Surah Ad-Dukhaan Ayat 1-59 (end)

Surah Ad-Dukhaan

(The Smoke)

Chapter 44

Which was revealed in Makkah

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

{1. Ha Mim. 

2. By the manifest Book that makes things clear. 

3. We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning. 

4. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter, Hakim. 

5. As a command from Us. Verily, We are ever sending, 

6. (As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. 

7. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you (but) have a faith with certainty. 

8. La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death — your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.}

The Qur’an was revealed on Laylatul-Qadr

Allah tells us that He revealed the Magnificent Qur’an on a blessed night, Laylatul-Qadr “the Night of Decree”, as He says elsewhere: “Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Al-Qadr” (97:1). This was in the month of Ramadan, as Allah tells us: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an” (2:185). We have already quoted the relevant Hadiths in (the Tafsir of) Surat Al-Baqarah, and there is no need to repeat them here. “Verily, We are ever warning.” means, telling them what is good for them and what is harmful for them, according to Shariah, so that the proof of Allah may be established against His servants. “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter, Hakim.” means, on Laylatul-Qadr, the decrees are transferred from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz to the (angelic) scribes who write down the decrees of the (coming) year including life span, provision, and what will happen until the end of the year. This was narrated from Ibn Umar, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak and others among the Salaf. (At-Tabari 22:9)  “Hakim” means decided or confirmed, which cannot be changed or altered. Allah says: “As a command from Us” meaning, everything that happens and is decreed by Allah and the revelation that He sends down — it all happens by His command, by His leave and with His knowledge. “Verily, We are ever sending,” means, to mankind, sending Messenger who will recite to them the clear signs of Allah. The need for this was urgent. “(As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them,” means, the One Who sent down the Qur’an is the Lord, Creator and Sovereign of the heavens and the earth and everything in between them. “if you (but) have a faith with certainty.” Then Allah says: “La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death — your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.” This is like the Ayah: “Say: “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death…” (7:158)

{9. Nay! They play about in doubt. 

10. Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, 

11. Covering mankind, this is a painful torment. 

12. (They will say): “Our Lord! Remove the torment from us, really we shall become believers!” 

13. How can there be for them an admonition, when a Messenger explaining things clearly has already come to them? 

14. Then they had turned away from him and said: “(He is) one taught, a madman!” 

15. Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert. 

16. On the Day when We shall strike you with the great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.}

Alarming the Idolators with News of the Day when the Sky will bring forth a visible Smoke

Allah says, these idolaters are playing about in doubt, i.e., the certain truth has come to them, but they doubt it and do not believe in it. Then Allah says, warning and threatening them: “Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.” It was narrated that Masruq said, “We entered the Masjid – i.e., the Masjid of Kufah at the gates of Kindah – and a man was reciting to his companions, “the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.” He asked them; ‘Do you know what that is?’ That is the smoke that will come on the Day of Resurrection. It will take away the hearing and sight of the hypocrites, but for the believers it will be like having a cold.” He said, “We came to Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, and told him about that. He was lying down, and he sat up with a start and said, Allah said to your Prophet “Say: “No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the pretenders.” (38:86). And it is part of knowledge that when a man does not know something, he should say, “Allah knows best.” I will tell you a Hadith about that. When the Quraysh did not respond to Islam and they grew stubborn, the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them that they would have years like the years “of drought and famine” of Yusuf. They became so exhausted and hungry that they ate bones and dead meat. They looked at the sky, but they saw nothing but smoke.” (Muslim 4:2155) According to another report: “A man would look at the sky and he would see nothing between him and the sky except a smoky haze, because of his exhaustion.” (Muslim 4:2156)

“Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this is a painful torment” A man came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and said, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to send rain to Mudar, for they are dying. So the Prophet prayed for rain for them, and they got rain. Then the Ayah was revealed: “Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.” Ibn Masud said, “Do you think that the torment will be removed for them on the Day of Resurrection? When they were granted ease, they reverted to their former state. Then Allah revealed: “On the Day when We shall strike you with the Great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.” He said, “This means the day of Badr.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:434) Ibn Masud said, “Five things have come to pass: the smoke, the (defeat of the) Romans, the (splitting of the) moon, the Batshah, and the torment.” This Hadith was narrated in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 8:434) It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, and by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i in their (Books of) Tafsir, and by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim with a number of chains of narration. (Ahmad 1:380) A number of the Salaf, such as Mujahid, Abu Al-Aliyah, Ibrahim An-Nakhai, Ad-Dahhak and Atiyah Al-Awfi concurred with Ibn Masud’s interpretation of this Ayah and his view that the smoke already happened. (At-Tabari 22:16) This was also the view of Ibn Jarir.

According to the Hadith of Abu Sarihah, Hudhayfah bin Asid Al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah looked out upon us from a room while we were discussing the Hour. He said:

“The Hour will not come until you see ten signs. The rising of the sun from the west; the smoke; the beast; the emergence of Ya’juj and Ma’juj; the appearance of Isa bin Maryam; the Dajjal; three cases of the earth collapsing – one in the east, one in the west, and one in the Arabian Peninsula; and a fire which will emerge from the bottom of Aden and will drive the people – or gather the people – stopping with them when they stop to sleep at night or rest during the day.” 

This was recorded only by Muslim in his Sahih. (Muslim 4:2225)

Allah says: “Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.” meaning, clearly visible, such that all people will see it. According to Ibn Masud’s interpretation, this was a vision which they saw because of their intense hunger and exhaustion. He also interprets the Ayah “Covering mankind,”meaning, it covered them and overwhelmed them. But if it was only an illusion which happened to the idolators of Makkah, Allah would not have said “covering mankind.” “this is a painful torment.” means, this will be said to them by way of rebuke. This is like the Ayah: “The Day when they will be pushed down by force to the fire of Hell, with a horrible, forceful pushing. This is the Fire which you used to deny.”(52:13-14). Or some of them will say that to others. “(They will say): “Our Lord! Remove the torment from us, really we shall become believers!” means, when the disbelievers witness the punishment of Allah, they will ask for it to be taken away from them. This is like the Ayat: “If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!” (6:27) “And warn mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrongdoers will say: “Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!” (It will be said): “Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter).” (14:44) Allah says here: “How can there be for them an admonition, when a Messenger explaining things clearly has already come to them. Then they had turned away from him and said: “(He is) one taught, a madman!” meaning, ‘what further admonition do they need when We have sent them a Messenger with a clear Message and warning? Yet despite that, they turned away from him, opposed him and rejected him, and they said: (He is) one taught (by a human being), a madman.’ This is like the Ayah: “On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him” (89:23) “And if you could but see, when they will be terrified with no escape, and they will be seized from a near place. And they will say (in the Hereafter): “We do believe (now);” but how could they receive “faith and its acceptance by Allah) from a place so far off…” (34:51-52) “Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.” means, ‘if We were to remove the torment from you for a while, and send you back to the world, you would go back to your former state of disbelief and denial.’ This is like the Ayat: “And though We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.” (23:75) “But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars” (6:28)

The Meaning of the “Great Batshah”

“On the Day when We shall strike you with the great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.” Ibn Mas`ud interpreted this to mean the day of Badr. (At-Tabari 22:22) This is also the view of a group who agreed with Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, about the meaning of the smoke, as discussed above. It was also narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, in a report related to him from Al-Awfi (At-Tabari 22:22) and from Ubayy bin Kab, may Allah be pleased with him. (At-Tabari 22:23) This is possible, but the apparent meaning is that it refers to the Day of Resurrection, although the day of Badr was also a day of vengeance.

Ibn Jarir said, “Yaqub narrated to me; Ibn Ulayyah narrated to me, Khalid Al-Hadhdha narrated to us, from Ikrimah who said, Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, said that “the great Batshah” is the day of Badr, and I say that it is the Day of Resurrection.” This chain of narration is Sahih to him. This is also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri and of Ikrimah according to the more authentic of the two reports narrated from him. And Allah knows best.

{17. And indeed We tried before them Firawn’s people, when there came to them a noble Messenger. 

18. Saying: “Deliver to me the servants of Allah. Verily, I am to you a Messenger worthy of all trust.” 

19.”And exalt not yourselves against Allah. Truly, I have come to you with a manifest authority.” 

20. “And truly, I seek refuge with my Lord and your Lord, lest you should stone me.” 

21. “But if you believe me not, then keep away from me and leave me alone.” 

22. So he (Musa) called upon his Lord (saying): “These are indeed the people who are criminals.” 

23. (Allah said): “Depart you with My servants by night. Surely, you will be pursued.” 

24. “And leave the sea as it is (quiet and divided). Verily, they are a host to be drowned.” 

25. How many of gardens and springs that they (Firawn’s people) left behind, 

26. And green crops (fields) and goodly places, 

27. And comforts of life wherein they used to take delight! 

28. Thus (it was)! And We made other people inherit them. 

29. And the heavens and the earth wept not for them, nor were they given respite. 

30. And indeed We saved the Children of Israel from the humiliating torment, 

31. From Firawn; verily, he was arrogant and was of the excessive . 

32. And We chose them above the nations (Al-Alamin) with knowledge, 

33. And granted them signs in which there was a plain trial.}

The Story of Musa and Firawn, and how the Children of Israel were saved

Allah tells us, ‘before these idolators, We tested the people of Firawn, the copts of Egypt.’ “when there came to them a noble Messenger.” means, Musa, peace be upon him, the one to whom Allah spoke. “Deliver to me the servants of Allah.” This is like the Ayah: “So let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!” (20:47) “Verily, I am to you a Messenger worthy of all trust.” means, ‘what I convey to you is trustworthy.’ “And exalt not yourselves against Allah.” means, ‘and do not be too arrogant to follow His signs. Accept His proof and believe in His evidence.’ This is like the Ayah: “Verily, those who scorn My worship they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (40:60) “Truly, I have come to you with a manifest authority.”means, with clear and obvious proof. This refers to the clear signs and definitive evidence with which Allah sent him. “And truly, I seek refuge with my Lord and your Lord, lest you should stone me.” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Abu Salih said, “This refers to a verbal assault, which means insults.” (At-Tabari 22:26) Qatadah said, “Meaning ‘stoning’ in the literal sense, so that the meaning is: ‘I seek refuge with Allah, Who created me and you, from your making any harmful words or actions reach me.”’ (At-Tabari 22:27)

“But if you believe me not, then keep away from me and leave me alone.” means, ‘then let us leave one another alone and live in peace until Allah judges between us.’ After Musa, may Allah be pleased with him, had stayed among them for a long time, and the proof of Allah had been established against them, and that only increased them in disbelief and stubbornness, he prayed to his Lord against them, a prayer which was answered. Allah says: “And Musa said: “Our Lord! You have indeed bestowed on Firawn and his chiefs splendor and wealth in the life of this world, our Lord! That they may lead men astray from Your path. Our Lord! Destroy their wealth, and harden their hearts, so that they will not believe until they see the painful torment.” Allah said: “Verily, the invocation of you both is accepted. So you both keep to the straight way.” (10:88-89) And Allah says here: “So he (Musa) called upon his Lord (saying): “These are indeed the people who are criminals.” Whereupon Allah commanded him to bring the Children of Israel out from among them, without the command, consent or permission of Firawn. Allah said: “Depart you with My servants by night. Surely, you will be pursued.” This is like the Ayah: “And indeed We revealed to Musa (saying): Travel by night with My servants and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken nor being afraid “of drowning in the sea”. (20:77) “And leave the sea as it is (quiet and divided)Verily, they are a host to be drowned.”

When Musa and the Children of Israel has crossed the sea, Musa wanted to strike it with his staff so that it would go back as it had been, and it would form a barrier between then and Firawn and prevent him from reaching them. But Allah commanded him to leave it as it was, quiet and divided, and gave him the glad tidings that they were a host to be drowned, and that he should not fear either being overtaken by Firawn or drowning in the sea. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “And leave the sea as it is (quiet and divided).” means, leave it as it is and keep moving. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 7:410) Mujahid said: “as it is” means, a dry path, as it is. ‘Do not command it to go back; leave it until the last of them have entered it.’ (At-Tabari 22:30) This was also the view of Ikrimah, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Zayd, Kab Al-Ahbar, Simak bin Harb and others. (At-Tabari 22:30)

“How many of gardens and springs that they left behind. And green crops” this refers to rivers and wells. and goodly places, means, fine dwellings and beautiful places. Mujahid and Sad bin Jubayr said: “and goodly places,” means elevated places. (At-Tabari 22:32) “And comforts of life wherein they used to take delight!”means, a life which they were enjoying, where they could eat whatever they wanted and wear what they liked, with wealth and glory and power in the land. Then all of that was taken away in a single morning, they departed from this world and went to Hell, what a terrible abode! “Thus (it was)! And We made other people inherit them.”namely the Children of Israel. “And the heavens and the earth wept not for them,” means, they had no righteous deeds which used to ascend through the gates of the heavens, which would weep for them when they died, and they had no places on earth where they used to worship Allah which would notice their loss. So they did not deserve to be given a respite, because of their disbelief, sin, transgression and stubbornness.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Said bin Jubayr said, “A man came to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and said to him: ‘O Abu Al-Abbas, Allah says, ”And the heavens and the earth wept not for them, nor were they given respite” – do the heavens and the earth weep for anybody’ He, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘Yes, there is no one who does not have a gate in the heavens through which his provision comes down and his good deeds ascend. When the believer dies, that gate is closed; it misses him and weeps for him, and the place of prayer on earth where he used to pray and remember Allah also weeps for him. But the people of Firawn left no trace of righteousness on the earth and they had no good deeds that ascended to Allah, so the heavens and the earth did not weep for them.”’ (At-Tabari 22:34) Al-Awfi reported something similar from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him. (At-Tabari 22:35)

“And indeed We saved the Children of Israel from the humiliating torment from Firawn; verily, he was arrogant and was of the excessive.” Here Allah reminds them of how He saved them from their humiliation and subjugation at the hands of Firawn, when they were forced to do menial tasks. “From Firawn; verily, he was arrogant” means, he was proud and stubborn. This is like the Ayah: “Verily, Firawn exalted himself in the land” (28:4). “but they behaved insolently and they were people self-exalting” (23:46). He was one of the excessive and held a foolish opinion of himself. “And We chose them above the nations (Al-Alamin) with knowledge,” Mujahid said, “This means that they were chosen above those among whom they lived.” Qatadah said, “They were chosen above the other people of their own time, and it was said that in every period there are people who are chosen above others.” This is like the Ayah: “(Allah) said: “O Musa I have chosen you above men.” (7:144), which means, above the people of his time. This is also like the Ayah: “and (Allah has) chosen you (Maryam) above the women of the nations (Al-Alamin).” (3:42), i.e., Maryam was chosen above the women of her time. For Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her, is higher than her in status or is equal to her, as was Asiyah bint Muzahim, the wife of Firawn. And the superiority of A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, over all other women is like the superiority of Tharid over all other dishes. “And granted them signs” means clear proofs and extraordinary evidence. “in which there was a plain trial.” means, an obvious test to show who would be guided by it.

{34. Verily, these people are saying: 

35. “There is nothing but our first death, and we shall not be resurrected.” 

36. “Then bring back our forefathers, if you speak the truth!” 

37. Are they better or the people of Tubba and those before them? We destroyed them because they were indeed criminals.}

Refutation of Those Who deny the Resurrection

Here Allah denounces the idolators for their denial of the Resurrection and their belief that there is nothing after this life and no life or resurrection after death, which they based on the fact that their forefathers had died and had not returned. They said, If the resurrection is true, “Then bring back our forefathers, if you speak the truth!” This is false evidence and a specious argument, for the resurrection will happen on the Day of Judgement, not in this world; it will happen when this world has ended and ceased to be. Allah will bring all creatures back, created anew. He will make the evildoers fuel for the fire of Hell, and on that Day you will be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger will be a witness over you. Then Allah threatens them and warns them of the irresistible torment other idolators like who denied the resurrection, suffered. Such as the people of Tubba, i.e., Saba’. Allah destroyed them, wreaked havoc upon their land and scattered them here and there throughout the land, as we have already seen in Surah Saba‘. This was brought about because the idolators denied the Resurrection. Here too, the idolaters are compared to them. They Tubba were Arab descendants of Qahtan, just as these people (Quraysh) were Arab descendants of Adnan. Among the people of Himyar – who are also known as Saba’ – when a man became their king, they called him Tubba, just as the title Chosroes was given to the king of Persia, Caesar to the king of the Romans, Firawn to the disbelieving ruler of Egypt, Negus to the king of Ethiopia, and so on among other nations.

But it so happened that one of the Tubba left Yemen and went on a journey of conquest until he reached Samarqand, expanding his kingdom and domain. He is the one who founded Al-Hirah. It is agreed that he passed through Al-Madinah during the days of Jahiliyyah. He fought its inhabitants but they resisted him; they fought him by day and supplied him with food by night, so he felt ashamed before them and refrained from harming them. He was accompanied by two Jewish rabbis who advised him and told him that he would never prevail over this city, for it would be the place to which a Prophet would migrate towards the end of time. So he retreated and took them (the two rabbis) with him to Yemen. When he passed by Makkah, he wanted to destroy the Kabah, but they told him not to do that either. They told him about the significance of this House, that it had been built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, and that it would become of great importance through that Prophet who would be sent towards the end of time. So he respected it, performed Tawaf around it, and covered it with a fine cloth. Then he returned to Yemen and invited its people to follow the religion of guidance along with him. At that time, the religion of Musa, peace be upon him, was the religion followed by those who were guided, before the coming of the Messiah, peace be upon him. So the people of Yemen accepted the religion of guidance along with him.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“I do not know whether Tubba was a Prophet or not.” (Al-Baghawi 4:154)

It was narrated that Tamim bin Abdur-Rahman said: “Ata’ bin Abi Rabah said, ‘Do not revile Tubba, for the Messenger of Allah forbade reviling him.” (Abdur Razzaq 3:209) And Allah knows best.

{38. And We created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, for mere play. 

