلْقُ جِنُّهَا وَإِنْسُهَا وَبَهَائِمُهَا وَأَخَّرَ عِنْدَهُ تِسْعًا وَتِسْعِينَ رَحْمَةً أَتَقُولُونَ هُوَ أَضَلُّ أَمْ بَعِيرُهُ ؟

You (the Bedouin man) have restricted a vast mercy! Allah, the Exalted, the most Honored has created a hundred mercies and sent down one of them by which the creation, men, Jinn and animals, show mercy to each other. He left with Him ninety-nine mercies, so do you say that this man is more misguided or his camel?

Ahmad and Abu Dawud collected this Hadith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Salman narrated that the Prophet said,

إِنَّ للهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِائَةَ رَحْمَةٍ فَمِنْهَا رَحْمَةٌ يَتَرَاحَمُ بِهَا الْخَلْقُ وَبِهَا تَعْطِفُ الْوُحُوشُ عَلَى أَوْلَادِهَا وَأَخَّرَ تِسْعَةً وَتِسْعِينَ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَة

Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, has a hundred mercies. With one of them, the creations show mercy to each other, and even the beasts show kindness to their offspring. He has kept ninety-nine mercies with Him for the Day of Resurrection.

Muslim recorded it.

Allah said next,

فَسَأَكْتُبُهَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ ...

That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who have Taqwa,

meaning, I will ordain My mercy for them, as a favor and kindness from Me to them. Allah said in a similar Ayah,

كَتَبَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ

He has prescribed mercy for Himself. (6:12)

Allah's statement, لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ  (for those who have Taqwa),

means, `I will ordain My mercy for those who possess these qualities, and they are the Ummah of Muhammad,' لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ  (for those who have Taqwa), who avoid Shirk and major sins,

وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَـاةَ ...

and give Zakah;

purify themselves, according to one opinion.

It was also said that, `the Zakah', here pertains to wealth.

It is possible that both meanings are included here, for this Ayah was revealed in Makkah (before Zakah in fixed shares was ordained),

... وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِآيَاتِنَا يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١٥٦﴾

and those who believe in Our Ayat.

those who have faith in them.

157

 الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِىَّ الأُمِّىَّ الَّذِى يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِى التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنجِيلِ

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Tawrah and the Injil,

يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَـهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَـئِثَ وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالاٌّغْلَـلَ الَّتِى كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ

 -- he commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil; he makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things, he releases them from their heavy burdens and from the fetters that were upon them.

فَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِى أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

So those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful.

The Description of that Messenger

Allah tells;

الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الرَّسُولَ النَّبِيَّ الأُمِّيَّ الَّذِي يَجِدُونَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عِندَهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ وَالإِنْجِيلِ ...

Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written of with them in the Tawrah and the Injil,

This is the description of the Prophet Muhammad in the Books of the Prophets. They delivered the good news of his advent to their nations and commanded them to follow him. His descriptions were still apparent in their Books, as the rabbis and the priests well know.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sakhr Al-Uqayli said that a Bedouin man said to him,

"I brought a milk-producing camel to Al-Madinah during the life time of Allah's Messenger. After I sold it, I said to myself, `I will meet that man (Muhammad) and hear from him.' So I passed by him while he was walking between Abu Bakr and Umar, and I followed them until they went by a Jewish man, who was reading from an open copy of the Tawrah. He was mourning a son of his who was dying and who was one of the most handsome boys. The Messenger of Allah asked him (the father),

أَنْشُدُكَ بِالَّذِي أَنْزَلَ التَّوْرَاةَ هَلْ تَجِدُ فِي كِتَابِكَ هَذَا صِفَتِي وَمَخْرَجِي؟

I ask you by He Who has sent down the Tawrah, do you not find the description of me and my advent in your Book?

He nodded his head in the negative.

His son said, `Rather, yes, by He Who has sent down the Tawrah! We find the description of you and your advent in our Book. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah.'

The Prophet said (to the Companions),

أَقِيمُوا الْيَهُودِيَّ عَنْ أَخِيكُم

Stop the Jew (the father) from (taking care of) your brother (in Islam).

The Prophet then personally took care of the son's funeral and led the funeral prayer on him.'''

This Hadith is sound and is supported by a similar Hadith in the Sahih narrated from Anas.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Muthanna said that Ata' bin Yasar said,

"I met Abdullah bin `Amr and asked him, `Tell me about the description of Allah's Messenger in the Tawrah.'

He said, `Yes, by Allah! He is described in the Tawrah, just as he is described in the Qur'an, يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا O Prophet! Verily, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. (33:45) as a safe refuge for the unlettered ones. `You are My servant and Messenger. I have called you `Al-Mutawakkil' (who trusts in Allah), not hard or harsh.' Neither uttering foul speech in the markets nor returning evil deed with one in kind. Rather, he forgives and forgoes. Allah will not end his life until He straightens through him the crooked religion, so that they might proclaim, `There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah.' He will open through him sealed hearts, deaf ears and blind eyes.'''

Ata' then said, "I also met Ka`b and asked him the same question, and his answer did not differ from Abdullah's answer, even concerning one letter.''

Al-Bukhari recorded it from Abdullah bin `Amr. It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari (up to the word) forgoes. And he mentioned the narration of Abdullah bin `Amr then he said; "It was common in the speech of our Salaf that they describe the Books of the People of the Two Scriptures as the Tawrah, as s ome Hadiths concur. Allah knows best.''

Allah's statement,

 يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ...

He commands them to do good; and forbids them from evil;

This is the description of the Messenger of Allah in previous Books. These were the true qualities of our Messenger, as well, for he only ordained good and forbade evil.

We should mention here that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "When you hear Allah's statement, يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا ( O you who believe!), then pay it your full attention, for it is a good that you are being commanded, or an evil that you are being forbidden.''

And the most important and greatest of these commands and prohibitions, is that Allah has sent the Messenger to order worshipping Him Alone without partners and forbid worshipping others besides Him. This is the Message that Allah has sent all Messengers with before Muhammad, just as Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid the Taghut (false deities).'' (16:36)

Allah's statement,

وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَآئِثَ ...

He makes lawful for them the good things, and forbids them from the evil things,

meaning, he makes the Bahirah, Sa'ibah, Wasilah and Ham, etc., lawful. They were prohibitions that they invented which were only hard for themselves. He also forbids them from evil things, such as the flesh of the pig, Riba, and foods that were treated as lawful although Allah the Exalted had forbidden them.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported this from Ibn Abbas.

Allah's statement,

وَيَضَعُ عَنْهُمْ إِصْرَهُمْ وَالأَغْلاَلَ الَّتِي كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ ...

He (Muhammad) releases them from their heavy burdens, and from the fetters that were upon them.

indicates that Muhammad came with leniency and an easy religion.

As mentioned in the Hadith recorded from many routes that Allah's Messenger said,

بُعِثْتُ بِالْحَنِيفِيَّةِ السَّمْحَة

I was sent with the easy way of Hanifiyyah (monotheism).

The Prophet said to the two Commanders he appointed, Mu`adh and Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, when he sent them to Yemen,

بَشِّرَا وَلَا تُنَفِّرَا وَيَسِّرَا وَلَا تُعَسِّرَا وَتَطَاوَعَا وَلَا تَخْتَلِفَا

Bring glad tidings and do not drive people away, make things easy and do not make them difficult, obey each other and do not differ among yourselves.

Abu Barzah Al-Aslami, the Prophet's Companion, said,

"I accompanied the Messenger of Allah and saw how easy he was. The nations that were before us had things made difficult for them in their laws. Allah made the law encompassing and easy for this Ummah. Hence the statement of the Messenger of Allah,

إِنَّ اللهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِأُمَّتِي مَا حَدَّثَتْ بِهِ أَنْفُسُهَا مَا لَمْ تَقُلْ أَوْ تَعْمَل

Allah has forgiven my Ummah for what occurs in themselves, as long as they do not utter it or act upon it.

The Prophet said,

رُفِعَ عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأُ وَالنِّسْيَانُ وَمَا اسُتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْه

My Ummah was forgiven (by Allah) unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are forced to do.''

This is why Allah has guided this Ummah to proclaim,

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَآ إِن نَّسِينَآ أَوْ أَخْطَأْنَا

"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error,

رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَآ إِصْرًا كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا

our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians);

رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ

our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.

وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَآ

Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us.

أَنتَ مَوْلَـنَا فَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ

You are our Mawla (Patron, Supporter and Protector) and give us victory over the disbelieving people. (2:286)

It is recorded in Sahih Muslim that (the Prophet said that);

Allah the Exalted said after every one of these supplications, "I shall accept (your supplication).''

Allah's statement,

فَالَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ بِهِ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ ...

So those who believe in him, honor him, help him.

refers to respecting and honoring Muhammad,

وَاتَّبَعُواْ النُّورَ الَّذِيَ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ ...

and follow the light which has been sent down with him,

the Qur'an and the revelation (Sunnah) that the Prophet delivered to mankind,

... أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ ﴿١٥٧﴾

it is they who will be successful.

in this life and the Hereafter.

158

 قُلْ يَأَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ اللَّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا الَّذِى لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ يُحْىِ وَيُمِيتُ

Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah -- to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He. It is He Who gives life and causes death.

فَـَامِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِىِّ الأُمِّىِّ الَّذِى يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَكَلِمَـتِهِ وَاتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write, who believes in Allah and His Words, and follow him so that you may be guided.''

Muhammad's Message is Universal

Allah says to His Prophet and Messenger Muhammad,

قُلْ...

Say, (O Muhammad),

... يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ..

O mankind!

this is directed to mankind red and black, and the Arabs and non-Arabs alike,

.... إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللّهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا ...

I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah,

This Ayah mentions the Prophet's honor and greatness, for he is the Final Prophet who was sent to all mankind (and the Jinns).

Allah said,

قُلِ اللَّهِ شَهِيدٌ بِيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ وَأُوحِىَ إِلَىَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ

Say, "Allah is Witness between you and I; this Qur'an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.'' (6:19)

وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ مِنَ الاٌّحْزَابِ فَالنَّارُ مَوْعِدُهُ

but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place. (11:17)

and,

وَقُلْ لِّلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ وَالاٍّمِّيِّينَ ءَأَسْلَمْتُمْ فَإِنْ أَسْلَمُواْ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا عَلَيْكَ الْبَلَـغُ

And say to those who were given the Scripture and to the illiterates (Arab pagans): "Do you (also) submit yourselves (to Allah in Islam)!'' If they do, they are rightly guided; but if they turn away, your duty is only to convey the Message. (3:20)

There are many other Ayat and more Hadiths than can be counted on this subject. It is also well-known in our religion that the Messenger of Allah was sent to all mankind (and the Jinns).

