Tafsir Ibn Kathir (English)

Alama Imad ud Din Ibn Kathir

Surah Al Isra

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious,Most Merciful

Imam Al-Hafiz Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ismail Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said concerning Surah Al-Isra' (i.e., Surah Bani Isra`il), Al-Kahf and Maryam: "They are among the earliest and most beautiful Surahs and they are my treasure.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that A'ishah said: "The Messenger of Allah used to fast until we would say, he does not want to break his fast, then he would not fast until we would say, he does not want to fast, and he used to recite Bani Isra'il and Az-Zumar every night.''

1

 سُبْحَانَ الَّذِى أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الاْقْصَى الَّذِى بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ ءايَـتِنَآ

Glorified be He Who took His servant for a Journey by Night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the neighborhood whereof We have blessed, in order that We might show him of Our Ayat.

إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ البَصِيرُ

Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.  

The Isra' (Night Journey)

Allah glorifies Himself,

 سُبْحَانَ  ...

Glorified be He,

Allah glorifies Himself, for His ability to do that which none but He can do, for there is no God but He and no Lord besides Him.

... الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ ...

Who took His servant for a Journey,

refers to Muhammad.

... لَيْلاً ...

by Night,

means, in the depths of the night.

... مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ...

from Al-Masjid Al-Haram,

means the Masjid in Makkah.

... إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى ...

to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa,

means the Sacred House which is in Jerusalem, the origin of the Prophets from the time of Ibrahim Al-Khalil.

The Prophets all gathered there, and he (Muhammad) led them in prayer in their own homeland. This indicates that he is the greatest leader of all, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon them.

... الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ ...

the neighborhood whereof We have blessed,

means, its agricultural produce and fruits are blessed

... لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا...

in order that We might show him, (i.e., Muhammad), of Our Ayat. i.e., great signs.

As Allah says:

لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ ءَايَـتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى

Indeed he did see of the greatest signs, of his Lord (Allah). (53:18)

We will mention below what was narrated in the Sunnah concerning this.

Ahadith about Al-Isra'

The Report of Anas bin Malik

أُتِيتُ بالْبُرَاقِ وَهُوَ دَابَّةٌ أَبْيَضُ فَوْقَ الْحِمَارِ وَدُونَ الْبَغْلِ، يَضَعُ حَافِرَهُ عِنْدَ مُنْتَهَى طَرَفِهِ،

فَرَكِبْتُهُ فَسَارَ بِي حَتَّى أَتَيْتُ بَيْتَ الْمَقْدِسِ، فَرَبَطْتُ الدَّابَّةَ بِالْحَلَقَةِ الَّتِي يَرْبِطُ فِيهَا الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، ثُمَّ دَخَلْتُ فَصَلَّيْتُ فِيهِ رَكْعَتَيْنِ

ثُمَّ خَرَجْتُ فَأَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ بِإِنَاءٍ مِنْ خَمْرٍ وَإِنَاءٍ مِنْ لَبَنٍ، فَاخْتَرْتُ اللَّبَنَ

فَقَالَ جِبْرِيلُ: أَصَبْتَ الْفِطْرَةَ.

Al-Buraq was brought to me, and it was a white animal bigger than a donkey and smaller than a mule. One stride of this creature covered a distance as far as it could see.

I rode on it and it took me to Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem), where I tethered it at the hitching post of the Prophets. Then I entered and prayed two Rak`ahs there, and came out.

Jibril brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk, and I chose the milk.

Jibril said: `You have chosen the Fitrah (natural instinct).'

قَالَ: ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَاسْتَفْتَحَ جِبْرِيلُ فَقِيلَ لَهُ:

مَنْ أَنْتَ؟

قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ.

قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟

قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ

قِيلَ: وَقَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟

قَالَ: قَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ

فَفُتِحَ لَنَا فَإِذَا أَنَا بِآدَمَ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ،

Then I was taken up to the first heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened.

It was said, `Who are you?' He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Adam, who welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الثَّانِيَةِ ......يَحْيَى وَعِيسَى فَرَحَّبَا بِي وَدَعَوَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ

Then I was taken up to the second heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw the two maternal cousins, Yahya and `Isa, who welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الثَّالِثَةِ ...... أَنَا بِيُوسُفَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، وَإِذَا هُوَ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ شَطْرَ الْحُسْنِ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ

Then I was taken up to the third heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Yusuf, who had been given the beautiful half. He welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الرَّابِعَةِ ...... أَنَا بِإِدْرِيسَ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ،

Then I was taken up to the fourth heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Idris, who welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ قَالَ: يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى:

then (the Prophet) said: Allah says:

وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَاناً عَلِيّاً

And We raised him to a high station. (19:57)

Then he resumed his narrative:

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الخَامِسَةِ ......أَنَا بِهَارُونَ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ،  

Then I was taken up to the fifth heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Harun, who welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ السَّادِسَةِ ......أَنَا بِمُوسَي عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ فَرَحَّبَ بِي وَدَعَا لِي بِخَيْرٍ،

Then I was taken up to the sixth heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Musa, who welcomed me and prayed for good for me.

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِنَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ السَّادِسَةِ ......أَنَا بِاِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ وَإِذَا هُوَ مُسْنتِدٌ إِلَي البَيْتِ المَعْموْرٍ،

Then I was taken up to the seventh heaven and Jibril asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who are you?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was asked, `Has his Mission started?

He said, `His Mission has started.'

So it was opened for us, and there I saw Ibrahim, who was leaning back against the Much-Frequented House (Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur).

Every day seventy thousand angels enter it, then they never come back to it again.

Then I was taken to Sidrat Al-Muntaha (the Lote tree beyond which none may pass), and its leaves were like the leaves (ears) of elephants and its fruits were like jugs, and when it was veiled with whatever it was veiled with by the command of Allah, it changed, and none of the creatures of Allah can describe it because it is so beautiful.

Then Allah revealed that which He revealed to me.

He enjoined on me fifty prayers every day and night.

I came down until I reached Musa, and he said, `What did your Lord enjoin on your Ummah!'

I said, `Fifty prayers everyday and night.'

He said, `Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce (the burden) for your Ummah, for your Ummah will not be able to do that. I tested the Children of Israel and found out how they were.'

So I went back to my Lord and said, `O Lord, reduce (the burden) for my Ummah for they will never be able to do that.' So He reduced it by five.

I came back down until I met Musa and he asked me, `What did you do?'

I said, `(My Lord) reduced (my burden) by five.'

He said, `Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce (the burden) for your Ummah.'

I kept going back between my Lord and Musa, and (my Lord) reduced it by five each time, until He said,

`O Muhammad, these are five prayers every day and night, and for every prayer there is (the reward of) ten, so they are (like) fifty prayers.

Whoever wants to do something good then does not do it, one good deed will be recorded for him, and if he does it, ten good deeds will be recorded for him.

Whoever wants to do something evil and does not do it, no evil deed will be recorded for him, and if he does it, one evil deed will be recorded for him.'

I came down until I reached Musa, and told him about this.

He said: `Go back to your Lord and ask him to reduce (the burden) for your Ummah, for they will never be able to do that.'

I had kept going back to my Lord until I felt too shy.

This version was also recorded by Muslim.

Imam Ahmad recorded Anas saying that;

Al-Buraq was brought to the Prophet on the Night of the Isra' with his saddle and reins ready for riding. The animal shied, and Jibril said to him: "Why are you doing this! By Allah, no one has ever ridden you who is more honored by Allah than him.''

At this, Al-Buraq started to sweat.

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said it is Gharib.

Ahmad also recorded that Anas said:

The Messenger of Allah said:

لَمَّا عَرَجَ بِي رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مَرَرْتُ بِقَوْمٍ لَهُمْ أَظْفَارٌ مِنْ نُحَاسٍ يَخْمِشُونَ بِهَا وُجُوهَهُمْ وَصُدُورَهُمْ، فَقُلْتُ: مَنْ هؤُلَاءِ يَا جِبْرِيلُ؟ قَالَ: هَؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ لُحُومَ النَّاسِ وَيَقَعُونَ فِي أَعْرَاضِهِم

When I was taken up to my Lord (during Al-Mi'raj), I passed by people who had nails of copper with which they were scratching their faces and chests. I asked, `Who are these, O Jibril!'

He said, `These are those who ate the flesh of the people (i.e., backbiting) and slandered their honor.'

This was also recorded by Abu Dawud.

Anas also said that the Messenger of Allah said:

مَرَرْتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي عَلَى مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ قَائِمًا يُصَلِّي فِي قَبْرِه

On the night when I was taken on my Night Journey (Al-Isra'), I passed by Musa, who was standing, praying in his grave.

This was also recorded by Muslim.

The Report of Anas bin Malik from Malik bin Sa`sa`ah

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said that Malik bin Sa`sa`ah told him that the Prophet of Allah told them about the night in which he was taken on the Night Journey (Al-Isra').

He said:

بَيْنَمَا أَنَا فِي الْحَطِيمِ وَرُبَّمَا قَالَ قَتَادَةُ: فِي الْحِجْرِ مُضْطَجِعًا إِذْ أَتَانِي آتٍ، فَجَعَلَ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ الْأَوْسَطِ بَيْنَ الثَّلَاثَةِ قَالَ فَأَتَانِي فَقَدَّ سَمِعْتُ قَتَادَةَ يَقُولُ: فَشَقَّ مَا بَيْنَ هَذِهِ إِلَى هَذِه

While I was lying down in Al-Hatim (or maybe, Qatadah said, in Al-Hijr) 'someone came to me and said to his companion, `The one who is in the middle of these three.' He came to me and opened me.

I (one of the narrators) heard Qatadah say, `split me - from here to here.'

Qatadah said: "I said to Al-Jarud, who was beside me, `What does that mean?'

He said, `From the top of his chest to below his navel', and I heard him say, `from his throat to below his navel'.

The Prophet said:

فَاسْتُخْرِجَ قَلْبِي قَالَ فَأُتِيتُ بِطَسْتٍ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ مَمْلُوءَةٍ إِيمَانًا وَحِكْمَةً فَغُسِلَ قَلْبِي ثُمَّ حُشِيَ ثُمَّ أُعِيدَ ثُمَّ أُتِيتُ بِدَابَّةٍ دُونَ الْبَغْلِ وَفَوْقَ الْحِمَارِ أَبْيَض

He took out my heart and brought a golden vessel filled with faith and wisdom. He washed my heart then filled it up and put it back, then a white animal was brought to me that was smaller than a mule and larger than a donkey.

Al-Jarud said, `Was this Al-Buraq?, O Abu Hamzah!'

He said, `Yes, and its stride covered a distance as far as it could see.'

The Prophet said:

فَحُمِلْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَانْطَلَقَ بِي جِبْرِيلُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ حَتَّى أَتَى بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا فَاسْتَفْتَحَ، فَقِيلَ: مَنْ هَذَا؟

قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ،

قِيلَ: وَمَنْ مَعَكَ؟

قَالَ: مُحَمَّدٌ،

قِيلَ: أَوَ قَدْ أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟

قَالَ: نَعَمْ

فَقِيلَ: مَرْحَبًا بِهِ وَلَنِعْمَ الْمَجِيءُ جَاءَ

قَالَ فَفُتِحَ لَنَا فَلَمَّا خَلَصْتُ فَإِذَا فِيهَا آدَمُ عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ،

قَالَ: هَذَا أَبُوكَ آدَمُ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ، فَسَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَرَدَّ السَّلَامَ ثُمَّ قَالَ: مَرْحَبًا بِالْابْنِ الصَّالِحِ وَالنَّبِيِّ الصَّالِحِ،

I was mounted upon it and Jibril brought me to the first heaven, and asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who is this?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was said, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `Yes.'

It was said, `Welcome to him, blessed is the one who comes.'

So it was opened for us and when I entered, I saw Adam.

(Jibril) said, `This is your father Adam, greet him.' So I greeted him, and he returned the greeting then said, `Welcome to the righteous son and righteous Prophet.'

Then Gabriel ascended with me till we reached the second heaven. Gabriel asked for the gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?'

Gabriel answered, 'Gabriel.'

It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?'

Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.'

It was asked, 'Has he been called?'

Gabriel answered in the affirmative.

Then it was said, 'He is welcomed. What an excellent visit his is!' The gate was opened.

When I went over the second heaven, there I saw Yahya (i.e. John) and 'Isa (i.e. Jesus) who were cousins of each other.

Gabriel said (to me), 'These are Yahya and 'Isa; pay them your greetings.' So I greeted them and both of them returned my greetings to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.'

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the third heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?'

Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel.'

It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?'

Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.'

It was asked, 'Has he been called?'

Gabriel replied in the affirmative.

Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!'

The gate was opened, and when I went over the third heaven there I saw Yusuf (Joseph).

Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Yusuf; pay him your greetings.'

So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.'

Then Gabriel ascended with me to the fourth heaven and asked for its gate to be opened. It was asked, 'Who is it?'

Gabriel replied, 'Gabriel'

It was asked, 'Who is accompanying you?'

Gabriel replied, 'Muhammad.'

It was asked, 'Has he been called?'

Gabriel replied in the affirmative.

Then it was said, 'He is welcomed, what an excellent visit his is!'

The gate was opened, and when I went over the fourth heaven, there I saw Idris. Gabriel said (to me), 'This is Idris; pay him your greetings.'

So I greeted him and he returned the greeting to me and said, 'You are welcomed, O pious brother and pious Prophet.'

Then I was taken up to the fifth heaven, and (Jibril) asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who is this?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was said, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `Yes.'

It was said, `Welcome to him, blessed is the one who comes.'

So it was opened for us and when I entered, I saw Harun.

(Jibril) said, `This is Harun, greet him.' So I greeted him, and he returned the greeting then said, `Welcome to the righteous brother and righteous Prophet.'

Then I was taken up to the sixth heaven, and (Jibril) asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who is this?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad.'

It was said, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `Yes.'

It was said, `Welcome to him, blessed is the one who comes.' So it was opened for us and when I entered, I saw Musa.

(Jibril) said, `This is Musa, greet him.'

So I greeted him, and he returned the greeting then said, `Welcome to the righteous brother and righteous Prophet.'

When I passed by him, he wept, and it was said to him, `Why are you weeping' He said, `I am weeping because a young man was sent after me and more people from his Ummah than from mine will enter Paradise.'

قَالَ: ثُمَّ صَعِدَ حَتَّى أَتَى السَّمَاءَ السَّابِعَةَ ......هَذَا إبْرَاهِيمُ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ قَالَ: فَسَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْهِ فَرَدَّ السَّلَامَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: مَرْحَبًا بِالْابْنِ الصَّالِحِ وَالنَّبِيِّ الصَّالِحِ

Then I was taken up to the seventh heaven, and (Jibril) asked for it to be opened. It was said, `Who is this?'

He said, `Jibril.'

It was said, `Who is with you?'

He said, `Muhammad'.

It was said, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `Yes.'

It was said, `Welcome to him, blessed is the one who comes.'

So it was opened for us and when I entered, I saw Ibrahim.

(Jibril) said, `This is Ibrahim, greet him.'

So I greeted him, and he returned the greeting then said, `Welcome to the righteous son and righteous Prophet.'

قَالَ ثُمَّ رُفِعَتْ إِلَيَّ سِدْرَةُ الْمُنْتَهَى فَإِذَا نَبْقُهَا مِثْلُ قِلَالِ هَجَرَ، وَإِذَا وَرَقُهَا مِثْلُ آذَانِ الْفِيَلةِ،

فَقَالَ: هَذِهِ سِدْرَةُ الْمُنْتَهَى، قَالَ: وَإِذَا أَرْبَعَةُ أَنْهَارٍ: نَهْرَانِ بَاطِنَانِ وَنَهْرَانِ ظَاهِرَانِ،

فَقُلْتُ: مَا هَذَا يَا جِبْرِيلُ؟

قَالَ: أَمَّا الْبَاطِنَانِ فَنَهْرَانِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ، وَأَمَّا الظَّاهِرَانِ فَالنِّيلُ وَالْفُرَاتُ

قَالَ ثُمَّ رُفِعَ إِلَيَّ الْبَيْتُ الْمَعْمُور

Then I was taken up to Sidrat Al-Muntaha, whose fruits like the clay jugs of Hajar (a region in Arabia) and its leaves were like the ears of elephants.

(Jibril) said: `This is Sidrat Al-Muntaha.' And there were four rivers, two hidden and two visible.

I said, `What is this, O Jibril'

He said, `The two hidden rivers are rivers in Paradise, and the two visible rivers are the Nile and the Euphrates.'

Then I was shown Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur.

Then I was shown Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur.

Al-Hasan told us narrating from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet saw Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur. Each day seventy thousand angels enter it, then they never return from it. Then he continued to narrate the Hadith of Anas;

ثُمَّ أُتِيتُ بِإِنَاءٍ مِنْ خَمْرٍ وَإِنَاءٍ مِنْ لَبَنٍ وَإِنَاءٍ مِنْنَعسَلٍ.

قَالَ فَأَخَذْتُ اللَّبَنَ قَالَ: هَذِهِ الْفِطْرَةُ أَنْتَ عَلَيْهَا وَأُمَّتُكَ

Then I was brought a vessel of wine, a vessel of milk and a vessel of honey.

I chose the milk, and he (Jibril) said, `This is the Fitrah (natural instinct) on which you and your Ummah will be.'

قَالَ ثُمَّ فُرِضَتْ عَلَيَّ الصَّلَاةُ خَمْسِينَ صَلَاةً كُلَّ يَوْمٍ

Then the prayer was enjoined upon me, fifty prayers each day.

قَالَ فَنَزَلْتُ حَتَّى أَتَيْتُ مُوسَى، فَقَالَ: مَا فَرَضَ رَبُّكَ عَلَى أُمَّتِكَ؟

I came down until I reached Musa, who said, `What did your Lord enjoin upon your Ummah?'

قَالَ: فَقُلْتُ: خَمْسِينَ صَلَاةً كُلَّ يَوْمٍ،

I said, `Fifty prayers each day.'

قَالَ: إِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لَا تَسْتَطِيعُ خَمْسِينَ صَلَاةً وَإِنِّي قَدْ خَبَرْتُ النَّاسَ قَبْلَكَ، وَعَالَجْتُ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَشَدَّ الْمُعَالَجَةِ، فَارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do fifty prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ عَنِّي عَشْرًا ......فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ  

So I went back, and the number was reduced by ten. I came back to Musa and he asked, `What were you commanded to do?'

I said, `Forty prayers each day.'

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do forty prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ عَنِّي عَشْرًا أُخَرَ......فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ

So I went back, and the number was reduced by ten.

I came back to Musa and he asked, `What were you commanded to do?'

I said, `I was commanded to do thirty prayers each day.'

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do thirty prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ عَنِّي عَشْرًا أُخَرَ......فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ

So I went back, and the number was reduced by ten.

I came back to Musa and he asked, `What were you commanded to do?'

I said, `Twenty prayers each day.'

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do twenty prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ عَنِّي عَشْرًا أُخَرَ......فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ

So I went back, and the number was reduced by ten more.

I came back to Musa and he asked, `What were you commanded to do?'

I said, `Ten prayers each day.'

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do ten prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ فَرَجَعْتُ فَأُمِرْتُ بِخَمْسِ صَلَواتٍ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ......فَاسْأَلْهُ التَّخْفِيفَ لِأُمَّتِكَ

So I went back, and I was commanded to do five prayers every day.

I came back to Musa and he asked, `What were you commanded to do?'

I said, `Five prayers each day.'

He said, `Your Ummah will not be able to do five prayers each day. I tried the people before you, I had to deal with the Children of Israel and it was very difficult for me. Go back to your Lord and ask Him to reduce the burden on your Ummah.'

قَالَ قُلْتُ: قَدْ سَأَلْتُ رَبِّي حَتَّى اسْتَحْيَيْتُ، وَلَكِنْ أَرْضَى وَأُسَلِّمُ،

I said, `I have asked my Lord until I feel too shy. I accept this and submit to Him.'

فَنَفَذْتُ فَنَادَى مُنَادٍ: قَدْ أَمْضَيْتُ فَرِيضَتِي وَخَفَّفْتُ عَنْ عِبَادِي

Then a voice called out: `My order has been decreed and I have reduced the burden on My servants.'

Similar narrations were recorded in the Two Sahihs.

The Report of Anas from Abu Dharr

Al-Bukhari recorded that Anas bin Malik said: Abu Dharr used to tell us that the Messenger of Allah said:

فُرِجَ عَنْ سَقْفِ بَيْتِي وَأَنَا بِمَكَّةَ، فَنَزَلَ جِبْرِيلُ فَفَرَجَ صَدْرِي ثُمَّ غَسَلَهُ بِمَاءِ زَمْزَمَ، ثُمَّ جَاءَ بِطَسْتٍ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ مُمْتَلِىءٍ حِكْمَةً وَإِيمَانًا، فَأَفْرَغَهُ فِي صَدْرِي، ثُمَّ أَطْبَقَهُ ثُمَّ أَخَذَ بِيَدِي فَعَرَجَ بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا،

The roof of my house was opened while I was in Makkah, and Jibril came down and opened my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a vessel of gold filled with wisdom and faith, and poured it into my chest, then he closed it up. Then he took me by the hand and took me up to the lowest heaven.

فَلَمَّا جِئْتُ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ لِخَازِنِ السَّمَاءِ: افْتَحْ

قَالَ: مَنْ هَذَا؟

قَالَ: جِبْرِيلُ،

قَالَ: هَلْ مَعَكَ أَحَدٌ؟

قَالَ: نَعَمْ مَعِيَ مُحَمَّدٌ صلى الله عليه وسلّم،

فَقَالَ: أُرْسِلَ إِلَيْهِ؟

قَالَ: نَعَمْ

When we came to the lowest heaven, Jibril said to its keeper, `Open up!'

He said, `Who is this?'

He said, `Jibril.'

He said, `Is there anyone with you?'

He said, `Yes, Muhammad is with me.'

He said, `Has his Mission started?'

He said, `Yes.'

فَلَمَّا فَتَحَ عَلَوْنَا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ قَاعِدٌ عَلَى يَمِينِهِ أَسْوِدَةٌ وَعَلَى يَسَارِهِ أَسْوِدَةٌ، إِذَا نَظَرَ قِبَلَ يَمِينِهِ ضَحِكَ وَإِذَا نَظَرَ قِبَلَ شِمَالِهِ بَكَى،

When it was opened, we went up into the first heaven, where I saw a man sitting with a multitude to his right and another to his left. When he looked to his right he smiled, and when he looked to his left, he wept.

فَقَالَ: مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّبِيِّ الصَّالِحِ وَالْابْنِ الصَّالِحِ

He said, `Welcome to the righteous Prophet and the righteous son.'

قَالَ قُلْتُ لِجِبْرِيلَ: مَنْ هَذَا؟

قَالَ: هَذَا آدَمُ وَهَذِهِ الْأَسْوِدَةُ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ نَسَمُ بَنِيهِ، فَأَهْلُ الْيَمِينِ مِنْهُمْ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَالْأَسْوِدَةُ الَّتِي عَنْ شِمَالِهِ أَهْلُ النَّارِ، فَإِذَا نَظَرَ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ ضَحِكَ، وَإِذَا نَظَرَ عَنْ شِمَالِهِ بَكَى،

I said to Jibril, `Who is this?'

He said, `This is Adam, and these multitudes to his right and left are the souls of his descendants. The people on his right include the people of Paradise, and the people on his left include the people of Hell, so when he looks to his right he smiles, and when he looks to his left he weeps.'

ثُمَّ عَرَجَ بِي إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الثَّانِيَة

Then he took me up to the second heaven...... Then we passed by Ibrahim, who said, `Welcome to the righteous Prophet and the righteous son.'

قُلْتُ: مَنْ هَذَا؟ قَالَ: هَذَا إِبْرَاهِيم

I said, `Who is this?'

ثُمَّ مَرَرْتُ بِإِبْرَاهِيمَ

He said, `This is Ibrahim.'

فَقَالَ: مَرْحبًا بِالنَّبِيِّ الصَّالِحِ وَالْابْنِ الصَّالِحِ،

He said, `Welcome to the righteous Prophet and the righteous son.'

Az-Zuhri said: Ibn Hazm told me that Ibn Abbas and Abu Habbah Al-Ansari used to say: the Prophet narrated here -

ثُمَّ عُرِجَ بِي حَتَّى ظَهَرْتُ لِمُسْتَوًى أَسْمَعُ فِيهِ صَرِيفَ الْأَقْلَام

Then I was taken up until I reached a level where I could hear the sound of the pens.

Ibn Hazm and Anas bin Malik said: the Messenger of Allah said:

فَفَرَضَ اللهُ عَلَى أُمَّتِي خَمْسِينَ صَلَاةً،

Allah enjoined upon my Ummah fifty prayers.

فَرَجَعْتُ بِذَلِكَ حَتَّى مَرَرْتُ عَلَى مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، فَقَالَ: مَا فَرَضَ اللهُ عَلَى أُمَّتِكَ؟

I came back with this (message) until I passed by Musa, who said, `What did your Lord enjoin upon your Ummah?'

قُلْتُ: فَرَضَ خَمْسِينَ صَلَاةً،

I said, `He enjoined fifty prayers.'

قَالَ مُوسَى: فَارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لَا تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ،

Musa said, `Go back to your Lord, for your Ummah will not be able to do that.'

فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ شَطْرَهَا ......فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لَا تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ،

So I went back, and He reduced it by half.

Then I came back to Musa and said, `It has been reduced by half.'

He said, `Go back to your Lord, for your Ummah will not be able to do that.'

فَرَجَعْتُ فَوَضَعَ شَطْرَهَا......فَإِنَّ أُمَّتَكَ لَا تُطِيقُ ذَلِكَ،  

So I went back, and it was reduced by half.

I came back to him, and he said, `Go back to your Lord, for your Ummah will not be able to do that.'

فَرَاجَعْتُهُ فَقَالَ: هِيَ خَمْسٌ وَهِيَ خَمْسُونَ لَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ،

So I went back, and He said: `They are five but equal in reward to fifty, for My word does not change.'

فَرَجَعْتُ إِلَى مُوسَى فَقَالَ: ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ،

I came back to Musa and he said, `Go back to your Lord.'

قُلْتُ: قَدِ اسْتَحْيَيْتُ مِنْ رَبِّي،

I said, `I feel too shy before my Lord.'

ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ بِي حَتَّى انْتَهَى إِلَى سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى فَغَشِيَهَا أَلْوَانٌ لَا أَدْرِي مَااِهيَ، ثُمَّ أُدْخِلْتُ الْجَنَّةَ، فَإِذَا فِيهَا حَبَائِلُ اللُّؤْلُؤِ، وَإِذَا تُرَابُهَا الْمِسْك

Then I was taken up until I reached Sidrat Al-Muntaha, which was veiled in indescribable colors. Then I entered Paradise, in which I saw nets of pearls and its soil of musk.

This version was recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Prayer.

He also reported in the Book of Tafsir, under the discussion of Bani Isra'il (i.e., Surah Al-Isra'), the Book of Hajj and the Stories of the Prophets, via different chains of narration from Yunus.

Muslim recorded similar Hadiths in his Sahih in the Book of Faith.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Shaqiq said:

I said to Abu Dharr, "If I had seen the Messenger of Allah, I would have asked him.''

He said, "What would you have asked him?''

He said, "I would have asked him, if he saw his Lord?''

He said, "I did ask him that, and he said,

قَدْ رَأَيْتُهُ نُورًا، أَنَّى أَرَاه

I saw it as light, how could I see Him!''

This is how it was narrated in the report of Imam Ahmad.

Muslim recorded that Abdullah bin Shaqiq said that Abu Dharr said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah, `Did you see your Lord?'

He said,

نُورٌ أَنَّى أَرَاه

(I saw) a light, how could I see Him?''

Abdullah bin Shaqiq said: I said to Abu Dharr, "If I had seen the Messenger of Allah, I would have asked him.''

He said, "What would you have asked him?''

He said, "I would have asked him, `Did you see your Lord?''

Abu Dharr said, "I asked him that, and he said, رَأَيْتُ نُورًا I saw light.

The Report of Jabir bin Abdullah

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir bin Abdullah said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:

لَمَّا كَذَّبَتْنِي قُرَيْشٌ حِينَ أُسْرِيَ بِي إِلَى بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ، قُمْتُ فِي الْحِجْرِ فَجَلَى اللهُ لِي بَيْتَ الْمَقْدِسِ، فَطَفِقْتُ أُخْبِرُهُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِهِ وَأَنَا أَنْظُرُ إِلَيْه

When Quraysh did not believe that I had been taken on the Night Journey to Bayt Al-Maqdis, I stood up in Al-Hijr and Allah displayed Bayt Al-Maqdis before me, so I told them about its features while I was looking at it.

This was also reported in the Two Sahihs with different chains of narration.

According to Al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Shihab said that Abu Salamah bin Abdur-Rahman said:

Some people from Quraish went to Abu Bakr and said, "Have you heard what your companion is saying He is claiming that he went to Bayt Al-Maqdis and came back to Makkah in one night!''

Abu Bakr said, "Did he say that!''

They said, "Yes.''

Abu Bakr said, "Then I bear witness that if he said that, he is speaking the truth.''

They said, "You believe that he went to Ash-Sham (Greater Syria) in one night and came back to Makkah before morning!''

He said, "Yes, I believe him with regard to something even more than that. I believe him with regard to the revelation that comes to him from heaven.''

Abu Salamah said, from then on Abu Bakr was known as As-Siddiq (the true believer).

The Report of Abdullah bin Abbas

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said: "On the night when the Messenger of Allah was taken on his Night Journey, he entered Paradise, in some part of which he heard a sound.

He said, `O Jibril, what is this?'

He said, `This is Bilal, the Mu'adhdhin.'

When the Prophet came back to the people, he said,

قَدْ أَفْلَحَ بِلَالٌ، رَأَيْتُ لَهُ كَذَا وَكَذَا

Bilal has succeeded; I saw that he will have such and such.

He (the Prophet) was met by Musa, who welcomed him and said, `Welcome to the Unlettered Prophet.'

He was a tall, dark man with lank hair coming down to his ears or above his ears.

He said, `Who is this, O Jibril!'

He said, `This is Musa.'

Then he went on and met a venerable, distinguished old man, who welcomed him and greeted him with Salam, and all of them were greeting him. He said, `Who is this?, O Jibril!'

He said, `This is your father Ibrahim.'