39. We created them not except with truth, but most of them know not. 

40. Verily, the Day of Judgement is the time appointed for all of them — 

41. The Day when a near relative cannot avail a near relative in aught, and no help can they receive, 

42. Except him on whom Allah has mercy. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.}

This World was created for a Wisdom

Here Allah tells us of His justice, and that He is far above mere play, folly and falsehood. This is like the Ayah: “And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the consideration of those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire!” (38:27) “Did you think that We had created you in play, and that you would not be brought back to Us? So Exalted be Allah, the True King: La ilaha illa Huwa, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!” (23:115-116) Then Allah says: “Verily, the Day of Judgement is the time appointed for all of them” This is the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will judge between all creatures, and He will punish the disbelievers and reward the believers. “is the time appointed for all of them” means, He will gather all of them, the first and the last of them. “The Day when a near relative cannot avail a near relative in aught,” means, no relative will be able to help another relative. This is like the Ayah: “Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another.” (23:101) “And no friend will ask a friend (about his condition). Though they shall be made to see one another” (70:10-11) which means, he will not ask his brother about how he is, even though he can see him with his own eyes. “and no help can they receive,” means, no relative will help another, and no help will come to him from outside. “Except him on whom Allah has mercy.” means, and nothing will be of any avail that Day except the mercy of Allah towards His creation. “Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.” means, he is the Almighty, with immense mercy.

{43. Verily, the tree of Zaqqum 

44. Will be the food of the sinners. 

45. Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, 

46. Like the boiling of scalding water. 

47. (It will be said:) “Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire,” 

48. “Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water.” 

49. “Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous.” 

50. “Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!”}

The Condition of the Idolators and Their Punishment on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us how He will punish the disbelievers who deny the meeting with Him: “Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners.” Those who sinned by their words and in deeds. These are the disbelievers. More than one commentator stated that this referred to Abu Jahl; undoubtedly he is included among those referred to in this Ayah, but it is not specifically about him. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Ad-Darda’ was reciting to a man: “Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners.” The man said, “The food of the orphan.” Abu Ad-Darda’, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Say, the tree of Zaqqum is the food of the evildoer.” (At-Tabari 22:43) i.e., he will not have any other food apart from that. Mujahid said, “If a drop of it were to fall on the earth, it would corrupt the living of all the people of earth.” (At-Tabari 22:43) A similar Marfu report has been narrated earlier. “Like boiling oil,” means, like the dregs of oil. “it will boil in the bellies, like the boiling of scalding water.” means, because of its heat and rancidity. “Seize him” means the disbeliever. It was reported that when Allah says to the keepers of Hell, “Seize him,” seventy thousand of them will rush to seize him. “and drag him” means, drag him by pulling him and pushing him on his back. Mujahid said: “Seize him and drag him” means, take him and push him. “into the midst of blazing Fire.” means, into the middle of it. “Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water.” This is like the Ayah: “boiling water will be poured down over their heads. With it will melt what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.” (22:19-20). The angel will strike him with a hooked rod of iron and split his head open, then he will pour boiling water over his head. It will go down through his body, melting through his stomach and intestines, until it goes through his heels; may Allah protect us from that. “Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous.” means, they “the keepers of Hell” will say that to him by way of ridicule and rebuke. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “This means, you are neither mighty nor generous.”

And Allah’s saying: “Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!” is like His saying: “The Day when they will be pushed down by force to the fire of Hell, with a horrible, forceful pushing. This is the Fire which you used to deny. In this magic, or do you not see” (52: 13-15) Similarly Allah said: “Verily, this is that where of you used to doubt!”

{51. Verily, those who have Taqwa, will be in place of security. 

52. Among Gardens and Springs, 

53. Dressed in Sundus and Istabraq, facing each other, 

54. So (it will be). And We shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes, 

55. They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security; 

56. They will never taste death therein except the first death, and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire,

 57. As a bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success! 

58.Certainly, We have made this (Qur’an) easy in your tongue, in order that they may remember. 

59. So wait thou and watch; for they (too) are waiting}

The State of Those Who have Taqwa and the Delights

They will enjoy in Paradise When Allah describes the state of the doomed, He follows that with a description of the life of the blessed. For this reason the Qur’an is called Al-Mathani (i.e., oft-repeated). “Verily, those who have Taqwa” i.e., those who fear Allah and are dutiful towards Him in this world, (will be in place of security.” means, in the Hereafter, i.e., in Paradise, where they will be safe from death and the fear of leaving it, and from every kind of worry, grief, terror and exhaustion, and from the Shaytan and his wiles, and from all other troubles and disasters. “Among Gardens and Springs”. This is in direct contrast to the state of the doomed, who will have the tree of Zaqqum and boiling water. “Dressed in Sundus” means, the finest of silk, such as shirts and the like. (and Istabraq) means, silk which is woven with shiny threads, like a splendid garment which is worn over regular clothes.

“facing each other,” means, sitting on thrones where none of them will sit with his back to anyone else. “So (it will be). And We shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes,” This will be a gift in addition to the beautiful wives given to them.“(In beauty) they are like rubies and Marjan [coral].” (55:58) “Is there any reward for good other than good?” (55:60) “They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security” means, whatever kinds of fruit they ask for will be brought to them, and they will have the security of knowing that this supply will never come to an end or be withheld; these fruits will be brought to them whenever they want. “They will never taste death therein except the first death,” This is an exception which reinforces the negation. The meaning is that they will never taste death there. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“Death will be brought forth in the image of a fine ram. It will be made to stand between Paradise and Hell, then it will be slaughtered. It will be said, “O people of Paradise, it is eternal, no more death; and O people of Hell, it is eternal, no more death.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:282, Muslim 4:2188)

This Hadith was already quoted in our discussion of Surah Maryam.

Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

“It will be said to the people of Paradise, “It is granted to you that you will be healthy and will never fall ill, you will live and never die, you will enjoy a life of luxury and will never be miserable, you will be youthful and will never grow old.”

This was recorded by Muslim.

It was reported that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

“Whoever has Taqwa of Allah, he will enter Paradise and enjoy a life of luxury and he will never be miserable. He will live therein and never die, his clothes will never wear out and his youth will never fade.

“and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire,” means, along with this great and eternal blessing, He will also have saved them from the agonizing torment in the depths of Hell, so they will have achieved their desired aim and avoided the thing they feared. Allah says, “As a bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success!” meaning, that will be from His bounty and kindness towards them. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Work and strive hard, and know that no one will enter Paradise by virtue of his deeds.”

They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” He said,

“Not even me, unless Allah showers me with His mercy and grace.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:300, Muslim 4:2170)

“Certainly, We have made this easy in your tongue, in order that they may remember.” means, `We have made this Qur’an, which We have sent down, easy, plain and clear, in your language which is the most eloquent, clear and beautiful of all languages.’“in order that they may remember.” means, in order that they may understand and know.

Despite the fact that it is so plain and clear, there are still people who disbelieve, who stubbornly go against it. Allah says to His Messenger , consoling him and promising him victory, and warning those who reject him that they will be destroyed. “Wait then; verily, they (too) are waiting.”meaning, ‘they will come to know who will be victorious and whose word will prevail in this world and in the Hereafter. For victory will be for you, O Muhammad, and for your brothers among the Prophets and Messengers, and for the believers who followed you,’ as Allah says: “Allah has decreed: “Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.” (58:21) “Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world’s life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth, — the Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode.” (40:51-52)

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ad-Dukhan.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah and in Him is all strength and protection.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 669-698 (end)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Az-Zukhruf Ayat 36-89 (end)

{36. And whosoever Yashu (turns away blindly) from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him.

37. And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright!

38. Till, when (such a one) comes to Us, he says, “Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts (or the east and west) a worst companion (indeed)!”

39. It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers in the punishment.

40. Can you make the deaf to hear, or can you guide the blind or him who is in manifest error?

41. And even if We take you away, We shall indeed take vengeance on them.

42. Or (if) We show you that wherewith We threaten them, then verily, We have perfect command over them.

43.So hold you fast to that which is revealed to you. Verily, you are on the straight path.

44. And verily, this is indeed a Dhikr for you and your people, and you will be questioned.

45. And ask whom We sent before you of Our Messengers: “Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious”}

 

The Shaytan is the Companion of the One Who turns away from Ar-Rahman

“And whosoever Yashu (turns away blindly)” means, whoever willfully ignores and turns away “from the remembrance of the Most Gracious,” Al-Asha (the root of Yash) refers to weakness of vision; what is meant here is weakness of insight. “We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him.” This is like the Ayat: “And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him” (4:115), “So when they turned away, Allah turned their hearts away” (61:5), and “And We have assigned for them intimate companions, who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them” (41:25). Allah says here: “And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright! Until, when he comes to Us,” meaning, for this person who willfully neglects true guidance, We send to him a Shaytan to lead him astray and show him the path to Hell. When he comes before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, he will complain about the Shaytan who was appointed to accompany him. “He says, “Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts — a worst companion (indeed)!” Some of them recited it; “Till, when they both come to Us.” referring to the companion Shaytan and the one whom he accompanies. Then Allah says: “It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers in the punishment.” means, ‘your being together in the Fire will not help you in the slightest, and you will both partake of the painful punishment.’ Allah says: “Can you make the deaf to hear, or can you guide the blind or him who is in manifest error?” means, ‘that is not up to you. All you have to do is convey the Message, but you do not have to guide them. Allah guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He is Wise and Just in doing so.’

Allah’s Vengeance upon the Enemies of His Messenger will surely come to pass

Allah further says: “And even if We take you away, We shall indeed take vengeance on them.” means, ‘We will inevitably wreak vengeance upon them and punish them, even if you pass away.’ “Or (if) We show you that wherewith We threaten them, then verily, We have perfect command over them.” means, ‘We are able to do both,’ but Allah will not take His Messenger (in death) until He gives him the joy of seeing his enemies brought low and gives him power and authority over them and their wealth. This was the view of As-Suddi and was the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:609)

Encouragement to adhere to the Qur’an

Allah then says; “So hold you fast to that which is revealed to you. Verily, you are on the straight path.” means, hold fast to the Qur’an which has been sent down to your heart, for it is truth and what it leads to is truth that shows the way to the straight path that leads to Gardens of Delight and eternal, everlasting goodness. “And verily, this is a Dhikr for you and your people,” It was said that this means, ‘it is an honor for you and your people;’ this was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 21:610, 611)

This means that it is an honour for them in that it was revealed in their language, so they are the people who have the best understanding of it among mankind and hence are obliged to be the most steadfast in adhering to its commandments. This is how the best of them were, the first immigrants and those who emulated them and followed them. It was also said that the meaning of the phrase; “And verily, this is indeed a Dhikr for you and your people,” was that ‘it was sent to remind you and your people.’ The fact that they are singled out does not exclude others. This is like the Ayat: “Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book in which there is Dhikrukum (your Reminder). Will you not then understand” (21:10) “And warn your tribe of near kindred” (26:214) “and you will be questioned.” means, ‘about this Qur’an, and how you acted upon it and what your response to it was.’ “And ask whom We sent before you of Our Messengers: Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious?” means, ‘all the Messengers called their people to the same as that to which you are calling mankind, namely the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and they forbade the worship of idols and false gods.’ This is like the Ayah: “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.” (16:36) Mujahid said that Abdullah bin Masud recited it: “And ask those whom We sent before you of Our Messengers.” (At-Tabari 21:611) This was narrated by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi from Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him. (At-Tabari 21:611, 612) Yet this appears to be an explanation rather than an alternate version of recitation. And Allah knows best.

{46. And indeed We did send Musa with Our Ayat to Firawn and his chiefs. He said: “Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of all that exists.”

47. But when he came to them with Our Ayat, behold, they laughed at them.

48. And not an Ayah We showed them but it was greater than its fellow preceding it, and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn.

49. And they said (to Musa): “O you sorcerer! Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has made a pact with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves.”

50. But when We removed the torment from them, behold, they broke their covenant.}

Musa was sent with the Message of Tawhid to Firawn and His Chiefs

Here Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him, and how He sent him to Firawn and his chiefs. That is, his governors, ministers, leaders and followers among the Egyptians and the Children of Israel. Allah sent him to call them to worship Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and to forbid them from worshipping anything other than Him. He sent him with mighty signs, such as his hand and his staff, other signs such as the flood, locusts, Qummal, frogs and blood, and the loss of their crops and lives. Yet despite all that they remained arrogant and stubbornly refused to follow him; they rejected his message and made fun of it, and laughed at the one who had brought it. “And not an Ayah We showed them but it was greater than its fellow preceding it,” but despite that they would not give up their sin, misguidance, ignorance and confusion. Every time one of these signs came to them, they would go and implore Musa, saying, “O you sorcerer!…” meaning, expert or knowledgeable one — this was the view of Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:615) The scholars of that time were the sorcerers or magicians, and magic was not regarded as something reprehensible by them at that time, so this was not a slight on their part. They were in a state of need, so it would not have been appropriate for them to insult him. This was a way of honoring him, as they thought. On each occasion, they promised Musa that if the torment was lifted from them, they would believe in him and let the Children of Israel go with him, but on each occasion they went back on their word. This is like the Ayat: “So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the Qummal, the frogs, and the blood; manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals. And when the punishment struck them, they said: “O Musa! Invoke your Lord for us because of His promise to you. If you remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.” But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! they broke their word!”‘ (7:133-135)

{51. And Firawn proclaimed among his people (saying): “O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then”

52. “Am I not better than this one (Musa) who is despicable and can scarcely express himself clearly”

53. Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him”

54. Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him. Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious.

55. So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.

56. And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.}

Firawn’s Address to His People and how Allah punished Him

Allah tells us how Firawn stubbornly persisted in his rebellion and disbelief. He assembled his people and addressed them in a vainglorious fashion, boasting of his dominion over Egypt. “Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me?” Qatadah said, “They had gardens and rivers of flowing water.” (At-Tabari 21:616) “See you not then” means, ‘do you not see my position of might and power’ — implying that Musa and his followers were poor and weak. This is like the Ayah: “Then he gathered (his people) and cried aloud, saying: “I am your lord, most high.” So Allah seized him with punishment for his last and first transgression.” (79:23-25) “Am I not better than this one who is despicable?” As-Suddi said, “He was saying, ‘indeed I am better than this one, who is despicable’.” (At-Tabari 21:616) Some of the grammarians of Basrah said that Firawn — may the curse of Allah be upon him — was saying that he was better than Musa, peace be upon him. But this is an obvious lie, may continued curses be upon him until the Day of Resurrection. By describing Musa as despicable he meant — as Sufyan said — insignificant. Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “He meant, weak.” Ibn Jarir said, “He meant, he had no power, authority or wealth.” “and can scarcely express himself clearly” means, he cannot speak clearly, he stammers and cannot speak well. Firawn’s description of Musa as “despicable” is a lie; rather it is he who was despicable and insignificant, lacking in physical, moral and religious terms, and it is Musa who was noble, truthful, righteous and upright. “and can scarcely express himself clearly”. This was also a lie. Although something happened to Musa’s tongue when he was a child, when it was burnt by a coal. He asked Allah to loosen the knot from his tongue (i.e., to correct his speech defect) so that they could understand what he said, and Allah had answered his prayer and said: “You are granted your request, O Musa” (20:36). It may be the case that some problem remained which he had not asked to be relieved of, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri suggested, and that he had asked only to be relieved of that which stood in the way of his conveying the Message. A person cannot be blamed for physical matters over which he has no control. Even though Firawn had the intelligence to understand that, he wanted to confuse and mislead his people, who were ignorant and stupid. So he said: “Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him…?” meaning, adornments which are placed on the arms. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Qatadah and others. (At-Tabari 21:619) “or angels sent along with him” meaning, to serve him and to testify that he is telling the truth. He looked only at outward appearances and did not understand the true inner matters that are clearer than what he focused on, if only he had understood that. Allah says: “Thus he fooled his people, and they obeyed him.” meaning, he confused them and invited them to misguidance, and they responded to him. “Verily, they were ever a people who were rebellious.” Then Allah says: “So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said it means: “When they angered Us means, they provoked Our wrath.” (At-Tabari 21:622) Ad-Dahhak said, it means “They made Us angry.” This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi, Qatadah, As-Suddi and other scholars of Tafsir. (At-Tabari 21:622)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Uqbah bin Amir, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“When you see that Allah gives a person what he wants even though he is persisting in sin, that means that Allah is enticing him into destruction.”

Then he recited: “So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.” (Ahmad 4:145, with a slight difference)

It was reported that Tariq bin Shihab said, “I was with Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, and the issue of sudden death was mentioned. He said, ‘It is a relief for the believer and a source of regret for the disbeliever.’ Then he recited the Ayah: “So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 7:384)

Umar bin Abdul-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I found that punishment comes with negligence, meaning the Ayah: “So when they angered Us, We punished them, and drowned them all.” “And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.” Abu Mijlaz said, “Precedent for others who do the same as they did.” (Al-Qurtubi 16:102) He and Mujahid said, “An example, i.e., a lesson to those who come after them.” (At-Tabari 21:624) Allah is the One Who guides to the straight path, and unto Him is the final return.

{57. And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.

58.And say: “Are our gods better or is he?” They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.

59. He was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.

60. And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.

61. And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour. Therefore have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me! This is the straight path.

62. And let not Shaytan hinder you. Verily, he (Shaytan) to you is a plain enemy.

63. And when Isa came with clear proofs, he said: “I have come to you with Al-Hikmah, and in order to make clear to you some of that in which you differ. Therefore have Taqwa of Allah and obey me.”

64. “Verily, Allah! He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is the straight path.”