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' said,

"Abu Bakr and Umar had an argument in which Abu Bakr made Umar angry. So Umar went away while angry and Abu Bakr followed him asking him to forgive him, but Umar refused. Umar shut his door closed in Abu Bakr's face and Abu Bakr went to the Messenger of Allah while we were with him. The Messenger of Allah said,

أَمَّا صَاحِبُكُمْ هَذَا فَقَدْ غَامَر

This fellow of yours (Abu Bakr) has made someone angry!

Umar became sorry for what he did, went to the Prophet and greeted him with the Salam and sat next to him, telling him what had happened. The Messenger of Allah became angry (at Umar), and realizing that, Abu Bakr said, `O Allah's Messenger! It was me who was unjust.'

The Messenger of Allah said,

هَلْ أَنْتُمْ تَارِكُو لِي صَاحِبِي؟ إِنِّي قُلْتُ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنِّي رَسُولُ اللهِ إِلَيْكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَقُلْتُمْ: كَذَبْتَ وَقَالَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ: صَدَقْت

Will you leave my Companion (Abu Bakr) alone! I said, `O People! I am the Messenger of Allah to you all,' and you said, `You lie,' but Abu Bakr declared, `You said the truth.'''

Al-Bukhari recorded it.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ نَبِيٌّ قَبْلِي وَلَا أَقُولُهُ فَخْرًا

· بُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ كَافَّةً الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَدِ وَنُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ

· وَأُحِلَّتْ لِي الْغَنَائِمُ وَلَمْ تَحِلَّ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي

· وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الْأَرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا

· وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ فَأَخَّرْتُهَا لِأُمَّتِي يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَهِيَ لِمَنْ لَا يُشْرِكُ بِاللهِ شَيْئًا

I have been given five things which were not given to any Prophet before me, and I do not say it out of pride.

· I was sent to all mankind (their) black and white alike.

· Allah made me victorious by fright, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month's journey.

· The spoils of war are lawful for me, yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.

· The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform purification with.

· I have been given the Shafa'ah (right of intercession), and I saved it for my Ummah on the Day of Resurrection. Therefore, the Shafa'ah will reach those who associate none with Allah in worship.

This Hadith's chain of narration is suitable, but the Two Sahihs did not record it.

Allah's statement,

الَّذِي لَهُ مُلْكُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ ...

to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. None has the right to be worshipped but He. It is He Who gives life and causes death.

describes Allah by the words of the Messenger that He Who has sent him is the Creator, Lord and King of all things and in His Hand is the control, life, death and the decision. Just as Allah said

فَآمِنُواْ بِاللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ ...

So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write,

Allah proclaims here that Muhammad is His Messenger and reiterates this fact by commanding that he be believed in and followed. Allah said, النَّبِيِّ الأُمِّيِّ  (The Prophet who can neither read nor write) who you were promised and given the good news of in previous revealed books. Certainly, Muhammad was amply described in the previous books, including his description as being the unlettered Prophet.

Allah's statement,

لَّذِي يُؤْمِنُ بِاللّهِ وَكَلِمَاتِهِ ...

who believes in Allah and His Words,

means, his actions conform with his words and he believes in what he was given from his Lord.

وَاتَّبِعُوهُ ...

And follow him,

embrace his path and guidance,

... لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ ﴿١٥٨﴾

so that you may be guided, (to the Straight Path).

159

 وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ

And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith.

Allah says;

وَمِن قَوْمِ مُوسَى أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ ﴿١٥٩﴾

And of the people of Musa there is a community who lead (the men) with truth and establish justice therewith.

Allah stated that of the Children of Israel there are some who follow the truth and judge by it, just as He said in other Ayat,

مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ أُمَّةٌ قَآئِمَةٌ يَتْلُونَ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ءَانَآءَ الَّيْلِ وَهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ

A party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the verses of Allah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. (3:113)

وَإِنَّ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَـبِ لَمَن يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِمْ خَـشِعِينَ للَّهِ لاَ يَشْتَرُونَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً أُوْلـئِكَ لَهُمْ أَجْرُهُمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

And there are, certainly, among the People of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the verses of Allah for a small price, for them is a reward with their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account. (3:199)

الَّذِينَ ءَاتَيْنَـهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ مِن قَبْلِهِ هُم بِهِ يُؤْمِنُونَ

وَإِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِهِ إِنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّنَآ إنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلِهِ مُسْلِمِينَ

أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْتُونَ أَجْرَهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ

Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, they believe in it (the Qur'an). And when it is recited to them, they say: "We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed even before it we have been from those who submit themselves. These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient. (28:52-54)

and,

قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا

وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً

وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا

Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it (this Qur'an) is recited to them, fall down on their faces in humble prostration. And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.'' And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility. (17:107-109)

160

 وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمُ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا أُمَمًا

And We divided them into twelve tribes (as distinct) nations.

وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى إِذِ اسْتَسْقَـهُ قَوْمُهُ أَنِ اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانبَجَسَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ

We revealed to Musa when his people asked him for water (saying): "Strike the stone with your stick,'' and there gushed forth out of it twelve springs, each group knew its own place for water.

وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْغَمَـمَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ

We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them the manna and the quail (saying): "Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.''

وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves.

161

 وَإِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْكُنُواْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ وَكُلُواْ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطِيئَـتِكُمْ سَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

And (remember) when it was said to them: "Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, `(O Allah) forgive our sins'; and enter the gate prostrating (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrongdoings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.''

162

 فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ قَوْلاً غَيْرَ الَّذِى قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَظْلِمُونَ

But those among them who did wrong, changed the word that had been told to them. So We sent on them a torment from the heaven in return for their wrongdoings.

Allah says;

وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمُ اثْنَتَىْ عَشْرَةَ أَسْبَاطًا أُمَمًا وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى إِذِ اسْتَسْقَـهُ قَوْمُهُ أَنِ اضْرِب بِّعَصَاكَ الْحَجَرَ فَانبَجَسَتْ مِنْهُ اثْنَتَا عَشْرَةَ عَيْنًا قَدْ عَلِمَ كُلُّ أُنَاسٍ مَّشْرَبَهُمْ وَظَلَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْغَمَـمَ وَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَمَا ظَلَمُونَا وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿١٦١﴾

And We divided them into twelve tribes (as distinct) nations. We revealed to Musa when his people asked him for water (saying): "Strike the stone with your stick,'' and there gushed forth out of it twelve springs, each group knew its own place for water. We shaded them with the clouds and sent down upon them the manna and the quail (saying): "Eat of the good things with which We have provided you.'' They harmed Us not but they used to harm themselves.

وَإِذْ قِيلَ لَهُمُ اسْكُنُواْ هَـذِهِ الْقَرْيَةَ وَكُلُواْ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ شِئْتُمْ وَقُولُواْ حِطَّةٌ وَادْخُلُواْ الْبَابَ سُجَّدًا نَّغْفِرْ لَكُمْ خَطِيئَاتِكُمْ سَنَزِيدُ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿١٦١﴾

And (remember) when it was said to them: "Dwell in this town (Jerusalem) and eat therefrom wherever you wish, and say, `(O Allah) forgive our sins'; and enter the gate prostrating (bowing with humility). We shall forgive you your wrongdoings. We shall increase (the reward) for the good-doers.''

فَبَدَّلَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ قَوْلاً غَيْرَ الَّذِي قِيلَ لَهُمْ فَأَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ رِجْزًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء بِمَا كَانُواْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿١٦٢﴾

But those among them who did wrong, changed the word that had been told to them. So We sent on them a torment from the heaven in return for their wrongdoings.)

We discussed these Ayat in Surah Al-Baqarah, which was revealed in Al-Madinah, while these Ayat were revealed in Makkah.

We also mentioned the difference between the two narrations, and thus we do not need to repeat it here, all thanks are due to Allah and all the favors are from Him.

163

 وَسْئَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِى كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِى السَّبْتِ إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعًا وَيَوْمَ لاَ يَسْبِتُونَ لاَ تَأْتِيهِمْ

And ask them about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath.

كَذَلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ

Thus We made a trial for them, for they used to rebel against Allah's command.

The Jews transgress the Sanctity of the Sabbath

This Ayah explains Allah's statement,

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَواْ مِنكُمْ فِى السَّبْتِ

And indeed you knew those among you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath... (2:65)

Allah says to His Prophet here,

واَسْأَلْهُمْ ...

And ask them,

ask the Jews who are with you, about the story of their fellow Jews who defied Allah's command, so that His punishment overtook them all of a sudden for their evil actions, transgression and defiance by way of deceit.

Also, warn the Jews (O Muhammad) against hiding your description that they find in their books, so that they do not suffer what their forefathers suffered.

The village mentioned here is Aylah, on the shore of the Qulzum (Red) Sea.

Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded from Dawud bin Al-Husayn from Ikrimah that Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

واَسْأَلْهُمْ عَنِ الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِي كَانَتْ حَاضِرَةَ الْبَحْرِ ...

And ask them about the town that was by the sea...

"A village called Aylah between Madyan and At-Tur (which is in Sinai).

Ikrimah, Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi said similarly.

Allah's statement,

إِذْ يَعْدُونَ فِي السَّبْتِ ...

when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath;

means, they transgressed in the Sabbath and defied Allah's command to them to keep it sanctified,

إِذْ تَأْتِيهِمْ حِيتَانُهُمْ يَوْمَ سَبْتِهِمْ شُرَّعاً ...

when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day,

According to Ad-Dahhak who reported it from Ibn Abbas that; it used to be visible on top of the water.

وَيَوْمَ لاَ يَسْبِتُونَ لاَ تَأْتِيهِمْ كَذَلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم ...

and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus We made a trial of them,

Ibn Jarir said, means, this is how We tested them by making the fish swim close to the surface of the water, on the day which they were prohibited to fish. The fish would be hidden from them on the day when they were allowed to fish, كَذَلِكَ نَبْلُوهُم (Thus We made a trial for them,) so that We test them,

... بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْسُقُونَ ﴿١٦٣﴾

for they used to rebel against Allah's command.

by defying His obedience and rebelling against it. Therefore, these were a people who used a trick to violate Allah's prohibitions, taking an action that seemed legal on the surface. However, in reality, this action was meant to transgress the prohibition.

Imam and scholar Abu Abdullah Ibn Battah reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تَرْتَكِبوُا مَا ارْتَكَبَتِ الْيَهُودُ فَتَسْتَحِلُّوا مَحَارِمَ اللهِ بِأَدْنَى الْحِيَل

Do not repeat what the Jews committed, and violate Allah's prohibitions using deceitful tricks.

This Hadith has a reasonable chain.