Then he looked into Hell and saw some people eating rotten meat. He said, `Who are these people, O Jibril!'

He said, `They are those who used to eat the flesh of the people (i.e., backbiting).'

He saw a man who was very red and dark blue, and said, `Who is this, O Jibril!'

He said, `This is the one who slaughtered the she-camel (of Salih).'

When the Messenger of Allah came to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, he stood up to pray, and all the Prophets gathered and prayed with him. When he finished, he was brought two cups, one on his right and one on his left, one containing milk and one containing honey. He took the milk and drank it, and the one who was carrying the cup said, `You have chosen the Fitrah (natural instinct).'''

The chain of narrators is Sahih, although they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.

Imam Ahmad reported that Ibn Abbas said:

"The Messenger of Allah was taken on the Night Journey to Bayt Al-Maqdis, then he came back and told them about his journey and the features of Bayt Al-Maqdis and the caravan (of Quraysh).

Some people said, `We do not believe what Muhammad is saying,' and they left Islam and became disbelievers. Allah destroyed them when He destroyed Abu Jahl.

Abu Jahl said: `Muhammad is trying to scare us with the tree of Zaqqum; bring some dates and butter and let us have some Zaqqum!'

The Prophet also saw the Dajjal in his true form, in real life, not in a dream, and he saw `Isa, Musa and Ibrahim.

The Prophet was asked about the Dajjal, and he said:

رَأَيْتُهُ فَيلَمَانِيًا أَقْمَرَ هِجَانًا، إِحْدَى عَيْنَيْهِ قَائِمَةٌ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ، كَأَنَّ شَعْرَ رَأْسِهِ أَغْصَانُ شَجَرَةٍ،

I saw him as a tall and huge man, with a whitish complexion. One of his eyes stood out like a shining star. The hair on his head looked like the branches of a tree.

وَرَأَيْتُ عِيسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ (شابًّا) أَبْيَضَ، جَعْدَ الرَّأْسِ حَدِيدَ الْبَصَرِ، وَمُبَطَّنَ الْخَلْقِ،

And I saw `Isa, white with curly hair and an intense gaze, of average build.

وَرَأَيْتُ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ أَسْحَمَ آدَمَ، كَثِيرَ الشَّعْرِ، شَدِيدَ الْخَلْقِ،

I saw Musa, dark-skinned, with a lot of hair and a strong build.

وَنَظَرْتُ إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ فَلَمْ أَنْظُرْ إِلَى إِرْبٍ مِنْهُ إِلَّا نَظَرْتُ إِلَيْهِ مِنِّي حَتَّى كَأَنَّهُ صَاحِبُكُمْ،

قَالَ جِبْرِيلُ: سَلِّمْ عَلَى أَبِيكَ، فَسَلَّمْتُ عَلَيْه

I looked at Ibrahim and did not see anything in him that I do not see in myself; it is as if he were your companion (meaning himself).

Jibril said: `Greet your father with Salam,' so I greeted him with Salam.

This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i from the Hadith of Abu Zayd Thabit bin Yazid from Hilal, who is Ibn Khabbab, and it is a Sahih chain of narrators.

Al-Bayhaqi recorded that Abu Al-Aliyah said: "The cousin of your Prophet, Ibn Abbas narrated to us from the Messenger of Allah, he said:

Allah's Messenger said,

رَأَيْتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي مُوسَى بْنَ عِمْرَانَ رَجُلًا طُوَالًا جَعْدًا، كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ، وَرَأَيْتُ عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ مَرْبُوعَ الْخَلْقِ إِلَى الْحُمْرَةِ وَالْبَيَاضِ سَبْطَ الرَّأس

On the night when I was taken on the Night Journey, I saw Musa bin Imran, a tall, curly-haired man, as if he was from the tribe of Shanu'ah. And I saw `Isa bin Maryam, of medium stature, white with a reddish complexion, with straight hair.

And he was shown Malik, the keeper of Hell, and the Dajjal, with the signs that Allah revealed to him.'

He said,

فَلاَ تَكُن فِى مِرْيَةٍ مِّن لِّقَآئِهِ

So be not you in doubt of meeting him. (32:33)

Qatadah used to interpret this to mean that the Prophet of Allah met Musa.

وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِّبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

And We made it (or him) a guide to the Children of Israel. (32:33)

Qatadah said: "(This means) Allah made Musa a guide for the Children of Israel.''

Muslim reported this in his Sahih, and Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded a shorter version from Qatadah.

Imam Ahmad also recorded that Ibn Abbas said:

"The Messenger of Allah said:

لَمَّا كَانَ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي، فَأَصْبَحْتُ بِمَكَّةَ فَظِعْتُ وَعَرَفْتُ أَنَّ النَّاسَ مُكَذِّبِي

On the night when I was taken on the Night Journey, I woke up in Makkah the next morning having anxiety that, I knew that the people would not believe me.

He kept away from people, feeling anxious and sad, then the enemy of Allah Abu Jahl passed by him and came to sit with him, saying mockingly, `Is there anything new!'

The Messenger of Allah said, نَعَم (Yes).

He said, `What is it?'

He said, I was taken on a Journey last night.

He said, `Where to?'

He said, إِلَى بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِس  (To Bayt Al-Maqdis).

He said, `Then this morning you were among us!'

He said, نَعَم  (Yes).

Abu Jahl did not want to say to his face that he was lying, lest he deny saying it when he called other people to hear him, so he said: `Do you think that if I call your people, you will tell them about what happened!'

The Messenger of Allah said, نَعَم  (Yes).

Abu Jahl said, `O people of Bani Ka`b bin Lu'ay!'

People got up from where they were sitting and came to join them.

Abu Jahl said, `Tell your people what you told me.'

The Messenger of Allah said, إِنِّي أُسْرِيَ بِي اللَّيْلَة (I was taken on a Journey last night).

They said, `Where to!'

He said, إِلَى بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِس (To Bayt Al-Maqdis).

They said, `Then this morning you were among us!'

He said, نَعَم (Yes).

They began to clap their hands together and put their hands on their heads in astonishment at this "lie'' - as they claimed it to be.

They said, `Can you describe the sanctuary to us!'

Among them were some who had traveled to that land and seen the sanctuary, so the Messenger of Allah said,

فَمَا زِلْتُ أَنْعَتُ حَتَّى الْتَبَسَ عَلَيَّ بَعْضُ النَّعْتِ قَالَ فَجِيءَ بِالْمَسْجِدِ وَأَنَا أَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ حَتَّى وُضِعَ دُونَ دَارِ عُقَيلٍ أَوْ عِقَالٍ فَنَعَتُّهُ وَأَنَا أَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ

قَالَ وَكَانَ مَعَ هَذَا نَعْتٌ لَمْ أَحْفَظْهُ

قَالَ فَقَالَ الْقَوْمُ: أَمَّا النَّعْتُ فَوَاللهِ لَقَدْ أَصَابَ فِيه

I started to describe it, until I reached a point where I was not sure about some of the details, but then the sanctuary was brought close and placed near the house of `Uqayl - or `Iqal - so I could look at it and describe the details.

I could not remember those description.

The people said, `As for the description, by Allah he has got it right.''

This was recorded by An-Nasa'i and Al-Bayhaqi.

The Report of Abdullah bin Mas`ud

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said:

"When the Messenger of Allah was taken on the Night Journey, he went as far as Sidrat Al-Muntaha, which is in the sixth heaven. Everything that ascends stops there, until it is taken from that point, and everything that comes down stops there, until it is taken from there.

إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى

When that covered As-Sidrat Al-Muntaha which did cover it! (53:16)

Ibn Mas`ud said: "It is covered with gold butterflies. The Messenger of Allah was given the five prayers and the final Ayat of Surah Al-Baqarah, and forgiveness was granted for major sins to those who do not associate anything in worship with Allah.''

This was recorded by Muslim in his Sahih.

The Report of Abu Hurayrah

Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported in their Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said:

the Messenger of Allah said:

حِينَ أُسْرِيَ بِي، لَقِيتُ مُوسَى عَلَيهِ السَّلَامُ

فَنَعَتَهُ، فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ حَسِبْتُهُ قَالَ مُضْطَرِبٌ رَجِلُ الرَّأْسِ كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ،

When I was taken on the Night Journey, I met Musa.

He described him as a man - I think he said - a curly-haired man, as if he were from the tribe of Shanu'ah.

قَالَ: وَلَقِيتُ عِيسَى

فَنَعَتَهُ النَّبِيُّصلى الله عليه وسلّم قَالَ رَبْعَةٌ أَحْمَرُ كَأَنَّمَا خَرَجَ مِنْ دِيمَاسٍ يَعْنِي حَمَّامًا،

And I met `Isa.

And the Prophet described him as being of average height, with a reddish complexion, as if he had just come out of the bath.

قَالَ وَلَقِيتُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَأَنَا أَشْبَهُ وَلَدِهِ بِهِ،

And I met Ibrahim, and I am the one who resembles him most among his children.

قَالَ: وَأُتِيتُ بِإِنَاءَيْنِ فِي أَحَدِهِمَا لَبَنٌ وَفِي الْآخَرِ خَمْرٌ،

قِيلَ لِي: خُذْ أَيَّهُمَا شِئْتَ، فَأَخَذْتُ اللَّبَنَ فَشَرِبْتُ، فَقِيلَ لِي:

I was brought two vessels, one containing milk and the other containing wine.

It was said to me, `Take whichever one you want.' So I took the milk and drank it, and it was said to me,

هُدِيتَ الْفِطْرَةَ أَوْ أَصَبْتَ الْفِطْرَةَ أَمَا إِنَّكَ لَوْ أَخَذْتَ الْخَمْرَ غَوَتْ أُمَّتُك

`You have been guided to the Fitrah - or - You have chosen the Fitrah. If you had chosen the wine, your Ummah would have gone astray.'''

They also recorded it with another chain of narrators.

Muslim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said:

"The Messenger of Allah said:

لَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنِي فِي الْحِجْرِ وَقُرَيْشٌ تَسْأَلُنِي عَنْ مَسْرَايَ،فَسَأَلُونِي عَنْ أَشْيَاءَ مِنْ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ لَمْ أُثْبِتْهَا، فَكُرِبْتُ (كُرْبَةً) مَا كُرِبْتُ مِثْلَهُ قَطُّ، فَرَفَعَهُ اللهُ إِليَّ أَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِ مَا سَأَلُونِي عَنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا أَنْبَأْتُهُمْ بِهِ،

I remember being in Al-Hijr, and the Quraysh were asking me about my Night Journey. They asked me things about Bayt Al-Maqdis that I was not sure of, and I felt more anxious and stressed then than I have ever felt. Then Allah raised up Bayt Al-Maqdis for me to see, and there was nothing they asked me about but I told them about it.

وَقَدْ رَأَيْتُنِي فِي جَمَاعَةٍ مِنَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ، وَإِذَا مُوسَى قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي، وَإِذَا هُوَ رَجُلٌ جَعْدٌ كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ،

And I remember being in a gathering of the Prophets. Musa was standing there praying, and he was a man with curly hair, as if he were one of the men of Shanu'ah.

وَإِذَا عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي أَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ شَبَهًا بِهِ عَرْوَةُ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ الثَّقَفِيُّ،

I saw `Isa bin Maryam standing there praying, and the one who most resembles him is `Urwah bin Mas`ud Ath-Thaqafi.

وَإِذَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي أَقْرَبُ النَّاسِ شَبَهًا بِهِ صَاحِبُكُمْ يَعْنِي نَفْسَهُ

And I saw Ibrahim standing there praying, and the one who most resembles him is your companion (meaning himself).

فَحَانَتِ الصَّلَاةُ فَأَمَمْتُهُمْ، فَلَمَّا فَرَغْتُ قَالَ قَائِلٌ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ هَذَا مَالِكُ خَازِنُ جَهَنَّمَ، (فَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ) فَالْتَفَتُّ إِلَيْهِ فَبَدَأَنِي بِالسَّلَام

Then the time for prayer came, and I led them in prayer. When I finished, a voice said, `O Muhammad, this is Malik, the keeper of Hell,' so I turned to him, and he greeted me first.''

The Time that Isra' took place, and the Fact that it included both Body and Soul, when the Prophet was awake, not in a Dream

Musa bin Uqbah said, narrating from Az-Zuhri: "The Isra' happened one year before the Hijrah.''

This was also the opinion of Urwah.

As-Suddi said: "It happened sixteen months before the Hijrah.''

The truth is that the Prophet was taken on the Night Journey when he was awake, not in a dream, and he went from Makkah to Bayt Al-Maqdis riding on Al-Buraq.

When he reached the door of the sanctuary, he tied up his animal by the door and entered, where he prayed two Rak`ahs to `greet the Masjid'.

Then the Mi`raj was brought to him, which is a ladder with steps which one climbs up. So he went up on it to the first heaven, then he went up to the rest of the seven heavens.

In each heaven he was welcomed by the most pious of its inhabitants, and he greeted the Prophets who were in the various heavens according to their positions and status.

He passed by Musa, the one who spoke with Allah, in the sixth heaven, and Ibrahim, the close friend (Khalil) of Allah in the seventh heaven.

Then he surpassed them and all the Prophets in status and reached a level where he could hear the creaking of the pens, i.e., the pens of destiny which write down what is decreed to happen.

He saw Sidrat Al-Muntaha, covered by the command of Allah, and its greatness, its butterflies of gold and various colors, surrounded by the angels. There he saw Jibril in his real form, with six hundred wings.

He saw green cushions blocking the horizon. He saw Al-Bayt Al-Ma`mur, and Ibrahim Al-Khalil, the builder of the earthly Ka`bah, leaning back against it, the heavenly Ka`bah; every day, seventy thousand angels enter and worship therein, then they do not return to it until the Day of Resurrection.

He saw Paradise and Hell, and Allah enjoined upon him fifty prayers, then reduced it to five, as an act of mercy and kindness towards His servants. In this is a strong indication of the greatness and virtue of the prayers.

Then he came back down to Bayt Al-Maqdis, and the Prophets came down with him and he led them in prayer there when the time for prayer came. It may have been the dawn prayer of that day.

Some people claim that he led them in prayer in heaven, but the reports seem to say that it was in Bayt Al-Maqdis.

In some reports it says that it happened when he first entered (i.e., before ascending into the heavens), but it is more likely that it was after he came back, because when he passed by them in the places in the heavens, he asked Jibril about them, one by one, and Jibril told him about them. This is more appropriate, because he was first required to come before the Divine Presence, so that what Allah willed could be enjoined upon him and his Ummah. When the matter for which he was required had been dealt with, he and his brother-Prophets gathered, and his virtue and high position in relation to them became apparent when he was asked to come forward to lead them, which was when Jibril indicated to him that he should do so.

Then he came out of Bayt Al-Maqdis and rode on Al-Buraq back to Makkah in the darkness of the night. And Allah knows best.

As for his being presented with the vessels containing milk and honey, or milk and wine, or milk and water, or all of these, some reports say that this happened in Bayt Al-Maqdis, and others say that it happened in the heavens. It is possible that it happened in both places, because it is like offering food or drink to a guest when he arrives, and Allah knows best.

The Prophet was taken on the Night Journey with body and soul, he was awake, not asleep. The evidence for this is the Ayah:

سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً مِّنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ

Glorified (and Exalted) be He (Allah) Who took His servant for a Journey by Night from Al-Masjid Al-Haram to Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa, the neighborhood whereof We have blessed,

The words "Subhan Allah'' (Glorified and exalted be Allah) are spoken in the case of serious matters. If it had been a dream, it would have been a significant matter and would not have been so astounding; the disbelievers of the Quraysh would not have hastened to label him a liar and the group of people who had become Muslims would not have deserted the faith.

The word `Abd (servant) refers to both soul and body.

Allah says:

أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلاً

took His servant for a Journey by Night.

and:

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّءْيَا الَّتِى أَرَيْنَـكَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ

And We made not the vision which we showed you but a trial for mankind. (17:60)

Ibn Abbas said: "This is the vision that the Messenger of Allah saw with his own eyes during the Journey by Night, and the cursed tree is the tree of Zaqqum.''

This was recorded by Al-Bukhari.

Allah said:

مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى

The sight (of Prophet Muhammad) turned not aside (right or left), nor it transgressed beyond the limit (ordained for it). (53:17)

Sight (Al-Basr) is a physical faculty, not a spiritual one, and he was carried on Al-Buraq, a shining white animal. This too indicates a physical journey, because the soul does not need a means of transportation of this nature. And Allah knows best.

An Interesting Story

In his book Dala'il An-Nubuwwah, Al-Hafiz Abu Nu`aym Al-Isbahani recorded via Muhammad bin Umar Al-Waqidi who said:

Malik bin Abi Ar-Rijjal told me from Amr bin Abdullah that Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said:

"The Messenger of Allah sent Dihyah bin Khalifah to Caesar.''

He mentioned how he came to him, and described an incident that showed how wise Caesar was.

He sent for the Arab merchants who were in Syria and Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and his companions were brought to him. He asked them the well-known questions that were recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, as we shall discuss below, and Abu Sufyan tried hard to give the impression that this was an insignificant issue.

(The narrator) said that Abu Sufyan (later) said: "By Allah, nothing stopped me from saying something to Heraclius to make him despise (Muhammad) but the fact that I did not want to tell a lie that would later be found out, and he would never believe me again after that.

Then I told him about the night on which he was taken on the Night Journey.

I said: `O King, shall I not tell you of something from which you will know that he is lying!'

He said, `What is it?'

I said: `He claims that he went out of our land, the land of Al-Haram, in one night, and came to your sanctuary in Jerusalem, then came back to us the same night, before morning came.'

The Patriarch of Jerusalem was there, standing next to Caesar.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem said: `I know that night.'

Caesar looked at him and said, `How do you know about this!'

He said,

`I never used to sleep at night until I closed the doors of the sanctuary. On that night I closed all the doors except for one, which I could not manage to close. I asked my workers and others who were with me to help me deal with it, but we could not move it. It was like trying to move a mountain. So I called the carpenters, and they looked at it and said: The lintel and some part of the structure has fallen onto it. We cannot move it until morning, when we will be able to see what the problem is. So I went back and left those two doors open.

The next morning I went back, and saw that the stone at the corner of the sanctuary had a hole in it, and there were traces of an animal having been tethered there.

I said to my companions: This door has not been closed last night except for a Prophet, who prayed last night in our sanctuary.'''

And he mentioned the rest of the Hadith.

In his book At-Tanwir fi Mawlid As-Siraj Al-Munir, Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Khattab Umar bin Dihyah mentioned the Hadith of the Isra' narrated from Anas, and spoke well about it, then he said:

"The reports of the Hadith of the Isra' reach the level of Mutawatir. They were narrated from;

- Umar bin Al-Khattab,

- Ali, Ibn Mas`ud,

- Abu Dharr,

- Malik bin Sa`sa`ah,

- Abu Hurayrah,

- Abu Sa`id,

- Ibn Abbas,

- Shaddad bin Aws,

- Ubayy bin Ka`b,

- Abdur-Rahman bin Qarat,

- Abu Habbah Al-Ansari,

- Abu Layla Al-Ansari,

- Abdullah bin `Amr,

- Jabir, Hudhayfah,

- Buraydah,

- Abu Ayub,

- Abu Umamah,

- Samurah bin Jundub,

- Abu Al-Hamra',

- Suhayb Ar-Rumi,

- Umm Hani', and

- A'ishah and Asma', the daughters of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq,

may Allah be pleased with them all.

Some of them narrated the incident at length, and others narrated it more briefly, as was reported in the Musnad collections.

Even though some reports do not fulfill the conditions of Sahih, nevertheless the Muslims agreed unanimously on the fact that the Isra' happened, and it was rejected only by the heretics and apostates.

يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُواْ نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَـفِرُونَ

They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will bring His Light to perfection even though the disbelievers hate (it). (61:8)

2

وَءَاتَيْنَآ مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلْنَاهُ هُدًى لِّبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

And We gave Musa the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel (saying):

أَلاَّ تَتَّخِذُواْ مِن دُونِى وَكِيلاً

"Take none other than Me as (your) Wakil.''

3

 ذُرِّيَّةَ مَنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ

"O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh!

إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا

Verily, he was a grateful servant.''  

Musa and how He was given the Tawrah

When Allah mentions how He took His servant Muhammad, on the Journey by Night, He follows it by mentioning Musa, His servant and Messenger who also spoke with Him. Allah often mentions Muhammad and Musa together, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both, and he mentions the Tawrah and the Qur'an together. So after mentioning the Isra',

He says:

وَآتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَابَ ...

And We gave Musa the Scripture,

meaning the Tawrah.

... وَجَعَلْنَاهُ ...

and made it,

meaning the Scripture,

... هُدًى ...

a guidance,

meaning a guide,

... لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَلاَّ تَتَّخِذُواْ ...

for the Children of Israel (saying): "Take none...''

means, lest they should take,

... مِن دُونِي وَكِيلاً ﴿٢﴾

''... other than Me as (your) Wakil.''

means, `you have no protector, supporter or god besides Me,' because Allah revealed to every Prophet that he should worship Him alone with no partner or associate.

Then Allah says:

ذُرِّيَّةَ مَنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ ...

O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh,

by addressing the descendants of those who were carried in the ship with Nuh there is a reminder of the blessings, as if Allah is saying: `O descendants of those whom We saved and carried in the ship with Nuh, follow in the footsteps of your father,

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا ﴿٣﴾

Verily, he was a grateful servant.

`Remember the blessing I have granted you by sending Muhammad.'

Imam Ahmad reported that Anas bin Malik said:

"The Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّ اللهَ لَيَرْضَى عَنِ الْعَبْدِ أَنْ يَأْكُلَ الْأَكْلَةَ أَوْ يَشْرَبَ الشَّرْبَةَ فَيَحْمَدَ اللهَ عَلَيْهَا

Allah will be pleased with His servant if, when he eats something or drinks something, he praises Allah for it.''

This was also recorded by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i.

Malik said about Zayd bin Aslam: "He used to praise Allah in all circumstances.'' In this context, Al-Bukhari mentioned the Hadith of Abu Zar`ah narrating from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Prophet said:

أَنَا سَيِّدُ وَلَدِ آدَمَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection...

He quoted the Hadith at length, and in the Hadith, the Prophet said:

فَيَأْتُونَ نُوحًا فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا نُوحُ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ أَوَّلُ الرُّسُلِ إِلَى أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، وَقَدْ سَمَّاكَ اللهُ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا، فَاشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّك

They will come to Nuh and will say, `O Nuh, you were the first of the Messengers sent to the people of earth, and Allah called you grateful servant, so intercede for us with your Lord.'

And he quoted the Hadith in full.

4

 وَقَضَيْنَآ إِلَى بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ فِى الْكِتَـبِ

And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture:

لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوّاً كَبِيراً

"Indeed you would do mischief in the land twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!''

5

 فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ أُولَـهُمَا بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًا لَّنَآ أُوْلِى بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ فَجَاسُواْ خِلَـلَ الدِّيَارِ وَكَانَ وَعْدًا مَّفْعُولاً

So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled.

6

 ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَمْدَدْنَـكُم بِأَمْوَلٍ وَبَنِينَ وَجَعَلْنَـكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفِيرًا

Then We gave you a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower.

7

إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لاًّنفُسِكُمْ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا

(And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.''

فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ الاٌّخِرَةِ لِيَسُوءُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ وَلِيَدْخُلُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَلِيُتَبِّرُواْ مَا عَلَوْاْ تَتْبِيرًا

Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces and to enter the Masjid as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands.

8

عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يَرْحَمَكُمْ وَإِنْ عُدتُّمْ عُدْنَا وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ حَصِيرًا

It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers.  

It was mentioned in the Tawrah that the Jews would spread Mischief twice

Allah tells;

وَقَضَيْنَا إِلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فِي الْكِتَابِ لَتُفْسِدُنَّ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَّتَيْنِ وَلَتَعْلُنَّ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا ﴿٤﴾

And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture: "Indeed you would do mischief in the land twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!''

Allah tells us that He made a declaration to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, meaning that He had already told them in the Book which He revealed to them, that they would cause mischief on the earth twice, and would become tyrants and extremely arrogant, meaning they would become shameless oppressors of people, Allah says:

وَقَضَيْنَآ إِلَيْهِ ذَلِكَ الاٌّمْرَ أَنَّ دَابِرَ هَـؤُلآْءِ مَقْطُوعٌ مُّصْبِحِينَ

And We made known this decree to him, that the root of those (sinners) was to be cut off in the early morning. (15:66),

meaning, We already told him about that and informed him of it.

The First Episode of Mischief caused by the Jews, and their Punishment for it

Allah tells;

فَإِذَا جَاء وَعْدُ أُولاهُمَا ...

So, when the promise came for the first of the two,

meaning the first of the two episodes of mischief.

... بَعَثْنَا عَلَيْكُمْ عِبَادًا لَّنَا أُوْلِي بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ ...

We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare.

means, `We unleashed soldiers against you from among Our creatures who were given to terrible warfare,' i.e., they had great strength and weapons and power.

... فَجَاسُواْ خِلاَلَ الدِّيَارِ ...

They entered the very innermost parts of your homes.

meaning they took possession of your land and invaded the very innermost parts of your homes, going between and through your houses, coming and going freely with no fear of anyone.

... وَكَانَ وَعْدًا مَّفْعُولاً ﴿٥﴾

And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled.

The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders.

Many Israiliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah.

What Allah has told us in His Book (the Qur'an) is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them.

Allah told His Messenger that when (the Jews) committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Yahya bin Sa`id said: "I heard Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib saying:

`Nebuchadnezzar conquered Ash-Sham (Greater Syria, including Palestine), destroying Jerusalem and killing them, then he came to Damascus and found blood boiling in a censer.

He asked them: What is this blood?

They said: We found our forefathers doing this.

Because of that blood, he killed seventy thousand of the believers and others, then the blood stopped boiling.

This report is Sahih from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, and this event is well-known, as he (Nebuchadnezzar) killed their nobles and scholars, and did not leave alive anyone who knew the Tawrah by heart. He took many prisoners from the sons of the Prophets and others, and did many other things that would take too long to mention here. If we had found anything that was correct or close enough, we could have written it and reported it here. And Allah knows best.

ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَا لَكُمُ الْكَرَّةَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَمْدَدْنَاكُم بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ أَكْثَرَ نَفِيرًا ﴿٦﴾

Then We gave you a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower.

Then Allah says:

إِنْ أَحْسَنتُمْ أَحْسَنتُمْ لِأَنفُسِكُمْ وَإِنْ أَسَأْتُمْ فَلَهَا ...

(And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.''

As Allah says elsewhere:

مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَآءَ فَعَلَيْهَا

Whosoever does a righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself. (45:15)

The Second Episode of Mischief

Then Allah says:

... فَإِذَا جَاء وَعْدُ الآخِرَةِ ...

Then, when the second promise came to pass,

meaning, the second episode of mischief, when your enemies came again,

... لِيَسُوؤُواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ ...

(We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces,

meaning, to humiliate you and subdue you,

... وَلِيَدْخُلُواْ الْمَسْجِدَ ...

and to enter the Masjid,

meaning, Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).

... كَمَا دَخَلُوهُ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ...

as they had entered it before,

when they entered the very innermost parts of your homes.

... وَلِيُتَبِّرُواْ ...

and to destroy,

wrecking and inflicting ruin upon it.

... مَا عَلَوْاْ ...

all that fell in their hands.

everything they could get their hands on.

... تَتْبِيرًا ﴿٧﴾

with utter destruction.

عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يَرْحَمَكُمْ ...

It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you,

meaning that He may rid you of them.

... وَإِنْ عُدتُّمْ عُدْنَا ...

but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our punishment).

meaning, if you return to causing mischief,

عُدْنَا (We shall return) means, We `will once again punish you in this world, along with the punishment and torment We save for you in the Hereafter.'

... وَجَعَلْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَافِرِينَ حَصِيرًا ﴿٨﴾

And We have made Hell a prison (Hasir) for the disbelievers.

meaning, a place of permanent detention, a prison which cannot be avoided or escaped.

Ibn Abbas said, "Hasir here means a jail.''

Mujahid said, "They will be detained in it.''

Others said like- wise.

Al-Hasan said, "Hasir means a bed of Fire.''

Qatadah said: "The Children of Israel returned to aggression, so Allah sent this group against them, Muhammad and his companions, who made them pay the Jizyah, with willing submission, and feeling themselves subdued.''

9

 إِنَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانَ يِهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا

Verily, this Qur'an guides to that which is most just and right and gives good news to those who believe, those who do righteous deeds, that they will have a great reward (Paradise).

10

 وأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful torment (Hell).    

Praising the Qur'an

Allah praises His noble Book,

إِنَّ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ يِهْدِي لِلَّتِي هِيَ أَقْوَمُ ...

Verily, this Qur'an guides to that which is most just and right

Allah praises His noble Book, the Qur'an, which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad. It directs people to the best and clearest of ways.

... وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ...

and gives good news to those who believe, (in it)

... الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّالِحَاتِ ...

those who do righteous deeds,

in accordance with it, telling them,

... أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا ﴿٩﴾

that they will have a great reward,

i.e., on the Day of Resurrection. And He tells

وأَنَّ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ ...

those who do not believe in the Hereafter,

... أَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا ﴿١٠﴾

We have prepared for them is a painful torment,

i.e. on the Day of Resurrection. As Allah says:

فَبَشِّرْهُمْ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

... then announce to them a painful torment. (84:24)

11

وَيَدْعُ الإِنْسَـنُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَآءَهُ بِالْخَيْرِ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ عَجُولاً

And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.  

Man's Haste and Prayers against Himself

Allah tells;

وَيَدْعُ الإِنسَانُ بِالشَّرِّ دُعَاءهُ بِالْخَيْرِ ...

And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.

Allah tells us about man's haste and how he sometimes prays against himself or his children or his wealth, praying for something bad to happen for them, or for them to die or be destroyed, invoking curses, etc. If Allah were to answer his prayer, he would be destroyed because of it, as Allah says:

وَلَوْ يُعَجِّلُ اللَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ الشَّرَّ

And were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil... (10:11)

This is how it was interpreted by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah.

We have already discussed the Hadith:

لَا تَدْعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، وَلَا عَلَى أَمْوَالِكُمْ أَنْ تُوَافِقُوا مِنَ اللهِ سَاعَةَ إِجَابَةٍ يَسْتَجِيبُ فِيهَا

Do not pray against yourselves or your wealth, for that might coincide with a time when Allah answers prayers.