65. But the sects from among themselves differed. So woe to those who do wrong from the torment of a painful Day!}

The Contempt of the Quraysh for the son of Maryam, and His true Status with Allah

Allah tells us how the Quraysh persisted in their disbelief and stubborn arguments: “And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.” Several others narrated that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak said, “They laughed, i.e., they were astounded by that.” (Al-Qurtubi 16:103) Qatadah said, “They were repelled by that and they laughed.” (At-Tabari 21:627) Ibrahim An-Nakhai said, “They turned away.” (Al-Qurtubi 16:103)

The reason for this was mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq in As-Sirah. He said, “According to what I have heard, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, sat down one day with Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah in the Masjid, and An-Nadr bin Al-Harith came and sat down with them. There were also other men from the Quraysh in the gathering. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, spoke, then An-Nadr bin Al-Harith came up to him and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, spoke to him until he defeated him in argument. Then he recited to him and to them, “Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (Surely) you will enter it.” (21:98) Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, got up and went to sit with Abdullah bin Al-Zabari At-Tamimi. Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah said to him, ‘By Allah, An-Nadr bin Al-Harith could not match the son of Abd Al-Muttalib in argument. Muhammad claims that we and these gods that we worship are fuel for Hell.’ Abdullah bin Az-Zabari said, ‘By Allah, if I meet with him I will defeat him in argument. Ask Muhammad whether everyone that is worshipped instead of Allah will be in Hell with those who worshipped him, for we worship the angels, and the Jews worship Uzayr, and the Christians worship the Messiah Isa bin Maryam.’ Al-Walid and those who were sitting with him were amazed at what Abdullah bin Az-Zabari said, and they thought that he had come up with a good point. He said this to the Messenger of Allah , who said: “Everyone who likes to worship something other than Allah will be with the one whom he worshipped, for indeed they are worshipping the Shaytan and whomever told them to worship that person.” Then Allah revealed the words: “Verily, those for whom the good has preceded from Us, they will be removed far therefrom (Hell)” (21:101), meaning that Isa, Uzayr and rabbis and monks who were also worshipped, who spent their lives in devotion towards Allah. The misguided people who came after them took them as lords instead of Allah. Concerning the notion of worshipping the angels as daughters of Allah, the following words were revealed: “And they say: “The Most Gracious has begotten a son (or children).” Glory to Him! They are but honored servants.” (21:26) Concerning Isa bin Maryam, the fact that he is worshipped instead of Allah, and to the amazement of Al-Walid and the others who were present at the argument, the following was revealed: “And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.” meaning, they take this argument as a basis for rejecting your message. Then Allah mentions ‘Isa bin Maryam and says: “He was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel. And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth. And he (Isa) shall be a known sign for the Hour.” meaning, the miracles and signs that happened at his hands, such as raising the dead and healing the sick, are sufficient as signs of the approach of the Hour. “Therefore have no doubt concerning it. And follow Me! This is the straight path.”(Ibn Hisham 1:396-398)

Ibn Jarir mentioned that Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, commented on the Ayah: “And when the son of Maryam is quoted as an example, behold, your people cry aloud thereat.” “This means the Quraysh, when it was said to them: “Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell! (Surely) you will enter it.” (21:98) The Quraysh said to him: ‘What about Isa bin Maryam’ He said: “He is the servant and Messenger of Allah.” They said, ‘By Allah, he means that we should take him as a lord just as the Christians took Isa son of Maryam as a lord.’ Then Allah said: “They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.”(At-Tabari 21:625)“And say: “Are our gods better or is he?”. Qatadah said, “They were saying, ‘Our gods are better than him’.” Qatadah said; “Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, recited it. “Are our gods better or is this (person)?” they mean Muhammad . “They quoted not the above example except for argument.” means, for the sake of stubborn argument, for they knew that he (Isa) was not included in the Ayah (21:98), because that would not make sense. The words, “Certainly you and that which you are worshipping now besides Allah, are (but) fuel for Hell!” (21:98) are addressed to the Quraysh, for they used to worship idols and false gods — they did not worship the Messiah so why should he be included in what the Ayah says What they said was only for the sake of argument; they did not really believe in it.

Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Abu Umamah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said:

“No people go astray after having been guided, but they resort to (futile) argument.”

Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, recited this Ayah: “They quoted not the above example except for argument. Nay! But they are a quarrelsome people.” (Ahmad 5:256) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and Ibn Jarir. At-Tirmidhi said, “This Hadith is Hasan Sahih, we do not know it except from the Hadith of Hajjaj bin Dinar…” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 9:130) “He (Isa) was not more than a servant. We granted Our favor to him,” means, Isa, peace be upon him; he was no more than one of the servants of Allah whom Allah blessed with prophethood and messengership. “and We made him an example for the Children of Israel.” means, ‘a sign, proof and evidence of Our power to do whatever We will.’ “And if it were Our will, We would have made angels to replace you on the earth.” As-Suddi said, “They would have taken your place on (the earth). ” (At-Tabari 21:631) Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Qatadah said, “They would have succeeded one another just as you succeed one another.” (At-Tabari 21:630) This view is implied by the former veiw. Mujahid said, “They would have populated the earth instead of you.” (At-Tabari 21:630)

Allah’s saying: “And he (Isa) shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.” The correct view concerning this phrase is that it refers to his descent before the Day of Resurrection, as Allah says: “And there is none of the People of the Scripture but must believe in him before his death” (4:159). — meaning before the death of Isa, peace be upon him — And on the Day of Resurrection, he will be a witness against them (4:159). This meaning has the support from an alternate recitation of the Ayat “And he shall be a known sign for (the coming of) the Hour.” means, evidence that the Hour will surely come. Mujahid said: “And he shall be a sign for (the coming of) the Hour.” means, sign and “One of the signs of the Hour will be the appearance of Isa son of Maryam before the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tabari 21:632) Something similar was also narrated from Abu Hurayrah, Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah, Abu Malik, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others. (At-Tabari 21:632) Many Mutawatir Hadiths report that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, said that Isa will descend before the Day of Resurrection as a just ruler and fair judge. “Therefore have no doubt concerning it.” means, do not doubt that it will surely come to pass. “And follow Me.” means, ‘in what I tell you about it.’ “This is the straight path. And let not Shaytan hinder you.” means, from following the truth. “Verily, he (Satan) to you is a plain enemy. And when `Isa came with (Our) clear proofs, he said: “I have come to you with Al-Hikmah…”, meaning prophethood: “and in order to make clear to you some of the (points) in which you differ.” Ibn Jarir said, “This means religious matters, not worldly matters.” (At-Tabari 21:635) What he said is good. “Therefore have Taqwa of Allah” means, ‘with regard to what I command you to do.’ “and obey me.” means, ‘in what I bring to you.’ “Verily, Allah! He is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. This is the straight path.” means, ‘you and I are enslaved to Him, in need of Him and we commonly share in the worship of Him Alone, associating none with Him.’ “This is the straight path” means, ‘what I have brought to you is the straight path, which is the worship of the Lord, may He exalted, Alone.’ “But the sects from among themselves differed.” means, they differed and became parties and factions, some who stated that he (Isa) was the servant and Messenger of Allah — which is true – while others claimed that he was the son of Allah or that he himself was Allah — glorified be Allah far above what they say. Allah says: “So woe to those who do wrong from the torment of a painful Day!”

{66. Do they only wait for the Hour that it shall come upon them suddenly while they perceive not?

67. Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.

68. My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve,

69. (You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.

70. Enter Paradise, you and your wives, in happiness.

71. Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them; (there will be) therein all that their souls desire, and all that eyes could delight in and you will abide therein forever.

72. This is the Paradise, which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds that you used to do.

73. Therein for you will be fruits in plenty, of which you will eat (as you desire).}

 

The Resurrection will come suddenly, and Enmity will arise between close Friends among the Disbelieve

Allah says, ‘do these idolaters who disbelieve in the Messengers wait’ “only for the Hour that it shall come upon them suddenly while they perceive not” means, for it is real and will inevitably come to pass, and these negligent people are unprepared for it. When it comes, it will catch them unawares, and on that Day they will feel the utmost regret when regret will not benefit them in the slightest and will not afford them any protection. “Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except those who have Taqwa.” means, every friendship that exists for a purpose other than for the sake of Allah will turn to enmity on the Day of Resurrection, except for that which is for the sake of Allah, which will last forever. This is like the statement of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to his people: “You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.” (29:25)

Good News for Those with Taqwa on the Day of Resurrection, and Their entry into Paradise

“My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve.” Then He will give them the glad tidings: “(You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.” means, their hearts believed and they submitted inwardly and outwardly to the Laws of Allah.

Al-Mutamir bin Sulayman narrated that his father said: “When the Day of Resurrection comes and the people are resurrected, there will be no one left who will not be filled with terror. Then a caller will cry out: “My servants! No fear shall be on you this Day, nor shall you grieve.” So all the people will be filled with hope, but this will be followed by the words: “(You) who believed in Our Ayat and were Muslims.” Then all of mankind will be filled with despair apart from the believers.” (At-Tabari 21:639)

“Enter Paradise,” means, they will be told to enter Paradise. “you and your wives,” means, your counterparts “in happiness (Tuhbarun).” means, in delight and joy. “Trays of gold and cups will be passed round them” means, fine vessels of gold containing food and drink, without spouts or handles. “(there will be) therein all that their souls could desire”. “Some of them recited: “that their souls desire,” “and all that eyes could delight in” means, of good food, delightful fragrances and beautiful scenes. “and you will therein” means, in Paradise “abide forever” means, you will never leave it or want to exchange it.

Then it will be said to them, as a reminder of the blessing and favour of Allah: “This is the Paradise, which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds that you used to do.” means, the righteous deeds which were the cause of your being included in the mercy of Allah. For no one will be admitted to Paradise by virtue of their deeds alone; that will be by the mercy and grace of Allah. But the varying ranks and degrees of Paradise will be attained according to one’s righteous deeds. “Therein for you will be fruits in plenty,” means, of all kinds. “of which you will eat.” means, whatever you choose and desire. When food and drink are mentioned, fruit is also mentioned to complete the picture of blessing and joy. And Allah knows best.

{74. Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever.

75. (The torment) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein.

76. We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.

77. And they will cry: “O Malik (keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord make an end of us.” He will say: “Verily, you shall abide forever.”

78. Indeed We have brought the truth to you, but most of you have a hatred for the truth.

79. Or have they plotted some plan? Then We too are planning.

80. Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? Yes (We do) and Our messengers are by them, to record.}

The Punishment of the Doomed

The description of the state of the blessed is followed by a description of the state of the doomed. “Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever. It will not be lightened for them,” meaning, not even for one moment. “and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein,” means, they will despair of any goodness. “We wronged them not, but they were the wrongdoers.” means, by their committing wrong actions after proof had been established against them and Messengers had been sent to them, but they rejected them and rebelled, so they are to be punished accordingly. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants. “And they will cry: “O Malik…” who is the keeper of Hell. Al-Bukhari said, “Hajjaj bin Minhal told us, Sufyan bin Uyaynah told us, from Amr bin Ata, from Safwan bin Yala that his father, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah reciting on the Minbar: “And they will cry: “O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:431) meaning, ‘let Him destroy our souls and give us some respite from our predicament.’ But it will be as Allah says: “Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die nor shall its torment be lightened for them” (35:36). “But it will be avoided by the wretched, who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die (to be in rest) nor live (a good living).” (87:11-13). When they ask to be allowed to die, Malik will answer them: He will say: Verily, you shall abide forever. meaning, you will have no way out from it and no refuge. Then the reason why they are doomed will be given, which is their stubborn resistance to the truth. Allah says: “Indeed We have brought the truth to you,” meaning, ‘We have explained it to you clearly and in detail.’ “but most of you have a hatred for the truth.” means, ‘but your nature could not accept it and did not seek it; on the contrary, you followed and venerated falsehood, and you stood in the way of truth and refused it, and despised its followers.’ So they will blame themselves and will feel regret at the time when regret will not be of any benefit to them. Then Allah says: “Or have they plotted some plan Then We too are planning.” Mujahid said, “They wanted to plot some evil, but We are also planning.” (At-Tabari 21:146) What Mujahid said is like the Ayah: “So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not.” (27:50). The idolators were trying their utmost to find ways of refuting the truth with falsehood, but Allah planned it so that the consequences of that would backfire on them. He said in refutation: “Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel” meaning, what they say secretly and openly. “Yes (We do) and Our messengers are by them, to record.” means, ‘We know what they are doing, and the angels are also recording their deeds, major and minor.’

{81. Say: “If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers.”

82. Glorified is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).

83. So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense and play until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.

84. It is He Who is the only God in the heaven and the only God on the earth. And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower.

85. And Blessed be He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, and with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour, and to Whom you (all) will be returned.

86. And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power of intercession — except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.

87. And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah.” How then are they turned away

88. And his saying: “O my Lord! Verily, these are a people who believe not!”

89. So turn away from them, and say: Salam (peace!) But they will come to know.}

Allah has no Offspring

Allah says: “Say” — `O Muhammad’ — “If the Most Gracious had a son, then I am the first of the worshippers.” meaning, ‘if this were so, then I would worship Him on that basis, because I am one of His servants; I obey all that He commands me and I am not too arrogant or proud to worship Him.’ This conditional phrase does not mean that what is described could happen nor that is possible as Allah says: “Had Allah willed to take a son, He could have chosen whom He willed out of those whom He created. But glory be to Him! He is Allah, the One, the Irresistible.” (39:4). Allah says here: “Glorified is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, the Lord of the Throne! Exalted be He from all that they ascribe (to Him).” meaning, exalted and sanctified and glorified be the Creator of all things far above having any offspring, for He is Unique, One and Eternally Self-Sufficient. There is none equal to Him or like Him, and He does not have any offspring. “So leave them (alone) to speak nonsense” means, in their ignorance and misguidance, “and play” in their world, “until they meet the Day of theirs which they have been promised.” which is the Day of Resurrection, i.e., then they will come to know what their end and destination will be on that Day.

The Uniqueness of the Lord

“It is He Who is the only God in the heaven and the only God on the earth.” means, He is the God of those who are in the heavens and the God of those who are on earth; all of them worship Him and are humbled before Him. “And He is the All-Wise, the All-Knower.” This Ayah is like the Ayah: “And He is Allah in the heavens and on the earth; He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn.” (6:3) which means, He is the One who is called Allah in the heavens and on the earth. “And Blessed be He to Whom belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them,” means, He is their Creator and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling them with none to resist or oppose His rule. Blessed and exalted be He far above the notion of His having a child. He is eternally free of all faults and shortcomings, because He is the Lord, the Exalted, the Almighty, the Sovereign of all things, Who is in control of all affairs. “and with Whom is the knowledge of the Hour,” means, no one knows when it will happen except Him. “and to Whom you (all) will be returned.” means, and each person will be requited for his deeds; if they are good, then he will be rewarded, and if they are bad, then he will be punished.

The Idols have no Power of Intercession

“And those whom they invoke instead of Him have no power” means, the idols and false gods. “of intercession” means, they are not able to intercede for them. “except for those who bear witness to the truth knowingly, and they know.” This means, but the one who bears witness to the truth has knowledge and insight, so his intercession with Allah will avail, by His leave.

The Idolators admit that Allah Alone is the Creator

“And if you ask them who created them, they will surely say: “Allah.” How then are they turned away” means, ‘if you ask these idolators who associate others in worship with Allah,’ “who created them, they will surely say: “Allah.” means, they will admit that He Alone is the Creator of all things and He has no partner in that. Yet despite that they still worship others alongside Him who have nothing and are able to do nothing. This is the utmost foolishness and stupidity. Allah says: “How then are they turned away?”

The Prophet’s Complaint to Allah

“And his saying: “O my Lord! Verily, these are a people who believe not!” means, Muhammad said this; he complained to his Lord about his people who did not believe in him, and said, `O Lord, these people do not believe.’ This is like the Ayah: “And the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an.” (25:30). This is the view of Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid and Qatadah, and this is how Ibn Jarir interpreted it. (At-Tabari 21:656)

Al-Bukhari said: “Abdullah — meaning Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with him — recited (Ayah 88 of Az-Zukhruf): “And the Messenger will say: “O my Lord!” (Fath Al-Bari8:431) Mujahid said concerning the Ayah: “And his saying: “O my Lord! Verily, these are a people who believe not!” “Allah is stating what Muhammad said.” (At-Tabari 21:656) Qatadah said, “These are the words of your Prophet , when he complained about his people to his Lord.” (At-Tabari 21:656) “So turn away from them,” means, from the idolators. “and say Salam (peace!)” means, ‘do not respond to them in the same evil manner in which they address you; but try to soften their hearts and forgive them in word and deed.’ “But they will come to know.” This is a warning from Allah for them. His punishment, which cannot be warded off, struck them, and His religion and His word was supreme. Subsequently Jihad and striving were prescribed until the people entered the religion of Allah in crowds, and Islam spread throughout the east and the west. And Allah knows best.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Az-Zukhruf.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 636-668

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Az-Zukhruf Ayat 1-35

Surah Az-Zukhruf

(Ornaments of Gold) 

Chapter 43

Which was revealed in Makkah

 

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

{1. Ha Mim.

2. By the manifest Book.

3. Verily, We have made it a Qur’an in Arabic that you may be able to understand.

4. And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.

5. Shall We then take away the Reminder from you, because you are a people excessive?

6. And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old.

7. And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.

8. Then We destroyed men stronger (in power) than these and the example of the ancients has passed away.}

 

“Ha-Mim. By the manifest Book.” means, plain and clear in both wording and meaning, because it was revealed in the language of the Arabs, which is the most eloquent language for communication among people. Allah says: “a Qur’an in Arabic” meaning, in the language of the Arabs, eloquent and clear; “that you may be able to understand.” means, that you may understand it and ponder its meanings. This is like the Ayah: “In the plain Arabic language.” (26:195) “And verily, it is in the Mother of the Book with Us, indeed exalted, full of wisdom.” This explains the high status of the Qur’an among the hosts on high “the angels”, so that the people of earth will respect it, venerate it and obey it. “And verily, it” means, the Qur’an, “is in the Mother of the Book” meaning, Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet). This was the view of Ibn Abbas and Mujahid. (Ar-Razi 27:167) “with Us,” means, in Our presence. This was the view of Qatadah and others. (Al-Baghawi 4:133) “indeed exalted” means, occupying a position of honor and virtue. This was the view of Qatadah. (At-Tabari 21:567) “full of wisdom.” means, clear, with no confusion or deviation. All of this indicates its noble status and virtue, as Allah says elsewhere: “That (this) is indeed an honorable recitation. In a Book well-guarded. Which none can touch but the pure. A revelation from the Lord of the all that exists.” (56:77-80) “Nay, indeed it is an admonition. So whoever wills, let him pay attention to it. (It is) in Records held (greatly) in honor, exalted, purified, in the hands of scribes (angels), honorable and obedient.” (80:11-16) “Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur’an) from you, because you are a people excessive.” means, ‘do you think that We will forgive you and not punish you, when you do not do as you have been commanded?’ This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Salih, Mujahid and As-Suddi, and was the view favored by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:567, 568)

“Shall We then take away the Reminder (this Qur’an) from you?” Qatadah said, “By Allah, if this Qur’an had been taken away when the first generations of this Ummah rejected it, they would have been doomed, but Allah by His mercy persisted in sending it and calling them to it for twenty years, or for as long as He willed.” (At-Tabari 21:568) What Qatadah said is very good, and his point is that Allah, by His grace and mercy towards His creation, did not stop calling them to the truth and to the wise Reminder, i.e., the Qur’an, even though they were heedless and turned away from it. Indeed, He sent it so that those who were decreed to be guided might be guided by it, and so that proof might be established against those who were decreed to be.