164

 وَإِذْ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِّنْهُمْ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا اللَّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَاباً شَدِيدًا

And when a community among them said: "Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment!''

قَالُواْ مَعْذِرَةً إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

(The preachers) said: "In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah), and perhaps they may fear Allah.''

165

 فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ أَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْسُقُونَ

So when they forgot the reminder that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but with a severe torment We seized those who did wrong, because they used to rebel against Allah's command.

166

فَلَمَّا عَتَوْاْ عَن مَّا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ قُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُواْ قِرَدَةً خَـسِئِينَ

So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: "Be you monkeys, despised.''

Those Who breached the Sabbath were turned into Monkeys, but Those Who prohibited Their Actions were saved

Allah says;

وَإِذَ قَالَتْ أُمَّةٌ مِّنْهُمْ ...

And when a community among them said:

Allah said that the people of this village were divided into three groups, a group that committed the prohibition, catching fish on the Sabbath, as we described in the Tafsir of Surah Al-Baqarah. Another group prohibited them from transgression and avoided them. A third group neither prohibited them, nor participated in their action. The third group said to the preachers,

لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا اللّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُهُمْ عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا ...

"Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment!''

They said, `why do you forbid these people from evil, when you know that they are destroyed and have earned Allah's punishment!' Therefore, they said, there is no benefit in forbidding them.

قَالُواْ ...

(The preachers) said:

مَعْذِرَةً إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ ...

"In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allah),''

`for we were commanded to enjoin righteousness and forbid evil,'

... وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٦٤﴾

"and perhaps they may fear Allah.''

for on account of our advice, they might stop this evil and repent to Allah. Certainly, if they repent to Allah, Allah will accept their repentance and grant them His mercy.'

Allah said,

فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ ...

So when they forgot the reminder that had been given to them,

when the evil doers refused the advice,

أَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ السُّوءِ وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ ...

We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized who did wrong,

who committed the transgression,

بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ ...

with a severe torment,

Allah stated that those who enjoined good were saved, while those who committed the transgression were destroyed, but He did not mention the end of those who were passive (the third group), for the compensation is comparable to the deed. This type did not do what would warrant praise, nor commit wrong so that they are admonished.

Ikrimah said,

"Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah: `I do not know whether or not the people were saved who said; لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوْمًا اللّهُ مُهْلِكُهُمْ  ("Why do you preach to a people whom Allah is about to destroy...''). So I continued discussing it with him until I convinced him that they were. Then he gave me (the gift of) a garment.''

Allah said,

وَأَخَذْنَا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ  بِعَذَابٍ بَئِيسٍ ...

and We seized those who did wrong with a Ba'is torment,

indicating that those who remained were saved.

As for `Ba'is', it means `severe', according to Mujahid, or `painful', according to Qatadah. These meanings are synonymous, and Allah knows best.

... بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْسُقُونَ ﴿١٦٥﴾

because they used to rebel against Allah's command.

Allah said next,

فَلَمَّا عَتَوْاْ عَن مَّا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ قُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُواْ قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ ﴿١٦٦﴾

So when they exceeded the limits of what they were prohibited, We said to them: "Be you monkeys, despised.''

خَاسِئِينَ  (despised), humiliated, disgraced and rejected.

167

 وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكَ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَن يَسُومُهُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ

And (remember) when your Lord declared that He would certainly keep on sending against them, till the Day of Resurrection, those who would afflict them with a humiliating torment.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَسَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Verily, your Lord is quick in retribution and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Eternal Humiliation placed on the Jews

Allah reminds;

وَإِذْ تَأَذَّنَ رَبُّكَ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ ...

And (remember) when your Lord declared that He would certainly keep on sending against them,

تَأَذَّنَ  (Ta'dhdhana) means `declared', according to Mujahid, or `ordained', according to others.

This part of the Ayah indicates a vow, لَيَبْعَثَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ  (that He will keep on sending against them) against the Jews,

إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَن يَسُومُهُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ ...

till the Day of Resurrection, those who would afflict them with a humiliating torment.

on account of their disobedience, defying Allah's orders and Law and using tricks to transgress the prohibitions.

It was reported that Musa required the Jews to pay the production tax for seven or thirteen years, and he was the first to do so.

Also, the Jews fell under the humiliating rule of the Greek Kushdanin, Chaldeans and later on the Christians, who subjugated and disgraced them, and required them to pay the Jizyah (tribute tax).

When Islam came and Muhammad was sent, they became under his power and had to pay the Jizyah, as well.

Therefore, the humiliating torment mentioned here includes disgrace and paying the Jizyah, as Al-Awfi narrated from Ibn Abbas.

In the future, the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah); and the Muslims, along with Isa, son of Mary, will kill the Jews. This will occur just before the end of this world.

Allah said next,

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَسَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ ...

Verily, your Lord is quick in retribution,

with those who disobey Him and defy His Law,

... وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿١٦٧﴾

and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

for those who repent and go back to Him.

This Ayah mentions both the mercy, as well as, the punishment, so that no despair is felt. Allah often mentions encouragement and warning together, so that hearts always have a sense of hope and fear.

The Children of Israel scatter throughout the Land

Allah tells;

وَقَطَّعْنَاهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ أُمَمًا ...

And We have broken them (the Jews) up into various separate groups on the earth:

Allah states that He divided the Jews into various nations, sects and groups,

وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ الاٌّخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا

And We said to the Children of Israel after him (after Musa died): "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as a mixed crowd (gathered out of various nations).'' (17:104)

مِّنْهُمُ الصَّالِحُونَ وَمِنْهُمْ دُونَ ذَلِكَ ...

some of them are righteous and some are away from that,

some of them are led aright and some are not righteous, just as the Jinns declared,

وَأَنَّا مِنَّا الصَّـلِحُونَ وَمِنَّا دُونَ ذَلِكَ كُنَّا طَرَآئِقَ قِدَداً

"There are among us some that are righteous, and some the contrary; we are groups having different ways (religious sects).'' (72:11)

Allah said here,

وَبَلَوْنَاهُمْ ...

And We tried them,

and tested them,

بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ ...

with good and evil,

with times of ease, difficulty, eagerness, fear, well-being and affliction,

... لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿١٦٨﴾

in order that they might turn (to Allah).

Allah said next,

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَرِثُواْ الْكِتَابَ يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الأدْنَى ...

Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life,

This Ayah means, after the generation made up of righteous and unrighteous people, another generation came that did not have goodness in them, and they inherited the Tawrah and studied it.

Mujahid commented on Allah's statement, يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الأدْنَى  (They chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life), "They will consume anything they can consume in this life, whether legally or illegally. Yet, they wish for forgiveness,

وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغْفَرُ لَنَا وَإِن يَأْتِهِمْ عَرَضٌ مُّثْلُهُ يَأْخُذُوهُ ...

Saying: "(Everything) will be forgiven for us.'' And if (again) the offer of the like came their way, they would (again) seize them.''

Qatadah commented on Allah's statement, يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الأدْنَى  (they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life),

"This, by Allah, is an evil generation, وَرِثُواْ الْكِتَابَ  (which inherited the Book) after their Prophets and Messengers, for they were entrusted with this job by Allah's command to them. Allah said in another Ayah,

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَـوةَ

Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who neglect the Salah (the prayers). (19:59)

Allah said next, يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الأدْنَى  وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغْفَرُ لَنَا  (They chose the goods of this low life saying: "(Everything) will be forgiven to us''). They wish and hope from Allah, while deceiving themselves, وَإِن يَأْتِهِمْ عَرَضٌ مُّثْلُهُ يَأْخُذُوهُ  (And if (again) the offer of the like came their way, they would (again) seize them). Nothing stops them from this behavior, for whenever they are given an opportunity in this life, they will consume regardless of it being allowed or not.''

As-Suddi said about Allah's statement,

فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ ..... وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ

hen after them succeeded an (evil) generation, until..... And they have studied what is in it (the Book).

"Every time the Children of Israel appointed a judge, he used to take bribes. The best ones among them held a counsel and took covenants from each that they would not take bribes. However, when one of them would take bribes in return for judgment and was asked, `What is the matter with you; you take a bribe to grant judgment', he replied, `I will be forgiven.' So the rest of his people would admonish him for what he did. But when he died, or was replaced, the one who replaced him would take bribes too. Therefore, Allah says, if the others (who admonished him) would have a chance to loot this world, they will take it.'''

Allah said,

أَلَمْ يُؤْخَذْ عَلَيْهِم مِّيثَاقُ الْكِتَابِ أَن لاَّ يِقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ ...

Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth,

thus, admonishing them for this behavior. Allah took a pledge from them that they would declare the truth to people and not hide it.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ اللَّهُ مِيثَـقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُونَ

(And remember) when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture to make it known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought. (3:187)

Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, أَلَمْ يُؤْخَذْ عَلَيْهِم مِّيثَاقُ الْكِتَابِ أَن لاَّ يِقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ  (Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth), "Their claim that Allah will forgive the sins they keep committing without repenting from them.''

وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ ...

And they have studied what is in it (the Book).

Allah said,

... وَالدَّارُ الآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٦٩﴾

And the home in the Hereafter is better for those who have Taqwa. Do not you then understand!

Encouraging them to seek Allah's tremendous reward and warning them against His severe torment.

Allah says here, `My reward and what I have are better for those who avoid prohibitions, abandon lusts and become active in the obedience of their Lord.'

... أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٦٩﴾

Do not you then understand!

Allah says' Do not these people, who preferred this life instead of what is with Me, have any sense to prohibit them from their foolish and extravagant ways!'

Allah then praises those who adhere to His Book, which directs them to follow His Messenger Muhammad,

وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسَّكُونَ بِالْكِتَابِ ...

And as to those who hold fast to the Book,

adhere to it, implement its commands and refrain from its prohibitions,

... وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلاَةَ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ ﴿١٧٠﴾

and perform the Salah, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.

168

 وَقَطَّعْنَـهُمْ فِي الاٌّرْضِ أُمَمًا مِّنْهُمُ الصَّـلِحُونَ وَمِنْهُمْ دُونَ ذَلِكَ

And We have broken them (the Jews) up into various separate groups on the earth: some of them are righteous and some are away from that.

وَبَلَوْنَـهُمْ بِالْحَسَنَـتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allah).

169

 فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ وَرِثُواْ الْكِتَـبَ يَأْخُذُونَ عَرَضَ هَـذَا الاٌّدْنَى وَيَقُولُونَ سَيُغْفَرُ لَنَا

Then after them succeeded an (evil) generation, which inherited the Book, but they chose (for themselves) the goods of this low life saying: "(Everything) will be forgiven to us.''