What makes the son of Adam do that is his anxiety and haste.

Allah says:

... وَكَانَ الإِنسَانُ عَجُولاً ﴿١١﴾

And man is ever hasty.

Salman Al-Farisi and Ibn Abbas mentioned the story of Adam, when he wanted to get up before his soul reached his feet.

When his soul was breathed into him, it entered his body from his head downwards. When it reached his brain he sneezed, and said,

"Al-Hamdu Lillah'' (praise be to Allah), and Allah said, "May your Lord have mercy on you, O Adam.''

When it reached his eyes, he opened them, and when it reached his body and limbs he started to stare at them in wonder.

He wanted to get up before it reached his feet, but he could not.

He said, "O Lord, make it happen before night comes.''

12

 وَجَعَلْنَا الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ ءَايَتَيْنِ

And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs).

فَمَحَوْنَآ ءَايَةَ الَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَآ ءَايَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً لِتَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَلِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ

Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and to count (periods of time).

وَكُلَّ شَىْءٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ تَفْصِيلاً

And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.

The Night and Day are Signs of the Great Power of Allah

Allah says:

وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ آيَتَيْنِ فَمَحَوْنَا آيَةَ اللَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَا آيَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً ...

And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating,

Allah reminds us of the great signs that He created, including the alternation of the night and day, so that people may rest at night, and go out and earn a living, do their work, and travel during the day, and so that they may know the number of days, weeks, months and years, so they will know the appointed times for paying debts, doing acts of worship, dealing with transactions, paying rents and so on. Allah says:

... لِتَبْتَغُواْ فَضْلاً مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ ...

that you may seek bounty from your Lord,

meaning, in your living and travels etc.

... وَلِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ ...

and that you may know the number of the years and to count.

If time stood still and never changed, we would not know any of these things, as Allah says:

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الَّيْلَ سَرْمَداً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَنْ إِلَـهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُمْ بِضِيَآءٍ أَفَلاَ تَسْمَعُونَ

قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ النَّهَارَ سَرْمَداً إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَنْ إِلَـهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُمْ بِلَيْلٍ تَسْكُنُونَ فِيهِ أَفلاَ تُبْصِرُونَ

وَمِن رَّحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُواْ فِيهِ وَلِتَبتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you light! Will you not then hear!''

Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the day continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you night wherein you rest! Will you not then see!''

It is out of His mercy that He has made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and that you may seek of His bounty - and in order that you may be grateful. (28:71-73)

تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ فِى السَّمَآءِ بُرُوجاً وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجاً وَقَمَراً مُّنِيراً

وَهُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُوراً

Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heaven, and has placed therein a great lamp (sun), and a moon giving light. And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude. (25:61-62)

وَلَهُ اخْتِلَـفُ الَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ

and His is the alternation of night and day. (23:80)

يُكَوِّرُ الَّيْـلَ عَلَى النَّهَـارِ وَيُكَوِّرُ النَّـهَارَ عَلَى الَّيْلِ وَسَخَّـرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ كُـلٌّ يَجْرِى لاًّجَـلٍ مُّسَـمًّى أَلا هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفَّارُ

He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving. (39:5)

فَالِقُ الإِصْبَاحِ وَجَعَلَ الَّيْلَ سَكَناً وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ حُسْبَاناً ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

(He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. (6:96)

وَءَايَةٌ لَّهُمُ الَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ النَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ

وَالشَّمْسُ تَجْرِى لِمُسْتَقَرٍّ لَّهَـا ذَلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ

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. (36:37-38)

Allah has made the night a sign having distinguishing features by which it is known. These features include the darkness and the appearance of the moon. The day also has distinguishing features by which it is known; the light and the appearance of the shining sun. He made a distinction between the light of the moon and the light of the sun, so that they may be distinguished from one another, as Allah says:

هُوَ الَّذِى جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُوراً وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُواْ عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ

It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and to count (periods of time). Allah did not create this but in truth. (10:5)

until,

لآيَـتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَّقُونَ

Ayat for those people who keep their duty to Allah, and fear Him much. (10:6)

يَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الأَهِلَّةِ قُلْ هِىَ مَوَاقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَالْحَجِّ

They ask you about the crescent moons. Say: "These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.'' (2:189)

... فَمَحَوْنَا آيَةَ اللَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَا آيَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً ...

Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating,

Ibn Jurayj reported that Abdullah bin Kathir commented on this Ayah: "(It means) the darkness of the night and the twilight of the day.''

Ibn Jurayj reported that Mujahid said: "The sun is the sign of the day and the moon is the sign of the night. فَمَحَوْنَا آيَةَ اللَّيْل (We have obliterated the sign of the night), this refers to the moon's blackness, which is how Allah has created it.''

وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ آيَتَيْنِ ...

And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat.

Ibn Abi Najih reported that Ibn Abbas said: "By night and day, this is how Allah created them, may He be glorified.''

... وَكُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَصَّلْنَاهُ تَفْصِيلاً ﴿١٢﴾

And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.

13

وَكُلَّ إِنْسَـنٍ أَلْزَمْنَـهُ طَـئِرَهُ فِى عُنُقِهِ وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَـهُ مَنْشُوراً

And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a Book which he will find wide open.

14

 اقْرَأْ كَتَـبَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا

 (It will be said to him): "Read your Book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.''    

Every Person will have the Book of his Deeds with Him

After mentioning time, and the deeds of the son of Adam that take place therein, Allah says:

وَكُلَّ إِنسَانٍ أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَآئِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ...

And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck,

The word Ta'irah (lit. something that flies) refers to man's deeds which fly from him, as Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and others said.

It includes both good deeds and bad deeds, he will be forced to acknowledge them and will be rewarded or punished accordingly.

فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ

وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ

So whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. (99:7-8)

Allah says:

إِذْ يَتَلَقَّى الْمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ

مَّا يَلْفِظُ مِن قَوْلٍ إِلاَّ لَدَيْهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ

(Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions).Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it). (50:17-18)

وَإِنَّ عَلَيْكُمْ لَحَـفِظِينَ

كِرَاماً كَـتِبِينَ

يَعْلَمُونَ مَا تَفْعَلُونَ

But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, Kiraman (Honorable) Katibin - writing down (your deeds), they know all that you do. (82:10-12)

إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

You are only being requited for what you used to do. (52:16)

مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ

whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof. (4:123)

The meaning is that the deeds of the sons of Adam are preserved, whether they are great or small, and they are recorded night and day, morning and evening.

... وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا ﴿١٣﴾

and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a Book which he will find wide open.

meaning, `We will collect all of his deeds for him in a Book which will be given to him on the Day of Resurrection, either in his right hand, if he is one of the blessed, or in his left hand if he is one of the wretched.'

مَنشُورًا (wide open) means, it will be open for him and others to read all of his deeds, from the beginning of his life until the end.

يُنَبَّأُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذِ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ

بَلِ الإِنسَـنُ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ بَصِيرَةٌ

وَلَوْ أَلْقَى مَعَاذِيرَهُ

On that Day man will be informed of what (deeds) he sent forward, and what (deeds) he left behind.

Nay! Man will be a witness against himself, though he may put forth his excuses. (75:13-15)

Allah says:

اقْرَأْ كَتَابَكَ كَفَى بِنَفْسِكَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَيْكَ حَسِيبًا ﴿١٤﴾

(It will be said to him): "Read your Book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.''

meaning, you have not been treated unjustly and nothing has been recorded against you except what you have done, because you remember everything that you have done, and no one will forget anything that he did. Everyone will be able to read his Book, whether he is literate or illiterate.

...أَلْزَمْنَاهُ طَآئِرَهُ فِي عُنُقِهِ ...

And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck,

The neck is mentioned because it is a part of the body that has no counterpart, and when one is restrained by it, he has no escape.

Ma`mar narrated from Qatadah,

"His deeds, وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ (and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him), We shall bring forth those deeds.''

كِتَابًا يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُورًا (a Book which he will find wide open). Ma`mar said: Al-Hasan recited, عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ one sitting on the right and one on the left. (50:17) And he said;

"O son of Adam, your Book has been opened for you, and two noble angels have been entrusted to accompany you, one on your right and one on your left.

The one who is on your right records your good deeds, and the one who is on your left records your bad deeds. `So do whatever you want, a lot or a little, until you die, then I will fold up your Book and tie it to your neck with you in your grave. Then when you come out on the Day of Resurrection, you will find the Book wide open, so read your Book.'

By Allah, the One Who makes you accountable for your own deeds is being perfectly just.''

These are some of the best words Al-Hasan ever spoke, may Allah have mercy on him.

15

مَّنِ اهْتَدَى فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدى لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا

Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of himself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray at his own loss.

وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى

No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden.

وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً

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

No One will have to bear the Sins of Another

Allah tells;

مَّنِ اهْتَدَى فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدي لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَإِنَّمَا يَضِلُّ عَلَيْهَا ...

Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of himself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray at his own loss.

Allah tells us that whoever is guided and follows the truth, walking in the footsteps of the Prophet, he will gain the good consequences of that for himself.

وَمَن ضَلَّ (And whoever goes astray), meaning from the truth, deviating from the way of guidance, he is wronging himself and will have to bear the consequences.

Then Allah says:

... وَلاَ تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ وِزْرَ أُخْرَى ...

No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden.

no one will have to bear the sins of another, and he does not wrong anyone besides himself, as Allah says:

وَإِن تَدْعُ مُثْقَلَةٌ إِلَى حِمْلِهَا لاَ يُحْمَلْ مِنْهُ شَىْءٌ

and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted. (35:15)

There is no contradiction between this and other Ayat:

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 of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge. (16:25)

For those who called others to do evil will bear the sin of their own deviation as well as the sin of those whom they led astray, without detracting the least amount from the burden of those people, and none of this burden shall be removed from them.

This is the justice and mercy of Allah towards His servants.

As Allah says:

... وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً ﴿١٥﴾

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

No Punishment until a Messenger has been sent

Allah tells us that out of His justice, He does not punish anyone until He has established proof against him by sending a Messenger to him, as He says:

تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ الغَيْظِ كُلَّمَا أُلْقِىَ فِيهَا فَوْجٌ سَأَلَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَآ أَلَمْ يَأْتِكُمْ نَذِيرٌ

قَالُواْ بَلَى قَدْ جَآءَنَا نَذِيرٌ فَكَذَّبْنَا وَقُلْنَا مَا نَزَّلَ اللَّهُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ فِى ضَلَـلٍ كَبِيرٍ

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

They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we belied him and said: `Allah never sent down anything (of revelation); you are only in great error.''' (67:8-9)

And,

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

And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves - reciting to you the verses of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours!''

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

And,

وَهُمْ يَصْطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَـلِحاً غَيْرَ الَّذِى كُـنَّا نَعْمَلُ أَوَلَمْ نُعَمِّرْكُمْ مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَآءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ فَذُوقُواْ فَمَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ

Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not (the evil deeds) that we used to do.'' (Allah will reply:) "Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it! And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers there is no helper.'' (35:37)

There are other Ayat which indicate that Allah will not make anyone enter Hell except after sending a Messenger to them.

The Issue of Small Children who die

Here there arises an issue over which the scholars in earlier and modern times have disagreed, may Allah have mercy on them.

This is the issue of children who die when they are little, and their parents are disbelievers: what happens to them!

By the same token, what happens to the insane, the deaf, the senile and those who die during the circumstances of Fatrah, when no Message reached them.

Several Hadiths have been narrated on this topic, which I will quote here by the help and support of Allah. The First Hadith from Al-Aswad bin Sari'.

Imam Ahmad reported from Al-Aswad bin Sari' that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَرْبَعَةٌ يَحْتَجُّونَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ:

- رَجُلٌ أَصَمُّ لَا يَسْمَعُ شَيْئًا،

- وَرَجُلٌ أَحْمَقُ،

- وَرَجُلٌ هَرِمٌ،

- وَرَجُلٌ مَاتَ فِي فَتْرَةٍ،

فَأَمَّا الْأَصَمُّ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ قَدْ جَاءَ الْإِسْلَامُ وَمَا أَسْمَعُ شَيْئًا،

وَأَمَّا الْأَحْمَقُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ قَدْ جَاءَ الْإِسْلَامُ وَالصِّبْيَانُ يَحْذِفُونِي بِالْبَعْرِ،

وَأَمَّا الْهَرِمُ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ لَقَدْ جَاءَ الْإِسْلَامُ وَمَا أَعْقِلُ شَيْئًا،

وَأَمَّا الَّذِي مَاتَ فِي الْفَتْرَةِ فَيَقُولُ: رَبِّ مَا أَتَانِي لَكَ رَسُولٌ.

فَيَأْخُذُ مَوَاثِيقَهُمْ لِيُطِيعَنَّهُ، فَيُرْسِلُ إِلَيْهِمْ أَنِ ادْخُلُوا النَّارَ،

فَوَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ دَخَلُوهَا لَكَانَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا

There are four who will present their case on the Day of Resurrection:

- a deaf man who never heard anything,

- an insane man,

- a very old and senile man, and

- a man who died during the Fatrah.

As for the deaf man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came but I never heard anything.''

As for the insane man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came and the young boys were throwing camel dung at me.''

As for the senile man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came and I did not understand anything.''

As for the one who died during the Fatrah, he will say, "O Lord, no Messenger from You came to me.''

Allah will accept their pledge of obedience to Him, then He will send word to them that they should enter the Fire.

By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.

There is a similar report with a chain from Qatadah from Al-Hasan from Abu Rafi` from Abu Hurayrah, but at the end it says:

فَمَنْ دَخَلَهَا كَانَتْ عَلَيْهِ بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا، وَمَنْ لَمْ يَدْخُلْهَا يُسْحَبُ إِلَيْهَا

Whoever enters it will find it cool and safe, and whoever does not enter it will be dragged into it.

This was also recorded by Ishaq bin Rahwayh from Mu`adh bin Hisham, and by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-I`tiqad. He said: "This is a Sahih chain.''

It was reported by Ibn Jarir from the Hadith of Ma`mar from Hammam from Abu Hurayrah, who attributed it to the Prophet. Then Abu Hurayrah said: "Recite, if you wish, وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّى نَبْعَثَ رَسُولاً And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).''

This was also narrated by Ma`mar from Abdullah bin Tawus from his father, from Abu Hurayrah, but it is Mauquf (it was not attributed directly to the Prophet).

The Second Hadith from Abu Hurayrah

He said that the Messenger of Allah said:

كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَةِ، فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ، كَمَا تُنْتِجُ الْبَهِيمَةُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ، هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ ؟

Every newborn is born in a state of Fitrah (the natural state of man), then his parents make him into a Jew or Christian or Zoroastrian, as animals produce whole animals - do you see any that is born mutilated (with something missing)?

According to one report they said: "O Messenger of Allah, what about those who die when they are little?''

He said,

اللهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا كَانُوا عَامِلِين

Allah knows best what they would have done.

Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (as far as I know - the narrator was not sure if it was attributed to Musa) - said:

ذَرَارِيُّ الْمُسْلِمِينَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ يَكْفُلُهُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَام

The children of the Muslims are in Paradise, being taken care of by Ibrahim.

In Sahih Muslim it is reported from Iyyad bin Hammad that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said:

إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاء

I have created My servants as Hunafa.

According to another version, the wording is "as Muslims.''

The Third Hadith from Samurah

In his book Al-Mustakhraj `Ala Al-Bukhari, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Barqani recorded the Hadith of `Awf Al-A`rabi, from Abu Raja' Al-`Utardi from Samurah that the Prophet said:

كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلَى الْفِطْرَة

Every newborn is born in a state of Fitrah.

The people called out to him: "O Messenger of Allah! What about the children of the idolators?''

He said,

وَأَوْلَادُ الْمُشْرِكِين

And the children of the idolators too.

At-Tabarani reported that Samurah said, We asked the Messenger of Allah about the children of the idolators, and he said,

هُمْ خَدَمُ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّة

They are the servants of the people of Paradise.

The Fourth Hadith from the Paternal Uncle of Hasna

Ahmad reported that Hasna' bint Mu`awiyah, from Bani Suraym, said that his paternal uncle said to him:

"I said, `O Messenger of Allah, who is in Paradise' He said,

- النَّبِيُّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ،

- وَالشَّهِيدُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ،

- وَالْمَوْلُودُ فِي الْجَنَّةِ،

- وَالْوَئِيدُ فِي الْجَنَّة

- Prophets are in Paradise,

- martyrs are in Paradise,

- infants are in Paradise and

- baby girls who were buried alive are in Paradise.

It is Makruh to discuss this Matter

In order to discuss this issue we need good, sound proof, but people who have no knowledge of Shariah may try to speak about it. For this reason some of the scholars did not like to discuss it.

This view has been narrated from Ibn Abbas, Al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr As-Siddiq, Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah and others.

Ibn Hibban recorded in his Sahih that Jarir bin Hazim said:

I heard Abu Raja' Al-`Utardi saying that he heard Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) saying, "While he was on the Minbar, the Messenger of Allah said:

لَا يَزَالُ أَمْرُ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ مُوَاتِيًا أَوْ مُقَارِبَا مَا لَمْ يَتَكَلَّمُوا فِي الْوِلْدَانِ وَالْقَدَر

This Ummah will be fine so long as they do not talk about children and the divine decree.''

Ibn Hibban said: "This means talking about the children of the idolators.''

Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar also recorded it via Jarir bin Hazim, then he said, "A group narrated it from Abu Raja' from Ibn Abbas, but it is Mauquf.''

16

وَإِذَآ أَرَدْنَآ أَن نُّهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا

And when We decide to destroy a town (population), Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.    

Allah says:

وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَن نُّهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا ﴿١٦﴾

And when We decide to destroy a town (population), Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.

Meanings of Amarna

The commentators differed over the meaning of this word.

The commentators differed over the meaning of this word.

It was said that the phrase translated here as "Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein''

means, "We send Our decree upon them,'' as Allah says elsewhere:

أَتَاهَآ أَمْرُنَا لَيْلاً أَوْ نَهَارًا

Our decree reaches it by night or by day. (10:24)

For (Amarna cannot mean "Our command'') because Allah does not command or enjoin immorality.

Or, they said it means that Allah subjugated them to commit immoral deeds, so they deserved the punishment.

Or it was said that it means: "We commanded them to obey Us, but they committed immoral sins, so they deserved punishment.''

This was reported from Ibn Jurayj from Ibn Abbas, and it is also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr.

... أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا ...

Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, (this means) "We gave power to the evil people, so they committed sin therein (in the town), and because they did that, Allah destroyed them with the punishment.''

This is similar to the Ayah:

وَكَذلِكَ جَعَلْنَا فِي كُلِّ قَرْيَةٍ أَكَـبِرَ مُجْرِمِيهَا

And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people. (6:133)

This was also the view of Abu Al-Aliyah, Mujahid and Ar-Rabi' bin Anas.

وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَن نُّهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُواْ فِيهَا ...

And when We decide to destroy a town (population), Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein,

Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said, (it means) "We increase their numbers."

This was also the view of Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah, and it was reported from Malik and Az-Zuhri.

17

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ

And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh!

وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرَا بَصِيرًا

And sufficient is your Lord as All-Knower and Seer of the sins of His servants.

A Threat to Quraysh

Allah says;

وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ ...

And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh!

Warning the disbelievers of the Quraysh for rejecting His Messenger Muhammad, Allah says that He destroyed other nations who rejected the Messengers after Nuh.

This indicates that during the centuries between Adam and Nuh, humans were following Islam, as Ibn Abbas said: "Between Adam and Nuh there were ten generations, during all of which humans were following Islam.''

The meaning (of the Ayah) is: "You disbelievers are not more dear to Allah than they were, and you have rejected the most noble of the Messengers and the best of creation, so you are more deserving of punishment.''

... وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ بِذُنُوبِ عِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًَا بَصِيرًا ﴿١٧﴾

And sufficient is your Lord as All-Knower and Seer of the sins of His servants.

means, He knows everything they do, good and evil, and nothing at all is hidden from Him, may He be glorified and exalted.

18

مَّن كَانَ يُرِيدُ الْعَـجِلَةَ عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ يَصْلَـهَا مَذْمُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

Whoever desires the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will burn therein disgraced and rejected.

19

 وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الاٌّخِرَةَ وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَأُولَـئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا

And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is a believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (rewarded by Allah).  

The Reward of Those who desire this World and Those who desire the Hereafter

Allah says:

Allah tells us that not everyone who desires this world and its luxuries gets what he wants. That is attained by those whom Allah wants to have it, and they get what He wills that they should get.

This Ayah narrows down the general statements made in other Ayat.

Allah says:

... عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَاء لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ ...

We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell;

meaning, in the Hereafter,

... يَصْلاهَا ...

he will burn therein,

means, he will enter it until it covers him on all sides,

... مَذْمُومًا ...

disgraced,

means, blamed for his bad behavior and evil deeds, because he chose the transient over the eternal,

... مَّدْحُورًا ﴿١٨﴾

rejected,

means, far away (from Allah's mercy), humiliated and put to shame.

وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الآخِرَةَ ...

And whoever desires the Hereafter,

wanting the Hereafter and its blessings and delights,

... وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا ...

and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it,

seeking it in the right way, which is following the Messenger.

... وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ ...

while he is a believer,

means, his heart has faith, i.e., he believes in the reward and punishment,

... فَأُولَئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا ﴿١٩﴾

then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (rewarded by Allah).

20

كُلاًّ نُّمِدُّ هَـؤُلاءِ وَهَـؤُلاءِ مِنْ عَطَآءِ رَبِّكَ وَمَا كَانَ عَطَآءُ رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا

On each these as well as those We bestow from the bounties of your Lord. And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.

21

 انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَلَلاٌّخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَـتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً

See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.  

Allah says:

كُلاًّ نُّمِدُّ هَـؤُلاء وَهَـؤُلاء ...

On each these as well as those We bestow

كُلاًّ  (On each) meaning, on each of the two groups, those who desire this world and those who desire the Hereafter, We bestow what they want,

... مِنْ عَطَاء رَبِّكَ ...

from the bounties of your Lord.

means, He is the One Who is in control of all things, and He is never unjust. He gives to each what he deserves, whether it is eternal happiness or doom. His decree is unstoppable, no one can withhold what He gives or change what He wants.

Allah says:

... وَمَا كَانَ عَطَاء رَبِّكَ مَحْظُورًا ﴿٢٠﴾

And the bounties of your Lord can never be forbidden.

meaning, no one can withhold or prevent them.

Qatadah said, "(It means) they can never decrease.''

Al-Hasan and others said, "(It means) they can never be prevented.''

Then Allah says:

انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ ...

See how We prefer one above another,

meaning in this world, so that some are rich and some are poor, and others are in between; some are beautiful, some are ugly and others are in between; some die young while others live to a great age, and some die in between.

... وَلَلآخِرَةُ أَكْبَرُ دَرَجَاتٍ وَأَكْبَرُ تَفْضِيلاً ﴿٢١﴾

and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.

means, the differences between them in the Hereafter will be greater than the differences between them in this world. Some of them will be in varying levels of Hell, in chains and fetters, while others will be in the lofty degrees of Paradise, with its blessings and delights.

The people of Hell will vary in their positions and levels, just as the people of Paradise will.

In Paradise there are one hundred levels, and the distance between one level and another is like the distance between heaven and earth.

It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:

إِنَّ أَهْلَ الدَّرَجَاتِ الْعُلَى لَيَرَوْنَ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاء

The people of the highest levels (of Paradise) will see the people of `Illiyin as if they are looking at distant stars on the horizon.

22

لاَّ تَجْعَل مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهًا ءَاخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا مَّخْذُولاً

Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hellfire).    

Do not associate Anything in Worship with Allah

Allah says,

لاَّ تَجْعَل مَعَ اللّهِ إِلَـهًا آخَرَ فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا مَّخْذُولاً ﴿٢٢﴾

Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), or you will sit down reproved, forsaken (in the Hellfire).

Addressing those who are responsible among this Ummah, Allah says, "Do not admit any partner into your worship of your Lord.''

فَتَقْعُدَ مَذْمُومًا (or you will sit down reproved), meaning, because of associating others with Him.

مَّخْذُولاً  (forsaken),means, because the Lord, may He be exalted, will not help you; He will leave you to the one whom you worshipped, and he has no power either to benefit or to harm, because the Only One Who has the power to benefit or to harm is Allah alone, with no partner or associate.

Imam Ahmad reported that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said:

The Messenger of Allah said:

مَنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فَاقَةٌ فَأَنْزَلَهَا بِالنَّاسِ لَمْ تُسَدَّ فَاقَتُهُ، وَمَنْ أَنْزَلَهَا بِاللهِ أَرْسَلَ اللهُ لَهُ بِالْغِنَى إِمَّا آجِلًا وَإِمَّا غِنىً عَاجِلًا

Whoever is afflicted with poverty and goes and asks people for help, will never get rid of his poverty, but if he asks Allah for help, then Allah will grant him the means of independence sooner or later.

This was also recorded by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib''.

23

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ

And your Lord has Qada (decreed)  that you worship none but Him.

وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا

And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor reprimand them but address them in terms of honor.

24

 وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُل

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say:

رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِى صَغِيرًا

"My Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.''  

The Command to Worship Allah Alone and to be Dutiful to One's Parents

Allah says,

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ...

And your Lord has Qada (decreed) that you worship none but Him.

Allah commands us to worship Him alone, with no partner or associate.

The word قَضَى Qada (normally having the meaning of decree) here means "commanded''.

Mujahid said that وَقَضَى (And He has Qada) means enjoined.

This is also how Ubayy bin Ka`b, Ibn Mas`ud and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim recited the Ayah as:

وَوَصَّي رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ

"And your Lord has Wassa (enjoined) that you worship none but Him.''

The idea of worshipping Allah is connected to the idea of honoring one's parents.

Allah says:

... وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ...

And that you be dutiful to your parents.

Here He commands good treatment of parents, as He says elsewhere:

أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ

give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination. (31:14)

... إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِندَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلاَهُمَا فَلاَ تَقُل لَّهُمَآ أُفٍّ ...

If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect,

means, do not let them hear anything offensive from you, not even say "Uff!'' which is the mildest word of disrespect,

... وَلاَ تَنْهَرْهُمَا ...

and do not reprimand them,

means, do not do anything horrible to them.

Ata' bin Rabah said that it meant, "Do not raise your hand against them.''

When Allah forbids speaking and behaving in an obnoxious manner, He commands speaking and behaving in a good manner, so He says:

... وَقُل لَّهُمَا قَوْلاً كَرِيمًا ﴿٢٣﴾

but address them in terms of honor.

meaning gently, kindly, politely, and with respect and appreciation.

وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ ...

And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy,

means, be humble towards them in your actions.

... وَقُل رَّبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا ﴿٢٤﴾

and say: "My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.''

means, say this when they grow old and when they die.

Ibn Abbas said: "But then Allah revealed:

مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ

It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolators. ..'' (9:13)

There are many Hadiths which speak about honoring one's parents, such as the Hadith narrated through a number of chains of narration from Anas and others, which states that the Prophet climbed up on the Minbar, and then said, Amin, Amin, Amin.

It was said, "O Messenger of Allah, why did you say Amin.''

He said:

أَتَانِي جِبْرِيلُ فَقَالَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ ذُكِرْتَ عِنْدَهُ فَلَمْمُيصَلِّ عَلَيْكَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ دَخَلَ عَلَيْهِ شَهْرُ رَمَضَانَ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ فَلَمْ يُغْفَرْ لَهُ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِينَ، ثُمَّ قَالَ: رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ وَالِدَيْهِ أَوْ أَحَدَهُمَا فَلَمْ يُدْخِلَاهُ الْجَنَّةَ، قُلْ: آمِينَ، فَقُلْتُ: آمِين

Jibril came to me and said,

- "O Muhammad, he is doomed who hears you mentioned and does not say Salla upon you.'' He said, "Say Amin,'' so I said Amin.

Then he said,

- "He is doomed who sees the month of Ramadan come and go, and he has not been forgiven.'' He said, "Say Amin,'' so I said Amin.

Then he said,

- "He is doomed who grows up and both his parents or one of them are still alive, and they do not cause him to enter Paradise.'' He said, "Say Amin,'' so I said Amin.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

رَغِمَ أَنْفُ، ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ ثُمَّ رَغِمَ أَنْفُ رَجُلٍ أَدْرَكَ أَحَدَ أَبَوَيْهِ أَوْ (كِلَيْهِمَا) عِنْدَ الْكِبَرِ وَلَمْ يَدْخُلِ الْجَنَّة

He is doomed, he is doomed, he is doomed, the man whose parents, one or both of them, reach old age while he is alive and he does not enter Paradise.

This version is Sahih although no one recorded it other than Muslim.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded Mu`awiyah bin Jahimah As-Salami saying that Jahimah came to the Prophet and said: "O Messenger of Allah, I want to go out to fight and I have come to seek your advice.''

He said, فَهَلْ لَكَ مِنْ أُم Do you have a mother?

He said, "Yes.''

The Prophet said,

فَالْزَمْهَا فَإِنَّ الْجَنَّةَ عِنْدَ رِجْلَيْهَا

Then stay with her, for Paradise is at her feet.

Similar incidents were also recorded by others. This was recorded by An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Ma`dikarib said that the Prophet said:

- إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِآبَائِكُمْ

- إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ

- إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ

- إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِأُمَّهَاتِكُمْ

- إِنَّ اللهَ يُوصِيكُمْ بِالْأَقْرَبِ فَالْأَقْرَب

- Allah enjoins you concerning your fathers,

- Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers,

- Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers,

- Allah enjoins you concerning your mothers,

- Allah enjoins you concerning your close relatives then the next in closeness.

This was recorded by Ibn Majah from the Hadith of Abdullah bin Ayyash.

Another Hadith

Ahmad recorded that a man from Banu Yarbu said:

"I came to the Prophet while he was talking to the people, and I heard him saying,

يَدُ الْمُعْطِي الْعُلْيَا،

- أُمَّكَ وَأَبَاكَ،

- وَأُخْتَكَ وَأَخَاكَ،

- ثُمَّ أَدْنَاكَ أَدْنَاك

The hand of the one who gives is superior.

- (Give to) your mother and your father,

- your sister and your brother,

- then the closest and next closest.''