Consolation to the Prophet for the Disbelief of Quraysh

Then Allah consoles His Prophet for the disbelief of his people, and commands him to bear it with patience. “And how many a Prophet have We sent amongst the men of old.” meaning, among the sects (communities) of old. “And never came there a Prophet to them but they used to mock at him.” means, they disbelieved him and mock at him. “Then We destroyed men stronger than these” means, ‘We destroyed those who disbelieved in the Messengers, and they were stronger in power than these who disbelieve in you, O Muhammad.’ This is like the Ayah: “Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them They were more in number than them and mightier in strength?” (40:82). And there are many similar Ayat. “and the example of the ancients has passed away.” Mujahid said, “The way of their life.” (At-Tabari 21:571) Qatadah said, “Their punishment.” Others said, “Their lesson,” i.e., ‘We made them a lesson for those disbelievers who came after them, that they would suffer the same end as them,’ as in the Ayah at the end of this Surah: “And We made them a precedent, and an example to later generations.” (43:56); “this has been the way of Allah in dealing with His servants” (40:85). “and you will not find any change in the way of Allah.” (33:62)

{9. And indeed if you ask them: “Who has created the heavens and the earth?” They will surely say: “The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.”

10. Who has made for you the earth like a bed, and has made for you roads therein, in order that you may find your way?

11. And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure, then We revive a dead land therewith, and even so you will be brought forth.

12.And Who has created all the pairs and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride,

13. In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: “Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.”

14. And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!”}

The Idolators’ admission that Allah is the Sole Creator, and Further Evidence of that

Allah says: ‘If you, O Muhammad, were to ask these idolators who associate others with Allah and worship others besides Him,’ “Who has created the heavens and the earth” They will surely say: “The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.” In other words, they will admit that the Creator of all that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, yet they still worship others – idols and false gods – alongside Him. “Who has made for you the earth like a bed?” means, smooth, stable and firm, so that you can travel about in it, and stand on it and sleep and walk about, even though it is created above water, but He has strengthened it with the mountains, lest it should shake. “and has made for you roads therein,” means, paths between the mountains and the valleys. “in order that you may find your way.” means, in your journeys from city to city, region to region, land to land. “And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure,” means, according to what is sufficient for your crops, fruits and drinking water for yourselves and your cattle. “then We revive a dead land therewith,” means, a barren land, for when the water comes to it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth). By referring to the revival of the earth, Allah draws attention to how He will bring bodies back to life on the Day of Resurrection, after they have been dead. “and even so you will be brought forth.” Then Allah says: “And Who has created all the pairs” meaning, of everything that grows in the earth, all kinds of plants, crops, fruits, flowers, etc., and all different kinds of animals. “and has appointed for you ships” or vessels, “and cattle on which you ride.” means, He has subjugated them to you and made it easy for you to eat their meat, drink their milk and ride on their backs. Allah says: “In order that you may mount on their backs” meaning, sit comfortably and securely, “on their backs” means, on the backs of these kinds of animals. “and then may remember the favour of your Lord” means, whereby these animals are subjugated to you. “when you mount thereon, and say: “Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.” means, if it were not for the fact that Allah has subjugated these things to us, we could never have done this by our own strength.’ Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said: “We could not have done this ourselves.” (At-Tabari 21:576, 577) “And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return.” means, ‘We will return to Him after our death, and our ultimate destination is with Him.’ In this Ayah, mention of earthly journeys draws attention to the journey of the Hereafter, just as elsewhere, mention of earthly provision draws attention to the importance of ensuring provision for the Hereafter, as Allah says: “And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is the Taqwa” (2:197). And mention of earthly garments is also used to draw attention to the raiment of the Hereafter: “and as an adornment; and the raiment of the Taqwa, that is better” (7:26).

{15. Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him. Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!

16. Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons

17. And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!

18. A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear

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

20. And they said: “If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.” They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!”}

Condemnation of the Idolators’ attribution of Offspring to Allah

Here Allah speaks of the lies and fabrications of the idolators, when they devoted some of their cattle to their false gods and some to Allah, as He described in Surah Al-Anam where He said: “And they assign to Allah share of the tilth and cattle which He has created, and they say: “This is for Allah” according to their claim, “and this is for our partners.” But the share of their partners reaches not Allah, while the share of Allah reaches their partners! Evil is the way they judge!” (6:136). Similarly, out of the two kinds of offspring, sons and daughters, they assigned to Him the worst and least valuable (in their eyes), i.e., daughters, as Allah says: “Is it for you the males and for Him the females That indeed is a division most unfair!” (53:21-22) And Allah says here: “Yet, they assign to some of His servants a share with Him. Verily, man is indeed a manifest ingrate!” Then He says: “Or has He taken daughters out of what He has created, and He has selected for you sons” This is a denunciation of them in the strongest terms, as He goes on to say: “And if one of them is informed of the news of that which he sets forth as a parable to the Most Gracious, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with grief!” means, if one of these people is given the news that there has been born to him one of those which he attributes to Allah, i.e., a daughter, he hates this news and it depresses and overwhelms him so much that he keeps away from people because he feels so ashamed. Allah says, so how can they dislike that so much and yet they attribute it to Allah “A creature who is brought up in adornments, and who in dispute cannot make itself clear” means, women are regarded as lacking something, which they make up for with jewellery and adornments from the time of childhood onwards, and when there is a dispute, they cannot speak up and defend themselves clearly, so how can this be attributed to Allah “And they make females the angels who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious.” means, that is what they believe about them, but Allah denounces them for that and says: “Did they witness their creation?” meaning, did they see Allah creating them as females “Their testimony will be recorded,” means, concerning that, “and they will be questioned!” means, about that, on the Day of Resurrection. This is a stern warning and a serious threat. “And they said: “If it had been the will of the Most Gracious, we should not have worshipped them.” means, (they said:) ‘if Allah had willed, He would have prevented us from worshipping these idols which are images of the angels who are the daughters of Allah; He knows about this and He approves of it.’ By saying this, they combined several types of error: First: They attributed offspring to Allah – exalted and sanctified be He far above that. Second: They claimed that He chose daughters rather than sons, and they made the angels, who are the servants of the Most Gracious, female. Third: They worshipped them with no proof, evidence or permission from Allah. This was based on mere opinion, whims and desires, imitation of their elders and forefathers, and pure ignorance. They used Allah’s decree as an excuse, and this reasoning betrayed their ignorance. Fourth: Allah denounced them for this in the strongest terms, for from the time He first sent Messengers and revealed Books, the command was to worship Him Alone with no partner or associate, and it was forbidden to worship anything other than Him. Allah says: “And verily, We have sent among every Ummah a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.” Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied.” (16:36) “And ask those of Our Messengers whom We sent before you: “Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious?” (43:45) And Allah says in this Ayah, after mentioning this argument of theirs: “They have no knowledge whatsoever of that.” meaning, of the truth of what they say and the arguments they put forward. “They do nothing but lie!” means, they tell lies and fabricate untruths. “They have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie!” Mujahid said, “They do not appreciate the power of Allah.” (At-Tabari 21:583)

{21. Or have We given them any Book before this (the Qur’an) to which they are holding fast?

22. Nay! They say: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we guide ourselves by their footsteps.”

23. And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.”

24. He said: “Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following” They said: “Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.”

25. So We took revenge on them, then see what was the end of those who denied.}

The Idolators have no Proof

Allah condemns the idolators for worshipping others instead of Allah with no evidence or proof for doing so. “Or have We given them any Book before this?” means, before their idolatry. “to which they are holding fast” means, with regard to what they are doing. This is not the case. This is like the Ayah: “Or have We revealed to them an authority (a Scripture), which speaks of that which they have been associating with Him” (30:35) meaning, that did not happen. Then Allah says: “Nay! They say: “we found our fathers following a certain way and religion (Ummah), and we guide ourselves by their footsteps.” meaning, they have no grounds for their belief in idolatry apart from the fact that they are imitating their fathers and forefathers who were following a certain Ummah or way, i.e., religion. The word Ummah is used in a similar manner elsewhere, where Allah says: “And verily, this your religion (Ummah) is one religion” (23:52), and they said; “and we by their footsteps” means, behind them “We guide ourselves” This is their claim with no evidence. Then Allah points out that what these people say was already said by those who were like them among the nations of the past who disbelieved in the Messengers. Their hearts and their words are similar. “Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!” Have they transmitted this saying to these? Nay, they are themselves a people transgressing beyond bounds!” (51:52-53) And Allah says here: “And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” Then He says: “Say” – ‘O Muhammad, to these idolators -‘ “Even if I bring you better guidance than that which you found your fathers following?” They said: “Verily, we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.” ‘Even if they were convinced of the truth of what you have brought to them, they will not follow it, because of their evil intentions and their arrogance towards the truth and its people.’ “So We took revenge on them” means, on the disbelieving nations, by inflicting various kinds of punishments, as Allah has described in the stories of those nations. “then see what was the end of those who denied” means, see what became of them, how they were destroyed and how Allah saved the believers.

{26. And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship,”

27. “Except Him Who created me; and verily, He will guide me.”

28. And he made it a word lasting among his offspring, that they may turn back.

29. Nay, but I gave to these and their fathers to enjoy, till there came to them the truth, and a Messenger making things clear.

30. And when the truth came to them, they said: “This is magic, and we disbelieve therein.”

31. And they say: “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns?”

32. Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord? It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks, so that some may employ others in their work. But the mercy of your Lord is better than what they amass.

33. And were it not that mankind would have become of one community, We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses, and elevators whereby they ascend,

34. And for their houses, doors, and thrones on which they could recline,

35. And adornments of gold. Yet all this would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world. And the Hereafter with your Lord is for those who have Taqwa.}

Ibrahim’s Declaration of Tawhid

Here Allah tells us about His servant, Messenger and close Friend, the leader of the monotheists and the father of all subsequent Prophets, from whom Quraysh were descended and claimed to have taken their religion. He disowned his father’s and his people’s worship of idols and said: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, except Him Who created me; and verily, He will guide me.” And he made it a Word lasting among his offspring,” The Word means the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and the denunciation of all gods apart from Him, i.e., La ilaha illallah. He left this word as an example to be followed by those of his progeny who were guided by Allah. “that they may turn back.” means, come back to this word. Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others commented on the Ayah: “And he made it a Word lasting among his offspring,” “This means, La ilaha illallah, and there are still those among his offspring who say it.” (At-Tabari 21:589) A similar view was narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him. Ibn Zayd said, “The word of Islam,” (Al-Qurtubi 21:77) which refers to the same thing suggested by the group.

How the People of Makkah turned away from the Messenger and opposed Him, and His Response

Allah further says: “Nay, but I gave to these” means, the idolators, “and their fathers” means, they lived a long life in their misguidance. “till there came to them the truth, and a Messenger making things clear.” means, his message is clear and his warning is clear. “And when the truth came to them, they said: “This is magic, and we disbelieve therein.” means, they were arrogant and stubborn, and they pushed him away out of disbelief, envy and transgression. “And they say” means, objecting to that which Allah has revealed to him, “Why is not this Qur’an sent down to some great man of the two towns?” meaning, why was this Qur’an not revealed to some man who was great and prominent in their eyes, from the two towns, i.e., Makkah and At-Ta’if. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ikrimah, Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 21:592, 593)

Several scholars of Tafsir stated that by this, the Quraysh meant Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah and Urwah bin Masud Ath-Thaqafi. The apparent meaning is that what they meant was a great man from either of the two towns. Allah responded to their rejection by saying: “Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord?” meaning, the matter has nothing to do with them; it is for Allah to decide. Allah knows best where to direct His Message, and He does not reveal it except to the one who is the purest in heart and soul, and of the noblest descent.

Then Allah points out that He differentiates among His creation in terms of what He gives them of wealth, provision, intellect, understanding and other visible and hidden strengths: “It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world…so that some may employ others in their work.” It was said that this means that some employ others in their work, because one needs the other, and vice versa. This was the view of As-Suddi and others. (At-Tabari 21:595) “But the mercy of your Lord is better than which they amass.” means, the mercy of Allah towards His creation is better for them than the wealth and conveniences of this world which they possess.

Wealth is not a Sign of Divine Pleasure

“And were it not that mankind would have become of one community,” means, ‘were it not for the fact that many ignorant people would think that Our giving them wealth was a sign that We love the person to whom We give it, and thus they would have agreed upon disbelief for the sake of wealth.’ This is the view of Ibn Abbas, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others. (At-Tabari 21:597) “We would have provided for those who disbelieve in the Most Gracious, silver roofs for their houses, and elevators” means, ladders and staircases of silver. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ibn Zayd and others. (At-Tabari 21:600) “whereby they ascend,” means, go up. And their houses would have doors, i.e., locks on their doors, “and thrones on which they could recline,” means, all of that would be made of silver. “And adornments” means, and gold. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 21:601, 602) “Yet all this would have been nothing but an enjoyment of this world.” means, all that belongs to this transient world which is insignificant before Allah. He hastens their reward for good deeds in the form of luxuries in this world, so that when they reach the Hereafter, they will have no good merits with Allah for which they may be rewarded, as was reported in the Sahih Hadith. (Muslim 4:2162) It was reported in another Hadith:

“If this world were worth a gnat’s wing before Allah, He would not give a disbeliever a drink of water.” (At-Tirmidhi 6:611)

Al-Baghawi narrated its chain of narration. (Al-Baghawi 4:138) “And the Hereafter with your Lord is (only) for those who have Taqwa.” means, it is exclusively for them, and no one else will share it with them. When Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, visited the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in seclusion, when he was keeping away from his wives, and he saw him resting on a rough mat which had left marks on his side, his eyes filled with tears and he said, “O Messenger of Allah, look at this Chosroes and this Caesar with all that they have, and you are the best of Allah’s creation. ” The Messenger of Allah was reclining, but he sat up and said:

“Are you in doubt, O son of Al-Khattab?”

Then he, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Those are people for whom the enjoyments are hastened in this world.” (Muslim 2:113)

According to another report:

“Does it not please you that this world is for them and the Hereafter is for us?” (Muslim 2:110)

In as the Two Sahihs and elsewhere, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Do not drink from vessels of gold and silver, and do not eat from plates of the same, for these things are for them in this world and for us in the Hereafter.” (Fath Al-Bari 9:465)

Allah has granted these things to them in this world because it is insignificant, as was reported by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah via Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sad, who said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“If this world were worth a gnat’s wing before Allah, He would never give a disbeliever a drink of water.”

At-Tirmidhi said: “Hasan Sahih.”

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 615-636

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Ash-Shura Ayat 19-53 (end)

{19. Allah is very Gracious and Kind to His servants. He gives provisions to whom He wills. And He is the All-Strong, the Almighty.

20. Whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We give him increase in his reward, and whosoever desires the reward of this world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.

21. Or have they partners with Allah who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained And had it not been for a decisive Word, the matter would have been judged between them. And verily, for the wrongdoers there is a painful torment.

22. You will see the wrongdoers fearful of that which they have earned, and it will surely befall them. But those who believe and do righteous deeds (will be) in the flowering meadows of the Gardens. They shall have whatsoever they desire with their Lord. That is the supreme grace.}

The Provision of Allah in this World and the Hereafter

Here Allah speaks of His kindness towards His creation, in that He provides for every last one of them and does not forget anyone. When it comes to His provision, the righteous and the sinner are alike. Allah says: “And no moving creature is there on the earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit. All is in a Clear Book.” (11:6) And there are many similar Ayat. “He gives provisions to whom He wills.” means, He gives generously to whomsoever He wills. “And He is the All-Strong, the Almighty.” means, there is nothing that can overpower Him. Then Allah says: “Whosoever desires the reward of the Hereafter,” means, whoever does things for the sake of the Hereafter, “We give him increase in his reward,” meaning, ‘We will give him strength and help him to do what he wants to do, and We will increase it for him. So for every good, We will multiply it and give him between ten and seven hundred good rewards,’ as much as Allah wills. “and whosoever desires the reward of this world, We give him thereof, and he has no portion in the Hereafter.” means, whoever strives for the purpose of worldly gains, and never pays any heed to the Hereafter at all, Allah will deny him the Hereafter; and in this world, if He wills He will give to him and if He does not will, he will gain neither. So the one who strives with this intention in mind will have the worst deal in this world and in the Hereafter. The evidence for that is the fact that this Ayah is reinforced by the passage in Surat Al-Isra in which Allah says: “Whoever desires the quick-passing, We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell; he will (enter) burn therein disgraced and rejected. 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. 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. See how We prefer one above another (in this world), and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in preferment.” (17:18-21) It was reported that Ubayy bin Kab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Give the glad tidings to this Ummah of sublimity, high status, victory and power in the land. But whoever among them does the deeds of the Hereafter for the sake of worldly gain, will have no portion of the Hereafter.” (Ahmad 5:134) 

Making Legislation for the Creatures is Shirk

Allah says: “Or have they partners with Allah who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not ordained” means, they do not follow what Allah has ordained for you of upright religion; on the contrary, they follow what their devils (Shayatin), of men and Jinn, have prescribed for them. They instituted taboos, such as the Bahirah, Sa’ibah, Wasilah or Ham. They also permitted eating flesh and blood of animals not slaughtered for consumption, gambling and other kinds of misguidance, ignorance and falsehood. These are things that they invented during Jahiliyyah, when they came up with all kinds of false rulings on what was permitted and what was forbidden, and false rites of worship and other corrupt ideas. It was recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“I saw Amr bin Luhayy bin Qamaah dragging his intestines in Hell” (Fath Al-Bari 6:63)

because he had been the first one to introduce the idea of the Sa’ibah. This man was one of the kings of the Khuzaah tribe, and he was the first one to do these things. He was the one who had made the Quraysh worship idols, may the curse of Allah be upon him. Allah said: “And had it not been for a decisive Word, the matter would have been judged between them.” means, the punishment would have been hastened for them, were it not for the fact that it had already been decreed that it would be delayed until the Day of Resurrection. “And verily, for the wrongdoers there is a painful torment.” i.e., an agonizing torment in Hell, what a terrible destination.

The Terror of the Idolators in the Place of Gathering

“You will see the wrongdoers fearful of that which they have earned,” means, in the arena of Resurrection. “and it will surely befall them.” means, the thing that they fear will undoubtedly happen to them. This is how they will be on the Day of Resurrection; they will be in a state of utter fear and terror. “But those who believe and do righteous deeds (will be) in the flowering meadows of the Gardens. They shall have whatsoever they desire with their Lord.” What comparison can there be between the former and the latter How can the one who will be in the arena of resurrection in a state of humiliation and fear, deserving it for his wrongdoing, be compared with the one who will be in the gardens of Paradise, enjoying whatever he wants of food, drink, clothing, dwellings, scenery, spouses and other delights such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and has never crossed the minds of men. Allah says: “That is the supreme grace.” means, the ultimate victory and complete blessing.