وَإِن يَأْتِهِمْ عَرَضٌ مِّثْلُهُ يَأْخُذُوهُ

And if (again) the offer of the like (evil pleasures of this world) came their way, they would (again) seize them (would commit those sins).

أَلَمْ يُؤْخَذْ عَلَيْهِم مِّيثَاقُ الْكِتَـبِ أَن لاَّ يِقُولُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْحَقَّ وَدَرَسُواْ مَا فِيهِ

Was not the covenant of the Book taken from them that they would not say about Allah anything but the truth! And they have studied what is in it (the Book).

وَالدَّارُ الاٌّخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

And the home in the Hereafter is better for those who have Taqwa. Do not you then understand!

170

 وَالَّذِينَ يُمَسِّكُونَ بِالْكِتَـبِ وَأَقَامُواْ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُصْلِحِينَ

And as to those who hold fast to the Book (act on its teachings) and perform the Salah, certainly We shall never waste the reward of those who do righteous deeds.

171

 وَإِذ نَتَقْنَا الْجَبَلَ فَوْقَهُمْ كَأَنَّهُ ظُلَّةٌ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ خُذُواْ مَآ ءَاتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُواْ مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ

And (remember) when We Nataqna the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): "Hold firmly to what We have given you (the Tawrah), and remember that which is therein (act on its commandments), so that you may fear Allah and obey Him.' '

Raising Mount Tur over the Jews, because of Their Rebellion

Allah tells;

وَإِذ نَتَقْنَا الْجَبَلَ فَوْقَهُمْ كَأَنَّهُ ظُلَّةٌ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُ وَاقِعٌ بِهِمْ خُذُواْ مَا آتَيْنَاكُم بِقُوَّةٍ وَاذْكُرُواْ مَا فِيهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ﴿١٧١﴾

And (remember) when We Nataqna the mountain over them as if it had been a canopy, and they thought that it was going to fall on them. (We said): "Hold firmly to what We have given you (the Tawrah), and remember that which is therein (act on its commandments), so that you may fear Allah and obey Him.' '

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, وَإِذ نَتَقْنَا الْجَبَلَ فَوْقَهُمْ  (And (remember) when We Nataqna the mountain over them), "We raised the mountain, as Allah's other statement testifies, وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَهُمُ الطُّورَ بِمِيثَاقِهِمْ  (And for their covenant, We raised over them the mountain) (4:154).''

Also, Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated that Al-A`mash said that, Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said,

"The angels raised the Mount over their heads, as reiterated by Allah's statement, وَرَفَعْنَا فَوْقَهُمُ الطُّورَ  (We raised over them the mountain) (4:154).''

Al-Qasim bin Abi Ayyub narrated that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said,

"Musa later on proceeded with them to the Sacred Land. He took along the Tablets, after his anger subsided, and commanded them to adhere to the orders that Allah ordained to be delivered to them. But these orders became heavy on them and they did not want to implement them until Allah raised the mountain over them, كَأَنَّهُ ظُلَّةٌ  (as if it had been a canopy), that is, when the angels raised the mountain over their heads.''

An-Nasa'i collected it.

172

 وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِى ءَادَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتَ بِرَبِّكُمْ

And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord!''

قَالُواْ بَلَى شَهِدْنَآ أَن تَقُولُواْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَـذَا غَـفِلِينَ

They said: "Yes! We testify,'' lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: "Verily, we were unaware of this.''

173

 أَوْ تَقُولُواْ إِنَّمَآ أَشْرَكَ ءَابَاؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ

Or lest you should say: "It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced falsehood!''

174

 وَكَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَـتِ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

Thus do We explain the Ayat in detail, so that they may turn (unto the truth).

The Covenant taken from the Descendants of Adam

Allah tells;

وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ ...

And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their seed,

Allah stated that He brought the descendants of Adam out of their fathers' loins, and they testified against themselves that Allah is their Lord and King and that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. Allah created them on this Fitrah, or way, just as He said,

فَأَقِمْ وَجْهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفاً فِطْرَةَ اللَّهِ الَّتِى فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا لاَ تَبْدِيلَ لِخَلْقِ اللَّهِ

So set you (O Muhammad) your face truly towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in Khalqillah. (30:30)

And it is recorded in th e Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ وَيُنَصِّرَانِهِ وَيُمَجِّسَانِهِ كَمَا تُولَدُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاء

Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian. Just as animals are born having full bodies, do you see any of them having a cutoff nose (when they are born).

Muslim recorded that Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah said;

يَقُولُ اللهُ: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُم

Allah said, `I created My servants Hunafa (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibiting what I allowed.

There are Hadiths that mention that Allah took Adam's offspring from his loins and divided them into those on the right and those on the left.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said that the Prophet said,

يُقَالُ لِلرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ كَانَ لَكَ مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ أَكُنْتَ مُفْتَدِيًا بِهِ

 فَيَقُولُ: نَعَمْ

فَيَقُولُ: قَدْ أَرَدْتُ مِنْكَ أَهْوَنَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ قَدْ أَخَذْتُ عَلَيْكَ فِي ظَهْرِ آدَمَ أَنْ لَا تُشْرِكَ بِي شَيْئًا فَأَبَيْتَ إِلَّا أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي

It will be said to a man from the people of the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, `If you owned all that is on the earth, would you pay it as ransom!'

He will reply, `Yes.'

Allah will say, `I ordered you with what is less than that, when you were still in Adam's loins, that is, associate none with Me (in worship). You insisted that you associate with Me (in worship).'

This was recorded in the Two Sahihs Commenting on this Ayah (7:172).

At-Tirmidhi recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَمَّا خَلَقَ اللهُ آدَمَ مَسَحَ ظَهْرَهُ فَسَقَطَ مِنْ ظَهْرِهِ كُلُّ نَسَمَةٍ هُوَ خَالِقُهَا مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ عَيْنَي كَلِّ إِنْسَانٍ مِنْهُمْ وَبِيصًا مِنْ نُورٍ ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى آدَمَ فَقَالَ: أَيْ رَبِّ مَنْ هؤُلَاءِ؟

When Allah created Adam, He wiped Adam's back and every person that He will create from him until the Day of Resurrection fell out from his back. Allah placed a glimmering light between the eyes of each one of them. Allah showed them to Adam and Adam asked, `O Lord! Who are they!'

قَالَ: هؤُلَاءِ ذُرِّيَّتُكَ

Allah said, `These are your offspring.'

فَرَأَىَ رَجُلًا مِنْهُمْ فَأَعْجَبَهُ وَبِيصُ مَا بَيْنَ عَيْنَيْهِ قَالَ: أَيْ رَبِّ مَنْ هَذَا؟

Adam saw a man from among them whose light he liked. He asked, `O Lord! Who is this man!'

قَالَ: هَذَا رَجُلٌ مِنْ آخِرِ الْأُمَمِ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِكَ يُقَالُ لَهُ دَاوُدُ

Allah said, `This is a man from the latter generations of your offspring. His name is Dawud.'

قَالَ:رَبِّ وَكَمْ جَعَلْتَ عُمْرَهُ ؟

Adam said, `O Lord! How many years would he live!'

قَالَ: سِتِّينَ سَنَةً،

Allah said, `Sixty years.'

قَالَ: أَيْ رَبِّ وَقَدْ وَهَبْتُ لَهُ مِنْ عُمْرِي أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً

Adam said, `O Lord! I have forfeited forty years from my life for him.'

فَلَمَّا انْقَضَى عُمْرُ آدَمَ جَاءَهُ مَلَكُ الْمَوْتِ قَالَ: أَوَ لَمْ يَبْقَ مِنْ عُمْرِي أَرْبَعُونَ سَنَةً

When Adam's life came to an end, the angel of death came to him (to take his soul). Adam said, `I still have forty years from my life term, don't I!'

قَالَ: أَوَ لَمْ تُعْطِهَا ابْنَكَ دَاوُدَ ؟

He said, `Have you not given it to your son Dawud!'

قَالَ: فَجَحَدَ آدَمُ فَجَحَدَتْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُ وَنَسِيَ آدَمُ فَنِسَيتْ ذُرِّيَّتُهُ وَخَطِىءَ آدَمُ فَخَطِئَتْ ذُرِّيَّتُه

So Adam denied that and his offspring followed suit (denying Allah's covenant), Adam forgot and his offspring forgot, Adam made a mistake and his offspring made mistakes.

At-Tirmidhi said, "This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, and it was reported from various chains of narration through Abu Hurayrah from the Prophet.''

Al-Hakim also recorded it in his Mustadrak, and said; "Sahih according to the criteria of Muslim, and they did not record it.''

These and similar Hadiths testify that Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, brought forth Adam's offspring from his loins and separated between the inhabitants of Paradise and those of the Fire.

Allah then said,

وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتُ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُواْ بَلَى شَهِدْنَا ...

and made them testify as to themselves (saying): "Am I not your Lord!'' They said: "Yes! We testify,''

Therefore, Allah made them testify with themselves by circumstance and words. Testimony is sometimes given in words, such as, قَالُواْ شَهِدْنَا عَلَى أَنفُسِنَا  (They will say: "We bear witness against ourselves''). (6:130)

At other times, testimony is given by the people themselves, such as Allah's st atement, مَا كَانَ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يَعْمُرُواْ مَسَاجِدَ الله شَاهِدِينَ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ بِالْكُفْرِ  (It is not for the Mushrikin, (polytheists) to maintain the mosques of Allah, while they testify against their own selves of disbelief). (9:17)

This Ayah means that their disbelief testifies against them, not that they actually testify against themselves here.

Another Ayah of this type is Allah's statement, وَإِنَّهُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ لَشَهِيدٌ  (And to that he bears witness (by his deeds). (100:7)

The same is the case with asking, sometimes takes the form of words and sometimes a situation or circumstance. For instance, Allah said, وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ  (And He gave you of all that you asked for). (14:34)

Allah said here,

...أَن تَقُولُواْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...

lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection:

إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا ...

we were of this (of Tawhid),

... غَافِلِينَ ﴿١٧٢﴾

أَوْ تَقُولُواْ إِنَّمَا أَشْرَكَ آبَاؤُنَا  مِن قَبْلُ...

unaware. Or lest you should say: "It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah,''

... وَكُنَّا ذُرِّيَّةً مِّن بَعْدِهِمْ أَفَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ ﴿١٧٣﴾

and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced falsehood.''

وَكَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿١٧٤﴾

hus do We explain the Ayat in detail, so that they may turn (unto the truth).

175

 وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِى ءاتَيْنَـهُ ءَايَـتِنَا فَانْسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَـنُ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ

And recite to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat, but he threw them away; so Shaytan followed him up, and he became of those who went astray.