25

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِى نُفُوسِكُمْ إِن تَكُونُواْ صَـلِحِينَ فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلاٌّوَّابِينَ غَفُوراً

Your Lord knows best what is in your souls. If you are righteous, then, verily, He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him in repentance.  

Omissions committed against Parents are pardoned with Good Relations and Repentance

Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "This refers to a man who said something that he did not think would be offensive to his parents.''

According to another report: "He did not mean anything bad by that.''

So Allah said:

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا فِي نُفُوسِكُمْ إِن تَكُونُواْ صَالِحِينَ ...

Your Lord knows best what is in your souls. If you are righteous,

... فَإِنَّهُ كَانَ لِلأَوَّابِينَ غَفُورًا ﴿٢٥﴾

He is Ever Most Forgiving to those who turn to Him in repentance.

Qatadah said: "To the obedient who pray.''

Shu`bah narrated from Yahya bin Sa`id from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib; "This refers to those who commit sin then repent, and commit sin then repent.''

Ata' bin Yasar, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Mujahid said: "They are the ones who return to goodness.''

Mujahid narrated from Ubayd bin Umayr, concerning this Ayah: "This is the one who, when he remembers his sin when he is alone, he seeks the forgiveness of Allah.''

Mujahid agreed with him on that.

Ibn Jarir said:

"The best view on this matter is of those who said that it refers to the one who repents after committing sin, who comes back from disobedience to obedience and who leaves that which Allah hates for that which He loves and is pleased with.'' What he said is correct, for Allah says,

إِنَّ إِلَيْنَآ إِيَابَهُمْ

Verily, to Us will be their return. (88:25)

And according to a Sahih Hadith, the Messenger of Allah would say when he returned from a journey,

آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ، عَابِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُون

We have returned repenting, worshipping and praising our Lord.

26

 وَءَاتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا

And give to the kinsman his due, and to the Miskin (poor), and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

27

 إِنَّ الْمُبَذرِينَ كَانُواْ إِخْوَنَ الشَّيَـطِينِ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَـنُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا

Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin (devils), and the Shaytan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

28

  وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَآءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّيْسُورًا

And if you turn away from them and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord for which you hope, then, speak unto them a soft, kind word.  

The Command to maintain the Ties of Kinship and the Prohibition of Extravagance

Allah says

وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ ...

And give to the kinsman his due, and to the Miskin (poor), and to the wayfarer.

When Allah mentions honoring one's parents, He follows this with the command to treat one's relatives well and to maintain the ties of kinship.

According to the Hadith:

أُمَّكَ وَأَبَاكَ، ثُمَّ أَدْنَاكَ أَدْنَاك  ثُمَّ الْأَقْرَبَ فَالْأَقْرَب

Your mother and your father, then your closest relatives and the next closest.

According to another Hadith:

مَنْ أَحَبَّ أَنْ يُبْسَطَ لَهُ فِي رِزْقِهِ وَيُنْسَأَ لَهُ فِي أَجَلِهِ، فَلْيَصِلْ رَحِمَه

Whoever would like to see his provision expanded and his life extended, let him maintain his ties of kinship.

... وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا ﴿٢٦﴾

But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift.

When Allah commands spending, He forbids extravagance. Spending should be moderate, as stated in another Ayah:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَآ أَنفَقُواْ لَمْ يُسْرِفُواْ وَلَمْ يَقْتُرُواْ

And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor stingy. (25:67)

Then He says, to discourage extravagance:

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُواْ إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ...

Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin,

They have this trait in common.

Ibn Mas`ud said: "This refers spending extravagantly when it is not appropriate.''

Ibn Abbas said likewise.

Mujahid said: "If a man spends all his wealth on appropriate things, then he is not a spendthrift, but if he spends a little inappropriately, then he is a spendthrift.''

Qatadah said: "Extravagance means spending money on sin in disobeying Allah, and on wrongful and corrupt things.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said:

"A man came from Banu Tamim to the Messenger of Allah and said: `O Messenger of Allah, I have a lot of wealth, I have a family, children, and the refinements of city life, so tell me how I should spend and what I should do.'

The Messenger of Allah said:

- تُخْرِجُ الزَّكَاةَ مِنْ مَالِكَ إِنْ كَانَ، فَإِنَّهَا طُهْرَةٌ تُطَهِّرُكَ،

- وَتَصِلُ أَقْرِبَاءَكَ،

- وَتَعْرِفُ حَقَّ السَّائِلِ وَالْجَارِ وَالْمِسْكِين

- Pay the Zakah on your wealth if any is due, for it is purification that will make you pure,

- maintain your ties of kinship,

- pay attention to the rights of beggars, neighbors and the poor.

He said: `O Messenger of Allah, make it less for me.'

He (recited), وَآتِ ذَا الْقُرْبَى حَقَّهُ وَالْمِسْكِينَ وَابْنَ السَّبِيلِ وَلاَ تُبَذِّرْ تَبْذِيرًا And give to the kinsman his due, and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift.

The man said, `That is enough for me, O Messenger of Allah. If I pay Zakah to your messenger, will I be absolved of that duty before Allah and His Messenger!'

The Messenger of Allah said:

نَعَمْ، إِذَا أَدَّيْتَهَا إِلَى رَسُولِي فَقَدْ بَرِئْتَ مِنْهَا وَلَكَ أَجْرُهَا، وَإِثْمُهَا عَلَى مَنْ بَدَّلَهَا

Yes, if you give it to my messenger, you will have fulfilled it, and you will have the reward for it, and the sin is on the one who changes it.''

إِنَّ الْمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُواْ إِخْوَانَ الشَّيَاطِينِ ...

Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin,

meaning, they are their brothers in extravagance, foolishness, failing to obey Allah and committing sin.

Allah said:

... وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِرَبِّهِ كَفُورًا ﴿٢٧﴾

and the Shaytan is ever ungrateful to his Lord.

meaning, he is an ingrate, because he denied the blessings of Allah and did not obey Him, turning instead to disobedience and rebellion.

وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاء رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ ...

And if you turn away from them and you are awaiting a mercy from your Lord,

`If your relatives and those to whom We have commanded you to give, ask you for something, and you do not have anything, and you turn away from them because you have nothing to give,

... تَرْجُوهَا ...

for which you hope, i.e. a mercy from your Lord,

... فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلاً مَّيْسُورًا ﴿٢٨﴾

then, speak unto them a soft, kind word.

meaning, with a promise. This was the opinion of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others.

29

وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُوراً

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor overextend it (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

30

 إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقْدِرُ

Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills).

إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا

Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His servants.  

Moderation in Spending

Allah enjoins moderation in living. He condemns miserliness and forbids extravagance.

وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ يَدَكَ مَغْلُولَةً إِلَى عُنُقِكَ ...

And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck,

this means, do not be miserly and stingy, never giving anything to anyone, as the Jews - may the curses of Allah be upon them - said, "Allah's Hand is tied up (i.e., He does not give and spend of His bounty).''

They attributed miserliness to Him, Exalted and Sanctified be the Most Generous Bestower!

... وَلاَ تَبْسُطْهَا كُلَّ الْبَسْطِ ...

nor overextend it (like a spendthrift),

means, nor be extravagant in spending and giving more than you can afford, or paying more than you earn, lest you become blameworthy and find yourself in severe poverty.

... فَتَقْعُدَ مَلُومًا مَّحْسُورًا ﴿٢٩﴾

so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.

If you are a miser, people will blame you and condemn you, and no longer rely on you. When you spend more than you can afford, you will find yourself without anything to spend, so you will be worn out, like an animal that cannot walk, so it becomes weak and incapable.

It is described as worn out, which is similar in meaning to exhausted.

As Allah says:

الَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـوَتٍ طِبَاقًا مَّا تَرَى فِى خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَـنِ مِن تَفَـوُتٍ فَارْجِعِ الْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَى مِن فُطُورٍ

ثُمَّ اْرجِعِ البَصَرَ كَرَّتَيْنِ يَنقَلِبْ إِلَيْكَ البَصَرُ خَاسِئًا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ

Then look again: "Can you see any rifts'' Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out. (67:3-4)

meaning, unable to see any faults.

Similarly, Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj, Ibn Zayd and others understood this Ayah as miserliness and extravagance.

It was reported in the Two Sahihs from the Hadith of Abu Az-Zinad from Al-A`raj that Abu Hurayrah heard the Messenger of Allah say:

مَثَلُ الْبَخِيلِ وَالْمُنْفِقِ كَمَثَلِ رَجُلَيْنِ عَلَيْهِمَا جُبَّتَانِ مِنْ حَدِيدٍ مِنْ ثُدِيِّهِمَا إِلَى تَرَاقِيهِمَا،

فَأَمَّا الْمُنْفِقُ فَلَا يُنْفِقُ إِلَّا سَبَغَتْ أَوْ وَفَرَتْ عَلَى جِلْدِهِ حَتَّى تُخْفِيَ بَنَانَهُ وَتَعْفُوَ أَثَرَهُ،

وَأَمَّا الْبَخِيلُ فَلَا يُرِيدُ أَنْ يُنْفِقَ شَيْئًا إِلَّا لَزِقَتْ كُلُّ حَلْقَةٍ مِنْهَا مَكَانَهَا، فَهُوَ يُوَسِّعُهَا فَلَا تَتَّسِع

The parable of the miser and the almsgiver is that of two persons wearing iron cloaks from their chests to their collar-bones.

When the almsgiver gives in charity, the cloak becomes spacious until it covers his whole body to such an extent that it hides his fingertips and covers his tracks (obliterates his tracks - or, his sins will be forgiven).

And when the miser wants to spend, it (the iron cloak) sticks and (its) every ring gets stuck to its place, and he tries to widen it, but it does not become wide.

This version was recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Zakah.

In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Mu`awiyah bin Abi Muzarrid narrated from Sa`id bin Yasar that Abu Hurayrah said:

"The Messenger of Allah said:

مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ يُصْبِحُ الْعِبَادُ فِيهِ إِلَّا وَمَلَكَانِ يَنْزِلَانِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ

يَقُولُ أَحَدُهُمَا:اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ مُنْفِقًا خَلَفًا،

وَيَقُولُ الْآخَرُ: اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ مُمْسِكًا تَلَفًا

There is no day when a person wakes up but two angels come down from heaven.

One of them says, `O Allah, compensate the one who gives (in charity),' and

the other one says, `O Allah, destroy the one who withholds.'''

Muslim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

مَا نَقَصَ مَالٌ مِنْ صَدَقَةٍ، وَمَا زَادَ اللهُ عَبْدًا أَنْفَقَ إِلَّا عِزًّا، وَمَنْ تَوَاضَعَ للهِ رَفَعَهُ الله

Wealth never decreases because of Sadaqah (charity). Allah never increases a servant who gives in charity except in honor, and whoever is humble for the sake of Allah, Allah will raise him in status.

According to a Hadith narrated by Abu Kathir from Abdullah bin `Amr, who attributed it to the Prophet:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالشُّحَّ فَإِنَّهُ أَهْلَكَ مَنْ كَانَ قَبْلَكُمْ،

- أَمَرَهُمْ بِالْبُخْلِ فَبَخِلُوا،

- وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْقَطِيعَةِ فَقَطَعُوا،

- وَأَمَرَهُمْ بِالْفُجُورِ فَفَجَرُوا

Beware of stinginess for it destroyed the people who came before you.

- It commanded them to be miserly, so they were miserly;

- and it commanded them to cut the ties of kinship, so they cut them;

- and it commanded them to commit immoral actions, so they did so.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاء وَيَقْدِرُ ...

Truly, your Lord expands the provision for whom He wills and straitens (for whom He wills).

This Ayah is telling us that Allah is the One Who provides or withholds, the Bestower Who is running the affairs of His creation as He wills. He makes rich whomever He wills, and He makes poor whomever He wills, by the wisdom that is His.

He said:

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا ﴿٣٠﴾

Verily, He is Ever All-Knower, All-Seer of His servants.

meaning, He knows and sees who deserves to be rich and who deserves to be poor.

- In some cases, richness may be decreed so that a person gets carried away, leading to his own doom.

- In other cases, poverty may be a punishment.

We seek refuge with Allah from both.

31

 وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلَـقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم إنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْئًا كَبِيرًا

And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.  

Prohibition of killing Children

This Ayah indicates that Allah is more compassionate towards His servants than a father to his child, because He forbids killing children just as He enjoins parents to take care of their children in matters of inheritance.

The people of Jahiliyyah would not allow their daughters to inherit from them, and some would even kill their daughters lest they make them more poor. Allah forbade that and said:

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلاقٍ ...

And kill not your children for fear of poverty.

meaning, lest they may make you poor in the future.

This is why Allah mentions the children's provision first:

... نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم ...

We shall provide for them as well as for you.

In Surah Al-An`am, Allah says:

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلَـدَكُمْ مِّنْ إمْلَـقٍ

kill not your children because of poverty. (6:151)

نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم

We provide sustenance for you and for them. (6:151)

... إنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْءًا كَبِيرًا ﴿٣١﴾

Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.

means, a major sin.

In Two Sahihs it is recorded that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, which sin is the worst?'

He said,

أَنْ تَجْعَلَ لِلّهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَكَ .

To appoint rivals of Allah when He has created you.

I asked, `Then what?'

He said,

قَالَ: أَنْ تَقْتُلَ وَلَدَكَ خَشْيَةَ أَنْ يَطْعَمَ مَعَكَ

To kill your child lest he should eat with you.

I asked, `Then what?'

He said,

قَالَ: أَنْ تُزَانِيَ بِحَلِيلَةِ جَارِك

To commit adultery with your neighbor's wife.''  

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وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً

And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is Fahishah (immoral sin) and an evil way.  

The Command to avoid Zina (Unlawful Sex) and Everything that leads to it

Allah says, forbidding His servants to commit Zina or to approach it or to do anything that may lead to it:

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الزِّنَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً ...

And come not near to unlawful sex. Verily, it is a Fahishah (immoral sin),

meaning a major sin,

... وَسَاء سَبِيلاً ﴿٣٢﴾

and an evil way.

meaning, a terrible way to behave.

Imam Ahmad recorded Abu Umamah saying that a young man came to the Prophet and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Give me permission to commit Zina (unlawful sex).''

The people surrounded him and rebuked him, saying, "Stop! Stop!'' But the Prophet said, ادْنُه   (Come close).

The young man came to him, and he said, اجْلِس (Sit down), so he sat down.

The Prophet said, أَتُحِبُّهُ لِأُمِّك (Would you like it (unlawful sex) for your mother)!

He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

The Prophet said,

وَلَا النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِأُمَّهَاتِهِم

Neither do the people like it for their mothers.

The Prophet said, أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِابْنَتِكَ (Would you like it for your daughter)?

He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

The Prophet said,

وَلَا النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِبَنَاتِهِم

Neither do the people like it for their daughters.

The Prophet said, أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِأُخْتِكَ (Would you like it for your sister)?

He said, "No, by Allah, may I be ransomed for you.''

The Prophet said,

وَلَا النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِأَخَوَاتِهِم

Neither do the people like it for their sisters.

The Prophet said, أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِعَمَّتِكَ (Would you like it for your paternal aunt)?

He said, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Messenger! may I be ransomed for you.''

The Prophet said,

وَلَا النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِعَمَّاتِهِم

Neither do the people like it for their paternal aunts.

The Prophet said, أَفَتُحِبُّهُ لِخَالَتِكَ (Would you like it for your maternal aunt)?

He said, "No, by Allah, O Allah's Messenger! may I be ransomed for you.''

The Prophet said,

وَلَا النَّاسُ يُحِبُّونَهُ لِخَالَاتِهِم

Neither do the people like it for their maternal aunts.

Then the Prophet put his hand on him and said,

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ ذَنْبَهُ، وَطَهِّرْ قَلْبَهُ، وَأَحْصِنْ فَرْجَه

O Allah, forgive his sin, purify his heart and guard his chastity.

After that the young man never paid attention to anything of that nature.

33

 وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِى حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَـناً فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّى الْقَتْلِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُورًا

And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause. And whoever is killed wrongfully (not by mistake), We have given his heir the authority. But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life. Verily, he is helped.  

Prohibition of Unlawful Killing

Allah forbids killing with no legitimate reason.

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ ...

And do not kill anyone whose killing Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause.

It was reported in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:

لَا يَحِلُّ دَمُ امْرِىءٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا رَسُولُ اللهِ، إِلَّا بِإِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ:

- النَّفْسُ بِالنَّفْسِ،

- وَالزَّانِي الْمُحْصَنُ،

- وَالتَّارِكُ لِدِينِهِ الْمُفَارِقُ لِلْجَمَاعَة

The blood of a Muslim who bears witness to La ilaha illallah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, is not permissible (to be shed) except in three cases:

- a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder),

- an adulterer who is married, and

- a person who leaves his religion and deserts the Jama'ah.

The following is recorded in the books of the Sunan:

لَزَوَالُ الدُّنْيَا عِنْدَ اللهِ أَهْوَنُ مِنْ قَتْلِ مُسْلِم

If the world were to be destroyed, it would be of less importance to Allah than the killing of a Muslim.

... وَمَن قُتِلَ مَظْلُومًا فَقَدْ جَعَلْنَا لِوَلِيِّهِ سُلْطَانًا ...

And whoever is killed wrongfully, We have given his heir the authority.

The authority is over the killer. The heir has the choice;

- if he wishes, he may have him killed in retaliation,

- or he may forgive him in return for the payment of the Diyah (blood money),

- or he may forgive him with no payment, as is reported in the Sunnah.

The great scholar and Imam Ibn Abbas understood from the general meaning of this Ayah that Mu`awiyah should take power, because he was the heir of `Uthman, who had been killed wrongfully, may Allah be pleased with him, and Mu`awiyah did eventually take power, as Ibn Abbas said on the basis of this Ayah. This is one of the strangers of matters.

... فَلاَ يُسْرِف فِّي الْقَتْلِ ...

But let him not exceed limits in the matter of taking life.

They said: this means the heir should not go to extremes in killing the killer, such as mutilating the body or taking revenge on persons other than the killer.

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ مَنْصُورًا ﴿٣٣﴾

Verily, he is helped.

means, the heir is helped against the killer by the Shariah and by divine decree.

34

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَأَوْفُواْ بِالْعَهْدِ إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤُولاً

And come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength. And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant will be questioned about.

35

 وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذا كِلْتُمْ وَزِنُواْ بِالقِسْطَاسِ الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً

And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight. That is good (advantageous) and better in the end.  

The Command to handle the Orphan's Wealth properly and to be Honest in Weights and Measures

Allah says;

وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ ...

And come not near to the orphan's property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength.

meaning, do not dispose of the orphan's wealth except in a proper manner.

وَلاَ تَأْكُلُوهَآ إِسْرَافاً وَبِدَاراً أَن يَكْبَرُواْ وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّاً فَلْيَسْتَعْفِفْ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيراً فَلْيَأْكُلْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ

but consume it (the orphan's property) not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever (among guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labor). (4:6)

In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Abu Dharr:

يَا أَبَا ذَرَ إِنِّي أَرَاكَ ضَعِيفًا، وَإِنِّي أُحِبُّ لَكَ مَا أُحِبُّ لِنَفْسِي: لَا تَأَمَّرَنَّ عَلَى اثْنَيْنِ، وَلَا تَوَلَّيَنَّ مَالَ الْيَتِيم

O Abu Dharr, I see that you are weak (in administering), and I like for you that which I like for myself. Do not let yourself be appointed as Amir over two people, and do not let yourself be appointed as guardian of an orphan's property.

... وَأَوْفُواْ بِالْعَهْدِ ...

And fulfill (every) covenant.

meaning, everything that you promise people, and the covenants that you agree to, because the person who makes a covenant or a promise will be asked about it:

... إِنَّ الْعَهْدَ كَانَ مَسْؤُولاً ﴿٣٤﴾

Verily, the covenant will be questioned about.

وَأَوْفُوا الْكَيْلَ إِذا كِلْتُمْ ...

And give full measure when you measure.

meaning, do not try to make it weigh less nor wrong people with their belongings.

... وَزِنُواْ بِالقِسْطَاسِ ...

and weigh with a balance,

meaning scales,

... الْمُسْتَقِيمِ ...

that is straight.

meaning that which is not distorted nor that which will cause confusion.

... ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ ...

that is good,

for you, in your daily life and in your Hereafter. So Allah says:

... وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلاً ﴿٣٥﴾

meaning, with regard to your ultimate end in the Hereafter.

ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلا That is good (advantageous) and better in the end. Sa`id narrated that Qatadah said that this means "Better in reward and a better end.''

Ibn Abbas used to say: "O people, you are entrusted with two things for which the people who came before you were destroyed - these

- weights and

- measures.''

36

 وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of each of those ones will be questioned (by Allah).  

Do not speak without Knowledge

Allah says;

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ ...

And follow not that of which you have no knowledge. Verily, the hearing, and the sight, and the heart of,

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said: "(This means) do not say (anything of which you have no knowledge).''

Al-Awfi said: "Do not accuse anyone of that of which you have no knowledge.''

Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said: "It means bearing false witness.''

Qatadah said: "Do not say,

- `I have seen', when you did not see anything, or

- `I have heard', when you did not hear anything, or

- `I know', when you do not know,

for Allah will ask you about all of that.''

In conclusion, what they said means that Allah forbids speaking without knowledge and only on the basis of suspicion, which is mere imagination and illusions. As Allah says:

اجْتَنِبُواْ كَثِيراً مِّنَ الظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعْضَ الظَّنِّ إِثْمٌ

Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins. (49:12)

According to a Hadith:

إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّنَفَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيث

Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech.

The following Hadith is found in Sunan Abu Dawud:

بِئْسَ مَطِيَّةُ الرَّجُلِ: زَعَمُوا

What an evil habit it is for a man to say, `They claimed...'

According to another Hadith:

إِنَّ أَفْرَى الْفِرَى أَنْ يُرِيَ الرَّجُلُ عَيْنَيْهِ مَا لَمْ تَرَيَا

The worst of lies is for a man to claim to have seen something that he has not seen.

In the Sahih it says:

مَنْ تَحَلَّمَ حُلْمًا كُلِّفَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَنْ يَعْقِدَ بَيْنَ شَعِيرَتَيْنِ وَلَيْسَ بِفَاعِل

Whoever claims to have seen a dream (when he has not seen) will be told on the Day of Resurrection to make a knot between two barley grains, and he will not be able to do it.

... كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ ...

each of those ones,

means these faculties, hearing, sight and the heart,

... كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً ﴿٣٦﴾

will be questioned.

means, the person will be asked about them on the Day of Resurrection, and they will be asked about him and what he did with them.

37

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَرَحًا إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الاٌّرْضَ وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً

And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.

38

 كُلُّ ذَلِكَ كَانَ سَيِّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا

All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.  

Condemnation of strutting

Allah forbids His servants to strut and walk in a boastful manner:

وَلاَ تَمْشِ فِي الأَرْضِ مَرَحًا ...

And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance.

meaning, walking in boastful manner and acting proud, like those who are arrogant oppressors.

... إِنَّكَ لَن تَخْرِقَ الأَرْضَ ...

Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth,

means, you cannot penetrate the earth with your walking.

This was the opinion of Ibn Jarir.

... وَلَن تَبْلُغَ الْجِبَالَ طُولاً ﴿٣٧﴾

nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height.

كُلُّ ذَلِكَ كَانَ سَيٍّئُهُ عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ مَكْرُوهًا ﴿٣٨﴾

All the bad aspects of these (the above mentioned things) are hateful to your Lord.

39

ذَلِكَ مِمَّآ أَوْحَى إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ

This is (part) of Al-Hikmah (wisdom) which your Lord has revealed to you.

وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهًا ءَاخَرَ فَتُلْقَى فِى جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومًا مَّدْحُورًا

And set not up with Allah any other god lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected (from Allah's mercy).  

Everything previously mentioned is Revelation and Wisdom

Allah says:

ذَلِكَ مِمَّا أَوْحَى إِلَيْكَ رَبُّكَ مِنَ الْحِكْمَةِ ...

This is (part) of Al-Hikmah (wisdom) which your Lord has revealed to you.

Allah says, `What We have commanded you to do is part of good manners, and what We have forbidden you are evil qualities. We have revealed this to you, O Muhammad, so that you may command the people likewise.'

... وَلاَ تَجْعَلْ مَعَ اللّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ فَتُلْقَى فِي جَهَنَّمَ مَلُومًا ...

And set not up with Allah any other god lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy,

meaning, your own self will blame you, as will Allah and His creation.

... مَّدْحُورًا ﴿٣٩﴾

rejected,

means far removed from everything good.

Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said: "(It means) cast out.''

This is an address to the Ummah via the Messenger, for he is infallible.

40

أَفَأَصْفَـكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِالْبَنِينَ وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِنَاثًا إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوْلاً عَظِيمًا

Has then your Lord preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters! Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying.  

Refutation of Those Who claim that the Angels are Daughters of Allah

Allah refutes the lying idolators who claim, may the curse of Allah be upon them, that the angels are the daughters of Allah. They made the angels, who are the servants of Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent), females, and called them daughters of Allah, then they worshipped them. They were gravely wrong on all three counts. Allah says, denouncing them:

أَفَأَصْفَـكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِالْبَنِينَ ...

Has then your Lord preferred for you sons,

meaning, has He given only you sons!

... وَاتَّخَذَ مِنَ الْمَلآئِكَةِ إِنَاثًا ...

and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters.

meaning, has He chosen for Himself, as you claim, daughters. Then Allah denounces them even more severely, and says:

... إِنَّكُمْ لَتَقُولُونَ قَوْلاً عَظِيمًا ﴿٤٠﴾

Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying.

meaning, in your claim that Allah has children, then you say that His children are female, which you do not like for yourselves and may even kill them by burying them alive. That is indeed a division most unfair!

Allah says:

وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً ... وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً

And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a child.''

Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins.

That they ascribe a son child to the Most Beneficent. But it is not suitable for (the majesty of) the Most Beneficent that he should beget a child. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent as a servant. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And every one of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection. (19:88-95)

41

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِى هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ لِيَذَّكَّرُواْ وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلاَّ نُفُورًا

And surely, We have explained in this Qur'an that they may take heed, but it increases them in naught save aversion.  

Allah says:

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِي هَـذَا الْقُرْآنِ ...

And surely, We have explained in this Qur'an,

meaning, `We have explained Our warnings so that they may remember the proof, evidence and exhortations contained therein, and be prevented from Shirk, wrongdoing and scandal.'

... لِيَذَّكَّرُواْ ...

that they may take heed,

... وَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ ...

but it increases them in naught,

the wrong- doers among them.

... إِلاَّ نُفُورًا ﴿٤١﴾

save aversion.

aversion towards the truth; they go further away from it.

41

قُلْ لَّوْ كَانَ مَعَهُ ءَالِهَةٌ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذًا لاَّبْتَغَوْاْ إِلَى ذِى الْعَرْشِ سَبِيلاً

Say: "If there had been other gods along with Him as they assert, then they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne.

42

 سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا

Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!  

Allah says:

قُل لَّوْ كَانَ مَعَهُ آلِهَةٌ كَمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذًا لاَّبْتَغَوْاْ إِلَى ذِي الْعَرْشِ سَبِيلاً ﴿٤٢﴾

Say: "If there had been other gods along with Him as they assert, then they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne.

`Say, O Muhammad, to these idolators who claim that Allah has a partner among His creation, and who worship others besides Him that they may bring them nearer to Him: if the matter is as you say, and there is another god besides Him whom you worship in order to draw closer to Him and so that he will intercede for you with Him, then those whom you worship would themselves worship Him and seek means to draw closer to Him. So worship Him alone, just as those on whom you call besides Him worship Him. You have no need of a deity to be an intermediary between you and Him, for He does not like or accept that, rather He hates it and rejects it, and has forbidden that through all of His Messengers and Prophets.'

Then He glorifies and sanctifies Himself far above all that, and says:

سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ ...

Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!

meaning these idolators who transgress and do wrong when they claim that there are other gods besides Him.

... عُلُوًّا كَبِيرًا ﴿٤٣﴾

high above,

means, far above.

He is Allah, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable or coequal unto Him.

44

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَـوَتُ السَّبْعُ وَالاٌّرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَىْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ

The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification.

إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا

Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.

Everything glorifies Allah

Allah says:

تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَاوَاتُ السَّبْعُ وَالأَرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ ...

The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him

meaning the creatures that dwell therein, sanctify Him, exalt Him, venerate Him, glorify Him and magnify Him far above what these idolators say, and they bear witness that He is One in His Lordship and Divinity. In everything there is a sign of Allah indicating that He is One.

As Allah says:

تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً

أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً

Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, That they ascribe child to the Most Beneficent. (19:90-91)

... وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ ...

and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise.

there is no created being that does not celebrate the praises of Allah.

... وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ ...

But you understand not their glorification.

means, `You do not understand them, O mankind, because it is not like your languages.'

This applies to all creatures generally, animal, inanimate and botanical. This is the better known of the two opinions according to the most reliable of two opinions.

It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Ibn Mas`ud said: "We used to hear the Tasbih of the food as it was being eaten.''

Imam Ahmad recorded that (Mu`adh bin Anas said that) the Messenger of Allah came upon some people who were sitting on their mounts and talking to one another. He said to them:

ارْكَبُوهَا سَالِمَةً وَدَعُوهَا سَالِمَةً، وَلَا تَتَّخِذُوهَا كَرَاسِيَّ لِأَحَادِيثِكُمْ فِي الطُّرُقِ وَالْأَسْوَاقِ، فَرُبَّ مَرْكُوبَةٍ خَيْرٌ مِنْ رَاكِبِهَا، وَأَكْثَرُ ذِكْرًااِللهِ مِنْه

Ride them safely then leave them safely. Do not use them as chairs for you to have conversations in the streets and marketplaces, because the one that is ridden may be better than the one who rides it, and may remember Allah more than he does.

An-Nasa'i recorded in his Sunan that Abdullah bin `Amr said: "The Messenger of Allah forbade us from killing frogs.''

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا ﴿٤٤﴾

Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.

means, He does not hasten to punish those who disobey Him, rather He gives them time and waits, then if they persist in their stubborn Kufr, He seizes them with a punishment of the All-Mighty, All-Capable.

It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that:

إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه

Allah will let the wrongdoer carry on until, when He does seize him, He will never let him go.