{23. That is whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous good deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.” And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.

24. Or say they: “He has invented a lie against Allah” If Allah willed, He could have sealed up your heart. And Allah wipes out falsehood, and establishes the truth by His Word. Verily, He knows well what are in the breasts.}

Good News of the Blessings of Paradise for the People of Faith

Having mentioned the gardens of Paradise, Allah then says to His servants who believe and do righteous deeds: “That is whereof Allah gives glad tidings to His servants who believe and do righteous good deeds.” meaning, this will undoubtedly come to them, because it is glad tidings from Allah to them. “Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.” means, ‘say, O Muhammad, to these idolators among the disbeliever of Quraysh: I do not ask you for anything in return for this message and sincere advice which I bring to you. All I ask of you is that you withhold your evil from me and let me convey the Messages of my Lord. If you will not help me, then do not disturb me, for the sake of the ties of kinship that exist between you and I.’ Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, was asked about the Ayah: “except to be kind to me for my kinship with you.” Said bin Jubayr said, “To be kind to the family of Muhammad.” Ibn Abbas said, “No, you have jumped to a hasty conclusion. There was no clan among Quraysh to whom the Prophet did not have some ties of kinship.” Ibn Abbas said, “Except that you uphold the ties of kinship that exist between me and you.” This was recorded by Al-Bukhari. (Fath Al-Bari 8:326) It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad with a different chain of narration. (Ahmad 1:229)  “And whoever earns a good righteous deed, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof” means, ‘whoever does a good deed, We will increase him in good for it, i.e., in reward.’ This is like the Ayah: “Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.” (4:40) “Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.” means, He forgives many bad deeds and increases a small amount of good deeds; He conceals and forgives sins and He multiplies and increases the reward of good deeds.

The Accusation that the Prophet fabricated the Qur’an — and the Response to that

Allah’s saying; “Or say they: “He has invented a lie against Allah” If Allah willed, He could have sealed up your heart.” means, ‘if you had invented any lies against Him, as these ignorant people claim,’ “He could have sealed up your heart.” means, ‘and thus caused you to forget what had already come to you of the Qur’an.’ This is like the Ayah: “And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us (Allah), We surely would have seized him by his right hand, and then We certainly would have cut off his life artery, And none of you could have withheld Us from (punishing) him.” (69:44-47) which means, ‘We would have wrought the utmost vengeance upon him, and no one among mankind would have been able to protect him.’ And Allah said: “and establishes the truth by His Word.” means, He establishes it and strengthens it and makes it clear by His Words, i.e., by His evidence and signs. “Verily, He knows well what are in the breasts.” means, all that is hidden in the hearts of men.

{25. And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants, and forgives sins, and He knows what you do.

26. And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and gives them increase of His bounty. And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.

27. And if Allah were to extend the provision for His servants, they would surely rebel in the earth, but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily, He is, in respect of His servants, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer.

28. And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is the Wali, Worthy of all praise.}

Allah accepts Repentance and responds to Supplications

Here Allah reminds His servants that He accepts repentance. If they turn to Him and come back to Him, then by His kindness and generosity He forgives, overlooks and conceals (their sins), as He says: “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110) It was reported in Sahih Muslim that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His servant than anyone of you who loses his riding beast in a barren land, and it was carrying his food and drink; he despairs of ever finding it, so he comes to a tree and lies down in its shade, having given up all hope of finding his riding beast; then whilst he is there like that, suddenly he sees it standing near him, so he takes hold of its reins and because of his great joy he says, “O Allah,You are my slave and I am Your Lord!” – i.e,. he makes a mistake because of his great joy.” (Muslim 4:2104)

A similar report was also narrated in the Sahih from Abdullah bin Masud, may Allah be pleased with him. (Muslim 4:2103) “And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants,” It was reported that Az-Zuhri said, concerning this Ayah, that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said: 

“Allah rejoices more over the repentance of His servant than one of you feels when he finds his lost camel in a place where he had feared that he would die of thirst.” (Abdur Razzaq 3:191)

Hammam bin Al-Harith said, “Ibn Masud was asked about a man who commits immoral sins with a woman and then marries her. He said, ‘There is nothing wrong with that,’ and recited: “And He it is Who accepts repentance from His servants.” (At-Tabari 21:533)  “and forgives sins,” means, He will accept repentance in the future, and He forgives past sins. “and He knows what you do.” means, He knows all your deeds and actions and words, yet He still accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him. “And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds,” As-Suddi said, “This means, He responds to them.” This was also the view of Ibn Jarir: “It means that He answers their supplication for themselves, their companions and their brothers.” (At-Tabari 21:534) “and gives them increase of His bounty.” means, He answers their supplications and gives them more besides. Qatadah said, narrating from Ibrahim An-Nakhai Al-Lakhmi about the Ayah: “And He answers those who believe and do righteous good deeds,” – (this means) they intercede for their brothers; “and gives them increase of His bounty.” – (this means) they intercede for their brothers’ brothers. (At-Tabari 21:534)  “And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.” – having mentioned the believers and the great reward that is theirs, Allah then mentions the disbelievers and the severe, painful, agonising torment that they will find with Him on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when they are brought to account.

The Reason why Provision is not Increased

“And if Allah were to extend the provision for His servants, they would surely rebel in the earth,” means, ‘if We gave them more provision than they need, this would make them rebel and transgress against one another in an arrogant and insolent manner.’ “but He sends down by measure as He wills. Verily, He is, in respect of His servants, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer.” means, but He gives them provision according to what is in their best interests, and He knows best about that. So He makes rich those who deserve to be rich, and He makes poor those who deserve to be poor. “And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired,” means, after the people have given up hope that rain will fall, He sends it down upon them at their time of need. This is like the Ayah: “And verily, before that (rain) – just before it was sent down upon them – they were in despair!” (30:49) “and spreads His mercy.” means, He bestows it upon all the people who live in that region. Qatadah said, “We were told that a man said to Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, ‘O Commander of the faithful, no rain has come and the people are in despair.’ Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘Rain will be sent upon you,’ and he recited: “And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is the Protector, Worthy of all praise.” (At-Tabari 21:537) Meaning He is the One Who is in control of His creation, taking care of what will benefit them in this world and the Hereafter, and the consequences of all His decrees and actions are good, for which He is worthy of all praise.

{29. And among His Ayat is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving creatures He has dispersed in them both. And He is Able to assemble them whenever He wills.

30. And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.

31. And you cannot escape from Allah in the earth, and besides Allah you have neither any protector nor any helper.}

Among the Signs of Allah is the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth

“And among His Ayat” the signs which point to His great might and power, “is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving creatures He has dispersed in them both.” means, whatever He has created in them, i.e., in the heavens and the earth. “and whatever moving creatures” this includes the angels, men, Jinn and all the animals with their different shapes, colours, languages, natures, kinds and types. He has distributed them throughout the various regions of the heavens and earth. “And He” means, yet despite all that, “is Able to assemble them whenever He wills.” means, on the Day of Resurrection, He will gather the first and the last of them, and bring all His creatures together in one place where they will all hear the voice of the caller and all of them will be seen clearly; then He will judge between them with justice and truth.

The Cause of Misfortune is Sin

“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.” means, ‘whatever disasters happen to you, O mankind, are because of sins that you have committed in the past.’ “And He pardons much.” means, of sins; ‘He does not punish you for them, rather He forgives you.’ “And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth” (35:45). According to a Sahih Hadith:

“By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no believer is stricken with fatigue, exhaustion, worry or grief, but Allah will forgive him for some of his sins thereby – even a thorn which pricks him.” (Ahmad 2:303)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Muawiyah bin Abi Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say:

“No physical harm befalls a believer, but Allah will expiate for some of his sins because of it.” (Ahmad 4:98)

Imam Ahmad also recorded that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“If a person commits many sins and has nothing that will expiate for them, Allah will test him with some grief that will expiate for them.” (Ahmad 6:157)

{32. And among His signs are the ships in the sea like mountains.

33. If He wills, He causes the wind to cease, then they would become motionless on the surface (of the sea). Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient and grateful.

34. Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned. And He pardons much.

35. And those who dispute as regards Our Ayat may know that there is no place of refuge for them.}

Ships are also among the Signs of Allah

Allah tells us that another sign of His great power and dominion is the fact that He has subjugated the sea so that ships may sail in it by His command, so they sail in the sea like mountains. This was the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. In other words, these ships on the sea are like mountains on land. (At-Tabari 21:541) “If He wills, He causes the wind to cease,” means, the winds that cause the ships to travel on the sea. If He willed, He could cause the winds to cease, then the ships would not move and would remain still, neither coming nor going, staying where they are on the surface of the water. “Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient” means, who is patient in the face of adversity “and grateful.” means, in the fact that Allah has subjugated the sea and He sends as much wind as they need in order to travel, there are signs of His blessings to His creation for everyone who is patient, i.e., at times of difficulty, and grateful, i.e., at times of ease. “Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned.” means, if He wills, He may destroy the ships and drown them, because of the sins of the people on board. “And He pardons much.” means, of their sins; if He were to punish them for all of their sins, He would destroy everyone who sails on the sea. Some of the scholars interpreted the Ayah “Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned.” as meaning, if He willed, He could send the wind to blow fiercely so that it would take the ships and divert them from their courses, driving them to the right or the left, so that they would be lost and would not be able to follow their intended path. This interpretation also includes the idea of their being destroyed. This also fits the first meaning, which is that if Allah willed, He could cause the wind to cease, in which case the ships would stop moving, or He could make the wind fierce, in which case the ships would be lost and destroyed. But by His grace and mercy, He sends the wind according to their needs, just as He sends rain that is sufficient. If He sent too much rain, it would destroy their houses, and if He sent too little, their crops and fruits would not grow. In the case of lands such as Egypt, He sends water from another land, because they do not need rain; if rain were to fall upon them, it would destroy their houses and cause walls to collapse. “And those who dispute as regards Our Ayat may know that there is no place of refuge for them.” means, they have no means of escape from Our torment and vengeance, for they are subdued by Our power.

{36. So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life, but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.

37. And those who shun the greater sins, and Al-Fawahish, and when they are angry, they forgive.

38. And those who answer the Call of their Lord, and perform the Salah, and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation, and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.

39. And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, take revenge.}

The Attributes of Those Who deserve that which is with Allah 

Here Allah points out the insignificance of this worldly life and its transient adornments and luxuries. “So whatever you have been given is but (a passing) enjoyment for this worldly life.” means, no matter what you achieve and amass, do not be deceived by it, for it is only the enjoyment of this life, which is the lower, transient realm that will undoubtedly come to an end. “but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting” means, the reward of Allah is better than this world, and it will last forever, so do not give preference to that which is transient over that which is lasting. Allah says: “for those who believe” means, for those who are patient in forgoing the pleasures of this world “and put their trust in their Lord.” means, so that He will help them to be patient in doing what is obligatory and avoiding what is forbidden. Then Allah says: “And those who shun the greater sins, and Al-Fawahish,” We have already discussed sin and Al-Fawahish in Surat Al-Araf. “and when they are angry, they forgive.” means, their nature dictates that they should forgive people and be tolerant. Vengeance is not in their nature. It was reported in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah never took revenge for his own sake, only when the sacred Laws of Allah were violated. (Fath Al-Bari 10:541) “And those who answer the Call of their Lord,” means, they follow His Messenger and obey His commands and avoid that which He has prohibited. “and perform As-Salah” — which is the greatest act of worship of Allah, may He be glorified. “and who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation,” means, they do not make a decision without consulting one another on the matter so that they can help one another by sharing their ideas concerning issues such as wars and other matters. This is like the Ayah: “and consult them in the affairs” (3:159). The Prophet used to consult with them concerning wars and other matters, so that they would feel confidant. When Umar bin Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was dying, after he had been stabbed, he entrusted the choice of the next Khalifah to six people who were to be consulted. They were Uthman, Ali, Talhah, Az-Zubayr, Said and Abdur-Rahman bin Awf, may Allah be pleased with them all. Then all of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, agreed to appoint Uthman as their leader. “and who spend of what We have bestowed on them.” this means kindly treating the creation of Allah, starting with those who are closest, then the next closest, and so on. “And those who, when an oppressive wrong is done to them, take revenge.” means, they have the strength to take revenge on those who commit aggressive wrong and hostile acts against them. They are not incapable of doing so and they are not helpless; they are able to take revenge against those who transgress against them, even though when they have the power to take revenge, they prefer to forgive, as when Yusuf, peace be upon him, said to his brothers: “No reproach on you this day; may Allah forgive you” (12: 92). even though he was in a position to take revenge on them for what they had done to him. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, forgave the eighty people who intended to do him harm during the year of Al-Hudaybiyah, camping by the mountain of At-Tanim. When he overpowered them, he set them free, even though he was in a position to take revenge on them. He also forgave Ghawrath bin Al-Harith who wanted to kill him and unsheathed his sword while he was sleeping. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, woke up to find him pointing the sword at him. He reproached him angrily and the sword dropped. Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, picked up the sword and called his Companions. He told them what had happened, and he forgave the man. There are many similar Hadiths and reports. And Allah knows best.

{40. The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah. Verily, He likes not the wrongdoers.

41. And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them.

42. The way is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment.

43. And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.}

Forgiving or exacting Revenge on Wrongdoers

“The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof”. This is like the Ayat: “Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him” (2:194), and “And if you punish, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted” (16:126). Justice, has been prescribed, in the form of the prescribed laws of equality in punishment (Al-Qisas), but the better way, which means forgiving, is recommended, as Allah says: “and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation” (5:45). Allah says here: “but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah.” means, that will not be wasted with Allah. As it says in a Sahih Hadith:

“Allah does not increase the person who forgives except in honor.” (Muslim 4:201)

“Verily, He likes not the wrongdoers.” means, the aggressors, i.e., those who initiate the evil actions. “And indeed whosoever takes revenge after he has suffered wrong, for such there is no way (of blame) against them.” means, there is no sin on him for taking revenge against the one who wronged him. “The way” means, the burden of sin, “is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification” means, those who initiate wrongful actions against others, as it says in the Sahih Hadith:

“When two persons indulge in abusing each other, the one who initiated the wrongful action is to blame, unless the one who was wronged oversteps the mark in retaliation.” (Muslim 4:2000)

 “for such there will be a painful torment.” means, intense and agonizing. It was reported that Muhammad bin Wasi said, “I came to Makkah and there was a security out post over the trench whose guards took me to Marwan bin Al-Muhallab, who was the governor of Basrah. He said, ‘What do you need, O Abu Abdullah?’ I said, ‘If you can do it, I need you to be like the brother of Banu Adiy.’ He said, ‘Who is the brother of Banu Adiy?’ He said, ‘Al-Ala’ bin Ziyad; he once appointed a friend of his to a position of authority, and he wrote to him: If you can, only go to sleep after you make sure that there is nothing on your back [i.e., you do not owe anything to anyone], your stomach is empty and your hands are untainted by the blood or wealth of the Muslims. If you do that, then there will be no way (of blame) against you  “The way is only against those who oppress men and rebel in the earth without justification; for such there will be a painful torment.” Marwan said, `He spoke the truth, by Allah, and gave sincere advice.’ Then he said, ‘What do you need, O Abu Abdullah?’ I said, ‘I need you to let me join my family.’ He said, ‘Yes [I will do that].”’ (Ibn Abi Shaybah 7:245) This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. When Allah condemned wrongdoing and the people who do it, and prescribed Al-Qisas, He encouraged forgiveness: “And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives,” meaning, whoever bears the insult with patience and conceals the evil action, “that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.” Said bin Jubayr said, “This means, one of the things enjoined by Allah,” i.e., good actions for which there will be a great reward and much praise.

{44. And whomsoever Allah sends astray, for him there is no protector after Him. And you will see the wrongdoers, when they behold the torment, they will say: “Is there any way of return”

45. And you will see them brought forward to it (Hell) made humble by disgrace, (and) looking with stealthy glance. And those who believe will say: “Verily, the losers are they who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.” Verily, the wrongdoers will be in a lasting torment.

46. And they will have no protectors to help them other than Allah. And he whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no way.}

The State of the Wrongdoers on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us that whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen, and no one can make it happen. Whomever He guides, none can lead astray, and whomever He leads astray, none can guide, as He says: “but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no protecting to lead him.” (18:17). Then Allah tells us about the wrongdoers, i.e., the idolators who associate others in worship with Allah: “when they behold the torment,” i.e., on the Day of Resurrection, they will wish that they could go back to this world. “they will say: “Is there any way of return” This is like the Ayah: “If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!” Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.” (6:27-28) “And you will see them brought forward to it” means, to the Fire. “made humble by disgrace,” means, in a befitting manner, because of their previous disobedience towards Allah. “(and) looking with stealthy glance.” Mujahid said, “In a humiliated manner.” (At-Tabari 21:553) That is, they will steal glances at it, because they will be afraid of it. But the thing that they are afraid of will undoubtedly happen, and worse than that — may Allah save us from that. “And those who believe will say” means, on the Day of Resurrection they will say: “Verily, the losers…” means, the greatest losers. “are they who lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.” means, they will be taken to the Fire and deprived of any pleasures in the Hereafter. They will lose themselves, and they will be separated from their loved ones, companions, families and relatives, and they will lose them. “Verily, the wrongdoers will be in a lasting torment.” means, everlasting and eternal, with no way out and no escape. “And they will have no protectors to help them other than Allah.” means, no one to save them from the punishment and torment which they are suffering. “And he whom Allah sends astray, for him there is no way.” means, no salvation.

{47. Answer the Call of your Lord before there comes from Allah a Day which cannot be averted. You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying.