176

 وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَـهُ بِهَا وَلَـكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الاٌّرْضِ وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ

And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith, but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desires.

فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث

So his parable is the parable of a dog: if you drive him away, he pants, or if you leave him alone, he (still) pants.

ذَلِكَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـثَايَـتِنَا فَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

Such is the parable of the people who reject Our Ayat. So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.

177

 سَآءَ مَثَلاً الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَأَنفُسَهُمْ كَانُواْ يَظْلِمُونَ

Evil is the parable of the people who rejected Our Ayat, and used to wrong themselves.

Story Bal`am bin Ba`ura

Allah tells;

وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِيَ آتَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا فَانسَلَخَ مِنْهَا ...

And recite to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat, but he threw them away,

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that this Ayah; "Is about Bal`am bin Ba`ura' a man from the Children of Israel.''

Shu`bah and several other narrators narrated this statement from Mansur who got it from Ibn Mas`ud.

Sa`id bin Abi Arubah narrated that Qatadah said that Ibn Abbas said, "He is Sayfi, son of Ar-Rahib.''

Qatadah commented that Ka`b said, "He was a man from Al-Balqla' (a province of Jordan) who knew Allah's Greatest Name. He used to live in Bayt Al-Maqdis with the tyrants.''

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, "He is Bal`am bin Ba`ura', a man from Yemen whom Allah had given the knowledge of His Ayat, but he abandoned them.''

Malik bin Dinar said,

"He was one of the scholars of the Children of Israel whose supplication was acceptable. They used to seek his lead in supplication in times of difficulty. Allah's Prophet Musa sent him to the King of Madyan to call him to Allah. That king appeased him and gave him land and gifts, and he reverted from the religion of Musa and followed the king's religion.''

Imran bin Uyaynah narrated that Husayn said that Imran bin Al-Harith said that Ibn Abbas said, "He is Bal`am son of Ba`ura'.''

Similar was said by Mujahid and Ikrimah.

Therefore, it is well-known that this honorable Ayah was revealed about a man from the Children of Israel in ancient times, according to Ibn Mas`ud and several others among the Salaf.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "He is a man from the city of the tyrants (Jerusalem) whose name was Bal`am and who knew Allah's Greatest Name.''

Ali bin Abi Talhah also reported that Ibn Abbas that he said,

"When Musa and those with him went to the city of the tyrants (Jerusalem), the cousins of Bal`am and his people came to him and said, `Musa is a strong man, and he has many soldiers. If he gains the upper hand over us, we will be destroyed. Therefore, supplicate to Allah that He prevents Musa and those with him from prevailing over us.' Bal`am said, `If I supplicate to Allah that He turns back Musa and those with him, I will lose in this life and the Hereafter.'

They kept luring him until he supplicated against Musa and his people, and Allah took away what he bestowed on him (of knowledge).

Hence Allah's statement,

فَانسَلَخَ مِنْهَا فَأَتْبَعَهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ...

but he threw them away; so Shaytan followed him up.'''

... فَكَانَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ ﴿١٧٥﴾

and he became of those who went astray.

Allah said next,

وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَاهُ بِهَا وَلَـكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الأَرْضِ وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ ...

And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desires.

Allah said, وَلَوْ شِئْنَا لَرَفَعْنَاهُ بِهَا  (And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith), from the filth of this earthly life through the Ayat that We gave him knowledge of, وَلَـكِنَّهُ أَخْلَدَ إِلَى الأَرْضِ  (but he clung to the earth), he became interested in the adornment of this life and its delights. He indulged in the lusts of life and its joys and was deceived by it, just as life deceived others like him, without sound comprehension or a good mind.

Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar narrated from Salim, from Abu An-Nadr that;

when Musa entered the land of Bani Canaan in the area of Ash-Sham (Greater Syria), the people of Bal`am came to him, saying, "This is Musa, son of Imran with the Children of Israel. He wants to drive us out from our land, kill us and replace us with the Children of Israel. We are your people and have no other dwelling area. You are a person whose supplication is acceptable (to Allah), so go out and supplicate to Allah against them.''

He said, "Woe to you! Here is Allah's Prophet (Musa) with whom the angels and believers are! How can I supplicate against them when I know from Allah what I know!''

They said, "We have no other dwelling area.''

So they kept luring and begging him until he was tempted by the trial and went on his donkey towards Mount Husban, which was behind the Israelite military barracks. When he proceeded on the Mount for a while, the donkey sat down and refused to proceed. He got off the donkey and struck it until it stood up again and he rode it. The donkey did the same after a little while, and he struck it again until it stood up... So he proceeded and tried to supplicate against Musa and his people. However, Allah made his tongue mention his people with evil and the Children of Israel with good instead of his people, who protested, "O Bal`am! What are you doing You are supplicating for them and against us!''

He said, "It is against my will. This is a matter that Allah has decided.''

He then said to them, as his tongue was made to loll out of his mouth, "Now I have lost this life and the Hereafter.''

This Ayah was revealed about the story of Bal`am son of Ba`ura, وَاتْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ نَبَأَ الَّذِيَ آتَيْنَاهُ آيَاتِنَا فَانسَلَخَ مِنْهَا  (And recite to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat, but he threw them away.), until,  لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ  (perhaps they may reflect).

Allah said next,

فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث ...

So his parable is the parable of a dog: if you drive him away, he pants, or if you leave him alone, he (still) pants.

Scholars of Tafsir have conflicting opinions regarding the meaning of this Ayah.

Some scholars said that it refers to the end of Bal`am's tongue which flickered out of his mouth, as in the story narrated from Ibn Ishaq, from Salim, from Abu An-Nadr. Therefore, his example is the example of the dog, its tongue pants regardless of whether it is driven away or not.

It was also said that,

the meaning here is a parable of this man -- and his like -- concerning their misguidance, persisting the wrong path and not being able to benefit from faith or comprehend what they are being called to. So his example is that of a dog which pants whether it was driven away or left alone. The person described here does not benefit from the advice or the call to faith, just as if the advice and call never occurred.

Allah said in other Ayat,

سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَأَنذَرْتَهُمْ أَمْ لَمْ تُنذِرْهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ

It is the same to them (disbelievers) whether you warn them or do not warn them, they will not believe. (2:6)

and,

اسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ أَوْ لاَ تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ إِن تَسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً فَلَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَهُمْ

Whether you ask forgiveness for them (hypocrites) or ask not forgiveness for them -- (and even) if you ask seventy times for their forgiveness -- Allah will not forgive them. (9:80)

and similar Ayat. It was also said that; the meaning here, is that the heart of the disbeliever, the hypocrite and the wicked is weak and devoid of guidance. Therefore, it keeps faltering.

Similar was narrated from Al-Hasan Al-Basri.

ذَّلِكَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...

Such is the parable of the people who reject Our Ayat.

... فَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ ﴿١٧٦﴾

So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.

Allah said next to His Prophet Muhammad, فَاقْصُصِ الْقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمْ  (So relate the stories, perhaps they may) the Children of Israel, who have knowledge of the story of Bal`am and what happened to him when Allah allowed him to stray and expelled him from His mercy. Allah favored him by teaching him His Greatest Name, by which, if He is asked, He will grant, and if He is called upon, He answers. But Bal`am used it in disobedience to Allah and invoked Him against His own party of the people of faith, followers of His servant and Messenger during that time, Musa, the son of Imran, peace be upon him, whom Allah spoke to directly, لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ  (perhaps they may reflect), and avoid Bal`am's behavior, for Allah has given the Jews knowledge and made them superior to the Bedouins surrounding them. He gave them the description of Muhammad which would allow them to recognize him, as they recognize their own children. They, among people, have the most right to follow, aid and support Muhammad , in obedience to their Prophets who informed them of him and commanded them to follow him. Therefore, whoever among them defies the knowledge in their Books or hides it from the servants, Allah will place disgrace on him in this life, followed by humiliation in the Hereafter.

Allah said,

سَاء مَثَلاً الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...

Evil is the parable of the people who rejected Our Ayat.

Allah says, evil is the example of the people who deny Our Ayat in that they are equated with dogs that have no interest but to collect food and satisfy lusts.'

Therefore, whoever goes out of the area of knowledge and guidance, and seeks satisfaction for his lusts and vain desires, is just like a dog; what an evil example.

The Sahih recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَيْسَ لَنَا مَثَلُ السَّوْءِ، الْعَائِدُ فِي هِبَتِهِ كَالْكَلْبِ يَعُودُ فِي قَيْئِه

The evil example is not suitable for us: he who goes back on his gift is just like the dog that eats its vomit.

Allah's statement,

... وَأَنفُسَهُمْ كَانُواْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿١٧٧﴾

and they used to wrong themselves.

means, Allah did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves by rejecting guidance, not obeying the Lord, being content with this life that will soon end, all the while seeking to fulfill desires and obey lusts.

178

 مَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِى وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ

Whomsoever Allah guides, he is the guided one, and whomsoever He sends astray, -- then those! They are the losers.

Allah says,

مَن يَهْدِ اللّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِي وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ ﴿١٧٨﴾

Whomsoever Allah guides, he is the guided one, and whomsoever He sends astray, -- then those! They are the losers

Allah says, whomever He leads aright, then none can lead him to misguidance, and whomever He leads astray, will have acquired failure, loss and sure misguidance. Verily, whatever Allah wills occurs; and whatever He does not will, does not occur.

A Hadith narrated from Abdullah bin Mas`ud reads,

إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ للهِ نَحْمَدُهُ وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَهْدِيهِ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا، مَنْ يَهْدِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ وَمَنْ يُضْلِلِ اللهُ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ، وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُه

All praise is due to Allah, Whom we praise and seek help, guidance and forgiveness from. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils within ourselves and from the burden of our evil deeds. He whom Allah guides, will never be misled; and he whom He misguides, will never have one who will guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah without partners and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

The complete Hadith was collected by Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan and others.

179

 وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنْسِ

And surely, We have created many of the Jinn and mankind for Hell.

لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ ءَاذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَآ

They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth).

أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَـمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَـفِلُونَ

They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.

Disbelief and the Divine Decree

Allah said,

وَلَقَدْ ذَرَأْنَا لِجَهَنَّمَ ...

And surely, We have created for Hell,

We made a share in the Fire for,

كَثِيرًا مِّنَ الْجِنِّ وَالإِنسِ ...

many of the Jinn and mankind,

We prepared them for it by their performance of the deeds of its people.

When Allah intended to create the creation, He knew what their work will be before they existed. He wrote all this in a Book, kept with Him, fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.

Muslim recorded that Abdullah bin `Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ قَدَّرَ مَقَادِيرَ الْخَلْقِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَخْلُقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِخَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاء

Verily, Allah decided the destination and due measurement of the creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth, and His Throne was over the water.