Then the Messenger of Allah recited:

وَكَذلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ

Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. (11:02)

Allah says:

وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَمْلَيْتُ لَهَا وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ

And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. (22:45),

until the end of two Ayat.

فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَهْلَكْنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ

And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing. (22:48)

Whoever gives up his disbelief and disobedience, and turns back to Allah in repentance, Allah will accept his repentance, as He says:

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللَّه

And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness. (4:110)

Here, Allah says:

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا

Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.

At the end of Surah Fatir, He says:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُمْسِكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ أَن تَزُولاَ وَلَئِن زَالَتَآ إِنْ أَمْسَكَهُمَا مِنْ أَحَدٍ مِّن بَعْدِهِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيماً غَفُوراً

Verily, Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving...

until His saying;

وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ

And if Allah were to punish men. (35:41-45)

45

وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرءَانَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا

And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil.

46

 وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِى الْقُرْءَانِ وَحْدَهُ وَلَّوْاْ عَلَى أَدْبَـرِهِمْ نُفُوراً

And We have put Akinnah over their hearts, lest they should understand it, and in their ears deafness. And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an, they turn on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislike.  

The Veil over the Hearts of the Idolators

Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad:

وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا ﴿٤٥﴾  

And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil.

Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said, "It is coverings over their hearts,'' as Allah says:

وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا فِي أَكِنَّةٍ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَا إِلَيْهِ وَفِي آذَانِنَا وَقْرٌ وَمِن بَيْنِنَا وَبَيْنِكَ حِجَابٌ

And they say: "Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us; and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen. (41:5)

meaning, there is something that is stopping and preventing your words from reaching us.

...حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا

an invisible veil.

meaning something which covers, or that cannot be seen, so there is a barrier between them and guidance.

This is the interpretation that Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) thought was correct.

Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawusili recorded that Asma' bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) said,

"When the Ayah, تَبَّتْ يَدَا أَبِي لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ (Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!), (111:1) was revealed, the one-eyed woman Umm Jamil (the wife of Abu Lahab) came with a stone pestle in her hand, screaming, `What was sent to us is somebody blameworthy, or, we reject somebody blameworthy

(Abu Musa - one of the narrators - said, it is I who am not sure what was said); we shun his religion and disobey whatever he commands!'

The Messenger of Allah was sitting with Abu Bakr by his side. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `This woman has come and I am afraid she will see you.'

The Prophet said, إِنَّهَا لَنْ تَرَانِي (Certainly she will not see me), and he recited Qur'an through which he was protected from her:

وَإِذَا قَرَأْتَ الْقُرآنَ جَعَلْنَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالآخِرَةِ حِجَابًا مَّسْتُورًا

And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil.

She came and found Abu Bakr, but she did not see the Prophet.

She said, `O Abu Bakr, I have heard that your companion is lampooning me.'

Abu Bakr said, `No, by the Lord of this House (the Ka`bah), he is not lampooning you.'

Then she went away, saying, `The Quraysh know that I am the daughter of their master.'''

وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً ...  

And We have put coverings over their hearts,

Akinnah (coverings) is the plural of Kinan, which covers the heart.

... أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ ...

lest they should understand it,

means, lest they should understand the Qur'an.

... وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا ...

and in their ears deafness,

something that will stop them from hearing the Qur'an in such a way that they will understand it and be guided by it.

... وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ ...

And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an,

means, when you declare Allah to be One in your recitation, and say La Ilaha Illallah,

... وَلَّوْاْ ...

they turn,

means they turn away,

... عَلَى أَدْبَارِهِمْ نُفُورًا ﴿٤٦﴾

on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislike.

As Allah says:

وَإِذَا ذُكِرَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ اشْمَأَزَّتْ قُلُوبُ الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ

And when Allah Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust (from the Oneness of Allah).(39:45)

... وَإِذَا ذَكَرْتَ رَبَّكَ فِي الْقُرْآنِ وَحْدَهُ ...

And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an,

Commenting on this Ayah, Qatadah said that; when the Muslims said La Ilaha Illallah, the idolators disliked this and found it intolerable.

Iblis and his troops hated it, but Allah insisted on supporting it so that it would prevail over those who opposed it. Whoever uses it against his opponent will prevail, and whoever fights for it will be victorious. Only the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, which can be traversed by a rider in a few nights, knew it and accepted it, out of all mankind.

47

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ

We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you.

وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَى إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّـلِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَّسْحُورًا

And when they take secret counsel, then the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a bewitched man.''

48

 انْظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً

See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.  

The Secret Counsel of Quraysh after hearing the Qur'an

Allah says;

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَسْتَمِعُونَ بِهِ إِذْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ وَإِذْ هُمْ نَجْوَى إِذْ يَقُولُ الظَّالِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَّسْحُورًا ﴿٤٧﴾  

We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you. And when they take secret counsel, then the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a bewitched man.''

Allah tells His Prophet about what the leaders of Quraysh discussed when they came and listened to him reciting Qur'an in secret, without their people knowing about it.

They said that he was Mashur which according to the better-known view means someone affected by magic (Sihr);

it may also mean a man who has a lung, i.e., a mere human being, as if they were saying that if you follow Muhammad, you will only be following a human being.

This second suggestion does not sound correct, because what they meant here was that he was under the influence of Sihr (magic) which made him see dreams in which he learned these words that he recited.

Some of them said he was a poet, or a soothsayer, or crazy, or a sorcerer.

Allah says:

انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الأَمْثَالَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعْونَ سَبِيلاً ﴿٤٨﴾  

See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.

meaning, they will never be guided to the truth and will never find a way to reach it.

Muhammad bin Ishaq said in As-Sirah:

"Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihab Az-Zuhri told me that; it happened that Abu Sufyan bin Harb, Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq bin Amr bin Wahb Ath-Thaqafi, the ally of Bani Zahrah, went out one night to listen to the Messenger of Allah when he was praying at night in his house.

Each one of them took up a position for listening, and none of them knew that the others were also there. They stayed listening to him all night until dawn came. When they left, they met up on the road, each of them blaming the others, saying to one another; `Do not come back again, lest you give the wrong impression (i.e., that you like what you hear).'

Then they went away until the second night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, each of them blamed the others, saying the same as they had said the previous night.

Then they went away until the third night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, they said to one another, `Let us not leave until we promise not to come back,' so they made a promise to that effect, and went their separate ways.

In the morning, Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq took his stick and went to the house of Abu Sufyan bin Harb, where he said, `Tell me, O Abu Hanzalah (i.e., Abu Sufyan), what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad!'

Abu Sufyan said, `O Abu Tha`labah (i.e., Al-Akhnas), by Allah, I have heard something I understand and I know what is meant by it, and I have heard things I do not understand and do not know what is meant by it.'

Al-Akhnas said: `Me too, by the One by Whom you swore.'

Then he left and went to Abu Jahl, and entered his house. He said, `O Abu Al-Hakam (i.e., Abu Jahl), what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad!'

He said, `What did you hear?'

He said, `We and Banu `Abd Manaf competed for honor and position: they fed people so we fed people, they engaged in battle so we engaged in battle, they gave so we gave, until we were neck and neck, like race horses. Then they said, we have a Prophet among us who receives revelation from heaven. How could we compete with that By Allah we will never believe in him.'

Then Al-Akhnas got up and left him.''  

49

 وَقَالُواْ أَءِذَا كُنَّا عِظَـماً وَرُفَـتاً أَءِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقاً جَدِيداً

And they say: "When we are bones and fragments (destroyed), should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation!''

50

 قُلْ كُونُواْ حِجَارَةً أَوْ حَدِيداً

Say: "Be you stones or iron,''

51

 أَوْ خَلْقًا مِّمَّا يَكْبُرُ فِى صُدُورِكُمْ

"Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts.''

فَسَيَقُولُونَ مَن يُعِيدُنَا

Then, they will say: "Who shall bring us back (to life)''

قُلِ الَّذِى فَطَرَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ

Say: "He Who created you first!''

فَسَيُنْغِضُونَ إِلَيْكَ رُؤُوسَهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هُوَ

Then, they will shake their heads at you and say: "When will that be!''

قُلْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا

Say: "Perhaps it is near!''

52

يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with (words of) His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!  

Refutation of Those Who do not believe in Life after Death

Allah tells us about the disbelievers who think it very unlikely that the Resurrection will happen;

وَقَالُواْ أَئِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا ...  

And they say: When we are bones and fragments.

meaning earth. This was the view of Mujahid.

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas: it means dust.

... أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا ﴿٤٩﴾

should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation!

meaning, on the Day of Resurrection after we have disintegrated and become nothing, and have been forgotten.

Allah tells us about them elsewhere:

يَقُولُونَ أَءِنَّا لَمَرْدُودُونَ فِى الْحَـفِرَةِ

أَءِذَا كُنَّا عِظَـماً نَّخِرَةً

قَالُواْ تِلْكَ إِذاً كَرَّةٌ خَـسِرَةٌ

They say: "Shall we indeed be returned to (our) former state of life even after we are crumbled bones!'' They say: "It would in that case, be a return with loss!'' (79:10-12)

And,

وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً وَنَسِىَ خَلْقَهُ

And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation.

until the end of two Ayat. (36:78-79)

Allah commands His Messenger to respond to them, so He says:

قُل كُونُواْ حِجَارَةً أَوْ حَدِيدًا ﴿٥٠﴾  

Say (O Muhammad): "Be you stones or iron,''

- which are more difficult to restore than bones and fragments,

أَوْ خَلْقًا مِّمَّا يَكْبُرُ فِي صُدُورِكُمْ ...  

Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts.

Ibn Ishaq narrated from Ibn Abi Najih from Mujahid, "I asked Ibn Abbas about that, and he said: `This is death.'''

Atiyah reported that Ibn Umar explained of this Ayah: "If you were dead I would still resurrect you.''

This was also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others.

This means that if you were to assume that you would become dead, which is the opposite of living, Allah will resurrect you when He wills, for nothing can stop Him when He wills a thing.

Mujahid said: "This means the heavens, earth and mountains.''

According to another report, "Whatever you want to be, go ahead, Allah will still resurrect you after you die.''

... فَسَيَقُولُونَ مَن يُعِيدُنَا ...

Then, they will say: "Who shall bring us back (to life)!''

meaning, who will resurrect us if we are stones or iron or some other strong created thing!

... قُلِ الَّذِي فَطَرَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ ...

Say: "He Who created you first!''

meaning, He Who created you when you were nothing, then you became human beings, walking about. He is able to create you anew, no matter what you have become.

وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ

And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him. (30:27)

... فَسَيُنْغِضُونَ إِلَيْكَ رُؤُوسَهُمْ ...

Then, they will shake their heads at you,

Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said, "They will move their heads in a gesture of mockery.''

This view expressed by Ibn Abbas and Qatadah is;

what the Arabs understand from the language, because the word used Fasayunghidun indicates an up-and-down movement Nughad. A word derived from the same root, Naghd, is used to refer to the young of the ostrich, because when it walks, it walks quickly and moves its head. The same word is used to describe a tooth when it becomes loose and is detached from its place.

... وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هُوَ ...

and say: "When will that be!''

This shows that they thought it very unlikely that it would happen, as Allah says:

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هَـذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ

And they say: "When will this promise (i.e. Resurrection) be fulfilled, if you are truthful!'' (36:48)

يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا

Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it (the Hour). (42:18)

... قُلْ عَسَى أَن يَكُونَ قَرِيبًا ﴿٥١﴾

Say: "Perhaps it is near!''

meaning, beware of it, for it is at hand and will no doubt come to you, and what will be will be.

يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ ...  

On the Day when He will call you,

meaning the Lord, may He be blessed and exalted:

إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ دَعْوَةً مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ إِذَآ أَنتُمْ تَخْرُجُونَ

When He will call you by a single call, behold, you will come out from the earth. (30:25),

meaning, when He commands you to come out from the earth, for nothing can oppose Him or prevent His command from being fulfilled. Rather, it is as He says:

وَمَآ أَمْرُنَآ إِلاَّ وَحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ

And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye. (54:50)

إِنَّمَا قَوْلُنَا لِشَىْءٍ إِذَآ أَرَدْنَاهُ أَن نَّقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

Verily, Our Word unto a thing when We intend it, is only that We say unto it: "Be!'' - and it is. (16:40)

فَإِنَّمَا هِىَ زَجْرَةٌ وَحِدَةٌ

فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَةِ

But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they find themselves (on the surface of the earth) alive (after their death). (79:13-14),

meaning, it will be just one definitive command, then the people will have come out from the inside of the earth to its surface, as Allah says:

يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ  فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ ...

On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with (words of) His praise.

meaning, you will all rise up in response to His command and in obedience to His will.

... وَتَظُنُّونَ ...

and you will think,

means, on the Day when you rise up from your graves,

... إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ ...

that you have stayed (in this earthly abode),

... إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ﴿٥٢﴾

but a little while.

This is like the Ayah:

كَأَنَّهُمْ يَوْمَ يَرَوْنَهَا لَمْ يَلْبَثُواْ إِلاَّ عَشِيَّةً أَوْ ضُحَـهَا

The Day they see it, (it will be) as if they had not tarried (in this world) except an afternoon or a morning. (79:46)

Allah says:

يَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِى الصُّورِ وَنَحْشُرُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ يَوْمِئِذٍ زُرْقاً

يَتَخَـفَتُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ عَشْراً

نَّحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ إِذْ يَقُولُ أَمْثَلُهُمْ طَرِيقَةً إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ يَوْماً

The Day when the Trumpet will be blown: that Day, We shall gather the blue or blind-eyed with thirst. They will speak in a very low voice to each other (saying): "You stayed not longer than ten (days).'' We know very well what they will say, when the best among them in knowledge and wisdom will say: "You stayed no longer than a day!'' (20:102-104)

وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يُقْسِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ مَا لَبِثُواْ غَيْرَ سَاعَةٍ كَذَلِكَ كَانُواْ يُؤْفَكُونَ

And on the Day that the Hour will be established, they will swear that they stayed not but an hour - thus were they ever deluded. (30:55)

قَـلَ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ

قَالُواْ لَبِثْنَا يَوْماً أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ فَاسْأَلِ الْعَآدِّينَ

قَالَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً لَّوْ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ

He will say: "What number of years did you stay on earth!''

They will say: "We stayed a day or part of a day. Ask of those who keep account.''

He will say: "You stayed not but a little, if you had only known!'' (23:112-114)

53

وَقُل لِّعِبَادِى يَقُولُواْ الَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَـنِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا

And say to My servants that they should say those words that are best. (Because) Shaytan verily, sows a state of conflict and disagreement among them. Surely, Shaytan is to man a plain enemy.  

People should speak Good Words with Politeness

Allah commands:

وَقُل لِّعِبَادِي يَقُولُواْ الَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ يَنزَغُ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا ﴿٥٣﴾  

And say to My servants that they should say those words that are best. (Because) Shaytan verily, sows a state of conflict and disagreement among them. Surely, Shaytan is to man a plain enemy.

Allah commands His servant Muhammad to tell the believing servants of Allah that they should address one another in their conversations and discussions with the best and politest of words, for if they do not do that, Shaytan will sow discord among them, and words will lead to actions, so that evil and conflicts and fights will arise among them. For Shaytan is the enemy of Adam and his descendants, and has been since he refused to prostrate to Adam. His enmity is obvious and manifest. For this reason it is forbidden for a man to point at his Muslim brother with an iron instrument, for Shaytan may cause him to strike him with it.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said:

"The Messenger of Allah said:

لَا يُشِيرَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ إِلَى أَخِيهِ بِالسِّلَاحِ، فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَدْرِي أَحَدُكُمْ لَعَلَّ الشَّيْطَانَ أَنْ يَنْزِعَ فِي يَدِهِ فَيَقَعَ فِي حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّار

No one of you should point at his brother with a weapon, for he does not know whether Shaytan will cause him to strike him with it and thus be thrown into a pit of Fire.

Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith with the chain of narration from Abdur-Razzaq.

54

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِن يَشَأْ يَرْحَمْكُمْ أَوْ إِن يَشَأْ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَـكَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً

Lord knows you best; if He wills, He will have mercy on you, or if He wills, He will punish you. And We have not sent you as a guardian over them.

55

 وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth.

وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَى بَعْضٍ وَءَاتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا

And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others, and to Dawud We gave the Zabur.  

Allah says:

رَّبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ ...  

Your Lord knows you best;

O mankind, meaning, He knows best who among you deserves to be guided and who does not deserve to be guided.

... إِن يَشَأْ يَرْحَمْكُمْ ...

if He wills, He will have mercy on you,

by helping you to obey Him and turn to Him.

... أَوْ إِن يَشَأْ يُعَذِّبْكُمْ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ ...

or if He wills, He will punish you. And We have not sent you (- O Muhammad -).

... عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً ﴿٥٤﴾

as a guardian over them.

meaning, `We have sent you as a warner, so whoever obeys you, will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys you, will enter Hell.'

وَرَبُّكَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ ...  

And your Lord knows best all who are in the heavens and the earth.

meaning, their status or level of obedience or disobedience.

The Preference of some Prophets above Others

Allah says:

... وَلَقَدْ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَ النَّبِيِّينَ عَلَى بَعْضٍ ...

And indeed, We have preferred some of the Prophets above others.

As Allah says:

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ مِّنْهُمْ مَّن كَلَّمَ اللَّهُ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَهُمْ دَرَجَـتٍ

Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others; to some of them Allah spoke (directly); others He raised to degrees (of honor). (2:253)

This does not contradict the report in the Two Sahihs which says that the Messenger of Allah said:

لَا تُفَضِّلُوا بَيْنَ الْأَنْبِيَاء

Don't give superiority to any Prophet among (Allah's) Prophets.

What is meant in this Hadith is giving a superiority based on whims and fanaticism or sectarian feelings, not on the basis of evidence. If there is solid evidence, we have to follow it. There is no dispute that the Messengers are better than the rest of the Prophets, and that the mighty Messengers of Great Resolve are the best of all. They are the five mentioned in two Ayat of the Qur'an, in Surah Al-Ahzab:

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِيثَاقَهُمْ وَمِنْكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ وَإِبْرَهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ

And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa son of Maryam. (33:7)

and in Surah Ash-Shura:

شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الِدِينِ مَا وَصَّى بِهِ نُوحاً وَالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَى وَعِيسَى أَنْ أَقِيمُواْ الدِّينَ وَلاَ تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ

He has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it. (42:13)

There is no dispute that Muhammad is the best of them, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa (peace be upon them all), according to the best-known view.

We have discussed the evidence for this in detail elsewhere, and Allah is the source of help.

Allah's saying,

... وَآتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ زَبُورًا ﴿٥٥﴾

and to Dawud We gave the Zabur.

is an indication of his virtue and honor.

Al-Bukhari recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

خُفِّفَ عَلَى دَاوُدَ الْقُرْآنُ، فَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ بِدَوَابِّهِ فَتُسْرَجُ، فَكَانَ يَقْرَؤُهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَفْرُغ

The Qur'an (i.e. revealed Scripture of Zabur) was made easy for Dawud, so he would call for his mounts to be saddled, and he would finish reciting it (i.e., the Zabur) before the job was done.

56

قُلِ ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِهِ فَلاَ يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنْكُمْ وَلاَ تَحْوِيلاً

Say: "Call upon those - besides Him whom you pretend. They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you nor even to shift (it from you to another person).''

57

 أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَـفُونَ عَذَابَهُ

Those whom they call upon, desire a means of access to their Lord, as to which of them should be the nearest; and they hope for His mercy and fear His torment.

إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا

Verily, the torment of your Lord is (something) to be afraid of!  

The gods of the Idolators can neither benefit nor harm; rather they themselves seek to draw close to Allah

Allah says:

قُلِ ...  

Say,

O Muhammad to these idolators who worship things other than Allah,

... ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِهِ ...

Call upon those - besides Him whom you pretend.

such as idols and rivals of Allah.

Even if you turn to them,

... فَلاَ يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنكُمْ ...

They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you,

they have no such power at all,

... وَلاَ تَحْوِيلاً ﴿٥٦﴾

nor even to shift (it from you to another person).

to lift the distress from you and give it to someone else.

The meaning is that the only one Who is able to do that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, Who is the One Who creates and issues commands.

قُلِ ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم

Say: "Call upon those whom you pretend,

Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn Abbas, "The people of Shirk used to say, `we worship the angels and the Messiah and Uzayr,' while these (the angels and the Messiah and Uzayr) themselves call upon Allah.''

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ ...  

Those whom they call upon, desire,

Al-Bukhari recorded from Sulayman bin Mahran Al-A`mash, from Ibrahim, from Abu Ma`mar, from Abdullah:

أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ...

Those whom they call upon, desire a means of access to their Lord,

"Some of the Jinn used to be worshipped, then they became Muslims.''

According to another report: "Some humans used to worship some of the Jinn, then those Jinn became Muslim, but those humans adhered to their religion (of worshipping the Jinn).''

... أَيُّهُمْ أَقْرَبُ ...

as to which of them should be the nearest;

... وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَافُونَ عَذَابَهُ ...

they hope for His mercy and fear His torment.

Worship cannot be complete or perfect unless it is accompanied by both fear and hope.

- Fear stops one from doing things that are forbidden, and

- hope makes one do more good deeds.

... إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا ﴿٥٧﴾

Verily, the torment of your Lord is (something) to be afraid of!

meaning, one should beware of it and be afraid lest it happen.

We seek refuge with Allah from that.

58

وَإِن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلاَّ نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا كَانَ ذلِك فِى الْكِتَـبِ مَسْطُورًا

And there is not a town (population) but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment. That is written in the Book (of Our decrees).  

The Destruction or Torment of all Disbelieving Towns before the Hour begins

Allah tells;

وَإِن مَّن قَرْيَةٍ إِلاَّ نَحْنُ مُهْلِكُوهَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ أَوْ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا كَانَ ذَلِك فِي الْكِتَابِ مَسْطُورًا ﴿٥٨﴾  

And there is not a town (population) but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment. That is written in the Book (of Our decrees).

Here Allah tells us that He has decreed and it is written in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet) which is with Him, that there is no town that He will not destroy by wiping out all its people or by punishing them, عَذَابًا شَدِيدًا (with a severe torment), either by killing them or sending calamities upon them as He wills.

This will be because of their sins, as Allah says of the past nations:

وَمَا ظَلَمْنَـهُمْ وَلَـكِن ظَلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ

We wronged them not, but they wronged themselves. (11:101)

فَذَاقَتْ وَبَالَ أَمْرِهَا وَكَانَ عَـقِبَةُ أَمْرِهَا خُسْراً

So it tasted the evil result of its affair (disbelief), and the consequence of its affair (disbelief) was loss. (65:9)

وَكَأِيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ عَتَتْ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهَا وَرُسُلِهِ

And many a town (population) revolted against the command of its Lord and His Messengers; (65:8)

and many Ayat.

59

وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ

And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them.

وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا

And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong.

وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا

And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).  

The Reason why Allah did not send Signs or Miracles

Allah said,

وَمَا مَنَعَنَا أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الأَوَّلُونَ وَآتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا ﴿٥٩﴾  

And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).

Sa`id bin Jubayr said,

"The idolators said: `O Muhammad, you claim that before you there were Prophets, among whom was one to whom the wind was subjugated, and another who could bring the dead back to life. If you want us to believe in you, ask your Lord to turn As-Safa' into gold for us.'

Allah conveyed to him by inspiration (Wahy):

`I have heard what they have said. If you wish, I will do what they say, but if they do not believe after that, the punishment will come down upon them, because after the sign has been sent, there is no room for speculation. Or if you wish, I will be patient with your people and give them more time.'

He said:

يَارَبِّ اسْتَأْنِ بِهِم

O Lord, give them more time.''

This was also narrated by Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and others.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said,

"The people of Makkah asked the Prophet to turn As-Safa' into gold for them, and to remove the mountains (from around Makkah) so that they could cultivate the land.

It was said to him (by Allah): `If you wish, I will be patient and give them more time, or if you wish, I will do what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, they will be destroyed as the nations before them were destroyed.'

He said,

لَا، بَلِ اسْتَأْنِ بِهِم

No, be patient and give them more time.Then Allah revealed:

وَمَا مَنَعَنَا أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الأَوَّلُونَ ...

And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them.

An-Nasa'i also reported this from the Hadith of Jarir.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said:

The Quraysh said to the Prophet, "Ask your Lord to turn As-Safa' into gold and we will believe in you.''

He said, وَتَفْعَلُونَ (Will you really do that)?

They said, "Yes.''

So he asked his Lord, and Jibril came to him and said:

"Your Lord conveys His Salam to you and says, `If you wish, I will turn As-Safa' into gold for them, then whoever of them disbelieves after that, will be punished with a torment the like of which has never be seen in creation; or if you wish, I will open the gates of repentance and mercy for them.'''

He said,

بَلْ بَابُ التَّوْبَةِ وَالرَّحْمَة

Rather the gates of repentance and mercy.

... وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا

And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).

Qatadah said,

"Allah makes people afraid with whatever signs He wills, so that they may learn a lesson and remember and return to Him. We were told that Al-Kufah was shaken at the time of Ibn Mas`ud, who said: `O people, your Lord is rebuking you, so pay heed!'''

Similarly, it was reported that Al-Madinah was struck by several earthquakes at the time of Umar bin Al-Khattab.

Umar said: "You have changed, by Allah, and if such a quake were to strike again, I will subject you to such and such.''

The Prophet said, in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon:

إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ آيَتَانِ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللهِ وَإِنَّهُمَا لَا يَنْكَسِفَانِ لِمَوْتِ أَحَدٍ وَلَا لِحَيَاتِهِ، وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُخَوِّفُ بِهِمَا عِبَادَهُ، فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ ذَلِكَ فَافْزَعُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِهِ وَدُعَائِهِ وَاسْتِغْفَارِهِ

ثُمَّ قَالَ: يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاللهِ مَا أَحَدٌ أَغْيَرَ مِنَ اللهِ أَنْ يَزْنِيَ عَبْدُهُ أَوْ تَزْنِيَ أَمَتُهُ،

يَا أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ وَاللهِ لَوْ تَعْلَمُونَ مَا أَعْلَمُ لَضَحِكْتُمْ قَلِيلًا وَلَبَكَيْتُمْ كَثِيرًا

The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah, and they are not eclipsed for the death or life of anyone. Allah uses them to make His servants afraid, so if you see them, hasten to remember Him, call on Him and seek His forgiveness.

Then he said:

O Ummah of Muhammad, by Allah, no one has a greater sense of jealousy than Allah if He sees His servant, or female servant, committing Zina (illegal sexual intercourse).

O Ummah of Muhammad, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.

60

 وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لَكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ أَحَاطَ بِالنَّاسِ

And (remember) when We told you: "Verily, your Lord has encompassed mankind.''

وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّءْيَا الَّتِى أَرَيْنَـكَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِى القُرْءَانِ

And We made not the vision which We showed you but a trial for mankind, and (likewise) the accursed tree in the Qur'an.

وَنُخَوِّفُهُمْ فَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلاَّ طُغْيَانًا كَبِيرًا

We warn and make them afraid but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allah.  

Allah has encompassed Mankind and made the Vision of His Prophet a Trial for Them

Allah says to His Messenger, encouraging him to convey the Message and informing him that He is protecting him from the people, that He is able to deal with them and that they are in His grasp and under His domination and control.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لَكَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ أَحَاطَ بِالنَّاسِ ...  

And (remember) when We told you: "Verily, your Lord has encompassed mankind..''

Mujahid, Urwah bin Az-Az-Zubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others said, "This means, He protected you from them.''

"This means, He protected you from them.''

... وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الرُّؤيَا الَّتِي أَرَيْنَاكَ إِلاَّ فِتْنَةً لِّلنَّاسِ ...

And We made not the vision which We showed you but a trial for mankind,

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said:

"This is the vision which the Messenger of Allah saw with his own eyes on the night when he was taken on the Night Journey (Al-Isra').

... وَالشَّجَرَةَ الْمَلْعُونَةَ فِي القُرْآنِ ...

and (likewise) the accursed tree in the Quran.

refers to the Tree of Zaqqum.''

This was also recorded by Ahmad, Abdur-Razzaq and others. It was also reported by Al-Awfi from Ibn Abbas.

It was also interpreted as referring to the Night of the Isra' by Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Masruq, Ibrahim, Qatadah, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd and several others.

We have already quoted at length a comprehensive collection of Hadith about the Isra' at the beginning of this Surah, praise be to Allah. We have also already stated that some people gave up their Islam after they had been following the truth, because their hearts and minds could not comprehend that, and they denied what their knowledge could not grasp, but Allah caused it to increase and strengthen the faith of others, and so He says: إِلاَّ فِتْنَةً (but a trial), meaning a test.

As for the cursed tree, this is the Tree of Zaqqum. When the Messenger of Allah told them that he had seen Paradise and Hell, and seen the Tree of Zaqqum, they did not believe that, and Abu Jahl, upon whom be the curses of Allah, even said, "Bring us some dates and butter,'' and he started eating them and saying, "Let us have some Zaqqum, we don't know any other Zaqqum but this.''

This was narrated by Ibn Abbas, Masruq, Abu Malik, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others.

Everyone who interpreted the Ayah to refer to the Night of the Isra', also interpreted it to refer to the Tree of Zaqqum.

... وَنُخَوِّفُهُمْ ...

(We) make them afraid,

meaning, `We make the disbelievers afraid with Our warnings and punishments and torment.'

... فَمَا يَزِيدُهُمْ إِلاَّ طُغْيَانًا كَبِيرًا ﴿٦٠﴾

but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allah.

means, it only pushes them further into their disbelief and misguidance, and this is because Allah has forsaken them.

61

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إَلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.'' They prostrated themselves except Iblis.

قَالَ أَءَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا

He said: "Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay!''

62

 قَالَ أَرَءَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِى كَرَّمْتَ عَلَىَّ لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً

He said: "See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely, seize and mislead his offspring, all but a few!''  

The Story of Adam and Iblis

Allah tells:

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلآئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إَلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ ...  

And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.'' They prostrated themselves except Iblis.

Allah mentions here the enmity of Iblis, may the curse of Allah be upon him and his progeny. This is an ancient hatred, dating from the time that Allah created Adam, when He commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam, and all of them prostrated except Iblis, who was too arrogant and he haughtily refused to prostrate to him. He said in a tone indicating contempt:

... قَالَ أَأَسْجُدُ لِمَنْ خَلَقْتَ طِينًا ﴿٦١﴾

He said: "Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay!''