48. But if they turn away, We have not sent you as a Hafiz over them. Your duty is to convey. And verily, when We cause man to taste of mercy from Us, he rejoices there at; but when some evil befalls them because of the deeds which their hands have sent forth, then verily, man (becomes) ingrate!}

Encouragement to obey Allah before the Day of Resurrection

When Allah tells us about the horrors and terrifying events of the Day of Resurrection, He warns us about it and commands us to prepare for it: “Answer the Call of your Lord before there comes from Allah a Day which cannot be averted.” means, once He issues the command, it will come to pass within the blinking of an eye, and no one will be able to avert it or prevent it. “You will have no refuge on that Day nor there will be for you any denying.” means, you will have no stronghold in which to take refuge, no place in which to hide from Allah, for He will encompass you with His knowledge and power, and you will have no refuge from Him except with Him. “On that Day man will say: “Where (is the refuge) to flee” No! There is no refuge! Unto your Lord will be the place of rest that Day.” (75:10-12) “But if they turn away,” refers to the idolators, “We have not sent you as a Hafiz over them.” means, ‘you have no power over them.’ And Allah says elsewhere: “Not upon you is their guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills” (2:272). “your duty is only to convey (the Message) and on Us is the reckoning” (13:40). And Allah says here: “Your duty is to convey.” meaning, ‘all that We require you to do is to convey the Message of Allah to them.’ “And verily, when We cause man to taste of mercy from Us, he rejoices there at” means, when a time of ease and comfort comes to him, he is happy about it. “but when befalls them” means mankind. (some evil) means, drought, punishment, tribulation or difficulty, “then verily, man (becomes) ingrate!” means, he forgets the previous times of ease and blessings and acknowledges nothing but the present moment. If times of ease come to him, he becomes arrogant and transgresses, but if any difficulty befalls him, he loses hope and is filled with despair. This is like what the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to the women:

“O women, give in charity, for I have seen that you form the majority of the people of Hell.”

A woman asked, “Why is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said:

“Because you complain too much, and you are ungrateful to (your) husbands. If one of you were to be treated kindly for an entire lifetime, then that kindness was lacking for one day, she would say, ‘I have never seen anything good from you!” (Muslim 1:86)

This is the case with most women, except for those whom Allah guides and who are among the people who believe and do righteous deeds. As the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, the believer is the one who:

“… if something good happens to him, he is thankful, and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This does not happen to anyone except the believer.” (Muslim 4:2295)

{49. To Allah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female upon whom He wills, and bestows male upon whom He wills.

50. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All-Knower and is Able (to do all things).}

Allah tells us that He is the Creator, Sovereign and Controller of the heavens and the earth. Whatever he wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen. He gives to whomsoever He wills and withholds from whomsoever he wills; none can withhold what He gives, and none can give what He withholds, and He creates whatever He wills. “He bestows female upon whom He wills.” means, He gives them daughters only. Al-Baghawi said, “And among them (those who were given daughters only) was Lut, peace be upon him.” (Al-Baghawi 4:132) “and bestows male upon whom He wills.” means, He gives them sons only. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, who did not have any daughters.” (Al-Baghawi 4:132)“Or He bestows both males and females,” means, He gives to whomsoever He wills both males and females, sons and daughters. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Muhammad .”(Al-Baghawi 4:132) “and He renders barren whom He wills.” means, so that he has no children at all. Al-Baghawi said, “Like Yahya and Isa, peace be upon them.” (Al-Baghawi 4:132) So people are divided into four categories: some are given daughters, some are given sons, some are given both sons and daughters, and some are not given either sons or daughters, but they are rendered barren, with no offspring. “Verily, He is the All-Knower” means, He knows who deserves to be in which of these categories. “and is Able (to do all things).” means, to do whatever He wills and to differentiate between people in this manner. This issue is similar to that referred to in the Ayah where Allah says of Isa, peace be upon him: “And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind” (19:21): i.e., proof for them of His power, for He created people in four different ways. Adam, peace be upon him, was created from clay, from neither a male nor a female. Hawwa, peace be upon her, was created from a male without a female. All other people, besides `Isa, peace be upon him, were created from male and female, and this sign of Allah was completed with the creation of Isa bin Maryam, may peace be upon them both, who was created from a female without a male. Allah says: “And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind” (19: 21). This issue has to do with parents, whilst the previous issue has to do with children, and in each case there are four categories. Glory be to the All-Knower Who is Able to do all things.

{51. It is not given to any human being that Allah should speak to him unless (it be) by revelation, or from behind a veil, or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave. Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.

52. And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command. You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith. But We have made it a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will. And verily, you are indeed guiding to a straight path.

53. The path of Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.}

How the Revelation comes down

This refers to how Allah sends revelation. Sometimes He casts something into the heart of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and he has no doubt that it is from Allah, as it was reported in Sahih Ibn Hibban that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Ar-Ruh Al-Qudus [i.e., Jibril] breathed into my heart that no soul will die until its allotted provision and time have expired, so have Taqwa of Allah and keep seeking in a good (and lawful) way.” (Musnad Ash-Shihab 2:185)

“or from behind a veil” – as He spoke to Musa, peace be upon him. He asked to see Him after He had spoken to him, but this was not granted to him.

In the Sahih, it recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Jabir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him:

“Allah never speaks to anyone except from behind a veil, but He spoke to your father directly.”  (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:360)

This is how it was stated in the Hadith. He [Jabir’s father] was killed on the day of Uhud, but this refers to the realm of Al-Barzakh, whereas the Ayah speaks of this earthly realm. “or (that) He sends a Messenger to reveal what He wills by His leave.” as Jibril, peace be upon him, and other angels came down to the Prophets, peace be upon them. “Verily, He is Most High, Most Wise.” He is Most High, All-Knowing, Most Wise. “And thus We have sent to you Ruh of Our command.” means, the Qur’an. “You knew not what is the Book, nor what is Faith.” means, ‘in the details which were given to you in the Qur’an.’ “But We have made it” means, the Qur’an, “a light wherewith We guide whosoever of Our servants We will.” This is like the Ayah: “Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears, and it (the Qur’an) is blindness for them.” (41:44). “And verily, you” means, ‘O Muhammad,’ “are indeed guiding to a straight path.” means, the correct behavior. Then Allah explains this further by saying: “The path of Allah” meaning, His Laws which He enjoins. “to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.” means, their Lord and Sovereign, the One Who is controlling and ruling them, Whose decree cannot be overturned. “Verily, all matters at the end go to Allah.” means, all matters come back to Him and He issues judgement concerning them. Glorified and exalted be He far above all that the evildoers and deniers say.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ash-Shura.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 9 Pages 580-613

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Ash-Shura Ayat 1-18

Surah Ash-Shura 

The Consultation

Chapter 42

Which was revealed in Makkah

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

{1. Ha Mim.

2. Ain Sin Qaf.

3. Likewise Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise sends revelation to you as to those before you.

4. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great.

5. Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them, and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth. Lo, Verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

6. And as for those who take as protecting friends others besides Him – Allah is Hafiz over them, and you are not a trustee over them.}

The Revelation and Allah’s Might

We have previously discussed the individual letters. “Likewise Allah, the Almighty, the All-Wise sends revelation to you as to those before you.” means, ‘just as this Qur’an has been revealed to you, so too the Books and Scriptures were revealed to the Prophets who came before you.’ “Allah, the Almighty” means, in His vengeance. “the All-Wise” means, in all that He says and does. Imam Malik, may Allah have mercy on him, narrated that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “Al-Harith bin Hisham asked the Messenger of Allah , ‘O Messenger of Allah, how does the revelation come to you?’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Sometimes it comes to me like the ringing of a bell, which is the most difficult for me; then it goes away, and I understand what was said. And sometimes the angel comes to me in the image of a man, and he speaks to me and I understand what he says.”

A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, “I saw him receiving the revelation on a very cold day, and when it departed from him, there were beads of sweat on his forehead.” (Muwatta 1:202)

It was also reported in the Two Sahihs, and the version quoted here is that recorded by Al-Bukhari. (Fath Al Bari 1:25, Muslim 4:1816)

“To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth,” means, everything is subject to His dominion and control. “and He is the Most High, the Most Great.” This is like the Ayat: “the Most Great, the Most High” (13:9), and “He is the Most High, the Most Great” (22:62). And there are many similar Ayat. “Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them,” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Kab Al-Ahbar said, “Out of fear of His might.” (At-Tabari 21:501) “and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth.” This is like the Ayah: “Those who bear the Throne and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): “Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge,” (40:7) “Lo! Verily, Allah is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” This is a reminder, to take heed of this fact. “And as for those who take as protecting friends others besides Him” This refers to the idolators, “Allah is Hafiz over them.” meaning, He is Witness to their deeds, recording and enumerating them precisely, and He will requite them for them in full. “and you are not a trustee over them.” meaning, ‘you are just a warner, and Allah is the Trustee of all affairs.’

{7. And thus We have revealed to you a Qur’an in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns and all around it, and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling of which there is no doubt, a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.

8. And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation, but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.}

The Qur’an was revealed to serve as a Warning

Allah says, ‘just as We sent revelation to the Prophets before you,’ “thus We have revealed to you a Qur’an in Arabic” meaning, plain, clear, and manifest “that you may warn the Mother of the Towns”, i.e., Makkah, “and all around it,” means, all the lands, east and west. Makkah is called Umm Al-Qura “the Mother of the Towns” because it is nobler than all other lands, as indicated by much evidence that has been discussed elsewhere. Among the most concise and clear proofs of that is the report recorded by Imam Ahmad from Abdullah bin Adi bin Al-Hamra’ Az-Zuhri, who heard the Messenger of Allah say, as he was standing in the market place of Makkah;

“By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, the most beloved land to Allah; were it not for the fact that I was driven out from you, I would never have left you.” (Ahmad 4:305)

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih. ” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 10:426) “and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling” i.e., the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will assemble the first and the last in one plain. “of which there is no doubt,” means, there is no doubt that it will happen and will most certainly come to pass. “a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.” This is like the Ayah: “(And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, – that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain” (64:9). which means that the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will gain and lose, respectively. And it is like the Ayah: “Indeed in that (there) is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a Day whereon will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all (the dwellers of the heavens and the earth) will be present. And We delay it only for a term fixed. On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed.” (11:103-105) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, came out to us, holding two books in his hand. He said,

“Do you know what these two books are?”

We said, “We do not know unless you tell us, O Messenger of Allah.” Concerning the book in his right hand, He said:

“This is a book from the Lord of the worlds, containing the names of the people of Paradise and of their fathers and tribes; all of them are detailed, down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.”

Then concerning the book in his left hand, he said:

“This is the book of the people of Hell, containing their names and the names of their fathers and tribes, all of them are detailed down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.”

The Companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Why should we strive if it is something that is already cut and dried?” The Messenger of Allah said:

“Strive with your deeds as hard as you can for middle course or close to it, for the person who is destined for Paradise will die doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, regardless of what he did before, and the person who is destined for Hell will die doing the deeds of the people of Hell, regardless of what he did before.”

Then he made a gesture with his fist and said,

“Your Lord has settled the matter of His servants”

and he opened his right hand as if throwing something;

“A party in Paradise.”

and he made a similar gesture with his left hand;

“And a party in the blazing Fire.” (Ahmad 2:167)

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa’i; At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih Gharib.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Nadrah said, “One of the Companions of the Prophet, whose name was Abu Abdullah, was visited by some of his friends, and they found him weeping. They asked him, ‘What has caused you to weep? Didn’t the Messenger of Allah say to you,

“Trim your moustache and adhere to that practice until you meet me?”

He said, ‘Yes, but I heard the Messenger of Allah say;

“Allah picked up a handful in His Right Hand and another in His other Hand, and said, “This is for this and this is for this, and I do not care.”

‘And I do not know in which of the two handfuls I am.” (Ahmad 4:176)

There are several Hadiths about Al-Qadr (the Divine Decree) in the books of Sahih, Sunan and Musnad. Including those narrated by Ali, Ibn Masud, A’ishah and a large number of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. “And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation,” means, either all following guidance or all following misguidance, but He made them all different, and He guides whomsoever He wills to the truth and He sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and perfect proof. Allah says: “but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.”

{9. Or have they taken protecting friends besides Him But Allah – He Alone is the protector. And He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things.

10. And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah. Such is Allah, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance.

11. The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you. There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.

12. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens. Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.}

Allah is the Protector, Ruler and Creator

Here Allah denounces the idolators for taking other gods instead of Allah, and declares that He is the True God, and it is not right to worship anyone except Him Alone. He is the One Who is able to bring the dead back to life and He is Able to do all things. Then He says: “And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah.” means, in whatever issue you differ. This is general in meaning and applies to all things. “the decision thereof is with Allah.” means, He is the Judge of that, according to His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. This is like the Ayah: “(And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger” (4:59). “Such is Allah, my Lord” means, “He is” the Judge of all things. “in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance.” means, ‘I refer all matters to Him.’ “The Creator of the heavens and the earth.” means, the Maker of them both and everything in between. “He has made for you mates from yourselves,” means, of your own kind. As a blessing and a favor from Him, He has made your kind male and female. “and for the cattle (also) mates.” means, and He has created for you eight pairs of cattle. “By this means He creates you.” means, in this manner He creates you, male and female, generation after generation of men and cattle. “There is nothing like Him,” means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no peer or equal. “He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.” “To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.” We have already discussed the interpretation of this phrase in Surat Az-Zumar (39:63), the conclusion of which is that He is the One Who is controlling and governing them. “He expands provision for whom He wills, and straitens.” means, He gives plentiful provision to whomsoever He wills and He reduces it for whomsoever He wills, and He is perfectly Wise and Just. “Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.”

{13. He (Allah) 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. Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.

14. And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them, through transgression between themselves. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term, the matter would have been settled between them. And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them, are in grave doubt concerning it.}

The Religion of the Messengers is One

Allah says to this Umma: “He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,” Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surat Al-Ahzab, where Allah says: “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). The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says: “And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.” (21:25). And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):

“We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:550)

In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says. “To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way” (5:48). Allah says here: “saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.” meaning, Allah enjoined all the Prophets, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all, to be as one and He forbade them to differ and be divided. “Intolerable for the idolators is that to which you call them.” means, ‘it is too much for them to bear, and they hate that to which you call them, O Muhammad, i.e., Tawhid.’ “Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.” means, He is the One Who decrees guidance for those who deserve it, and decrees misguidance for those who prefer it to the right path. Allah says here; “And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,” means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness. “And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term,” means, were it not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that He would delay the reckoning of His servants until the Day of Resurrection, the punishment would have been hastened for them in this world. “And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them,” means, the later generation which came after the earlier generation which had rejected the truth. “are in grave doubt concerning it.” means, they do not have any firm conviction in matters of religion; they merely imitate their forefathers, without any evidence or proof. So they are very confused and doubtful.

{15. So unto this then invite (people), and stand firm as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say: “I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book and I am commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you. Allah will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return.”}

This Ayah includes ten separate and independent ideas, each of which is a ruling on its own. They (the scholars) said that there is nothing else like it in the Qur’an, apart from Ayat Al-Kursi (2:255), which also includes ten ideas. “So unto this then invite (people),” means, ‘so call people to this which We have revealed to you and which We enjoined upon all the Prophets before you,’ the Prophets of major ways [of Shariah] that were followed, such as the Messengers of strong will, and others. “and stand firm as you are commanded,” means, ‘adhere firmly, you and those who follow you, to the worship of Allah as He has commanded you.’ “and follow not their desires” means, the desires of the idolators, in the falsehoods that they have invented and fabricated by worshipping idols. “but say: “I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book…” means, ‘I believe in all the Books that have been revealed from heaven to the Prophets; we do not differentiate between any of them.’ “and I am commanded to do justice among you.” means, when judging according to the commands of Allah. “Allah is our Lord and your Lord.” means, ‘He is the One Who is to be worshipped, and there is no true God but He. We affirm this willingly, and even though you do not do so willingly, everyone in the universe prostrates to Him obediently and willingly.’ “For us our deeds and for you your deeds.” means, ‘we have nothing to do with you.’ This is like the Ayah: “And if they deny you, say: “For me are my deeds and for you are your deeds! You are innocent of what I do, and I am innocent of what you do!” (10:41) “There is no dispute between us and you.” Mujahid said, “This means, no argument.” (At-Tabari 21:518) As-Suddi said, “This was before Ayah of the sword was revealed.” This fits the context, because this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Ayah of the sword (22:39-40) was revealed after the Hijra. “Allah will assemble us (all),” means, on the Day of Resurrection. This is like the Ayah: “Say: “Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth. And He is the Just Judge, the All-Knower of the true state of affairs.” (34:26). “and to Him is the final return.” means, the final return on the Day of Reckoning.

{16. And those who dispute concerning Allah, after it has been accepted, of no use is their dispute before their Lord and on them is wrath, and for them will be a severe torment.

17. It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in truth, and the Balance. And what can make you know that perhaps the Hour is close at hand

18. Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it, while those who believe are fearful of it, and know that it is the very truth. Verily, those who dispute concerning the Hour are certainly in error far away.}

A Warning to Those Who dispute concerning Matters of Religion

Here Allah warns those who try to hinder those who believe in Allah, from following His path. “And those who dispute concerning Allah, after it has been accepted,” means, those who dispute with the believers who have responded to Allah and His Messenger, and try to stop them from following the path of guidance. “no use is their dispute before their Lord” means, it is futile before Allah. “and on them is wrath,” means, from Him. “and for them will be a severe torment.” means, on the Day of Resurrection. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Mujahid said, “They disputed with the believers after they responded to Allah and His Messenger, and tried to prevent them from following the path of guidance, hoping that they would return to Jahiliyyah.” (At-Tabari 21:518, 519) Qatadah said, “These were the Jews and Christians who said to them, ‘Our religion is better than your religion, our Prophet came before your Prophet, and we are better than you and closer to Allah than you.” (At-Tabari 21:519) This was nothing but lies.

Then Allah says: “It is Allah Who has sent down the Book in truth,” referring to all the Books which were revealed from Him to His Prophets. “and the Balance.” means, justice and fairness. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. (At-Tabari 21:520) This is like the Ayat: “Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may keep up justice” (57:25). “And the heaven He has raised high, and He has set up the Balance. In order that you may not transgress (due) balance. And observe the weight with equity and do not make the balance deficient.” (55:7-9) “And what can make you know that perhaps the Hour is close at hand” This is encouragement (to strive) for its sake, a terrifying warning, and advice to think little of this world. “Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it,” means, they say, ‘when will this promise be fulfilled, if you are telling the truth’ But they say this by way of disbelief and stubbornness, thinking that it is unlikely to happen. “while those who believe are fearful of it” means, they are afraid of it happening. “and know that it is the very truth.” means, that it will undoubtedly come to pass, so they prepare themselves for it and strive for its sake. It was reported through various chains of narration, a number reaching the level of being Mutawatir, in Sahih and Hasan narrations, in the Books of Sunan and Musnad.

According to some versions, a man addressed the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in a loud voice, when he was on one of his journeys, calling out to him, “O Muhammad!” The Messenger of Allah replied in a similar manner,

“Here I am!”