There are many Hadiths on this subject, and certainly, the matter of Al-Qadar is of utmost importance, yet this is not where we should discuss it.

Allah said,

لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ لاَّ يَفْقَهُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ أَعْيُنٌ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ بِهَا وَلَهُمْ آذَانٌ لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ بِهَا ...

They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not.

meaning, they do not benefit from these senses that Allah made for them as a means of gaining guidance.

Similarly, Allah said,

وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ سَمْعاً وَأَبْصَـراً وَأَفْئِدَةً فَمَآ أَغْنَى عَنْهُمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَلاَ أَبْصَـرُهُمْ وَلاَ أَفْئِدَتُهُمْ مِّن شَىْءٍ إِذْ كَانُواْ يَجْحَدُونَ بِـَايَـتِ اللَّهِ

And We had assigned them the (faculties of) hearing, seeing, and hearts; but their hearing, seeing, and their hearts availed them nothing since they used to deny the Ayat. (46:26)

Allah also said about the hypocrites,

صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ

(They are) deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the right path). (2:18),

and about the disbelievers,

صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

(They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand. (2:171)

However, they a re not deaf, dumb or blind, except relation to the guidance.

Allah said;

وَلَوْ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ فِيهِمْ خَيْرًا لأَسْمَعَهُمْ وَلَوْ أَسْمَعَهُمْ لَتَوَلَّواْ وَّهُم مُّعْرِضُونَ

Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen; and even if He had made them listen, they would but have turned away with aversion (to the truth). (8:23)

فَإِنَّهَا لاَ تَعْمَى الاٌّبْصَـرُ وَلَـكِن تَعْمَى الْقُلُوبُ الَّتِى فِى الصُّدُورِ

Verily, it is not the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind. (22:46)

and,

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ

And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allah), We appoint for him Shaytan to be an intimate companion to him. And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright! (43:36-37)

Allah's statement,

أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَامِ ...

They are like cattle,

means, those who neither hear the truth, nor understand it, nor see the guidance, are just like grazing cattle that do not benefit from these senses, except for what sustains their life in this world.

Allah said in a similar Ayah,

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ إِلاَّ دُعَآءً وَنِدَآءً

And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of one who shouts to those who hear nothing but calls and cries. (2:171)

meaning, their example, when they are called to the faith, is the example of cattle that hear only the voice of their shepherd, but cannot understand what he is saying.

Allah further described them

بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ ...

nay even more astray,

than cattle, because cattle still respond to the call of their shepherd, even though they do not understand what he is saying.

As for the people described here, they are unlike cattle, which fulfill the purpose and service they were created for. The disbeliever was created to worship Allah alone in Tawhid, but he disbelieved in Allah and associated others in His worship. Therefore, those people who obey Allah are more honorable than some angels, while cattle are better than those who disbelieve in Him. So Allah said;

أُوْلَـئِكَ كَالأَنْعَامِ  بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ

أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْغَافِلُونَ ﴿١٧٩﴾

They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.

180

 وَللَّهِ الأَسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِى أَسْمَـئِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.

Allah's Most Beautiful Names

Allah says;

وَلِلّهِ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى فَادْعُوهُ بِهَا وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَآئِهِ سَيُجْزَوْنَ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٨٠﴾

And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah, so call on Him by them, and leave the company of those who belie His Names. They will be requited for what they used to do.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ للهِ تِسْعًا وَتِسْعِينَ اسْمًا مِائَةً إِلَّا وَاحِدًا، مَنْ أَحْصَاهَا دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَهُوَ وِتْرٌ يُحِبُّ الْوِتْر

Verily, Allah has ninety-nine Names, a hundred less one; whoever counts (and preserves) them, will enter Paradise. Allah is Witr (One) and loves Al-Witr (the odd numbered things),

The Two Sahihs collected this Hadith.

We should state that Allah's Names are not restricted to only ninety-nine. For instance, in his Musnad, Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said;

مَا أَصَابَ أَحَدًا قَطُّ هَمٌّ وَلَا حَزَنٌ فَقَالَ:

Any person who is overcome by sadness or grief and supplicates,

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي عَبْدُكَ، ابْنُ أَمَتِكَ، نَاصِيَتِي بِيَدِكَ مَاضٍ فِيَّ حُكْمُكَ، عَدْلٌ فِيَّ قَضُاؤُكَ، أَسْأَلُكَ بِكُلِّ اسْمٍ هُوَ لَكَ سَمَّيْتَ بِهِ نَفْسَكَ أَوْ أَنْزَلْتَهُهِفي كِتَابِكَ أَوْ عَلَّمْتَهُ أَحَدًا مِنْ خَلْقِكَ أَوِ اسْتَأْثَرْتَ بِهِ فِي عِلْمِ الْغَيْبِ عِنْدَكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ الْقُرآنَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبِيعَ قَلْبِي، وَنُورَ صَدْرِي، وَجَلَاءَ حُزْنِي، وَذَهَابَ هَمِّي، إِلَّا أَذْهَبَ اللهُ حُزْنَهُ وَهَمَّهُ وَأَبْدَلَ مَكَانَهُ فَرَحًا

`O Allah! I am Your servant, son of Your female servant. My forelock is in Your Hand. Your decision concerning me shall certainly come to pass. Just is Your Judgement about me. I invoke You by every Name that You have and that You called Yourself by, sent down in Your Book, taught to any of Your creatures, or kept with You in the knowledge of the Unseen that is with You. Make the Glorious Qur'an the spring of my heart, the light of my chest, the remover of my grief and the dissipater of my concern.'

Surely, Allah will remove his grief and sadness and exchange them for delight.

The Prophet was asked "O Messenger of Allah! Should we learn these words?''

He said,

بَلَى يَنْبَغِي لِكُلِّ مَنْ سَمِعَهَا أَنْ يَتَعَلَّمَهَا

Yes. It is an obligation on all those who hear this supplication to learn it.

Al-`Awfi said that Ibn Abbas said about Allah's statement, وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَآئِهِ  (and leave the company of those who belie His Names), "To belie Allah's Names includes saying that Al-Lat (an idol) derived from Allah's Name.''

Ibn Jurayj narrated from Mujahid that he commented, وَذَرُواْ الَّذِينَ يُلْحِدُونَ فِي أَسْمَآئِهِ  (and leave the company of those who belie His Names), "They derived Al-Lat (an idol's name) from Allah, and Al-Uzza (another idol) from Al-Aziz (the All-Mighty).''

Qatadah stated that; Ilhad refers to associating others with Allah in His Names (such as calling an idol Al-Uzza).

The word Ilhad (used in the Ayah in another from) means, deviation, wickedness, injustice and straying.

The hole in the grave is called Lahd, because it is a hole within a hole, that is turned towards the Qiblah (the direction of the prayer) .

181

 وَمِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَآ أُمَّةٌ يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ

And of those whom We have created, there is a community who guides (others) with the truth, and establishes justice therewith.

Allah said,

وَمِمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا ...

And of those whom We have created,

in reference to some nations,

أُمَّةٌ ...

a community,

that stands in truth, in words and action,

يَهْدُونَ بِالْحَقِّ ...

who guides (others) with the truth,

they proclaim it and call to it,

... وَبِهِ يَعْدِلُونَ ﴿١٨١﴾

and establishes justice therewith.

adhere to it themselves and judge by it.

It was reported that this Ayah refers to the Ummah of Muhammad. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي ظَاهِرِينَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ لَا يَضُرُّهُمْ مَنْ خَذَلَهُمْ وَلَا مَنْ خَالَفَهُمْ حَتَّى تَقُومَ السَّاعَة

There will always be a group of my Ummah who are apparent on the Truth, unabated by those who fail or oppose them, until the (Last) Hour commences.

In another narration, the Messenger said,

حَتَّى يَأْتِيَ أَمْرُ اللهِ وَهُمْ عَلَى ذَلِك

Until Allah's command (the Last Hour) comes while they are still like this.

and in yet another narration,

وَهُمْ بِالشَّام

And they will dwell in Ash-Sham (Greater Syria).

182

 وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

Those who reject Our Ayat, We shall gradually seize them with punishment in ways they perceive not.

183

 وَأُمْلِى لَهُمْ إِنَّ كَيْدِى مَتِينٌ

And I respite them; certainly My plan is strong.

Allah said,

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٨٢﴾

Those who reject Our Ayat, We shall gradually seize them in ways they perceive not.

meaning, the doors of provisions will be opened for them and also the means of livelihood, in this life. They will be deceived by all this and think that they are on the correct path.

Allah said in another instance,

فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُواْ بِمَآ أُوتُواْ أَخَذْنَـهُمْ بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُمْ مُّبْلِسُونَ

فَقُطِعَ دَابِرُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَالْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrow. So the root of the people who did wrong was cut off. And all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. (6:44-45)

Allah said here,

وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ...

And I respite them,

prolong what they are in,

... إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ ﴿١٨٣﴾

certainly My plan is strong (and perfect).

18

 أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُواْ مَا بِصَاحِبِهِم مِّن جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Do they not reflect There is no madness in their companion. He is but a plain warner.

Allah said,

أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُواْ ...

Do they not reflect,

`those who deny Our Ayat,'

مَا بِصَاحِبِهِم ...

there is not in their companion, (Muhammad),

مِّن جِنَّةٍ ...

madness,

Muhammad is not mad, rather, he is truly the Messenger of Allah, calling to Truth,

... إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿١٨٤﴾

but he is a plain warner,

and this is clear for those who have a mind and a heart by which they understand and comprehend.

Allah said in another Ayah,

وَمَا صَـحِبُكُمْ بِمَجْنُونٍ

And (O people) your companion is not a madman. (81:22)

Allah also said,

قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَعِظُكُمْ بِوَحِدَةٍ أَن تَقُومُواْ لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُواْ مَا بِصَـحِبِكُمْ مِّن جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ لَّكُمْ بَيْنَ يَدَىْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ

Say: "I exhort you to one (thing) only, that you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness in your companion. He is only a warner to you in face of a severe torment.'' (34:46)

meaning, `I ask you to stand for Allah in sincerity without stubbornness or bias,'

مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى

in pairs and singly. (34:46),

individuals and in groups.

ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُواْ

and reflect (34:46),

about this man who brought the Message from Allah, is he mad If you do this, it will become clear to you that he is the Messenger of Allah in truth and justice.

Qatadah bin Di'amah said,

"We were informed that the Prophet of Allah once was on (Mount) As-Safa and called the Quraysh, sub-tribe by sub-tribe, proclaiming,

يَا بَنِي فُلَانٍ، يَا بَنِي فُلَانٍ فَحَذَّرَهُمْ بَأْسَ اللهِ وَوَقَائِعَ الله

O Children of so-and-so, O Children of so-and-so! He warned them against Allah's might and what He has done (such as revenge from His enemies).