According to another Ayah, he said:

أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ

I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay. (7:12)

He also said, speaking to the Lord with disbelief and insolence, but the Lord bore it patiently:

قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكَ هَـذَا الَّذِي كَرَّمْتَ عَلَيَّ ...  

He said: "See this one whom You have honored above me...''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "He is saying, `I am going to dominate his offspring, all but a few.'''

Mujahid said (it means), "I am going to surround them.''

Ibn Zayd said (it means), "I am going to lead them astray.''

All of them are close in meaning, and the meaning of the Ayah is, "Do You see this one whom You have honored and made greater than me If You give me time, I will lead his descendants astray, all but a few of them.''

... لَئِنْ أَخَّرْتَنِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لأَحْتَنِكَنَّ ذُرِّيَّتَهُ إَلاَّ قَلِيلاً ﴿٦٢﴾

if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely, seize and mislead his offspring, all but a few!''

63

قَالَ اذْهَبْ فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاءً مَّوفُورًا

 (Allah) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) an ample recompense.

64

 وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِى الاٌّمْوَلِ وَالاٌّوْلَـدِ وَعِدْهُمْ

"And fool them gradually, those whom you can among them with your voice, Ajlib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.''

وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا

But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit.

65

إِنَّ عِبَادِى لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَـنٌ وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً

"Verily, My servants, you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.''  

When Iblis asked for respite,

قَالَ اذْهَبْ ...  

(Allah) said: `Go, (I will give you respite).'

According to another Ayah (Allah) said:

قَالَ فَإِنَّكَ مِنَ الْمُنظَرِينَ

إِلَى يَوْمِ الْوَقْتِ الْمَعْلُومِ

Verily, you are of those allowed respite till the Day of the time appointed. (38:80-81)

Then Allah warned him and those who follow him among the progeny of Adam about Hell:

قَالَ اذْهَبْ  فَمَن تَبِعَكَ مِنْهُمْ فَإِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ جَزَآؤُكُمْ جَزَاء ...

(Allah) said: "Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all),

meaning, for your deeds.

... جَزَاء مَّوْفُورًا ﴿٦٣﴾

an ample recompense.

Mujahid said, "Sufficient recompense.''

Qatadah said, "It will be abundant for you and will not be decreased for you.''

وَاسْتَفْزِزْ مَنِ اسْتَطَعْتَ مِنْهُمْ بِصَوْتِكَ ...  

And fool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice,

It was said that this refers to singing.

Mujahid said, "With idle entertainment and singing,'' meaning, influence them with that.

Ibn Abbas said, "Every caller who calls people to disobey Allah.''

This was the view of Qatadah, and was also the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir.

... وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ ...

Ajib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry.

Send your troops and cavalry and infantry against them.

The meaning is, send whatever forces you have at your disposal against them.

This is a command (related to the divine decree), as Allah says elsewhere:

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا الشَّيَـطِينَ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمْ أَزّاً

See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil. (19:83),

meaning, to provoke them and drive them towards evil.

... وَأَجْلِبْ عَلَيْهِم بِخَيْلِكَ وَرَجِلِكَ ...

Ajlib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry,

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said, "Everyone who rides or walks to go and commit sin and disobey Allah.''

Qatadah said, "He has infantry and cavalry among the Jinn and among humans. They are the ones who obey him.''

The Arabs use the verb Ajlaba when describing somebody shouting at another person. Hence it is forbidden in races to shout at one another and push one another.

From this root is also derived the word Jalabah, which means raising voices.

... وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَوْلادِ ...

and share with them wealth and children,

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said, "This means what he commands them to do of spending money in disobedience to Allah, may He be exalted.''

... وَالأَوْلادِ ...

and children,

Ibn Abbas, as reported by Al-Awfi, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak said, "This means the children of Zina (i.e., illegitimate children).''

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, "This means the children whom they used to kill out of folly, without knowledge.''

Qatadah reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "Allah caused Shaytan to take a share of wealth and children by making them Magians, Jews and Christians, and making them follow any religion other than Islam, and by making them give a part of their wealth to the Shaytan.''

Qatadah said the same.

... وَشَارِكْهُمْ فِي الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَوْلادِ ...

and share with them wealth and children.

The fact that only wealth and children are mentioned in this Ayah, does not mean that it is limited only to those things. Everything in which a person disobeys Allah or obeys the Shaytan means that he is sharing with him.

It was reported in Sahih Muslim from Iyad bin Himar that the Messenger of Allah said:

يَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ

إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِمْ وَحَرَّمَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَا أَحْلَلْتُ لَهُم

Allah the Mighty and Exalted says,

"I have created My servants as Hunafa' (monotheists), then the Shayatin come to them and lead them astray from their religion and (tell that) what I have permitted for them is forbidden to them.''

According to the Two Sahihs, the Messenger of Allah said:

لَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَهُمْ إِذَا أَرَادَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَ أَهْلَهُ قَالَ:

بِسْمِ اللهِ اللَّهُمَّ جَنِّبْنَا الشَّيْطَانَ وَجَنِّبِ الشَّيْطَانَ مَا رَزَقْتَنَا فَإِنَّهُ إِنْ يُقَدَّرْ بَيْنَهُمَا وَلَدٌ فِي ذَلِكَ لَمْ يَضُرَّهُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَبَدًا

When one of you wants to have intercourse with his wife, let him say,

`In the Name of Allah. O Allah, keep us away from Shaytan and keep Shaytan away from what you bestow on us (children).'

Then if a child is decreed for them from that, the Shaytan will never harm him.

... وَعِدْهُمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ إِلاَّ غُرُورًا ﴿٦٤﴾

"...and make promises to them.'' But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit.

As Allah tells us, Iblis will say, on the Day when the matter is decided:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ

Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. (14:22)

إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ ...  

Verily, My servants, you have no authority over them.

Here Allah tells us that He supports His believing servants, and guards and protects them against the accursed Shaytan.

Allah says:

... وَكَفَى بِرَبِّكَ وَكِيلاً ﴿٦٥﴾

And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.

meaning, as a Protector, Supporter and Helper.

66

رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِى يُزْجِى لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِى الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ

Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty.

إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا

Truly, He is ever Most Merciful towards you.  

Ships are a Sign of the Mercy of Allah

Allah says;

رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزْجِي لَكُمُ الْفُلْكَ فِي الْبَحْرِ لِتَبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ ...  

Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty.

Allah tells us of His kindness towards His servants by subjugating for them ships on the sea. He makes it easy for them to use ships to serve their interests, seeking His bounty through trade between one region and another.

He says:

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا ﴿٦٦﴾

Truly, He is ever Most Merciful towards you.

meaning, He does this for you out of His grace and mercy towards you.  

67

وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِى الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا نَجَّـكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ كَفُورًا

And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away. And man is ever ungrateful.

When Harm befalls Them, the Disbelievers do not remember anyone except Allah

Allah tells us that when harm befalls people, they call on Him, turning to Him and sincerely beseeching Him.

Hence Allah says:

وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الْضُّرُّ فِي الْبَحْرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ...  

And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him.

meaning, everything they worship besides Allah disappears from their hearts and minds.

Similar happened to Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl when he fled from the Messenger of Allah after the conquest of Makkah, and headed for Ethiopia. He set out across the sea to go to Ethiopia, but a stormy wind arose. The people said to one another: "None can save you except Allah Alone.''

Ikrimah said to himself,

"By Allah if none can benefit on the sea except Allah then no doubt none can benefit on land except Allah. `O Allah! I promise You that if You bring me safely out of this, I will go and put my hand in the hand of Muhammad and surely, I will find him full of pity, kindness and mercy.'''

They came out of it safely and were delivered from the sea.

Then Ikrimah went to the Messenger of Allah, and declared his Islam, and he became a good Muslim, may Allah be pleased with him.

... فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ ...

But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away.

means, you forget what you remembered of Divine Oneness (Tawhid) when you were on the sea, and you turn away from calling on Him Alone with no partner or associate.

... وَكَانَ الإِنْسَانُ كَفُورًا ﴿٦٧﴾

And man is ever ungrateful.

means, by nature he forgets and denies His blessings, except for those whom Allah protects.

68

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

Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a Hasib! Then, you shall find no guardian.  

Does not the Punishment of Allah come on Land too

Allah says,

أَفَأَمِنتُمْ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمْ جَانِبَ الْبَرِّ أَوْ يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاصِبًا ...  

Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a Hasib!

Allah says, do you think that by emerging onto dry land you will be safe from His vengeance and punishment, that a side of the land will not swallow you up or He will not send against you a Hasib - which is a kind of rain that carries stones.

This was the view of Mujahid and others. As Allah says:

إِنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ حَـصِباً إِلاَّ آلَ لُوطٍ نَّجَّيْنَـهُم بِسَحَرٍ نِّعْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا

Verily, We sent against them, except the family of Lut, them We saved in the last hour of the night, As a favor from Us. (54:34-35)

Elsewhere, Allah says:

وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنْضُودٍ

and We rained on them stones of Sijjil, in a well-arranged manner one after another.

أَءَمِنتُمْ مَّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ

أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ مِّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَـصِباً فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ

Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a Hasib! Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My warning. (67: 16-17)

... ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ وَكِيلاً ﴿٦٨﴾

Then, you shall find no guardian.

no helper to turn the punishment away from you and save you.

69

أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ أَن يُعِيدَكُمْ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخْرَى فَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ قَاصِفًا مِّنَ الرِّيحِ فَيُغْرِقَكُم بِمَا كَفَرْتُمْ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا

Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea and send against you a Qasif and drown you because of your disbelief Then you will not find any avenger therein against Us.    

Perhaps He will send You back to the Sea

Allah says,

أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ ...  

Or do you feel secure,

`you who turn away from Us after acknowledging Our Oneness at sea once you are back upon dry land,'

... أَن يُعِيدَكُمْ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخْرَى ...

that He will not send you back a second time to sea

... فَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ قَاصِفا مِّنَ الرِّيحِ ...

and send against you a Qasif,

which will destroy your masts and sink your vessels.

Ibn Abbas and others said, "Al-Qasif is the wind of the sea which destroys vessels and sinks them.''

... فَيُغْرِقَكُم بِمَا كَفَرْتُمْ ...

and drown you because of your disbelief,

means because of your rejection and turning away from Allah.

... ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُواْ لَكُمْ عَلَيْنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا ﴿٦٩﴾

Then you will not find any avenger therein against Us.

Ibn Abbas said that this means a helper.

Mujahid said, "A helper who will avenge you,'' i.e., take revenge on your behalf.

Qatadah said it means, "We are not afraid that anyone will pursue Us with anything of that nature (i.e., vengeance).''

70

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِى ءَادَمَ وَحَمَلْنَـهُمْ فِى الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَـهُمْ مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَـتِ وَفَضَّلْنَـهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلاً

And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Tayyibat, and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.  

The Honor and noble Nature of Man

Allah tells;

وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ ...  

And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam,

Allah tells us how He has honored the sons of Adam and made them noble by creating them in the best and most perfect of forms, as He says:

لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ فِى أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ

Verily, We created man in the best stature (mould). (95:4)

He walks upright on his two feet and eats with his hand, while other living creatures walk on four feet and eat with their mouths, and He has given him hearing, sight and a heart with which to understand all of that, to benefit from it, and distinguish between things to know which are good for him and which are harmful, in both worldly and religious terms.

... وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ ...

and We have carried them on land and sea,

means, on animals such as cattle, horses and mules, and also on the sea in ships and boats, great and small.

... وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ ...

and have provided them with At-Tayyibat,

meaning agricultural produce, fruits, meat, and milk with all kinds of delicious and desirable flavors and colors and beautiful appearance, and fine clothes of all kinds of shapes colors and sizes, which they make for themselves or are brought to them by others from other regions and areas.

... وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلاً ﴿٧٠﴾

and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.

means, over all living beings and other kinds of creation.

This Ayah indicates that human are also preferred over the angels.

71

يَوْمَ نَدْعُواْ كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَـمِهِمْ

(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam (i.e. the Book of deeds).

فَمَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَقْرَءُونَ كِتَـبَهُمْ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً

So whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records, and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least.

72

 وَمَن كَانَ فِى هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى فَهُوَ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ أَعْمَى وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً

And whoever is blind in this (world) then he will be blind in the Hereafter, and most astray from the path.  

Everyone will be called by his Imam on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells;

يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ...  

(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam (i.e. the Book of deeds).

Allah tells us that on the Day of Resurrection, he will call each people to account by its Imam. The scholars differed as to the meaning of this (i.e. Imam).

Mujahid and Qatadah said that; it meant each nation would be called to account by its Prophet.

Some of the Salaf said; this is the greatest honor for the people of Hadith, because their leader is the Prophet.

Ibn Zayd said it means; they would be called to account by their Book which was revealed to their Prophet with its laws.

This was also the view favored by Ibn Jarir.

Ibn Abi Najih narrated that Mujahid said, "With their Books.''

It may be that what is meant here is what Al-Awfi narrated from Ibn Abbas concerning this Ayah, يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ ((And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam), which is that it refers to the Book (or record) of their deeds.

This was also the view of Abu Al-Aliyah, Al-Hasan and Ad-Dahhak.

This view is the most correct, because Allah says:

وَكُلَّ شىْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَـهُ فِى إِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ

and all things We have recorded with numbers (as a record) in a Clear Book (Fi Imamin Mubin). (36:12)

وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَـبُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ

And the Book (one's record) will be placed, and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is (recorded) therein. (18:49)

وَتَرَى كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ جَاثِيَةً كُلُّ أمَّةٍ تُدْعَى إِلَى كِتَـبِهَا الْيَوْمَ تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

هَـذَا كِتَـبُنَا يَنطِقُ عَلَيْكُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّا كُنَّا نَسْتَنسِخُ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And you will see each nation humbled to their knees, each nation will be called to its record (of deeds). This Day you shall be recompensed for what you used to do. This Our record speaks about you with truth. Verily, We were recording what you used to do. (45:28-29)

This does not contradict the fact that the Prophet will be brought forward when Allah judges between his Ummah, for he will inevitably be a witness against his Ummah over their deeds. But what is meant here by Imam is the Book of deeds.

Allah says:

يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ فَمَنْ أُوتِيَ كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَقْرَؤُونَ كِتَابَهُمْ ...

(And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam. So whosoever is given his record in his right hand, such will read their records,

means, because of their happiness and joy at what is recorded therein of good deeds - they will read it and want to read it.

As Allah says:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ فَيَقُولُ هَآؤُمُ اقْرَؤُاْ كِتَـبيَهْ

Then as for him who will be given his record in his right hand will say: "Here! read my record!)

until His saying,

وَأَمَّا مَنْ أُوتِىَ كِتَـبَهُ بِشِمَالِهِ

But as for him who will be given his record in his left hand, (69:19-29)

... وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلاً ﴿٧١﴾

and they will not be dealt with unjustly in the least (Fatilan).

We have already mentioned that the Fatil is the long thread in the groove of a date-pit.

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah according to which the Prophet said, concerning the Ayah, يَوْمَ نَدْعُو كُلَّ أُنَاسٍ بِإِمَامِهِمْ  (And remember) the Day when We shall call together all human beings with their (respective) Imam.

يُدْعَى أَحَدُهُمْ فَيُعْطَى كِتَابَهُ بِيَمِينِهِ، وَيُمَدُّ لَهُ فِي جِسْمِهِ، وَيَبْيَضُّ وَجْهُهُ، وَيُجْعَلُ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ تَاجٌ مِنْ لُؤْلُؤَةٍ يَتَلَأْلَأُ، فَيَنْطَلِقُ إِلَى أَصْحَابِهِ فَيَرَوْنَهُ مِنْ بَعِيدٍ، فَيَقُولُونَ:

اللَّهُمَّ آتِنَا بِهَذَا، وَبَارِكْ لَنَا فِي هَذَا،

فَيَأْتِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ لَهُمْ: أَبْشِرُوا فَإِنَّ لِكُلِّ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ مِثْلَ هَذَا،

وَأَمَّا الْكَافِرُ فَيَسْوَدُّ وَجْهُهُ، وَيُمَدُّ لَهُ في جِسْمِهِ، وَيَرَاهُ أَصْحَابُهُ فَيَقُولُونَ:

نَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ هَذَا، أَوْ مِنْ شَرِّ هَذَا اللَّهُمَّ لَا تَأْتِنَا بِهِ

فَيَأْتِيهُمْ فَيَقُولُونَ: اللَّهُمَّ أَخْزِهِ.

فَيَقُولُ : أَبْعَدَكُمُ اللهُ فَإِنَّ لِكُلِّ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ مِثْلَ هَذَا

One of you will be called and will be given his Book in his right hand. He will be in a good physical state, with a white face, and there will be placed on his head a crown of shining pearls. He will go to his companions and they will see him from afar, and will say,

"O Allah, let him come to us and bless us with this.''

Then he will come to them and will say to them, "Rejoice, for every man among you will be like this.''

As for the disbeliever, his face will be black and his body will be enlarged. His companions will see him from afar and will say,

"We seek refuge in Allah from this, or from the evil of this, O Allah, do not let him come to us.''

Then he will come to them and they will say, "O Allah, humiliate him!''

He will say, "May Allah cast you away, every man among you will be like this.''

Then Al-Bazzar said: “This was only reported through this chain.''

وَمَن كَانَ فِي هَـذِهِ أَعْمَى ...  

And whoever is blind in this,

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said: this means in this worldly life.

أَعْمَى  (blind), means, blind to the signs and proofs of Allah.

... فَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ أَعْمَى ...

then he will be blind in the Hereafter,

as he was blind in this world.

... وَأَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً ﴿٧٢﴾

and most astray from the path.

most astray as he was in this world. We seek refuge with Allah from that.

73

وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَفْتِنُونَكَ عَنِ الَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ لِتفْتَرِىَ عَلَيْنَا غَيْرَهُ وَإِذاً لآَّتَّخَذُوكَ خَلِيلاً

Verily, they were about to tempt you away from that which We have revealed to you, to fabricate something other than it against Us, and then they would certainly have taken you as an intimate friend!

74

 وَلَوْلاَ أَن ثَبَّتْنَـكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْكَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا قَلِيلاً

And had We not made you stand firm, you would nearly have inclined to them a little.

75

 إِذًا لأَذَقْنَـكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَوةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ لَكَ عَلَيْنَا نَصِيرًا

In that case We would have made you taste a double portion in this life and a double portion after death. And then you would have found none to help you against Us.  

How the Prophet would have been punished if He had given in at all to the Disbelievers' Demands that He change some of the Revelation

Allah tells us that; How He supported His Prophet and protected him and kept him safe from the evil plots of the wicked transgressors.

Allah is the One Who took care of him and helped him, and would not leave him to any of His creation.

He is the One Who is His Helper, Supporter and Protector, the One Who is to help him achieve victory and make His religion prevail over those who resist him and oppose him and fight him in the east and in the west.

May Allah send peace and blessings upon him until the Day of Judgement.

76

وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا وَإِذًا لاَّ يَلْبَثُونَ خِلَـفَكَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land. But in that case, they would not have stayed (therein) after you, except for a little while.

77

 سُنَّةَ مَن قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا وَلاَ تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلاً

A Sunnah with which We sent Our Messengers before you and you will not find any alteration in Our Sunnah.  

The Reason why these Ayat were revealed

Allah said:

وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الأَرْضِ لِيُخْرِجوكَ مِنْهَا وَإِذًا لاَّ يَلْبَثُونَ خِلافَكَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ﴿٧٦﴾  

And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land. But in that case, they would not have stayed (therein) after you, except for a little while.

This was revealed concerning the disbelievers among the Quraysh, when they wanted to expel the Messenger of Allah from among themselves. So Allah issued a warning to them in this Ayah, telling them that if they expelled him, they would not stay in Makkah for very long after that. And this is what happened after he migrated from them when their persecution became so intense. Only a year and a half after that, Allah brought him and them together on the battlefield of Badr, without any pre-arranged appointment, and He caused him to prevail over them and defeat them, so he killed their leaders and took their families as captives.

Hence Allah said:

.سُنَّةَ مَن قَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَا وَلاَ تَجِدُ لِسُنَّتِنَا تَحْوِيلاً ﴿٧٧﴾  

A Sunnah with which We sentOur Messengers before you and you will not find any alteration in Our Sunnah.

meaning this is what We usually do to those who reject Our Messengers and persecute them by driving the Messenger out from among themselves - the punishment comes to them. If it were not for the fact that the Prophet was the Messenger of Mercy, vengeance would have come upon them such as had never been seen before in this world.

So Allah says:

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ

And Allah would not punish them while you are among them. (8:33)

78

أَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ الَّيْلِ وَقُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ

Perform the Salah from midday till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn.

إِنَّ قُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.

79

 وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you. It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.  

The Command to offer the Prayers at their appointed Times

Allah says, commanding His Messenger to offer the prescribed prayers at the appointed times:

أَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ ...  

Perform the Salat from midday.

Hushaym narrated from Mughirah from Ash-Sha`bi from Ibn Abbas: "Midday means when the sun is at its zenith.''

This was also reported by Nafi` from Ibn Umar, and by Malik in his Tafsir from Az-Zuhri from Ibn Umar.

This was the opinion of Abu Barzah Al-Aslami and Mujahid, and of Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir and Qatadah.

It is also understood to (generally) refer to the times of the five prayers.

Allah said;

...لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ اللَّيْلِ ...

from midday till the darkness of the night,

meaning darkness, or it was said, sunset. This was understood to mean Zuhr `Asr, Maghrib and `Isha'.

... وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ...

and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn.

meaning Salat Al-Fajr.

The details of the timings of the prayers were reported in the Mutawatir Sunnah from the words and deeds of the Prophet, and this is what the people of Islam have followed until the present day, passing it down from generation to generation, century after century, as we have stated in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah.

The Meeting of the Angels at the Times of Fajr and `Asr Prayers

Allah says,

... إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا ﴿٧٨﴾

Verily the recitation of the Qur'an in the early down is ever witnessed.

Ibn Mas`ud reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with them both) that the Prophet said concerning this Ayah : وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.

تَشْهَدُهُ مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّيْلِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ النَّهَار

It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.

Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:

فَضْلُ صَلَاةِ الْجَمِيعِ عَلَى صَلَاةِ الْوَاحِدِ خَمْسٌ وَعِشْرُونَ دَرَجَةً، وَتَجْتَمِعُ مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّيْلِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ النَّهَارِ فِي صَلَاةِ الْفَجْر

The prayer offered in congregation is twenty-five degrees better than the prayer offered individually, and the angels of the night and the angels of the day meet at Salat Al-Fajr.

Abu Hurayrah said: Recite, if you wish: وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.

Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn Mas`ud and Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said, concerning the Ayah: وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا   and recite the Qur'an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur'an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.

تَشْهَدُهُ مَلَائِكَةُ اللَّيْلِ وَمَلَائِكَةُ النَّهَار

It is witnessed by the angels of the night and the angels of the day.

This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''

According to the version recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said:

يَتَعَاقَبُونَ فِيكُمْ مَلَائِكَةٌ بِاللَّيْلِ وَمَلَائِكَةٌ بِالنَّهَارِ، وَيَجْتَمِعُونَ فِي صَلَاةِ الصُّبْحِ وَفِي صَلَاةِ الْعَصْرِ، فَيَعْرُجُ الَّذِينَ بَاتُوا فِيكُمْ فَيَسْأَلُهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ كَيْفَ تَرَكْتُمْ عِبَادِي؟ فَيَقُولُونَ: أَتَيْنَاهُمْ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّونَ، وَتَرَكْنَاهُمْ وَهُمْ يُصَلُّون

The angels of the night and the angels of the day come amongst you in successive groups (in shifts). They meet at the Morning prayer (Fajr) and at the Mid-afternoon prayer ('Asr). Those who stayed among you at ascend, and their Lord asks them, although He knows best about you, "How did you leave My servants!''

They say, "We came to them when they were praying and we left them when they were praying.''

Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The two guards meet at Salat Al-Fajr, and one group ascends while the other stays where it is.''

These were the comments of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Mujahid, Qatadah and others on this Ayah.

The Command to pray Tahajjud

Allah says,

وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ ...  

And in some parts of the night (also) offer the Salah with it as an additional prayer for you.

Here Allah commands him (the Prophet) to offer further prayers at night after the prescribed prayers.

It was reported in Sahih Muslim from Abu Hurayrah that;

when the Messenger of Allah was asked which prayer is best after the prescribed prayers, he said,

صَلَاةُ اللَّيْل (The Night prayer). Allah commanded His Messenger to pray the Night prayer after offering the prescribed prayers, and the term Tahajjud refers to prayer that is offered after sleeping.

This was the view of Alqamah, Al-Aswad, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and others.

It is also well-known from the Arabic language itself.

A number of Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah used to pray Tahajjud after he had slept. These include reports from Ibn Abbas, A'ishah and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them. This has been discussed in detail in the appropriate place, praise be to Allah.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "This is what comes after `Isha', or it could mean what comes after sleeping.''

... نَافِلَةً لَّكَ ...

an additional prayer (Nawafil),

means the Night prayer has been made an extra prayer specifically for the Prophet, because all his previous and future sins had been forgiven.

But for other members of his Ummah, offering optional prayers may expiate for whatever sins they may commit.

This was the view of Mujahid, and it was reported in Al-Musnad from Abu Umamah Al-Bahili.

... عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا ﴿٧٩﴾

It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.

meaning, `do that which you are commanded to do, and We will raise you to a station of praise and glory (Maqam Mahmud) on the Day of Resurrection, where all of creation will praise you,' as will their Creator, may He be glorified and exalted.

Ibn Jarir said, "Most of the commentators said, `This is the position to which Muhammad will be raised on the Day of Resurrection, to intercede for the people so that their Lord will relieve them of some of the hardships they are facing on that Day.'''

It was reported that Hudhayfah said,

"Mankind will be gathered in one arena, where they will all hear the call and will all be seen. They will be standing barefoot and naked as they were created, and no person shall speak except by the leave of Allah. He will call out, `O Muhammad,' and he will respond,

لَبَّيْكَ وَسَعْدَيْكَ، وَالْخَيْرُ فِي يَدَيْكَ وَالشَّرُّ لَيْسَ إِلَيْكَ، وَالْمَهدِيُّ مَنْ هَدَيْتَ، وَعَبْدُكَ بَيْنَ يَدَيْكَ، وَمِنْكَ وَإِلَيْكَ لَا مَنْجَى وَلَا مَلْجَأَ مِنْكَ إِلَّا إِلَيْكَ، تَبَارَكْتَ وَتَعَالَيْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ رَبَّ الْبَيْت

At your service, all goodness is in Your Hands and evil is not to be attributed to You. The one who is guided is the one whom You guide. Your servant is before You, from You, and to You and there is no salvation or refuge from You except with You. May You be blessed and exalted, Glory be to You, Lord of the House (the Ka`bah).

This is the position of praise and honor (Maqam Mahmud) which was mentioned by Allah.''

Ibn Abbas said, "The position of praise and honor is the position of intercession.''

Ibn Abi Najih reported something similar from Mujahid, and this was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri.

Qatadah said, "He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be the first one to intercede.''

So the scholars consider this the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred in the Ayah: عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud. I, Ibn Kathir, say:

the Messenger of Allah will have honors in the Day of Resurrection in which no one else will have a share, honors which will not be matched by anyone else.

- He is the first one for whom the earth will be opened and he will come forth riding to the gathering place.

- He will have a banner under which Adam and anyone else will gather, and

- he will have the Hawd (Lake) to which no one else will have more access than he.

- He will have the right of the Grand Intercession with Allah when He comes to judge between His creation. This will be after the people ask Adam, then Nuh, then Ibrahim, then Musa, then `Isa to intercede, and each of them will say, "I am not able for that.''

Then they will come to Muhammad, and he will say,

أَنَا لَهَا أَنَا لَهَا

I can do that, I can do that.

We will mention this in more detail shortly, If Allah wills.

Part of that will be that he will intercede for some people who had been commanded to be taken to Hell, and they will be brought back.

He is the first Prophet whose Ummah will be judged, and the first to take them across the Bridge over the Fire, and the first to intercede in Paradise, as was reported in Sahih Muslim.

In the Hadith about the Trumpet, it says that none of the believers will enter Paradise except through his intercession. He will be the first to enter Paradise, and his Ummah will be the first nation to enter.

He will intercede for the status to be raised for people whose deeds could not get them there.

He is the one who will reach Al-Wasilah, which is the highest position in Paradise, which befits no one but him.

When Allah gives permission for intercession on behalf of sinners, the angels, Prophets and believers will intercede, and he will intercede for people whose number is known only to Allah. No one will intercede like him and no one will match him in intercession.

This has been explained in comprehensive detail at the end of the Book of Sirah, in the chapter on the specific qualities. Praise be to Allah.

Now with the help of Allah we will mention the Hadiths that were reported concerning Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud.

Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Umar said:

"On the Day of Resurrection, the people will be humbled to their knees, each nation following its Prophet and saying, `O so-and-so, intercede,' `O so-and-so, intercede,' until the power of intercession is given to Muhammad, and that will be the day when Allah raises him to a position of praise and glory.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّ الشَّمْسَ لَتَدْنُو حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْعَرَقُ نِصْفَ الْأُذُنِ، فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ كَذَلِكَ اسْتَغَاثُوا بِآدَمَ فَيَقُولُ: لَسْتُ بِصَاحِبِ ذَلِكَ،

ثُمَّ بِمُوسَى فَيَقُولُ كَذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ بِمُحَمَّدٍفَيَشْفَعُ بَيْنَ الْخَلْقِ فَيَمْشِي حَتَّى يَأْخُذَ بِحَلَقَةِ بَابِ الْجَنَّةِ، فَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَبْعَثُهُ اللهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا

The sun will come close until the sweat reaches halfway up one's ears. When the people are in that state, they will ask Adam for help, and he will say, "I am not the one to do that.''

Then they will ask Musa, and he will say likewise, then they will ask Muhammad, and he will intercede for the people and will go and take hold of the handle of the gate of Paradise, and that will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory.