The man said, “When will the Hour come?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Woe to you! It will most certainly come. What have you done to prepare for it?”

He said, “Love for Allah and His Messenger.” He, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“You will be with those whom you love.”

According to another Hadith:

“A man will be with those whom he loves.” (Muslim 4:2034)

This is Mutawatir beyond a doubt. The point is that he did not answer his question about when the Hour would happen, but he commanded him to prepare for it. “Verily, those who dispute concerning the Hour” means, who dispute whether it will happen and think it is unlikely ever to come, “are certainly in error far away.” means, they are clearly ignorant, because the One Who created the heavens and the earth is even more able to give life to the dead, as Allah says: “And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him” (30:27).

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol 8 (Abridged) Pages 561-580

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Fussilat Ayat 25-54 (end)

{25. And We have assigned for them intimate companions (in this world), who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them. And the Word is justified against them as it was justified against those who were among the previous generations of Jinn and men that had passed away before them. Indeed they (all) were the losers.

26. And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome.”

27. But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment, and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do.

28. That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah: the Fire. Therein will be for them the eternal home, a recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayat.

29. And those who disbelieve will say: “Our Lord! Show us those among Jinn and men who led us astray, that we may crush them under our feet so that they become the lowest.”}

The intimate Companions of the Idolators make Evil Actions attractive to Them

Allah tells us that He is the One Who sends the idolators astray, and that this happens by His will and decree. He is the All-Wise in His actions, when He appoints for them close companions from among the devils of men and Jinn. “who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them.” means, they made their deeds attractive to them in the past. As far as the future is concerned, they only see themselves as doing good, as Allah says: “And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him. And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright!” (43:36-37) “And the Word is justified against them” means, the Word of torment, just as it was justified against the nations of the past who did what they did, men and Jinn alike. “Indeed they (all) were the losers.” means, they are all equal in terms of loss and being doomed.

How the disbelievers advised One Another not to listen to the Qur’an, and the Recompense for that

“And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an…” means, they advised one another not to pay heed to the Qur’an or obey its commands. “and make noise in the midst of its” means, when it is recited, do not listen to it. This was the view of Mujahid. “And make noise in the midst of its (recitation)” means whistling and trying to make the Messenger of Allah confused when he recited Qur’an, which is what the Quraysh did. “that you may overcome.” means, this is the practice of these ignorant disbelievers and those who follow in their footsteps, when they hear the Qur’an. Allah commanded us to be different from that, and said: “So, when the Qur’an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.” (7:204). Then Allah says: “But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment,” meaning, in return for what they do when they hear the Qur’an. “and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do.” means, for their evil deeds. “That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah: the Fire. Therein will be for them the eternal home, a recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayat. And those who disbelieve will say: “Our Lord! Show us those among Jinn and men who led us astray, that we may crush them under our feet so that they become the lowest.” It was reported that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said, concerning the phrase, “those who led us astray” (At-Tabari 21:462) “Iblis and the son of Adam who killed his brother.” As-Suddi reported that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said; “Iblis is followed by everyone who commits Shirk and the son of Adam is followed by everyone who commits a major sin. So Iblis is the one who calls people to every evil thing, such as Shirk and lesser sins.” (At-Tabari 21:462) As for the first son of Adam, it is as confirmed in the Hadith:

“No soul is wrongfully killed, but a share of the burden (of that sin) will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was the first one who set the precedent of killing another.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:419) 

“that we may crush them under our feet” means, ‘make them beneath us in the torment, so that they will be punished more severely than us.’ “so that they become the lowest.” means, in the lowest level of Hell, as already mentioned in Al-Araf, where the followers ask Allah to multiply the torment for their leaders: “(Allah) said: “For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.” (7:38) i.e., Allah will give each of them the torment and punishment they deserve for their deeds. This is like the Ayah: “Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment to the torment because they used to spread corruption.” (16:88).

{30. Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!”

31. “We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.”

32. “An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”}

Glad Tidings to Those Who believe in Allah Alone and stand firm

“Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and then they stand firm,” means, they do good deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah, and they obey Allah, doing what Allah has prescribed for them. Ibn Jarir recorded that Said bin Imran said, “I read this Ayah to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him: “Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and then they stand firm,” He said, ‘Those are the ones who do not associate anything with Allah.”’ (At-Tabari 21:464) Then he reported a narration of Al-Aswad bin Hilal, who said, “Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘What do you say about this Ayah: “Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,’and then they stand firm,” They said: “Our Lord is Allah,” and then they stand firm,” ‘They shun sin.’ He said, ‘You have not interpreted it improperly.’ They say: ‘Our Lord is Allah, then they stand firm and do not turn to any other god besides Him.” (At-Tabari 21:464) This was also the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, As-Suddi and others. (At-Tabari 21:465)

Ahmad recorded that Sufyan bin Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, tell me something that I can adhere to.’ He said:

“Say, my Lord is Allah, then stand firm.”

I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what do you fear most for me?’ The Messenger of Allah took hold of the edge of his tongue and said,

“This.” (Ahmad 3:314)

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:91)

Muslim also recorded it in his Sahih, and An-Nasa’i recorded that Sufyan bin `Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said, “I said, `O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam that I will not have to ask anyone about it after you.’ He said:

“Say: I believe in Allah, then stand firm.”

then he mentioned the rest of the Hadith. (Muslim 1:65) “on them the angels will descend”. Mujahid, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam and his [Zayd’s] son said, “This means, at the time of death, and they will say, “Fear not”. (At-Tabari 21:466) ” Mujahid, Ikrimah and Zayd bin Aslam said, “This means not to fear “that which you will face in the Hereafter.” (At-Tabari 21:467) “nor grieve!” ‘for what you have left behind of worldly things, children, family, wealth and debt, for we will take care of it for you.’ “But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!” So they give glad tidings of the end of bad things and the arrival of good things. This is like what is said in the Hadith narrated by Al-Bara’, may Allah be pleased with him:

“The angels say to the soul of the believer, “Come out, O good soul from the good body in which you used to dwell, come out to rest, and provision and a Lord Who is not angry.”(Ahmad 4:287)

It was said that the angels will come down to them on the Day when they are brought out of their graves. Zayd bin Aslam said, “They will give him glad tidings when he dies, in his grave, and when he is resurrected.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, and this view reconciles all the opinions; it is a good view and it is true. “We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter.” means, the angels will say to the believers when death approaches: “We have been your friends, i.e., your close companions, in this world, protecting you and helping you by the command of Allah, and we will be with you in the Hereafter, keeping you from feeling lonely in your graves and when the Trumpet is blown; we will reassure you on the Day of Resurrection and will take you across the Sirat and bring you to the Gardens of delight.” “Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire,” means, ‘in Paradise you will have all that you wish for and that will delight you.’ “and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.” means, ‘whatever you ask for, it will appear before you as you wish it to be.’ “An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” means, ‘a welcoming gift and a blessing from the One Who has forgiven your sins and Who is Merciful and Kind towards you, Who has forgiven you, concealed your faults and been Kind and Merciful.’

{33. And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.”

34. The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.

35. But none is granted it except those who are patient — and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion in this world.

36. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.}

The Virtue of Calling Others to Allah

“And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah,” means, he calls the servants of Allah to Him. “and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.” means, he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good but do not do it themselves, or who forbid evil yet they do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls people to their Creator, may He be blessed and exalted. This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good and is himself guided by what he says. The Messenger of Allah is the foremost among people in this regard, as Muhammad bin Sirin, As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said. (Al-Qurtubi 15:360)

It was also said that what was meant here is the righteous Mu’adhdhin, as it was mentioned in Sahih Muslim:

“The Mu’adhdhins will be the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim 1:290)

In As-Sunan it is reported that the Prophet said:

“The Imam is a guarantor and the Mu’adhdhin is in a position of trust. May Allah guide the Imams and forgive the Mu’adhdhin.” (Abu Dawud 1:356)

The correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, and includes the Mu’adhdhin and others. When this Ayah was revealed, the Adhan had not been prescribed at all. The Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and the Adhan was prescribed in Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, when it was shown to Abdullah bin Abd Rabbihi Al-Ansari in a dream. He told the Messenger of Allah about it, and he told him to teach it to Bilal, may Allah be pleased with him, who had a more beautiful voice, as we have discussed elsewhere. So the correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, as Abdur-Razzaq said, narrating from Mamar, from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who recited this Ayah: “And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: “I am one of the Muslims.” and said, “This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, this is the most beloved of the all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that to which he had responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said, ‘I am one of the Muslims.’ This is Allah’s Khalifah.” (Abdul Razzaq 2:187)

Wisdom in Dawah 

“The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal.” means, there is a huge difference between them. “Repel (the evil) with one which is better,” means, ‘when someone does you wrong, repel him by treating him well,’ as Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “There is no better punishment for one who has disobeyed Allah with regard to you, than your obeying Allah with regard to him.” “then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.” means, ‘if you treat well those who treat you badly, this good deed will lead to reconciliation, love and empathy, and it will be as if he is a close friend to you and he will feel pity for you and be kind to you.’ Then Allah says: “But none is granted it except those who are patient” meaning, no one accepts this advice and works according to it, except for those who can be patient in doing so, for it is difficult for people to do. “and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion” means, the one who has a great portion of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas explained this Ayah: “Allah commands the believers to be patient when they feel angry, to be forbearing when confronted with ignorance, and to forgive when they are mistreated. If they do this, Allah will save them from the Shaytan and subdue their enemies to them until they become like close friends.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:418)

“And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah.” means, the devils among men may be deceived by your kind treatment of him, but the devils among the Jinn, when they insinuate their evil whispers, cannot be dealt with except by seeking refuge with the Creator Who gave him power over you. If you seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him, He will stop him from harming you and bring his efforts to naught. When the Messenger of Allah stood up to pray, he would say:

“I seek refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the accursed Shaytan and his evil insinuations, breath and impurity.” (Ahmad 5:253)

We have already stated that there is nothing like this in the Qur’an, apart from the passage in Surat Al-Araf, where Allah says: “Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (7:199-200) and the passage in Surat Al-Mu’minun where Allah says: “Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter. And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.’‘ (23:96-98)

{37. And from among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you worship Him.

38. But if they are too proud, then there are those who are with your Lord glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired.

39. And among His signs; that you see the earth barren, but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth. Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.}

From among the Signs of Allah

Here Allah reminds His Creation of His power, and that He is the One Who has no equal, and He is Able to do all things. Allah’s saying; “And from among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon.” means, He created the night with its darkness and the day with its light, and they alternate without ceasing. And He created the sun with its shining light, and the moon with its reflected light. and He allotted their stages and gave them separate orbits in the heavens, so that by the variations in their movements man may know the stages of night and day, of weeks, months and years, and time periods related to people’s rights, acts of worship and various transactions. Moreover, because the sun and moon are the most beautiful of the heavenly bodies that can be seen in both the upper and lower realms, Allah points out that they are created entities which are in a state of enthralment to Him, subject to His dominion and control. So He says: “Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him.” meaning, ‘do not associate anything in worship with Him, for your worship of Him will be of no benefit to you if you worship others alongside Him, because He does not forgive the association of others in worship with Him.’ He says: “But if they are too proud,” i.e., to worship Him Alone, and they insist on associating others with Him, “then there are those who are with your Lord” i.e., the angels, “glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired.” This is like the Ayah: “But if these disbelieve therein, then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people who are not disbelievers therein.” (6:89). “And among His signs” means, signs of His ability to bring the dead back to life. “that you see the earth barren,” means, lifeless, with nothing growing in it; it is dead. “but when We send down water (rain) to it, it is stirred to life and growth.” means, it brings forth all kinds of crops and fruits. “Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.”

{40. Verily, those who Yulhiduna Fi Our Ayat are not hidden from Us. Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection Do what you will. Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do.

41. Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder when it came to them. And verily, it is an honorable well-fortified respected Book.

42. Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.

43. Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you. Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness, and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment.}

The Punishment of the Deniers and the Description of the Qur’an

“Verily, Yulhiduna Fi Our Ayat” Ibn Abbas said, “Al-Ilhad means putting words in their improper places.” (At-Tabari 21:478) Qatadah and others said, “It means disbelief and obstinate behavior.” “are not hidden from Us.” This is a stern warning and dire threat, stating that He, may He be exalted, knows who denies His signs, Names and attributes, and He will punish them for that. He says: “Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection” means, are these two equal They are not equal. Then Allah warns the disbelievers: “Do what you will.” Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and Ata’ Al-Khurasani said that “Do what you will.” is a threat. (At-Tabari 21:478) Meaning, ‘do what you will of good or evil, for He knows and sees all that you do.’ He says: “Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do.” “Verily, those who disbelieved in the Reminder when it came to them.” Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and Qatadah said, “This is the Qur’an.” (At-Tabari 21:479) “And verily, it is an honorable well-fortified respected Book.” means, it is protected and preserved, and nobody can produce anything like it. “Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it,” means, there is no way to corrupt it, because it has been sent down by the Lord of the worlds. Allah says: “(it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.” meaning, He is Wise in all that He says and does, Praiseworthy in all that He commands and forbids; everything that He does is for praiseworthy purposes and its consequences will be good. “Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you.” Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said, “Nothing is said to you by way of rejection and disbelief, that was not said to the Messengers who came before you. Just as you have been rejected, they were also rejected. Just as they bore their people’s insults with patience, so too you must bear your people’s insults with patience.” (At-Tabari 21:481) “Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness,” means, for those who turn to Him in repentance. “and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment.” means, for those who persist in disbelief, transgression and stubborn opposition.

{44. And if We had sent this as a Qur’an in a foreign language, they would have said: “Why are not its verses explained in detail What! Not in Arabic nor an Arab” 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 called from a place far away.”

45. And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, but dispute arose therein. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, and the matter would have been settled between them. But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto.}

Rejection of the Qur’an is pure Stubbornness

Allah tells us that the Qur’an is so eloquent and perfect in its wording and meanings, yet despite that the idolators do not believe in it. He tells us that their disbelief is the disbelief of stubbornness, as He says elsewhere: “And if We had revealed it unto any of the non-Arabs, and he had recited it unto them, they would not have believed in it.” (26:198-199). If the Qur’an had been revealed in the language of the non-Arabs, they would have said, because of their stubbornness: “Why are not its verses explained in detail What! not in Arabic and an Arab” meaning, why is it not revealed in detail in Arabic And by way of denunciation they would have said, “What! not in Arabic nor from an Arab — i.e., how can foreign words be revealed to an Arab who does not understand them This interpretation was reported from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, As-Suddi and others. (At-Tabari 21:482) “Say: “It is for those who believe, a guide and a cure…” means, ‘say, O Muhammad: this Qur’an, for the one who believes in it, is guidance for his heart and a cure for the doubts and confusion that exists in people’s hearts.’ “And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness in their ears” means, they do not understand what is in it. “and it is blindness for them.” means they are not guided to the explanations contained therein. This is like the Ayah: “And We send down of the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the wrongdoers nothing but loss.” (17:82). “They are called from a place far away.” Mujahid said, “Far away from their hearts.” (At-Tabari 21:485) Ibn Jarir said, “It is as if the one who is addressing them is calling to them from a distant place, and they cannot understand what he is saying.” (At-Tabari 21:484) This is like the Ayah: “And the example of those who disbelieve is as that of him who shouts to those (flock of sheep) that hears nothing but calls and cries. (They are) deaf, dumb and blind. So they do not understand.” (2:171)

Taking Musa as an Example

“And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, but dispute arose therein.” means, they disbelieved in him and did not show him any respect. “Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will” (46:35). “And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord,” i.e., to delay the Reckoning until the Day of Resurrection, “the matter would have been settled between them.” means, the punishment would have been hastened for them. But they have an appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape. “But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto.” means, their words of disbelief are not due to any wisdom or insight on their part; rather they spoke without any attempt at examining it thoroughly. This was also the interpretation of Ibn Jarir, and it is a plausible interpretation. (At-Tabari 21:487) And Allah knows best.

{46. Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.

47. To Him is referred the knowledge of the Hour. No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive nor brings forth (young), except by His knowledge. And on the Day when He will call unto them (saying): “Where are My (so-called) partners” They will say: “We inform You that none of us bears witness to it!”

48. And those whom they used to invoke before (in this world) shall disappear from them, and they will perceive that they have no place of refuge.}

Everyone will be requited according to His Deeds

“Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself” means, the benefit of which will come to him. “And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants” means, He only punishes people for their sins, and He does not punish anyone except after establishing proof against him and sending a Messenger to him.

Knowledge of the Hour is with Allah Alone

Then Allah says: “To Him is referred the knowledge of the Hour.” meaning, no one knows about that apart from Him. Muhammad , the leader of mankind, said to Jibril, who is one of the leading angels, when he asked him about the Hour: “The one who is asked about it does not know more than the one who is asking.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:140) And Allah says: “To your Lord belongs the term thereof.” (79:44) “None can reveal its time but He” (7:187). “No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive nor brings forth (young), except by His knowledge.” means, all of that is known to Him, and nothing is hidden from your Lord the weight of a speck of dust on the earth or in the heaven. Allah says: “not a leaf falls, but He knows it” (6:59). “Allah knows what every female bears, and by how much the wombs fall short or exceed. Everything with Him is in (due) proportion” (13:8). “And no aged man is granted a length of life nor is a part cut off from his life, but is in a Book. Surely, that is easy for Allah.” (35:11) “And on the Day when He will call unto them (saying): “Where are My (so-called) partners” means, on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will call out to the idolators before all of creation and say, “Where are My partners whom you worshipped besides Me” “They will say: “We inform You…” means, `we tell You,’ “that none of us bears witness to it.” means, ‘not one of us will bear witness today that You have any partner.’ “And those whom they used to invoke before (in this world) shall disappear from them,” means, they will go away, and will be of no benefit to them. “and they will perceive that they have no place of refuge” means, they will have no way of escaping from the punishment of Allah. This is like the Ayah: “And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from there.” (18:53)

{49. Man does not get tired of asking for good; but if an evil touches him, then he gives up all hope and is lost in despair.

50. And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is due to my (merit); I think not that the Hour will be established. But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him. “Then, We verily will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment.