Some of them commented, `This companion of yours (Prophet Muhammad) is mad;

he kept shouting until the morning' Allah sent down this Ayah,

أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُواْ مَا بِصَاحِبِهِم مِّن جِنَّةٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

Do they not reflect There is no madness in their companion. He is but a plain warner.'''

185

 أَوَلَمْ يَنظُرُواْ فِى مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ مِن شَىْءٍ وَأَنْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created; and that it may be that the end of their lives is near. In what message after this will they then believe!

Allah says;

أَوَلَمْ يَنظُرُواْ فِي مَلَكُوتِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ وَمَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ وَأَنْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ أَجَلُهُمْ ...

Do they not look in the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all things that Allah has created; and that it may be that the end of their lives is near.

Allah asks, those who denied faith, did they not contemplate about Our Ayat in the kingdom of the heavens and earth and what was created in them! Do they not contemplate about all this and learn lessons from it, so that they are certain that He Who has all this, has no equal or rival All this was made by He Who Alone deserves the worship and sincere religion, so that they might have faith in Him and believe in His Messenger, all the while turning to Allah's obedience, rejecting any rivals to Him, and rejecting idols. They should be warned that their lives may have reached their end, and they, thus, face their demise while disbelievers, ending up in Allah's torment and severe punishment.

Allah said,

 فَبِأَيِّ حَدِيثٍ بَعْدَهُ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١٨٥﴾

In what message after this will they then believe!

Allah says, what more warnings, and discouragements should compel them to believe, if the warnings and threats that Muhammad brought them from Allah in His Book do not compel them to do so.

186

 مَن يُضْلِلِ اللَّهُ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ وَيَذَرُهُمْ فِى طُغْيَـنِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ

Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgressions.

Allah said next,

مَن يُضْلِلِ اللّهُ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ وَيَذَرُهُمْ فِي طُغْيَانِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ ﴿١٨٦﴾

Whomsoever Allah sends astray, none can guide him; and He lets them wander blindly in their transgressions.

Allah says, those who were destined to be misguided, then none can lead them to guidance, and even if they try their best effort to gain such guidance, this will not avail them,

وَمَن يُرِدِ اللَّهُ فِتْنَتَهُ فَلَن تَمْلِكَ لَهُ مِنَ اللَّهِ شَيْئاً

And whomsoever Allah wants to put in Fitnah (error, because of his rejecting of Faith, or trial), you can do nothing for him against Allah. (5:41)

and,

قُلِ انظُرُواْ مَاذَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا تُغْنِى الآيَـتُ وَالنُّذُرُ عَن قَوْمٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Say: "Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth,'' but neither Ayat nor warners benefit those who believe not. (10:101)

187

 يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَـهَا

They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): "When will be its appointed time!''

قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي لاَ يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَآ إِلاَّ هُوَ

Say: "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He.

ثَقُلَتْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لاَ تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَةً

Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.''

 يَسْـَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِىٌّ عَنْهَا

They ask you as if you have a good knowledge of it.

قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ اللَّهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

Say: "The knowledge thereof is with Allah (Alone), but most of mankind know not.''

The Last Hour and its Portents

Allah said here,

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ ...

They ask you about the Hour,

just as He said in another Ayah,

يَسْـَلُكَ النَّاسُ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ

People ask you concerning the Hour. (33:63)

It was said that this Ayah was revealed about the Quraysh or the Jews, although it appears that it was about the Quraysh, because this Ayah was revealed in Makkah. The Qur aysh used to ask about the Last Hour, because they used to deny it and discount its coming. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هَـذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ

And they say: "When will be this promise (the torment or the Day of Resurrection), if you speak the truth!'' (10:48)

and,

يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا الْحَقُّ أَلاَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يُمَارُونَ فَى السَّاعَةِ لَفِى ضَلَـلَ بَعِيدٍ

Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it, while those who believe are fearful of it, and know that it is the very truth. Verily, those who dispute concerning the Hour are certainly in error far away. (42:18)

Allah said here (that the Quraysh asked),

أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا ...

"When will be its appointed time!''

According to Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported this from Ibn Abbas,

in reference to its commencement. They asked about the Hour's appointed term and when the end of this world will begin;

قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّي لاَ يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلاَّ هُوَ ..

Say: "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He.''

Allah commanded His Messenger that when asked about the appointed term of the Last Hour, he referred its knowledge to Allah, the Exalted. Only Allah knows the Last Hour's appointed term and when it will certainly occur, and none besides Him has this knowledge,

.... ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ ...

Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth.

Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ma`mar said that Qatadah commented on this Ayah, "Its knowledge is heavy on the residents of the heavens and earth, they do not have knowledge in it.''

Also, Ma`mar said that Al-Hasan commented on this Ayah, "When the Last Hour comes, it will be heavy on the residents of the heavens and earth.''

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas explained this Ayah, saying, "All creatures will suffer its heaviness on the Day of Resurrection.''

Ibn Jurayj also said about this Ayah,

"When it commences, the heavens will be torn, the stars will scatter all over, the sun will be wound round (thus losing its light), the mountains will be made to pass away and all of which Allah spoke of will occur. This is the meaning of its burden being heavy.''

As-Suddi said that, ثَقُلَتْ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْض   (Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth), means, its knowledge is hidden in the heavens and earth, and none, not even a close angel or a sent Messenger has knowledge of its appointed time.

لاَ تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَةً ...

It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.

indicating that the Hour will start all of a sudden, while they are unaware.

Qatadah said,

"Allah has decided that, لاَ تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَةً (It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden). He then said, "We were informed that Allah's Prophet said,

إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ تَهِيجُ بِالنَّاسِ، وَالرَّجُلُ يُصْلِحُ حَوْضَهُ وَالرَّجُلُ يَسْقِي مَاشِيَتَهُ، وَالرَّجُلُ يُقِمُ سِلْعَتَهُ فِي السُّوقِ وَيَخْفِضُ مِيزَانَهُ وَيَرْفَعُه

The Hour will start (suddenly) for the people while one is mending his watering hole, giving water to his cattle, setting his goods in the market or lowering his scale and raising it (selling and buying).'''

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

· لَا تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا، فَإِذَ طَلَعَتْ فَرَآهَا النَّاسُ آمَنُوا أَجْمَعُونَ، فَذَلِكَ حِينَ لَا يَنْفَعُ نَفْسًا إِيمَانُهَا لَمْ تَكُنْ آمَنَتْ مِنْ قَبْلُ أَوْ كَسَبَتْ فِي إِيمَانِهَا خَيْرًا،

· وَلَتَقُومَنَّ السَّاعَةُ وَقَدْ نَشَرَ الرَّجُلَانِ ثَوْبَهُمَا بَيْنَهُمَا، فَلَا يَتَبَايَعَانِهِ وَلَا يَطْوِيَانِهِ.

· وَلَتَقُومَنَّ السَّاعَةُ وَقَدِ انْصَرَفَ الرَّجُلُ بِلَبَنِ لِقْحَتِهِ فَلَا يَطْعَمُهُ،

· وَلَتَقُومَنَّ السَّاعَةُ وَهُو يَلِيطُ حَوْضَهُ فَلَا يَسْقِي فِيهِ،

· وَلَتَقُومَنَّ السَّاعَةُ وَالرَّجُلُ قَدْ رَفَعَ أَكْلَتَهُ إِلَى فِيهِ فَلَا يَطْعَمُهَا

· The Hour will not commence until the sun rises from the west. When it rises (from the west) and the people see it, then, all people will believe. However, this is when faith does not benefit a soul that did not believe beforehand nor earned good in faith.

· The Hour will (all of a sudden) commence while two men have spread a garment between them, and they will neither have time to conclude the transaction nor to fold the garment.

· The Hour will commence after a man milked his animal, but he will not have time to drink it.

· The Hour will start when a man is making his watering hole (for his animals), but will not have time to make use of the pool.

· And the Hour will commence while a man has raised his hand with a bite to his mouth, but will not eat it.

Then Allah said,

يَسْأَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا ...

They ask you as if you have good knowledge of it.

Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, "As if you have good relations and friendship with them!''

Ibn Abbas said,

"When the people (pagans of Quraysh) asked the Prophet about the Last Hour, they did so in a way as if Muhammad was their friend! Allah revealed to him that its knowledge is with Him Alone and He did not inform a close angel or Messenger of it.''

The correct explanation for this Ayah is, as narrated from Mujahid, through Ibn Abi Najih, يَسْأَلُونَكَ كَأَنَّكَ حَفِيٌّ عَنْهَا  (They ask you as if you have Hafi of it), means, `as if you had asked about its time and so its knowledge is with you.'

Allah said,

... قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ اللّهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿١٨٧﴾

Say: "The knowledge thereof is with Allah (Alone), but most of mankind know not.''

When Jibril came in the shape of a Bedouin man to teach the people matters of their religion, he sat next to the Messenger of Allah asking him as if to learn. Jibril asked the Messenger about Islam, then about Iman (faith) then about Ihsan (Excellence in the religion). He asked next, "When will the Hour start?''

Allah's Messenger said,

مَا الْمَسْؤُولُ عَنْهَا بِأَعْلَمَ مِنَ السَّائِل

He who is asked about it has no more knowledge of it than the questioner.

Therefore, the Prophet was saying, `I have no more knowledge in it than you (O Jibril), nor does anyone have more knowledge in it than anyone else.'

The Prophet then recited the Ayah,

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عِندَهُ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ

Verily, Allah, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour. (31:34)

In another narration, Jibril asked the Prophet about the portents of the Hour, and the Prophet menti oned them. The Prophet also said in this narration,

فِي خَمْسٍ لَا يَعْلَمُهُنَّ إِلَّا الله

Five, their knowledge is only with Allah, then recited this Ayah (31:34).

In response to the Prophet's answers after each question, Jibril would say, "You have said the truth.''

This made the Companions wonder about this questioner who would ask a question and attest to every answer he was given. When Jibril went away, the Messenger of Allah said to the Companions,

هَذَا جِبْرِيلُ أَتَاكُمْ يُعَلِّمُكُمْ دِينَكُم

This is Jibril, he came to teach you matters of your religion.

In yet another narration, the Prophet commented,

وَمَا أَتَانِي فِي صُورَةٍ إِلَّا عَرَفْتُهُ فِيهَا إِلَّا صُورَتُهُ هَذِه

I recognized him (Jibril) in every shape he came to me in, except this one.