Al-Bukhari also recorded it in the Book of Zakah, where he added:

فَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَبْعَثُهُ اللهُ مَقَامًا مَحْمُودًا، يَحْمَدُهُ أَهْلُ الْجَمْعِ كُلُّهُم

That will be the Day when Allah resurrects him to a position of praise and glory, and all the people will praise him.

Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded that Abdullah said,

"Then Allah will give permission for intercession, and Ar-Ruh Al-Quddus, Jibril, will stand up, then Ibrahim, the close Friend of Allah will stand up, then `Isa or Musa will stand up -

Abu Az-Za`ra' said, `I do not know which of them, ' --

then your Prophet will stand up and will intercede, and no one after him will intercede as much as he does.

This is the position of praise and glory to which Allah referred: عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَامًا مَّحْمُودًا It may be that your Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.''

The Hadith of Abu Hurayrah

Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) recorded that Abu Hurayrah said,

"Some meat was brought to the Messenger of Allah, and he lifted up the arm, which he used to like, and took one bite, then he said:

أَنَا سَيِّدُ النَّاسِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ،

وَهَلْ تَدْرُونَ مِمَّ ذَاكَ؟ يَجْمَعُ اللهُ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَالْآخِرِينَ فِي صَعِيدٍ وَاحِدٍ، يُسْمِعُهُمُ الدَّاعِي، وَيَنْفُذُهُمُ الْبَصَرُ، وَتَدْنُو الشَّمْسُ فَيَبْلُغُ النَّاسَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَالْكَرْبِ مَا لَا يُطِيقُونَ، وَلَا يَحْتَمِلُونَ فَيَقُولُ بَعْضُ النَّاسِ لِبَعْضٍ:

I will be the leader of mankind on the Day of Resurrection.

Do you know why it will be so Allah will gather the first and the last in one place, and they will hear a voice calling out, and they will all be seen. The sun will come close until their anguish and distress becomes unbearable, and some will say to others,

أَلَا تَرَوْنَ مَا أَنْتُمْ فِيهِ مِمَّا قَدْ بَلَغَكُمْ، أَلَا تَنْظُرُونَ مَنْ يَشْفَعُ لَكُمْ إِلَى رَبِّكُمْ؟

"Do you not see how much you are suffering Why do you not find someone to intercede for you with your Lord?''

فَيَقُولُ بَعْضُ النَّاسِ لِبَعْضٍ: عَلَيْكُمْ بِآدَمَ،

And some of the people will say to others, "How about Adam?''

فَيَأْتُونَ آدَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا آدَمُ أَنْتَ أَبُو الْبَشَرِ خَلَقَكَ اللهُ بِيَدِهِ وَنَفَخَ فِيكَ مِنْ رُوحِهِ، وَأَمَرَ الْمَلَائِكَةَ فَسَجَدُوا لَكَ، فَاشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to Adam and say, "O Adam, you are the father of mankind, Allah created you with His Hand and breathed into you of His spirit, and commanded the angels to prostrate to you. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَيَقُولُ آدَمُ: إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ الْيَوْمَ غَضَبًا لَمْ يَغْضَبْ قَبْلَهُ مِثْلَهُ وَلَنْ يَغْضَبَ بَعْدَهُ مِثْلَهُ، وَإِنَّهُ قَدْ نَهَانِي عَنِ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَصَيْتُ، نَفْسِي نَفْسِي نَفْسِي، اذْهَبُوا إِلَى غَيْرِي اذْهَبُوا إِلَى نُوحٍ،

Adam will say, "My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. He forbade me to approach the Tree and I disobeyed Him. Myself, myself, myself (i.e., I am only concerned about myself). Go to someone else. Go to Nuh.''

 فَيَأْتُونَ نُوحًا فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا نُوحُ أَنْتَ أَوَّلُ الرُّسُلِ إِلَى أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، وَقَدْ سَمَّاكَ اللهُ عَبْدًا شَكُورًا، اشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to Nuh and say, "O Nuh, you are the first of the Messengers sent to the people of earth, and Allah called you a grateful servant. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَيَقُولُ نُوحٌ: إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ ...... اذْهَبُوا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ،

Nuh will say, "My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. There is a prayer that I prayed against my people. Myself, myself, myself (i.e., I am only concerned about myself). Go to someone else. Go to Ibrahim.''

فَيَأْتُونَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ أَنْتَ نَبِيُّ اللهِ وَخَلِيلُهُ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ،اشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to Ibrahim and say, "O Ibrahim, you are the Prophet of Allah and His close Friend among the people of earth. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَيَقُولُ: إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ ...... اذْهَبُوا إِلَى مُوسَى،

Ibrahim will say, "My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.'' And he mentioned some untruths he had told. "Myself, myself, myself (i.e., I am only concerned about myself). Go to someone else. Go to Musa.''

 فَيَأْتُونَ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا مُوسَى أَنْتَ رَسُولُ اللهِ اصْطَفَاكَ اللهُ بِرِسَالَاتِهِ وَبِكَلَامِهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ، اشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to Musa and say, "O Musa, you are the Messenger of Allah, Allah chose you above others by selecting you to convey His Message and by speaking to you directly. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَيَقُولُ لَهُمْ مُوسَى: إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ ...... اذْهَبُوا إِلَى عِيسَى،

Musa will say, "My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again. I killed a soul whom I had not been commanded to kill. Myself, myself, myself (i.e., I am only concerned about myself). Go to someone else. Go to `Isa.''

فَيَأْتُونَنِعيسَى فَيَقُولُونَ: يَااِعيسَى أَنْتَ رَسُولُ اللهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ، وَكَلَّمْتَ النَّاسَ فِي الْمَهْدِ صَبِيًّا، فَاشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to `Isa and say, `O `Isa, you are the Messenger of Allah and His Word which He bestowed upon Maryam and a spirit created by Him. You spoke to the people as an infant in the cradle. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَيَقُولُ لَهُمْمِعيسَى: إِنَّ رَبِّي قَدْ غَضِبَ ...... اذْهَبُوا إِلَى مُحَمَّدٍ،

`Isa will say, "My Lord is angry today in a way that He has never been angry before and He will never be this angry again.'' And he will not mention any sin. "Myself, myself, myself (i.e., I am only concerned about myself). Go to someone else. Go to Muhammad.''

فَيَأْتُونَ مُحَمَّدًا فَيَقُولُونَ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ أَنْتَ رَسُولُ اللهِ وَخَاتَمُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ، وَقَدْ غَفَرَ اللهُ لَكَ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ، فَاشْفَعْ لَنَا إِلَى رَبِّكَ أَلَا تَرَى مَا نَحْنُ فِيهِ، أَلَا تَرَى مَا قَدْ بَلَغَنَا؟

So they will go to Muhammad and will say, "O Muhammad, you are the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the Prophets, Allah forgave all your past and future sins. Intercede for us with your Lord, do you not see the state we are in, how bad it is?''

فَأَقُومُ فَآتِي تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ، فَأَقَعُ سَاجِدًا لِرَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ اللهُ عَلَيَّ وَيُلْهِمُنِي مِنْ مَحَامِدِهِ وَحُسْنِ الثَّنَاءِ عَلَيْهِ مَالَمْ يَفْتَحْهُ عَلَى أَحَدٍ قَبْلِي،

I will stand up and come before the Throne, and will fall prostrating to my Lord, may He be glorified and exalted. Then Allah will inspire me to speak and I will speak beautiful words of praise such as no one has ever been inspired with before.

فَيُقَالُ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ ارْفَعْ رَأْسَكَ وَسَلْ تُعْطَهُ، وَاشْفَعْ تُشَفَّعْ،

It will be said, "O Muhammad, raise your head and ask, it will be granted to you. Intercede, and your intercession will be heard.''

فَأَرْفَعُ رَأْسِي فَأَقُولُ: أُمَّتِي يَا رَبِّ، أُمَّتِي يَا رَبِّ، أُمَّتِي يَا رَبِّ،

So I will raise my head and say, "My Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord, my Ummah, O Lord.''

فَيُقَالُ: يَا مُحَمَّدُ أَدْخِلْ مِنْ أُمَّتِكَ مَنْ لَا حِسَابَ عَلَيْهِ مِنَ الْبَابِ الْأَيْمَنِ مِنْ أَبْوَابِ الْجَنَّةِ،وَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ النَّاسِ فِيمَا سِوَى ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْأَبْوَابِ،

It will be said, "O Muhammad, admit those who will not be brought to account from among your Ummah through the right-hand gate of Paradise. Then the rest of your Ummah will share the other gates with the rest of the people.''

ثُمَّ قَالَ: وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ إِنَّ مَا بَيْنَ الْمِصْرَاعَيْنِ مِنْ مَصَارِيعِ الْجَنَّةِ كَمَا بَيْنَ مَكَّةَ وَهَجَرَ، أَوْ كَمَا بَيْنَ مَكَّةَ وَبُصْرَى

Then he said, "By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, the distance between two of the gateposts of Paradise is like the distance between Makkah and Hajar, or between Makkah and Busra.

It was also reported in the Two Sahihs.

80

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَدْخِلْنِى مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِى مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَل لِّى مِن لَّدُنْكَ سُلْطَـناً نَّصِيرًا

And say: "My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good. And grant me from You a helping authority,''

81

 وَقُلْ جَآءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَـطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَـطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

And say: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely, falsehood is ever bound to vanish.''  

The Command to emigrate

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said:

The Prophet was in Makkah, then he was commanded to emigrate, and Allah revealed the words:

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ وَاجْعَل لِّي مِن لَّدُنكَ سُلْطَانًا نَّصِيرًا ﴿٨٠﴾  

And say: "My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good. And grant me from You a helping authority.''

At-Tirmidhi said, "This is Hasan Sahih.''

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on this Ayah,

Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on this Ayah,

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ ...

And say: "My Lord! Let my entry be good, and (likewise) my exit be good...''

وَقُل رَّبِّ أَدْخِلْنِي مُدْخَلَ صِدْقٍ ...

And say: "My Lord! Let my entry be good...''

means, my entry to Al-Madinah.

... وَأَخْرِجْنِي مُخْرَجَ صِدْقٍ ...

and (likewise) my exit be good,

means, my exit from Makkah.

This was also the view of Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.

... وَاجْعَل لِّي مِن لَّدُنكَ سُلْطَانًا نَّصِيرًا

And grant me from You a helping authority.

Al-Hasan Al-Basri explained this Ayah; "His Lord promised to take away the kingdom and glory of Persia and give it to him, and the kingdom and glory of Byzantium and give it to him.''

Qatadah said,

"The Prophet of Allah knew that that he could not achieve this without authority or power, so he asked for authority to help him support the Book of Allah, the Laws of Allah, the obligations of Allah and to establish the religion of Allah. Authority is a mercy from Allah which He places among His servants, otherwise some of them would attack others, and the strong would consume the weak.''

Alongside the truth, he also needed power and authority in order to suppress those who opposed and resisted him, hence Allah said:

لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا رُسُلَنَا بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ وَأَنزَلْنَا مَعَهُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْمِيزَانَ لِيَقُومَ النَّاسُ بِالْقِسْطِ وَأَنزْلْنَا الْحَدِيدَ

Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Mizan that mankind may keep up justice. And We brought forth iron... (57:25)

A Threat to the Disbelievers of the Quraysh

وَقُلْ جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ...  

And say: "Truth has come and falsehood has vanished...''

This is a threat and a warning to the disbelievers of the Quraysh, for there has come to them from Allah the truth of which there can be no doubt and which they have no power to resist. This is what Allah has sent to them of the Qur'an, faith and beneficial knowledge. Their falsehood has perished or vanished and been destroyed, it cannot remain or stand firm in the face of the truth.

بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى الْبَـطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإِذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ

Nay, We fling the truth against the falsehood, so it destroys it, and behold, it disappears. (21:18)

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

The Prophet entered Makkah (at the Conquest), and around the House (the Ka`bah) were three hundred and sixty idols. He started to strike them with a stick in his hand, saying,

... جَاء الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا ﴿٨١﴾

Truth has come and falsehood has vanished. Surely falsehood is ever bound to vanish.

جَآءَ الْحَقُّ وَمَا يُبْدِىءُ الْبَـطِلُ وَمَا يُعِيدُ

Truth has come, and falsehood can neither create anything nor resurrect (anything). (34:49)

82

 وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْءَانِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّـلِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a cure and a mercy to the believers, and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.  

The Qur'an is a Cure and a Mercy

Allah tells:

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا ﴿٨٢﴾  

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a cure and a mercy to the believers, and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.

Allah tells us that His Book, which He has revealed to His Messenger Muhammad, the Qur'an to which falsehood cannot come, from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise, is a cure and a mercy for the believers, meaning that it takes away whatever is in their hearts of doubt, hypocrisy, Shirk, confusion and inclination towards falsehood. The Qur'an cures all of that.

It is also a mercy through which one attains faith and wisdom and seeks goodness. This is only for those who believe in it and accept it as truthful, it is a cure and a mercy only for such people.

As for the disbeliever who is wronging himself by his disbelief, when he hears the Qur'an, it only makes him further from the truth and increases him in his disbelief. The problem lies with the disbeliever himself, not with the Qur'an, as Allah says:

قُلْ هُوَ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ هُدًى وَشِفَآءٌ وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ فِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرٌ وَهُوَ عَلَيْهِمْ عَمًى أُوْلَـئِكَ يُنَادَوْنَ مِن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ

Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness in their ears, and it is blindness for them. They are those who are called from a place far away (so they neither listen nor understand).'' (41:44)

وَإِذَا مَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـذِهِ إِيمَـناً فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ فِى قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ فَزَادَتْهُمْ رِجْسًا إِلَى رِجْسِهِمْ وَمَاتُواْ وَهُمْ كَـفِرُونَ

And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them (hypocrites) say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it!''

As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice. But as for those in whose hearts is a disease, it will add suspicion and doubt to their suspicion, disbelief and doubt; and they die while they are disbelievers. (9:124-125)

And there are many other similar Ayat.

وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَاء وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ...

And We send down of the Qur'an that which is a cure and a mercy to the believers,

Qatadah said, "When the believer hears it, he benefits from it and memorizes it and understands it.''

... وَلاَ يَزِيدُ الظَّالِمِينَ إَلاَّ خَسَارًا

and it increases the wrongdoers in nothing but loss.

They do not benefit from it or memorize it or understand it, for Allah has made this Qur'an a cure and a mercy for the believers.  

83

وَإِذَآ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الإنْسَـنِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَى بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ كَانَ يَئُوساً

And when We bestow Our grace on man, he turns away and becomes arrogant. And when evil touches him, he is in great despair.

84

 قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَى سَبِيلاً

Say: "Each one does according to Shakilatihi, and your Lord knows best of him whose path is right.''

Turning away from Allah at Times of Ease and despairing at Times of Calamity

Allah tells:

وَإِذَآ أَنْعَمْنَا عَلَى الإِنسَانِ أَعْرَضَ وَنَأَى بِجَانِبِهِ وَإِذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرُّ كَانَ يَؤُوسًا ﴿٨٣﴾  

And when We bestow Our grace on man, he turns away and becomes arrogant. And when evil touches him, he is in great despair.

Allah tells us about the weakness that is inherent in man, except for those whom He protects at both times of ease and calamity. If Allah blesses a man with wealth, good health, ease, provision and help, and he gets what he wants, he turns away from the obedience and worship of Allah, and becomes arrogant.

Mujahid said, "(It means) he goes away from Us.''

I say, this is like the Ayah:

فَلَمَّا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَن لَّمْ يَدْعُنَآ إِلَى ضُرٍّ مَّسَّهُ

But when We have removed his harm from him, he passes on as if he had never invoked Us for a harm that touched him! (10:12)

and;

فَلَمَّا نَجَّـكُمْ إِلَى الْبَرِّ أَعْرَضْتُمْ

But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away. (Ayah 67)

When man is stricken with evil, which means disasters, accidents and calamities,

... كَانَ يَؤُوسًا

he is in great despair,

meaning that he thinks he will never have anything good again.

As Allah says,

وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنَاهَا مِنْهُ إِنَّهُ لَيَئُوسٌ كَفُورٌ

وَلَئِنْ أَذَقْنَاهُ نَعْمَآءَ بَعْدَ ضَرَّآءَ مَسَّتْهُ لَيَقُولَنَّ ذَهَبَ السَّيِّئَاتُ عَنِّي إِنَّهُ لَفَرِحٌ فَخُورٌ

إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ

And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us, and remove it from him, verily, He is despairing, ungrateful. But if We let him taste good after evil has touched him, he is sure to say: "Ills have departed from me.''

Surely, he is exultant, and boastful. Except those who show patience and do righteous good deeds: those, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward. (11:9-11)

قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ ...  

Say: "Each one does according to Shakilatihi...''

Ibn Abbas said, "According to his inclinations.''

Mujahid said, "According to his inclinations and his nature.''

Qatadah said, "According to his intentions.''

Ibn Zayd said, "According to his religion.''

All these suggestions are close in meaning. This Ayah - and Allah knows best - is a threat and a warning to the idolators, like the Ayah:

وَقُل لِّلَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ اعْمَلُواْ عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ

And say to those who do not believe: "Act according to your ability and way.'' (11:121)

So Allah says:

قُلْ كُلٌّ يَعْمَلُ عَلَى شَاكِلَتِهِ فَرَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنْ هُوَ أَهْدَى سَبِيلاً ﴿٨٤﴾

Say: "Each one does according to Shakilatihi, and your Lord knows best of him whose path is right.''

meaning either us or you. Everyone will be rewarded in accordance with his deeds, for nothing whatsoever is hidden from Allah.

85

وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ

And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit).

قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّى وَمَآ أُوتِيتُم مِّن الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً

Say: "The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.''    

The Ruh (spirit)

Al-Bukhari recorded in his Tafsir of this Ayah that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,

"While I was walking with the Prophet on a farm, and he was resting on a palm-leaf stalk, some Jews passed by. Some of them said to the others, `Ask him about the Ruh.'

Some of them said, `What urges you to ask him about that?'

Others said, `Do not ask him, lest he gives you a reply which you do not like.'

But they said, `Ask him.' So they asked him about the Ruh.

The Prophet kept quiet and did not give them an answer, and I knew that he was receiving revelation, so I stayed where I was. When the revelation was complete, the Prophet said:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي ...  

And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit).

Say: "The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord...''

This context would seem to imply that this Ayah was revealed in Al-Madinah, and that it was revealed when the Jews asked him this question in Al-Madinah, although the entire Surah was revealed in Makkah.

This may be answered with the suggestion that this Ayah may have been revealed to him in Al-Madinah a second time, after having previously been revealed in Makkah, or that he was divinely inspired to respond to their question with a previously-revealed Ayah, namely the Ayah in question.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ikrimah said, "The People of the Book asked the Messenger of Allah about the Ruh, and Allah revealed:

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ...

And they ask you concerning the Ruh...

They said, `You claim that we have only a little knowledge, but we have been given the Tawrah, which is the Hikmah,

وَمَن يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِىَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا

and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.' (2:269)

Then the Ayah, وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ مِن شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلاَمٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink wherewith to write), with seven seas behind it to add to its (supply), (31:27) was revealed.

He said, "Whatever knowledge you have been given, if Allah saves you from the Fire thereby, then it is great and good, but in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, it is very little.''

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ ...

And they ask you concerning the Ruh.

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said,

"This was when the Jews said to the Prophet, `Tell us about the Ruh and how the Ruh will be punished that is in the body - for the Ruh is something about which only Allah knows, and there was no revelation concerning it.'

He did not answer them at all, then Jibril came to him and said:

...قُلِ الرُّوحُ مِنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّي وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ﴿٨٥﴾

Say: "The Ruh (the spirit) is one of the things, the knowledge of which is only with my Lord. And of knowledge, you (mankind) have been given only a little.''

So the Prophet told them about that, and they said, `Who told you this'

He said,

جَاءَنِي بِهِ جِبْرِيلُ مِنْ عِنْدِ الله

Jibril brought it to me from Allah.

They said, `By Allah, no one has told you that except our enemy (i.e., Jibril).'

Then Allah revealed:

قُلْ مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّجِبْرِيلَ فَإِنَّهُ نَزَّلَهُ عَلَى قَلْبِكَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ مُصَدِّقًا لِّمَا بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ

Say: "Whoever is an enemy to Jibril (let him die in his fury), for indeed he has brought it (this Qur'an) down to your heart by Allah's permission, confirming what came before it.'' (2:97)

The Ruh and the Nafs

As-Suhayili mentioned the dispute among the scholars over whether the Ruh is the same as the Nafs, or something different. He stated that; it is light and soft, like air, flowing through the body like water through the veins of a tree.

He states that the Ruh which the angel breathes into the fetus is the Nafs, provided that it joins the body and acquires certain qualities because of it, whether good or bad. So then it is either a soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction (89:27) or inclined to evil (12:53), just as water is the life of the tree, then by mixing with it, it produces something else, so that if it mixes with grapes and the grapes are then squeezed, it becomes juice or wine. Then it is no longer called water, except in a metaphorical sense.

Thus we should understand the connection between Nafs and Ruh; the Ruh is not called Nafs except when it joins the body and is affected by it.

So in conclusion we may say: the Ruh is the origin and essence, and the Nafs consists of the Ruh and its connection to the body. So they are the same in one sense but not in another.

This is a good explanation, and Allah knows best.

I say: people speak about the essence of the Ruh and its rulings, and many books have been written on this topic. One of the best of those who spoke of this was Al-Hafiz Ibn Mandah in a book which we have heard about the Ruh.

86

وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِى أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلاً

And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you. Then you would find no protector for you against Us in that respect.

87

 إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ إِنَّ فَضْلَهُ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ كَبِيرًا

Except as a mercy from your Lord. Verily, His grace unto you is ever great.

88

 قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِمِثْلِ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ لاَ يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

Say: "If mankind and the Jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.''

89

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِى هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلاَّ كُفُورًا

And indeed We have fully explained to mankind, in this Qur'an, every kind of similitude, but most of mankind refuse (the truth and accept nothing) but disbelief.  

If Allah willed, He could take away the Qur'an

Allah says:

وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ لاَ تَجِدُ لَكَ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا وَكِيلاً ﴿٨٦﴾  

And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you. Then you would find no protector for you against Us in that respect.

إِلاَّ رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ إِنَّ فَضْلَهُ كَانَ عَلَيْكَ كَبِيرًا ﴿٨٧﴾  

Except as a mercy from your Lord. Verily, His grace unto you is ever great.

Allah mentions the blessing and great bounty that He has bestowed upon His servant and Messenger Muhammad by revealing to Him the Noble Qur'an to which falsehood cannot come, from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.

Ibn Mas`ud said, "A red wind will come to the people, meaning at the end of time, from the direction of Syria, and there will be nothing left in a man's Mushaf (copy of the Qur'an) or in his heart, not even one Ayah.'' Then Ibn Mas`ud recited, وَلَئِن شِئْنَا لَنَذْهَبَنَّ بِالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you.

Challenging by the Qur'an

Allah says:

قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَى أَن يَأْتُواْ بِمِثْلِ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنِ لاَ يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا ﴿٨٨﴾  

Say: "If mankind and the Jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.''

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ فِي هَـذَا الْقُرْآنِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ فَأَبَى أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ إِلاَّ كُفُورًا ﴿٨٩﴾  

And indeed We have fully explained to mankind, in this Qur'an, every kind of similitude, but most of mankind refuse (the truth and accept nothing) but disbelief.

Then Allah points out the great virtue of the Qur'an, and says that even if mankind and the Jinn were all to come together and agree to produce something like that which was revealed to His Messenger, they would never be able to do it, even if they were to cooperate and support and help one another. This is something which is impossible. How could the words of created beings be like the Words of the Creator Who has no equal and peer, for there is none like unto Him

وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا لِلنَّاسِ And indeed We have fully explained to mankind, meaning, `We have furnished them with evidence and definitive proof, and We have shown them the truth and explained it in detail, yet despite that most of mankind insist on disbelief, i.e., denying and rejecting the truth.'

90

وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا

And they say: "We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;''

91

 أَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الاٌّنْهَـرَ خِلَـلَهَا تَفْجِيرًا

"Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly;''

92

 أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَآءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا أَوْ تَأْتِىَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةِ قَبِيلاً

"Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended, or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face;''

93

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ أَوْ تَرْقَى فِى السَّمَآءِ وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَءُهُ

"Or you have a house of Zukhruf, or you ascend up into the sky, and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.''

قُلْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً

Say: "Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger!''  

The Demand of Quraysh for a specific Sign, and the Rejection of that

Allah tells:

وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الأَرْضِ يَنبُوعًا ﴿٩٠﴾  

And they say: "We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;

أَوْ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الأَنْهَارَ خِلالَهَا تَفْجِيرًا ﴿٩١﴾  

Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly;''

Ibn Jarir recorded from Muhammad bin Ishaq,

"An old man from among the people of Egypt who came to us forty-odd years ago told me, from Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbas, that;

- Utbah and Shaybah -- the two sons of Rabi'ah,

- Abu Sufyan bin Harb,

- a man from Bani Abd Ad-Dar,

- Abu Al-Bakhtari -- the brother of Bani Asad,

- Al-Aswad bin Al-Muttalib bin Asad,

- Zam`ah bin Al-Aswad,

- Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah,

- Abu Jahl bin Hisham,

- Abu Jahl bin Hisham,

- Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah,

- Umayyah bin Khalaf,

- Al-`As bin Wa'il, and

- Nabih and Munabbih - the two sons of Al-Hajjaj As-Sahmin,

gathered all of them or some of them behind the Ka`bah after sunset.

Some of them said to others, `Send for Muhammad and talk with him and argue with him, so that nobody will think we are to blame.'

So they sent for him saying, `The nobles of your people have gathered for you to speak to them.'

So the Messenger of Allah came quickly, thinking that maybe they were going to change their minds, for he was very keen that they should be guided, and it upset him to see their stubbornness. So he came and sat with them, and they said,

`O Muhammad, we have sent for you so that nobody will think we are to blame. By Allah we do not know any man among the Arabs who has brought to his people what you have brought to your people. You have slandered our forefathers, criticized our religion, insulted our reason, slandered our gods and caused division. There is no objectionable thing that you have not brought between us. If you are preaching these things because you want wealth, we will collect some of our wealth together for you and make you the wealthiest man among us. If you are looking for position, we will make you our leader. If you are looking for kingship, we will make you our king. If what has come to you is a type of Jinn that has possessed you, then we can spend our money looking for the medicine that will rid you of it so that no one will think we are to blame.'

The Messenger of Allah said:

مَا بِي مَا تَقُولُونَ، مَا جِئْتُكُمْ بِمَا جِئْتُكُمْ بِهِ أَطْلُبُ أَمْوَالَكُمْ، وَلَا الشَّرَفَ فِيكُمْ، وَلَا الْمُلْكَ عَلَيْكُمْ، وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ بَعَثَنِي إِلَيْكُمْ رَسُولًا وَأَنْزَلَ عَلَيَّ كِتَابًا، وَأَمَرَنِي أَنْ أَكُونَ لَكُمْ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا، فَبَلَّغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ، فَإِنْ تَقْبَلُوا مِنِّي مَا جِئْتُكُمْ بِهِ فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، وَإِنْ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصْبِرْ لِأَمْرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللهُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُم

My case is not as you say. I have not brought what I have brought to you because I want your wealth or to be your leader or king. But Allah has sent me to you as a Messenger and has revealed to me a Book and has commanded me to bring you good news and a warning.

So, I have conveyed to you the Messages of my Lord and have advised you accordingly. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you. or words to that effect.

They said,

`O Muhammad, if you do not accept what we have offered you, then you know that there is no other people whose country is smaller, whose wealth is less and whose life is harder than ours, so ask your Lord Who has sent you with what He has sent you, to move away these mountains for us that are constricting us, to make our land wider and cause rivers to gush forth in it like the rivers of Syria and Iraq, and to resurrect for us those of our forefathers who have passed away.

Let there be among those whom He resurrects Qusayy bin Kilab, for he was a truthful old man, and we will ask them whether what you are saying is true or false. If you do what we are asking, and they (the people who are resurrected) say that you are telling the truth, then we will believe you and acknowledge your status with Allah and believe that He has sent you as a Messenger as you say.'

The Messenger of Allah said to them:

مَا بِهَذَا بُعِثتُ، إِنَّمَا جِئْتُكُمْ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللهِ بِمَا بَعَثَنِي بِهِ، فَقَدْ بَلَّغْتُكُمْ مَا أُرْسِلْتُ بِهِ إِلَيْكُمْ، فَإِنْ تَقْبَلُوهُ فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، وَإِنْ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصْبِرْ لِأَمْرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللهُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُم

I was not sent for this purpose. I have brought to you from Allah that with which He has sent me, and I have conveyed to you the Message with which I was sent to you. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you.

They said,

`If you will not do this for us, then at least do something for yourself. Ask your Lord to send an angel to confirm that what you are saying is the truth and to speak up on your behalf. Ask Him to give you gardens and treasures and palaces of gold and silver, and to make you independent so that you will not have to do what we see you doing, for you stand in the marketplaces seeking provision just as we do. Then we will know the virtue of your position with your Lord and whether you are a Messenger as you claim.'

The Messenger of Allah said to them:

مَا أَنَا بِفَاعِلٍ، مَا أَنَا بِالَّذِي يَسْأَلُ رَبَّهُ هَذَا، وَمَا بُعِثْتُ إِلَيْكُمْ بِهَذَا، وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ بَعَثَنِي بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا، فَإِنْ تَقْبَلُوا مَا جِئْتُكُمْ بِهِ، فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، وَإِنْ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصْبِرْ لِأَمْرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللهُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَك

I will not do that, and I will not ask my Lord for this. I was not sent to you for this reason. But Allah has sent me to you to bring you good news and a warning. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you.

They said, `Then cause the sky to fall upon us, as you claim that if your Lord wills, He can do that. We will not believe in you until you do this.'

The Messenger of Allah said to them:

ذَلِكَ إِلَى اللهِ، إِنْ شَاءَ فَعَلَ بِكُمْ ذَلِك

That is for Allah to decide. If He wills, He will do that to you.

They said,

`O Muhammad, did your Lord not know that we would sit with you and ask you what we have asked and make the requests that we have made He should have told you beforehand and taught you how to reply to us, and informed you what He would do to us if we do not accept what you have brought to us.

We have heard that the one who is teaching you this, is a man in Al-Yamamah called Ar-Rahman. By Allah, we will never believe in Ar-Rahman. We are warning you, O Muhammad, that we will not let you do what you want to do until you or we are destroyed.'