Muslim recorded that Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said;

"When the Bedouins used to come to the Prophet, they used to ask him about the Hour. The Prophet would answer them, while pointing at the youngest person among them,

إِنْ يَعِشْ هَذَا لَمْ يُدْرِكْهُ الْهَرَمُ حَتَّى قَامَتْ عَلَيْكُمْ سَاعَتُكُم

If this (young man) lives, he will not become old before your Hour starts.

The Prophet meant the end of their life that introduces them to the life in Barzakh, which is between this life and the Hereafter.

Muslim recorded that Anas said that a man asked Allah's Messenger about the Hour, and the Messenger answered,

إِنْ يَعِشْ هَذَا الْغُلَامُ فَعَسَى أَنْ لَا يُدْرِكَهُ الْهَرَمُ حَتَّى تَقُومَ السَّاعَة

If this young boy lives, it might be that he will not become old before the Hour starts.

Only Muslim collected this Hadith.

Jabir bin Abdullah said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying, one month before he died,

تَسْأَلُونِي عَنِ السَّاعَةِ، وَإِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ اللهِ، وَأُقْسِمُ بِاللهِ مَا عَلَى ظَهْرِ الْأَرْضِ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ نَفْسٍ مَنْفُوسَةٍ تَأْتِي عَلَيْهَا مِائَةُ سَنَة

You keep asking me about the Hour, when its knowledge is with Allah. I swear by Allah that there is no living soul on the face of the earth now will be alive a hundred years from now.

Muslim collected this Hadith.

A similar Hadith is recorded in Two Sahihs from Ibn Umar, but he commented,

"The Messenger of Allah meant that his generation will be finished by that time reach its appointed term.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said,

لَقِيتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى، فَتَذَاكَرُوا أَمْرَ السَّاعَةِ قَالَ فَرَدُّوْا أَمْرَهُمْ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ، فَقَالَ: لَا عِلْمَ لِي بِهَا، فَرَدُّوا أَمْرَهُمْ إِلَى مُوسَى فَقَالَ: لَا عِلْمَ لِي بِهَا، فَرَدُّوا أَمْرَهُمْ إِلَى عِيسَى فَقَالَ عِيسَى: أَمَّا وَجْبَتُهَا فَلَا يَعْلَمُ بِهَا أَحَدٌ إِلَّا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ،

During the night of Isra', I met Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa. They mentioned the matter of the Last Hour, and they asked Ibrahim about it, who said, `I do not have knowledge of it.' They asked Musa about it and he said, `I have no knowledge of it.' They then asked `Isa about it, and he said, `As for when it will occur, only Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, knows that.

وَفِيمَا عَهِدَ إِلَيَّ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنَّ الدَّجَّالَ خَارِجٌ قَالَ وَمَعِي قَضِيبَانِ، فَإِذَا رَآنِي ذَابَ كَمَا يَذُوبُ الرَّصَاصُ، قَالَ: فَيُهْلِكُهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ إِذَا رَآنِي حَتَّى إِنَّ الشَّجَرَ وَالْحَجَرَ يَقُولُ: يَا مُسْلِمُ إِنَّ تَحْتِي كَافِرًا فَتَعَالَ فَاقْتُلْهُ، قَالَ: فَيُهْلِكُهُمُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ النَّاسُ إِلَى بِلَادِهِمْ وَأَوْطَانِهِمْ،

My Lord has conveyed to me that the Dajjal (False Messiah) will appear, and I will have two staffs (spears) with me. When he sees me, he will dissolve just as lead is dissolved. Allah will destroy him when he sees me, and the tree and the stone will say, `O Muslim! There is a disbeliever under (behind) me, so come and kill him.' Allah will destroy them (the Dajjal and his army), and the people will safely go back to their lands and areas.

فَعِنْدَ ذَلِكَ يَخْرُجُ يَأْجُوجُ وَمَأْجُوجُ وَهُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنْسِلُونَ، فَيَطَأُونَ بِلَادَهُمْ لَا يَأْتُون عَلَى شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَهْلَكُوهُ وَلَا يَمُرُّونَ عَلَى مَاءٍ إِلَّا شَرِبُوه: قَالَ: ثُمَّ يَرْجِعُ النَّاسُ إِليَّ فَيَشْكُونَهُمْ فَأَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلَيْهِمْ فَيُهْلِكُهُمْ وَيُمِيتُهُمْ حَتَّى تَجْوَى الْأَرْضُ مِنْ نَتْنِ رِيحِهِمْ أَيْ تُنْتِنُ، قَالَ:فَيُنْزِلُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ الْمَطَرَ فَيَجْتَرِفُ أَجْسَادَهُمْ حَتَّى يَقْذِفَهُمْ فِي الْبَحْرِ...

Thereafter, Gog and Magog will appear, and they will be swarming from every mound, sweeping over the earth and destroying everything they pass by. They will drink every water source they pass. The people will come to me complaining about Gog and Magog and will invoke Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, against them, and Allah will bring death to all of them until the earth rots with their stinking odor. Allah will send down rain on them and the rain will carry their corpses, until it throws them in the sea...

قَالَ: فَفِيمَا عَهِدَ إِلَيَّ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنَّ ذَلِكَ إِذَا كَانَ كَذَلِكَ، فَإِنَّ السَّاعَةَ كَالْحَامِلِ المُتِمِّ لَا يَدْرِي أَهْلُهَا مَتَى تُفَاجِئُهُمْ بِوَلَادَتِهَا لَيْلًا أَوْ نَهَارًا

My Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored has conveyed to me that when this occurs, the Hour will be just like the pregnant women when the term of pregnancy is full, her family does not know when she will surprise them and give birth, whether by night or by day.

Ibn Majah also collected a similar Hadith.

Therefore these are the greatest of the Messengers but they did not have knowledge of the appointed term of the Hour. They asked `Isa about it and he spoke about its Signs, since he will descend in the last generations of this Ummah, implementing the Law of Allah's Messenger, killing the Dajjal and destroying Gog and Magog people by the blessing of his supplication. `Isa merely informed them of the knowledge Allah gave him on this subject.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhayfah said,

"The Messenger of Allah was asked about the Hour and he said,

عِلْمُهَا عِنْدَ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَا يُجَلِّيهَا لِوَقْتِهَا إِلَّا هُوَ، وَلَكِنْ سَأُخْبِرُكُمْ بِمَشَارِيطِهَا وَمَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا، إِنَّ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهَا فِتْنَةً وَهَرَجًا

Its knowledge is with my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored, none can reveal its time except Him. However, I will tell you about its portents and the signs that precede it. Before it commences, there will be Fitnah (trials) and Harj.

They asked, `O Allah's Messenger! We know the meaning of the Fitnah, so what is the Harj?'

He said,

بِلِسَانِ الْحَبَشَةِ الْقَتْل

It means killing, in the Language of the Ethiopians.

He then said,

وَيُلْقَى بَيْنَ النَّاسِ التَّنَاكُرُ، فَلَا يَكَادُ أَحَدٌ يَعْرِفُ أَحَدًا

Isolation and loneliness will be common between people, and therefore, almost no one will be able to recognize any other.''

None among the collectors of the six Sunan collected this Hadith using this chain of narration.

Tariq bin Shihab said that; the Messenger of Allah kept mentioning the Last Hour (for people kept asking about it), until this Ayah was revealed, يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ السَّاعَةِ أَيَّانَ مُرْسَاهَا  (They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): "When will be its appointed time'').

An-Nasa'i collected this Hadith, which has a strong chain.

Therefore, this unlettered Prophet, the chief of the Messengers and their Seal, Muhammad, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him, Muhammad, the Prophet of mercy, repentance, Al-Malhmah (great demise of the disbelievers), Al-`Aqib (who came after many Prophets), Al-Muqaffi (the last of a succession) and Al-Hashir (below whom will all people be gathered (on the Day of Gathering) Muhammad who said, as collected in the Sahih from Anas and Sahl bin Sa`d,

بُعِثْتُ أَنَا وَالسَّاعَةَ كَهَاتَيْن

My sending and the Hour are like this,

and he joined his index and middle fingers. Yet, he was commanded to defer knowledge of the Last Hour to Allah if he was asked about it,

قُلْ إِنَّمَا عِلْمُهَا عِندَ اللّهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

Say: "The knowledge thereof is with Allah (alone), but most of mankind know not.''

188

 قُل لاَ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِى نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَآءَ اللَّهُ

Say : "I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself except as Allah wills.

وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ وَمَا مَسَّنِىَ السُّوءُ

If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth, and no evil should have touched me.

إِنْ أَنَاْ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.''

The Messenger does not know the Unseen, and He cannot bring Benefit or Harm even to Himself

Allah said,

قُل لاَّ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِي نَفْعًا وَلاَ ضَرًّا إِلاَّ مَا شَاء اللّهُ ...

Say : "I possess no power over benefit or harm to myself except as Allah wills.

Allah commanded His Prophet to entrust all matters to Him and to inform, about himself, that he does not know the unseen future, but he knows of it only what Allah informs him.

Allah said in another Ayah,

عَـلِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلاَ يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَداً

(He Alone is) the All-Knower of the Ghayb (Unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghayb. (72:26)

وَلَوْ كُنتُ أَعْلَمُ الْغَيْبَ لاَسْتَكْثَرْتُ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ ...

If I had the knowledge of the Ghayb (Unseen), I should have secured for myself an abundance of wealth.

Ad-Dahha k reported that Ibn Abbas said that, refers to money.

In another narration, Ibn Abbas commented, "I would have knowledge of how much profit I would make with what I buy, and I would always sell what I would make profit from, وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ  ("and no evil should have touched me).'' and poverty would never touch me.''

Ibn Jarir said, "And others said, `This means that if I know the Unseen then I would prepare for the years of famine during the prosperous years, and in the time of high cost, I would have prepared for it.'''

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam also commented on this Ayah; وَمَا مَسَّنِيَ السُّوءُ  (and no evil should have touched me), "I would have avoided and saved myself from any type of harm before it comes.''

The Prophet then stated that;

... إِنْ أَنَاْ إِلاَّ نَذِيرٌ وَبَشِيرٌ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١٨٨﴾

"I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings unto people who believe.''

Allah tells that the Prophet is a warner and bearer of good news. He warns against the torment and brings good news of Paradise for the believers,

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَـهُ بِلَسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنْذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً

So We have made this (the Qur'an) easy on your tongue, only that you may give glad tidings to the pious, and warn with it the most quarrelsome of people. (19:97)

189

 هُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَكُمْ مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ وَجَعَلَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا لِيَسْكُنَ إِلَيْهَا

It is He Who has created you from a single person, and (then) He has created from him his wife, in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.

فَلَمَّا تَغَشَّاهَا حَمَلَتْ حَمْلاً خَفِيفًا فَمَرَّتْ بِهِ فَلَمَّآ أَثْقَ&#