One of them said, `We worship the angels who are the daughters of Allah.'

Another said, `We will never believe in you until you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face.'

When they said this, the Messenger of Allah got up and left them.

Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah bin Abdullah bin Umar bin Makhzum, the son of his paternal aunt Atikah, the daughter of Abdul-Muttalib, also got up and followed him. He said to him,

`O Muhammad, your people have offered you what they have offered you, and you did not accept it. Then they asked for things for themselves so that they would know your position with Allah, and you did not do that for them. Then they asked you to hasten on the punishments with which you are scaring them. By Allah, I will never believe in you unless you take a ladder to heaven and ascend it while I am watching, then you bring with you an open book and four angels to testify that you are as you say. By Allah, even if you did that, I think that I would not believe you.'

Then he turned away from the Messenger of Allah, and the Messenger of Allah went home to his family, grieving over having missed out on what he had hoped for when his people had called him, because he saw that they were resisting him even more.''

The Reason why the Idolators' Demands were refused

In the case of this gathering where the Quraysh came together to speak with the Messenger of Allah, if Allah knew that they were making these requests in order to be guided, they would have been granted, but He knew that they were making these demands out of disbelief and stubbornness.

It was said to the Messenger of Allah, "If you wish, We will give them what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, I will punish them with a punishment that I have never imposed upon anyone else in the universe; or if you wish, I will open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.''

He said:

بَلْ تَفْتَحُ عَلَيْهِمْ بَابَ التَّوْبَةِ وَالرَّحْمَة

Rather, You open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.

This is like the Ayah:

وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا

And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction). (Ayah 59)

And Allah says:

وَقَالُواْ مَا لِهَـذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشِى فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ لَوْلا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيراً ... بَلْ كَذَّبُواْ بِالسَّاعَةِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيراً

And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets (as we). Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat'!'

And the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a man bewitched.''

See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray, and they cannot find a path. Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than that - Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces.

Nay, they deny the Hour, and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire. (25:7-11)

Allah's saying, حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الأَرْضِ يَنبُوعًا  until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us, refers to a spring of flowing water. They asked him to bring forth springs of fresh water in the land of Al-Hijaz, here and there. This is easy for Allah, may He be glorified and exalted; if He willed, He could do that. He could have responded to all their demands, but He knew that they would not be guided by that, as He says:

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)

And Allah says:

وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَى وَحَشَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ قُبُلاً مَّا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ

And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together all things before their very eyes, they would not have believed. (6:111)

His saying;

أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَاء كَمَا زَعَمْتَ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفًا ...  

Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended,

means, `you promised us that on the Day of Resurrection the heavens will be split asunder, being broken and torn up, with parts of it falling down, so do that in this world and make it fall in pieces.'

This is like when they said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ

O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky. (8:32)

Similarly, the people of Shu`ayb asked him:

فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفاً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ

So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful! (26:187)

So Allah punished them with the punishment of the day of Shadow (a gloomy cloud), which was the torment of a Great Day. (26:189)

... أَوْ تَأْتِيَ بِاللّهِ وَالْمَلآئِكَةِ قَبِيلاً ﴿٩٢﴾

or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face;''

As for the Prophet of Repentance and Mercy, who was sent as a mercy to the worlds, he asked Allah to delay their punishment, in the hope that Allah would bring forth from their offspring people who would worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate.

This is what indeed did happen, for among those who are mentioned above were some who later embraced Islam and became good and sincere Muslims, even Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah, who followed the Prophet (out of that meeting) and spoke to him as he did. He became a sincere Muslim and turned to Allah in repentance.

أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ ...  

Or you have a house of Zukhruf.

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said, "This is gold.''

This was also what was said in the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud, "Or you have a house of gold.''

... أَوْ تَرْقَى فِي السَّمَاء ...

or you ascend up into the sky,

meaning, you climb up on a ladder while we are watching you.

... وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَؤُهُ ...

and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.

Mujahid said, "This means a book in which there would be one page for each person, on which would be the words: `This is a book from Allah to so-and-so the son of so-and-so, which he would find by his head when he woke up in the morning.''

... قُلْ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّي هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴿٩٣﴾

Say: "Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger.''

meaning, `Glorified, exalted and sanctified be He above the notion that anyone would come before Him concerning any matter pertaining to His authority and sovereignty. He is the One Who does what He wills. If He willed, he could have given you what you asked for, or if He willed, he could have refrained. I am only a Messenger to you, sent to convey the Messages of my Lord and advise you. I have done that, and the response to what you have asked is to be decided by Allah, may He be glorified.'

94

وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً

And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger!''

95

 قُل لَوْ كَانَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَلَـئِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ مَلَكًا رَّسُولاً

Say: "If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.''  

The refusal of the Idolators to believe because the Messenger was a Human -- and its refutation

Allah says,

وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ ...  

And nothing prevented men,

means, most of them,

... أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ ...

from believing,

and following the Messengers, except the fact that they found it strange that human beings would be sent as Messengers, as Allah says:

أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْهُمْ أَنْ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ قَدَمَ صِدْقٍ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ

Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying): "Warn mankind, and give good news to those who believe that they shall have with their Lord the rewards of their good deeds.'' (10:2)

... إِذْ جَاءهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً ﴿٩٤﴾

when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger!''

Allah says:

ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُ كَانَت تَّأْتِيهِمْ رُسُلُهُم بِالْبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالُواْ أَبَشَرٌ يَهْدُونَنَا

That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they said: "Shall mere men guide us!'' (64:6)

Fira`wn and his people said:

أَنُؤْمِنُ لِبَشَرَيْنِ مِثْلِنَا وَقَوْمُهُمَا لَنَا عَـبِدُونَ

They said: "Shall we believe in two men like ourselves, and their people are obedient to us with humility!'' (23: 47)

Similarly, the nations said to their Messengers:

إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعْبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا فَأْتُونَا بِسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ

"You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority.'' (14:10)

And there are many other similar Ayat.

Then Allah says, pointing out His kindness and mercy towards His servants, that He sends to them Messengers of their own kind so that they will understand what he says and will be able to speak to him directly. If He sent to mankind a Messenger from among the angels, they would not be able to deal with him face to face and learn from him, as Allah says:

لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ

Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves. (3:164)

لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ

Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves. (10:128)

كَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا فِيكُمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْكُمْ يَتْلُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ آيَـتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمْ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْلَمُونَ

فَاذْكُرُونِى أَذْكُرْكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِي وَلاَ تَكْفُرُونِ

Similarly, We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting to you Our verses (the Qur'an) and purifying you, and teaching you the Book and the Hikmah, and teaching you that which you used not to know. Therefore remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me. (2:151-152)

Allah says here:

قُل لَّوْ كَانَ فِي الأَرْضِ مَلآئِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ ...  

Say: "If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security,

meaning, just as you do,

... لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاء مَلَكًا رَّسُولاً ﴿٩٥﴾

We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.

meaning, `one of their own kind. But as you are human, We have sent to you Messengers from yourselves, as a kindness and a mercy.'

96

 قُلْ كَفَى بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَكُمْ

Say: "Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you.

إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا

Verily, He is Ever the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His servants.''

Allah tells His Prophet:

قُلْ كَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكُمْ ...  

Say: "Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you.

Allah tells His Prophet how to prove that what he has brought is true, saying to him to tell them: "He (Allah) is a witness over me and over you. He knows what I have brought to you. If I were lying to you, He would take revenge on me in the severest manner,'' as Allah says:

وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الاٌّقَاوِيلِ

لأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ

ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ

And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by his right hand, And then We certainly would have cut off his life artery. (69:44-46)

Allah said;

... إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا ﴿٩٦﴾

Verily, He is Ever the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His servants.

meaning, He knows best who among them deserves blessings, good treatment and guidance, and who deserves to be doomed and led astray.

97

وَمَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِهِ

And he whom Allah guides, he is led aright; and whomever He leaves astray can never find helpers other than Him,

وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ عُمْيًا وَبُكْمًا وَصُمًّا مَّأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ كُلَّمَا خَبَتْ زِدْنَاهُمْ سَعِيرًا

and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their abode will be Hell; whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.  

Guidance and Misguidance are in the Hands of Allah

Allah tells:

وَمَن يَهْدِ اللّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ ...  

And he whom Allah guides, he is led aright;

Allah tells us how He deals with His creation and how His rulings are carried out. He tells us that there is none who can put back His judgement, for whomever He guides cannot be led astray,

... وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء مِن دُونِهِ ...

and whomever He leaves astray can never find helpers other than Him.

to guide him. As Allah says:

مَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُّرْشِدًا

He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him. (18:17)

The Punishment of the People of Misguidance

Allah tells:

... وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ ...

and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces,

Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Prophet was asked, "O Messenger of Allah, how will the people be gathered on their faces!''

He said,

الَّذِي أَمْشَاهُمْ عَلَى أَرْجُلِهِمْ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَنْ يُمْشِيَهُمْ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِم

The One Who made them walk on their feet is able to make them walk on their faces.

It was also reported (by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) in the Two Sahihs.

... عُمْيًا ...

blind, (means, unable to see).

... وَبُكْمًا ...

dumb, (means, unable to speak).

... وَصُمًّا ...

deaf, (means, unable to hear).

They will be in this state as a punishment for the way they were in this world, blind, dumb and deaf to the truth. This will be their recompense when they are gathered on the Day of Resurrection, at the time when they need these faculties most of all.

... مَّأْوَاهُمْ ...

their abode,

means, their destination.

... جَهَنَّمُ كُلَّمَا خَبَتْ ...

will be Hell; whenever it abates,

Ibn Abbas said, "(This means) calms down,''

Mujahid said, "(It means) is extinguished,''

... زِدْنَاهُمْ سَعِيرًا ﴿٩٧﴾

We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.

meaning, increasing its flames and heat and coals, as Allah says:

فَذُوقُواْ فَلَن نَّزِيدَكُمْ إِلاَّ عَذَاباً

So taste you (the results of your evil actions). No increase shall We give you, except in torment. (78:30)

98

ذَلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُم بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالُواْ أَءِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا أَءِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا

That is their recompense, because they denied Our Ayat and said: "When we are bones and fragments, shall we really be raised up as a new creation!''

99

 أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَن يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُمْ

See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create the like of them.

وَجَعَلَ لَهُمْ أَجَلاً لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ فَأَبَى الظَّـلِمُونَ إَلاَّ كُفُورًا

And He has decreed for them an appointed term, whereof there is no doubt. But the wrongdoers refuse but disbelief.  

Allah says:

ذَلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُم بِأَنَّهُمْ كَفَرُواْ بِآيَاتِنَا ...  

That is their recompense, because they denied Our Ayat,

Allah says: `This punishment, being resurrected blind, dumb and deaf, is what they deserve, because they disbelieved, بِآيَاتِنَا (Our Ayat), i.e., Our proof and evidence, and did not think that the resurrection could ever happen.'

... وَقَالُواْ أَئِذَا كُنَّا عِظَامًا وَرُفَاتًا ...

and said: "When we are bones and fragments...''

meaning, when we have disintegrated and our bodies have rotted away,

... أَإِنَّا لَمَبْعُوثُونَ خَلْقًا جَدِيدًا ﴿٩٨﴾

shall we really be raised up as a new creation!

meaning, after we have disintegrated and disappeared and been absorbed into the earth, will we come back a second time Allah established proof against them and told them that He is able to do that, for He created the heavens and the earth, so raising them up again is easier for Him than that, as He says:

لَخَلْقُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَكْـبَرُ مِنْ خَلْقِ النَّاسِ

The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; (40:57)

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَلَمْ يَعْىَ بِخَلْقِهِنَّ بِقَادِرٍ عَلَى أَن يُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى

Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead. (46: 33)

أَوَلَـيْسَ الَذِى خَلَقَ السَّمَـوتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ بِقَـدِرٍ عَلَى أَن يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُم بَلَى وَهُوَ الْخَلَّـقُ الْعَلِيمُ

- إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them.

Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator. Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!'' and it is! (36:81-82)

And Allah says here:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْاْ أَنَّ اللّهَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ قَادِرٌ عَلَى أَن يَخْلُقَ مِثْلَهُمْ ...  

See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create the like of them.

meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, He will recreate and restore their bodies, as He created them in the first place.

... وَجَعَلَ لَهُمْ أَجَلاً لاَّ رَيْبَ فِيهِ ...

And He has decreed for them an appointed term, whereof there is no doubt.

means, He has set a time for them to be re-created and brought forth from their graves, an appointed time which must surely come to pass.

As Allah says:

وَمَا نُؤَخِّرُهُ إِلاَّ لاًّجَلٍ مَّعْدُودٍ

And We delay it only for a term (already) fixed. (11:104)

... فَأَبَى الظَّالِمُونَ ...

But the wrongdoers refuse,

-- after the proof has been established against them,

... إَلاَّ كُفُورًا ﴿٩٩﴾

(and accept nothing) but disbelief.

means, they persist in their falsehood and misguidance.

100

قُل لَّوْ أَنتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّى إِذًا لأمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الإِنفَاقِ وَكَانَ الإنْسَـنُ قَتُورًا

Say: "If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord, then you would surely hold back for fear of spending, and man is ever miserly!''  

Holding back is Part of Man's Nature

Allah says to His Messenger:

قُل لَّوْ أَنتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّي إِذًا لَّأَمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الإِنفَاقِ ...  

Say: "If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord, then you would surely hold back for fear of spending,

"Tell them, O Muhammad, even if you had authority over the treasures of Allah, you would refrain from spending for fear of exhausting it.''

Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said, "This means for fear of poverty,''

lest it run out, despite the fact that it can never be exhausted or come to an end. This is because it is part of your nature.

So Allah says:

... وَكَانَ الإنسَانُ قَتُورًا ﴿١٠٠﴾

and man is ever miserly.

Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said: "(This means) stingy and holding back.''

Allah says:

أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً

Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqira. (4:53),

meaning that even if they had a share in the authority of Allah, they would not have given anything to anyone, not even the amount of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date stone).

Allah describes man as he really is, except for those whom Allah helps and guides. Miserliness, discontent and impatience are human characteristics, as Allah says:

إِنَّ الإِنسَـنَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعاً ... إِلاَّ الْمُصَلِّينَ

Verily, man was created very impatient; irritable when evil touches him; and stingy when good touches him. Except those who are devoted to Salah (prayers). (70:19-22)

And there are many other such references in the Qur'an. This is an indication of the generosity and kindness of Allah.

In the Two Sahihs it says:

يَدُ اللهِ مَلْأَى لَا يَغِيضُهَا نَفَقَةٌ سَحَّاءُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ، أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَا أَنْفَقَ مُنْذُ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَغِضْ مَا فِي يَمِينِه

Allah's Hand is full and never decreases because of His giving night and day. Do you not see how much He has given since He created the heavens and the earth, yet that which is in His right hand never decreases.

101

وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى تِسْعَ ءَايَـتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ فَاسْأَلْ بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ إِذْ جَآءَهُمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِرْعَونُ إِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يمُوسَى مَسْحُورًا

And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Fir`awn said to him: "O Musa! I think you are indeed bewitched.''

102

 قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَآ أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاءِ إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ وَإِنِّى لأَظُنُّكَ يفِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا

He said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth. And I think you are indeed, O Fir`awn, doomed to destruction!''

103

 فَأَرَادَ أَن يَسْتَفِزَّهُم مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَن مَّعَهُ جَمِيعًا

So he resolved to turn them out of the land. But We drowned him and all who were with him.

104

وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ الاٌّخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا

And We said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.''

The Nine Signs of Musa

Allah tells:

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا مُوسَى تِسْعَ آيَاتٍ بَيِّنَاتٍ فَاسْأَلْ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِذْ جَاءهُمْ فَقَالَ لَهُ فِرْعَونُ ...  

And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Fir`awn said to him:

Allah tells us that He sent Musa with nine clear signs, which provided definitive proof that his Prophethood was real and that what he was conveying from the One Who had sent him to Fir`awn was true. These clear signs were:

- his staff,

- his hand,

- the years of famine,

- the sea,

- the flood,

- the locusts,

- the lice,

- the frogs and

- the blood.

This was the view of Ibn Abbas.

Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "They were:

- his hand and

- his staff,

- the five signs mentioned in Suarah Al-A`raf, and

- destruction of wealth and the rock.''

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi and Qatadah said: "They are:

- his hand,

- his staff,

- the years of famine,

- the failure of the crops,

- the flood,

- the locusts,

- the lice,

- the frogs and

- the blood.''

فَاسْتَكْبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوْماً مُّجْرِمِينَ

Yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals, (7:133)

meaning, despite all these signs and their witnessing of them, they disbelieved them and belied them wrongfully and arrogantly, although they were themselves were convinced of them, so they did not have any effect on them.

By the same token, (Allah tells His Messenger here), `if We were to respond to what these people are asking you for, who have said that they will not believe in you until you cause springs to gush forth throughout the land for them, they would not respond or believe except if Allah willed.'

As Fir`awn said to Musa, even though he had witnessed the signs which he brought,

... إِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا مُوسَى مَسْحُورًا ﴿١٠١﴾

"O Musa! I think you are indeed bewitched.''

It was said that this meant he thought he was a sorcerer, but Allah knows best. These nine signs which were mentioned by the Imams (scholars) quoted above are what is referred to here, and in the Ayah:

وَأَلْقِ عَصَاكَ فَلَمَّا رَءَاهَا تَهْتَزُّ كَأَنَّهَا جَآنٌّ وَلَّى مُدْبِراً وَلَمْ يُعَقِّبْ يمُوسَى لاَ تَخَفْ

"And throw down your stick!'' But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and did not look back.

(It was said:) "O Musa ! Fear not.''

until His saying,

فِى تِسْعِ ءَايَـتٍ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُواْ قَوْماً فَـسِقِينَ

among the nine signs (you will take) to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious. (27:10-12)

These Ayat include mention of the stick and the hand, and the rest of the nine signs are mentioned in detail in Surah Al-A`raf.

Musa was also given many other signs, such as striking the rock with his staff and water flowing from it, their being shaded with clouds, manna and quails, and other signs which were bestowed upon the Children of Israel after they had left the land of Egypt. But here Allah mentions the nine signs which were witnessed by his people in Egypt. These became evidence against them, because they stubbornly rejected them out of disbelief.

So Musa said to Fir`awn:

قَالَ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتَ مَا أَنزَلَ هَـؤُلاء إِلاَّ رَبُّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ بَصَآئِرَ ...  

He said: "Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

meaning, as proof and evidence of the truth of what I have brought to you.

... وَإِنِّي لَأَظُنُّكَ يَا فِرْعَونُ مَثْبُورًا ﴿١٠٢﴾

And I think you are indeed, O Fir`awn, doomed to destruction!

i.e., bound to be destroyed. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah.

Ibn Abbas said: "It means cursed.''

Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said: مَثْبُورًا (doomed to destruction), means defeated.

As Mujahid said, "doomed'' includes all of these meanings.

The Destruction of Fir`awn and His People

Allah tells:

فَأَرَادَ أَن يَسْتَفِزَّهُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ ...  

So he resolved to turn them out of the land.

means, he wanted to expel them and drive them out.

... فَأَغْرَقْنَاهُ وَمَن مَّعَهُ جَمِيعًا ﴿١٠٣﴾

But We drowned him and all who were with him.

وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الأَرْضَ ...  

And We said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land...''

This is good news for Muhammad, a foretelling of the conquest of Makkah, even though this Surah was revealed in Makkah before the Hijrah. Similarly, the people of Makkah wanted to expel the Prophet from the city, as Allah says in two Ayat:

,,,وَإِن كَادُواْ لَيَسْتَفِزُّونَكَ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ لِيُخْرِجُوكَ مِنْهَا

And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land… (17:76-77)

Hence Allah caused His Messenger to inherit Makkah, so he entered it by force, according to the better-known of the two opinions, and he defeated its people then out of kindness and generosity, he let them go, just as Allah caused the Children of Israel, who had been oppressed, to inherit the land, east and west, and to inherit the land of Fir`awn's people, with its farmland, crops and treasures.

As Allah said,

كَذَلِكَ وَأَوْرَثْنَـهَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ

thus We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them. (26:59)

Here Allah says:

وَقُلْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِ لِبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ اسْكُنُواْ الأَرْضَ فَإِذَا جَاء وَعْدُ الآخِرَةِ جِئْنَا بِكُمْ لَفِيفًا ﴿١٠٤﴾  

And We said to the Children of Israel after him: "Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.''

meaning, all of you, you and your enemies.

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, "It means all together.''

105

وَبِالْحَقِّ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ وَبِالْحَقِّ نَزَلَ وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا

And with truth We have sent it down, and with truth it has descended. And We have sent you as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner.

106

 وَقُرْءانًا فَرَقْنَاهُ لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ عَلَى مُكْثٍ وَنَزَّلْنَـهُ تَنْزِيلاً

And a Qur'an which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages.  

The Revelation of the Qur'an in Stages

Allah tells:

وَبِالْحَقِّ أَنزَلْنَاهُ ...  

And with truth We have sent it down,

Allah tells us that His Book, the Glorious Qur'an, has been sent with truth, i.e., it contains the truth, as Allah says:

لَّـكِنِ اللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ إِلَيْكَ أَنزَلَهُ بِعِلْمِهِ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ يَشْهَدُونَ

But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down unto you; He has sent it down with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness. (4:166)

meaning, it contains the knowledge which Allah wanted to teach to you, with His rulings, commands and prohibitions.

... وَبِالْحَقِّ نَزَلَ ...

and with truth it has descended.

means, "It has been sent down to you, O Muhammad, preserved and protected, not contaminated or mixed with anything else, with nothing added or taken away. It has come to you with the truth, brought down by one mighty in power, trustworthy and strong, one who is obeyed by the higher group (angels).'

... وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ ...

And We have sent you, (O Muhammad),

... إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا ﴿١٠٥﴾

as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings and a warner.

a bearer of glad tidings for the believers who obey you and a warner to the disbelievers who disobey you.

وَقُرْآناً فَرَقْنَاهُ ...  

And (it is) a Qur'an which We have divided,

The word translated here as "We have divided'' may be read in two ways.

If it is read as "Faraqnahu'', with no Shaddah, the meaning is: `We have made it depart from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz to Bayt Al-`Izzah in the lowest heaven, then it was revealed in stages to the Messenger of Allah, according to events, over a period of twenty-three years.'

This was narrated by Ikrimah from Ibn Abbas.

It was also narrated that Ibn Abbas read it as "Farraqnahu'', with a Shaddah, meaning, `We revealed it Ayah by Ayah, and have explained it and made it clear.'

Hence Allah says:

... لِتَقْرَأَهُ عَلَى النَّاسِ ...

in order that you might recite it to men,

meaning, convey it to the people and recite it to them,

... عَلَى مُكْثٍ ...

at intervals, (meaning slowly).

... وَنَزَّلْنَاهُ تَنزِيلاً ﴿١٠٦﴾

And We have revealed it by stages.

means, little by little.

107

قُلْ ءَامِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ

Say: "Believe in it or do not believe (in it).

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ يَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا

Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their chins (faces) in humble prostration.''

108

 وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَآ إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً

And they say: "Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.''

109

 وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلاٌّذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا

And they fall down on their chins (faces) weeping and it increases their humility.  

Those Who were given Knowledge before truly admit the Qur'an

Allah says to His Prophet Muhammad:

قُلْ...  

Say,

O Muhammad to these disbelievers concerning what you have brought to them of this Glorious Qur'an:

... آمِنُواْ بِهِ أَوْ لاَ تُؤْمِنُواْ ...

"Believe in it (the Qur'an) or do not believe (in it).

meaning, it is all the same whether you believe in it or not, for it is true in and of itself. It was revealed by Allah, Who mentioned it previously in the Books that He revealed to other Messengers. Hence He says:

... إِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ مِن قَبْلِهِ ...

Verily, those who were given knowledge before it,

meaning righteous people among the People of the Book, who adhered to their Books and appreciated them without distorting them.

... إِذَا يُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ ...

when it is recited to them,

means, when this Qur'an is recited to them,

... يَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ سُجَّدًا ﴿١٠٧﴾

fall down on their chins (faces) in humble prostration.

means, to Allah, in gratitude for the blessing He has bestowed on them by considering them fit to live until they met this Messenger to whom this Book was revealed. Hence:

وَيَقُولُونَ سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا ...  

And they say: Glory be to our Lord!,

meaning, they extol and glorify their Lord for His perfect power and for not delaying the fulfillment of the promise which He made through His earlier Prophets, that He would send Muhammad. Hence they said:

... سُبْحَانَ رَبِّنَا إِن كَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّنَا لَمَفْعُولاً ﴿١٠٨﴾

Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.

وَيَخِرُّونَ لِلأَذْقَانِ يَبْكُونَ ...  

And they fall down on their chins (faces) weeping,

means, in submission to Allah, may He be glorified, and in expression of their belief and faith in His Book and His Messenger.

... وَيَزِيدُهُمْ خُشُوعًا ﴿١٠٩﴾

and it increases their humility.

means, it increases them in faith and submission. As Allah says:

وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْاْ زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَءَاتَـهُمْ تَقُوَاهُمْ

While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa. (47:17)

وَيَخِرُّونَ (And they fall down), is a description rather than an action (i.e., this is a further description of their humility as referred to in Ayah 107; it does not imply that they prostrate twice).

110

قُلِ ادْعُواْ اللَّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَـنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءَ الْحُسْنَى

Say: "Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.

وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاتِكَ وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً

And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between.

111

 وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَم يَكُنْ لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِى الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَّهُ وَلِىٌّ مَّنَ الذُّلِّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify Him with all magnificence.''

To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names

Allah says:

قُلِ...  

Say,

O Muhammad, to these idolators who deny that Allah possesses the attribute of mercy and refuse to call Him Ar-Rahman,

... ادْعُواْ اللّهَ أَوِ ادْعُواْ الرَّحْمَـنَ أَيًّا مَّا تَدْعُواْ فَلَهُ الأَسْمَاء الْحُسْنَى ...

"Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.

meaning, there is no difference between calling on Him as Allah or calling on Him as Ar-Rahman, because He has the Most Beautiful Names, as He says:

هُوَ اللَّهُ الَّذِى لاَ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَـدَةِ هُوَ الرَّحْمَـنُ الرَّحِيمُ

He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. (59:22)

Until His saying;

لَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنَى يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him. (59:24)

Makhul reported that;

one of the idolators heard the Prophet saying when he was prostrating: "O Most Gracious, O Most Merciful.''

The idolator said, he claims to pray to One, but he is praying to two! Then Allah revealed this Ayah.

This was also narrated from Ibn Abbas, and by Ibn Jarir.

The Command to recite neither loudly nor softly

Allah says:

... وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ ...

And offer your Salah neither aloud,

Imam Ahmad reported that Ibn Abbas said: "This Ayah was revealed when the Messenger of Allah was preaching underground in Makkah.''

... وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا ...

And offer your Salah neither aloud nor in a low voice,

Ibn Abbas said:

"When he prayed with his Companions, he would recite Qur'an loudly, and when the idolators heard that, they insulted the Qur'an, and the One Who had revealed it and the one who had brought it. So Allah said to His Prophet: وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ (And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud), means, do not recite it aloud, lest the idolators hear you and insult the Qur'an, وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا (nor in a low voice), means, nor recite it so quietly that your companions cannot hear the Qur'an and learn it from you.

... وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً ﴿١١٠﴾

but follow a way between.''

This was also reported in the Two Sahihs.

Ad-Dahhak also narrated something similar from Ibn Abbas, and added: "When he migrated to Al-Madinah, this no longer applied, and he recited as he wished.''

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Ibn Abbas said,

"When the Messenger of Allah recited Qur'an quietly while he was praying, the (idolators) would disperse and refuse to listen to him; if one of them wanted to hear some of what he was reciting in his prayer, he would try to listen without anyone seeing him, because he was afraid of them. If he realized that anybody knew he was listening, he would go away lest they harm him, so he would stop listening. If the Prophet lowered his voice, those who wanted to listen to his recitation could not hear anything, so Allah revealed, وَلاَ تَجْهَرْ بِصَلاَتِكَ (And offer your Salah neither aloud) meaning, do not recite aloud, lest those who want to listen disperse for fear of attracting unwelcome attention, وَلاَ تُخَافِتْ بِهَا (nor in a low voice), but do not make your voice so soft that the one who is trying to listen without being seen cannot hear anything at all. Perhaps he will pay attention to some of what he hears and benefit from it. وَابْتَغِ بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ سَبِيلاً (but follow a way between).''

This was the view of Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah that; this Ayah was revealed concerning recitation in prayer.

It was narrated from Ibn Mas`ud: "Do not make it so soft that no one can hear it except yourself.''

Declaration of Tawhid

Allah says:

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا ...  

And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son...''

because Allah has stated that the Most Beautiful Names belong to Him, and has declared Himself to be above having any faults or defects.

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَم يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ ...

And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion...''

indeed, He is Allah, (the) One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.

... وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلَّ ...

nor He is low to have a supporter.

means, He is not so humble or weak that He needs to have a helper or supporter or adviser, rather He Alone, with no partner or associate, may He be exalted, is the Creator of all things and is the One Who is running and controlling them by His will, with no partner or associate.

Mujahid said: He does not form an alliance with anyone, nor does He seek the support or help of anyone.

... وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا ﴿١١١﴾

And magnify Him with all magnificence.

means, glorify and extol Him far above whatever the transgressors and aggressors say.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Qurazi used to say about this Ayah, وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا (And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son...'') that the Jews and Christians said that Allah has taken a son; the Arabs said, "At Your service, You have no partner except the partner You have, and You possess him and whatever he owns;'' and the Sabians and Magians said, "If it were not for the supporters of Allah, He would be weak.'' Then Allah revealed this Ayah:

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي لَمْ يَتَّخِذْ وَلَدًا وَلَم يَكُن لَّهُ شَرِيكٌ فِي الْمُلْكِ وَلَمْ يَكُن لَّهُ وَلِيٌّ مِّنَ الذُّلَّ وَكَبِّرْهُ تَكْبِيرًا

And say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify Him with all magnificence.''

*********

© Copy Rights:

Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana,

Lahore, Pakistan

Email: cmaj37@gmail.com

Visits wef Mar 2017

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