51. And when We show favor to man, he turns away and becomes arrogant; but when evil touches him, then he has recourse to long supplications.}

Man is fickle when Ease comes to Him after Difficulty

Allah tells us that man never gets bored of asking his Lord for good things, such as wealth, physical health, etc., but if evil touches him — i.e., trials and difficulties or poverty — “then he gives up all hope and is lost in despair.”, i.e., he thinks that he will never experience anything good again. “And truly, if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: “This is due to my (merit)…” means, if something good happens to him or some provision comes to him after a period of difficulty, he says, ‘this is because of me, because I deserve this from my Lord.’ “I think not that the Hour will be established.” means, he does not believe that the Hour will come. So when he is given some blessing, he becomes careless, arrogant and ungrateful, as Allah says: “Nay! Verily, man does transgress. Because he considers himself self-sufficient.” (96:6) “But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him.” means, ‘if there is a Hereafter after all, then my Lord will be generous and kind to me just as He was in this world.’ So he expects Allah to do him favors in spite of his bad deeds and lack of certain faith. Allah says: “Then, We verily will show to the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste a severe torment.” Thus Allah threatens punishment and vengeance to those whose conduct and belief is like that. “And when We show favor to man, he turns away and becomes arrogant” means, he turns away from doing acts of obedience and is too proud to obey the commands of Allah. This is like the Ayah: “But [Fir`awn] turned away along with his hosts” (51:39). “but when evil touches him,” means, difficulties, “then he has recourse to long supplications.” means, he asks at length for one thing. Long supplications are those which are long on words and short on meaning. The opposite is concise speech which is brief but full of meaning. And Allah says: “And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying on his side, or sitting or standing. 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)

{52. Say: “Tell me, if it is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it Who is more astray than one who is in opposition far away.”

53. We will show them Our signs in the universes, and within themselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things

54. Lo, Verily, they are in doubt concerning the meeting with their Lord. Verily, He is surrounding all things!}

The Qur’an and the Proofs of its Truth

Allah says: “Say” — ‘O Muhammad, to these idolators who disbelieve in the Qur’an’– “Tell me, if it” — this Qur’an — “is from Allah, and you disbelieve in it” means, ‘what do you think your position is before the One Who revealed it to His Messenger’ Allah says: “Who is more astray than one who is in opposition far away.” means, he is in a state of disbelief, stubbornness and opposition to the truth, and is following a path that leads far away from guidance. Then Allah says: “We will show them Our signs in the universe, and within themselves,” meaning, `We will show them Our evidence and proof that the Qur’an is true and has indeed been sent down from Allah to the Messenger of Allah, through external signs, (in the universe), ‘ such as conquests and the advent of Islam over various regions and over all other religions. Mujahid, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi said, “And signs within themselves means, the battle of Badr, the conquest of Makkah, and other events which befell them, where Allah granted victory to Muhammad and his Companions, and inflicted a humiliating defeat on falsehood and its followers.” It may also be that what is meant here is man and his physical composition. As detailed in the science of anatomy, which indicates the wisdom of the Creator — may He be blessed and exalted — and the different inclinations and opposite natures that people have, good and bad, etc., and the (divine) decrees to which man is subjected, having no power to change and over which he has no control. “until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things” means, sufficient is Allah as a Witness over the words and deeds of His servants, and He bears witness that Muhammad is telling the truth in what he says, as Allah says: “But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down unto you; He has sent it down with His knowledge” (4:166). “Lo, Verily, they are in doubt concerning the meeting with their Lord.” means, they doubt that the Hour will come, they do not think about it or strive for it or pay heed to it; on the contrary, they regard it as irrelevant and do not care about it. But it will undoubtedly come to pass. Then Allah states that He is Able to do all things and He encompasses all things, and it is very easy for Him to bring about the Hour: “Verily, He is surrounding all things!” means, all of creation is subject to His control, dominion and knowledge; He is controlling all things by His power, so whatever He wills happens, and whatever He does not will does not happen, and there is no god worthy of worship apart from Him.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Fussilat.

To Allah be praise and blessings.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol 8 (Abridged) Pages 533-560

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Surah Fussilat Ayat 1-24

Surah Fussilat

(Explained in Detail)

This Surah is also known as Ha Mim As-Sajdah

Chapter 41 

Which was revealed in Makkah

 

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

{1. Ha Mim.

2. A revelation from the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

3. A Book whereof the Ayat are explained in detail — a Qur’an in Arabic for people who know.

4. Giving glad tidings and warning, but most of them turn away, so they hear not.

5. And they say: “Our hearts are under coverings from that to which you invite us; and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen, so work you (on your way); verily, we are working (on our way).”}

Description of the Qur’an, and what Those Who turn away from it

“Ha Mim. A revelation from the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” means, the Qur’an is revealed from the Most Gracious, Most Merciful. This is like the Ayat: “Say Ruh Al-Qudus (Jibril) has brought it down from your Lord with truth” (16:102). “And truly, this is a revelation from the Lord of all that exists, Which the trustworthy Ruh (Jibril) has brought down upon your heart that you may be (one) of the warners.” (26:192-194). “A Book whereof the Ayat are explained in detail” means, its meanings are clear and its rulings are sound and wise. “a Qur’an in Arabic” means, because it is a clear Arabic Qur’an, its meanings are precise and detailed and its words are clear and not confusing. This is like the Ayah: “(This is) a Book, the Ayat whereof are completed, and then explained in detail from One (Allah), Who is All-Wise Well-Acquainted” (11:1) meaning, it is miraculous in its wording and in its meanings. “Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.” (41:42). “for people who know.” means, this clear style will be readily understood by scholars who are thoroughly versed in knowledge. “Giving glad tidings and warning,” means, sometimes it brings glad tidings to the believers, and sometimes it brings a warning to the disbelievers. “but most of them turn away, so they hear not.” means, most of the Quraysh did not understand anything of it at all, despite the fact that it was so clear. “And they say: “Our hearts are under coverings…” meaning, they are wrapped and screened, “from that to which you invite us; and in our ears is deafness,” means, ‘we are deaf to the message you bring to us.’ “and between us and you is a screen,” ‘so nothing of what you say reaches us.’ “so work you (on your way); verily, we are working” means, go your way, and we will go our way, and we will not follow you.

{6. Say: “I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your God is One God, therefore take straight path to Him and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to the polytheists.

7. Those who give not the Zakah and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.

8. Truly, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be an endless reward that will never stop.}

The Call to Tawhid Allah

“Say” O Muhammad, to these disbelievers and idolators, “I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your God is One God,” ‘not like these idols and false gods which you worship. Allah is one God,’ “therefore take straight path to Him” means, `worship Him Alone sincerely, in accordance with what He has commanded you through His Messengers.’ “and seek forgiveness of Him” means, ‘for your past sins.’ “And woe to the polytheists.” means, doom and destruction is their lot. “Those who give not the Zakah” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas that this means those who do not bear witness that there is no God except Allah. (At-Tabari 21:430) This was also the view of Ikrimah. (At-Tabari 21:430) This is like the Ayat: “Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself. And indeed he fails who corrupts himself.” (91:9-10) And; “Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord, and prays.” (87:14-15) And; “And say to him: “Would you purify yourself” (79:18) What is meant by Zakah here is purification of the soul, ridding oneself of all bad qualities, the worst of which is Shirk. The Zakah paid on one’s wealth is so called because it purifies wealth, and it is a means of increasing it, blessing it and making it more beneficial, and a means of assisting one to use it in doing good deeds.

Qatadah said, “They withheld the Zakah of their wealth.” This is the apparent meaning according to many of the scholars of Tafsir, and this is the view favored by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:431)

But the matter is subject to further examination, because the obligation of Zakah was instituted during the second year after the Hijrah to Al-Madinah, according to what is stated by several scholars. Yet this Ayah was revealed in Makkah. However, it is not unlikely that the principle of giving charity and Zakah was already in place and had been enjoined at the beginning of the Prophet’s mission, as Allah says: “but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest” (6:141). As for the details of Zakah and how it is to be calculated according to the Nusub, were explained in Al-Madinah. This is how we may reconcile between the two opinions. Similarly, prayer was originally enjoined before sunrise and before sunset at the beginning of the Prophet’s mission; it was only on the Night of the Isra’, a year and a half before the Hijrah, that Allah enjoined upon His Messenger the five daily prayers. The conditions and essential elements of prayer were explained later, in stages. And Allah knows best. Then Allah says: “Truly, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be an endless reward that will never stop.” Mujahid and others said, “It will never be cut off or decrease.” This is like the Ayat: “They shall abide therein for ever.” (18:3) “a gift without an end” (11:108)

{9. Say: “Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days And you set up rivals with Him That is the Lord of all that exists.”

10. He placed therein firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it, and measured therein its sustenance in four Days equal for all those who ask.

11. Then He rose over (Istawa ila) the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come willingly.”

12. Then He completed and finished their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days and He made in each heaven its affair. And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard. Such is the decree of Him, the Almighty, the All-Knower.}

Some Details of the Creation of this Universe

Here denounces the idolators who worship other gods apart from Him although He is the Creator, Subduer and Controller of all things. He says: “Say: “Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days And you set up rivals with Him” meaning, ‘false gods whom you worship alongside Him’ “That is the Lord of the that exists.” the Creator of all things is the Lord of all the creatures. Here the Ayah; “Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days” (7:54). is explained in more detail; the creation of the earth and the creation of the heaven are discussed separately. Allah says that He created the earth first, because it is the foundation, and the foundation should be built first, then the roof. Allah says elsewhere: “He it is Who created for you all that is on the earth. Then He rose over (Istawa ila) the heaven and made them seven heavens” (2:29).

With regard to the Ayat: “Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed He raised its height, and has perfected it. Its night He covers with darkness and its forenoon He brings out (with light). And after that He spread the earth, And brought forth therefrom its water and its pasture. And the mountains He has fixed firmly, (to be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle.” (79:27-33) This Ayah states that the spreading out of the earth came after the creation of the heavens, but the earth itself was created before the heavens according to some texts.

This was the response of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, as recorded by Al-Bukhari in his Tafsir of this Ayah in his Sahih. He recorded that Said bin Jubayr said: “A man said to Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, saying: ‘I find some things in the Qur’an which confuse me: “There will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another” (23:101), “And they will turn to one another and question one another” (37:27), “but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah” (4:42), “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah” (6:23) But in this Ayah they did hide something. And Allah says: “Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed?” until; “And after that He spread the earth.” (79:27-30) So He mentioned the creation of the heavens before the earth, then He said: “Say: “Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days…?” until; “We come willingly.”

Here He mentioned the creation of the earth before the creation of the heavens. And He says: “Verily, Allah (Kana) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (4:23). [Kana literally means ‘was’]“Most Powerful, All-Wise” (4:56). “All-Hearer, All-Seer” (4:58). It is as if He was and is no longer.’ Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: “There will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another” (23:101), this will happen when the Trumpet is blown for the first time. “And all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth will swoon away, except him whom Allah wills” (39:68), and at that time there will be no kinship among them, nor will they ask of one another. Then when the Sur will be blown again, “And they will turn to one another and question one another” (37:27). With regard to the Ayat, “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah” (6:23) and “but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah” (4:42), Allah will forgive the sincere believers their sins, then the idolators will say, ‘Let us say that we never joined others in worship with Allah.’ Then a seal will be placed over their mouths, and their hands will speak. Then it will be known that not a single fact can be hidden from Allah, and at that point, “those who disbelieved will wish” (4:42). Allah created the earth in two days, then He created the heavens, then He “Istawa ila” the heaven and gave it its shape in two more days. Then He spread the earth, which means that He brought forth therefrom its water and its pasture. And He created the mountains, sands, inanimate things, rocks and hills and everything in between, in two more days. This is what Allah says: “(He) spread (the earth)” (79:30) And Allah’s saying: “(He) created the earth in two Days” So He created the earth and everything in it in four days, and He created the heavens in two days. “verily, Allah (Kana) is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful” (4:23). This is how He described Himself, and this is how He still is. Whatever Allah wills comes to pass, so do not be confused about the Qur’an, for all of it comes from Allah.”’ This was recorded by Al-Bukhari. (Fath Al-Bari 8:418)

“(He) created the earth in two Days” means, on Sunday and Monday. “He placed therein firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it,” means, He blessed it and gave it the potential to be planted with seeds and bring forth produce. “And measured therein its sustenance” means, what its people need of provision and places in which to plant things and grow crops. This was on Tuesday and Wednesday, which together with the two previous days add up to four days. “in four Days equal for all those who ask.” meaning, for those who want to ask about that, so that they might know. Ikrimah and Mujahid said concerning the Ayah: “and measured therein its sustenance” “He placed in every land that which is not suited for any other land.” (At-Tabari 21:436)

Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and As-Suddi said, concerning the Ayah, “equal for all those who ask” this means, “For whoever wants to ask about that.” (At-Tabari 21:438) Ibn Zayd said: “and measured therein its sustenance in four Days equal for all those who ask.”“According to whatever a person who is need of provision wants, Allah measures out for him what he needs.” (At-Tabari 21:438) This is like what they said concerning the Ayah: “And He gave you of all that you asked for” (14:34). And Allah knows best. “Then He rose over (Istawa ila) towards the heaven when it was smoke,” i.e., steam which arose from it when the earth was created. “and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” meaning, ‘respond to My command and be subjected to this action, willingly or unwillingly.’ “They both said: “We come willingly.” meaning, ‘we will respond to You willingly and everything that You want to create in us — angels, Jinn and men — will all be obedient to You.’ “Then He completed and finished their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days” means, He finished forming them as seven heavens in two more days, which were Thursday and Friday. “and He decreed in each heaven its affair.” means, He placed in each heaven whatever it needs of angels and things which are known only unto Him. “And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps” means, the stars and planets which shine on the people of the earth. “as well as to guard.” means, as protection against the Shayatin, lest they listen to the angels on high. “Such is the Decree of Him, the Almighty, the All-Knower” means, the Almighty Who has subjugated all things to His control, the All-Knower Who knows all the movements of His creatures.

{13. But if they turn away, then say: “I have warned you of a Saiqah [thunderbolt of lightening] like the Saiqah which overtook Ad and Thamud.”

14. When the Messengers came to them, from before them and behind them (saying): “Worship none but Allah,” they said: “If our Lord had so willed, He would surely have sent down the angels. So, indeed we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.”

15. As for Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right, and they said: “Who is mightier than us in strength” See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them. And they used to deny Our Ayat!

16. So, We sent upon them a Sarsar wind in days of calamity that We might give them a taste of disgracing torment in this present worldly life. But surely the torment of the Hereafter will be more disgracing, and they will never be helped.

17. And as for Thamud, We showed them the path of truth but they preferred blindness to guidance; so the Saiqah of disgracing torment seized them because of what they used to earn.

18. And We saved those who believed and had Taqwa.}

A Warning to the Disbelievers and a Reminder of the Story of Ad and Thamud

Allah says: ‘Say, O Muhammad, to these idolators who disbelieve in the message of truth that you have brought: If you turn away from that which I have brought to you from Allah, then I warn you of the punishment of Allah like the punishment that the past nations suffered for disbelieving in the Messengers.’ “a Saiqah like the Saiqah which overtook Ad and Thamud.” and other similar nations who did what they did, “When the Messengers came to them, from before them and behind them” This is like the Ayah: “And remember (Hud) the brother of Ad, when he warned his people in Al-Ahqaf. [Curved sand-hills in the southern part of Arabian Peninsula] And surely, there have passed away warners before him and after him” (46:21). which means that in the neighboring towns and cities, Allah sent Messengers who commanded the people to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and they brought good news as well as warnings. They saw the punishment Allah sent upon His enemies, and the blessings which He bestowed upon His friends, yet despite all of this, they did not believe in them. On the contrary, they denied them and rejected them, and said: “If our Lord had so willed, He would surely have sent down the angels.” meaning, if Allah were to send Messengers, they would be angels sent from His presence. “So, indeed we disbelieve in that with which you have been sent.” means, ‘because you are a mere human; we will not follow you because you are just men like us.’ “As for Ad, they were arrogant in the land without right.” means, they were arrogant, stubborn and disobedient. “and they said: “Who is mightier than us in strength” They boasted of their physical strength, and power; they thought that this would protect them from Allah’s punishment. “See they not that Allah Who created them was mightier in strength than them.” means, do they not realize, when they are showing enmity, that He is the Almighty Who created all things and gave them whatever strength they have, and that His onslaught will be far greater This is like the Ayah: “With Hands did We construct the heaven. Verily, We are able to extend the vastness of space thereof.” (51:47) They openly opposed the Almighty and denied His signs and disobeyed His Messenger. Allah said: “So We sent upon them a Sarsar wind”. Some said that this was a strongly blowing wind; others said that it was a cold wind. It was also said that it is the wind that makes a noise. The truth that it was all of these things, for it was a strong wind that was an apt punishment for their being deceived by their physical strength. It was also intensely cold, as Allah says: “with a Sarsar wind!” (69:6), meaning a very cold wind. It also made a furious sound. Additionally, there is a famous river in the east which is called Sarsar because of the noise it makes as it flows. “in days of calamity” means, consecutive days. “seven nights and eight days in succession” (69: 7). This is like the Ayah: “on a day of calamity, continuous” (54:19) i.e., the punishment began on a day which was of evil omen for them, and this evil omen continued for them, “seven nights and eight days in succession” (69:7) until they were destroyed, every last one of them, and their humiliation in this world was joined to their punishment in the Hereafter. Allah says: “that We might give them a taste of disgracing torment in this present worldly life. But surely the torment of the Hereafter will be more disgracing.” meaning, more humiliating for them. “and they will never be helped.” means, in the Hereafter, just as they were never helped in this world, and they had no one who could protect them from Allah or save them from His punishment. “And as for Thamud, We showed them the path of truth” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Abu Al-Aliyah, Said bin Jubayr, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said, “We explained to them. ” (At-Tabari 21:448) Ath-Thawri said, “We called them.” Allah’s saying; “but they preferred blindness to guidance” means, ‘We showed them the truth and made it clear to them through the words of their Prophet Salih, but they opposed him and rejected him, and they slaughtered the she-camel of Allah which He had made a sign for them of the truth of their Prophet.’ “so the Saiqah of disgracing torment seized them” means, Allah sent upon them the Sayhah, earthquake, intense humiliation, punishment and torment. “because of what they used to earn” means, because of their disbelief and rejection. “And We saved those who believed” means, ‘We saved them from among them, and no harm came to them;’ Allah saved them along with His Prophet Salih, peace be upon him, because of their fear of Allah.

{19. And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, then they will be driven.

20. Till, when they reach it, their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.

21. And they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us?” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak – as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return.”

22. And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you; but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing.

23. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction; and you have become of those utterly lost!

24. Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allah, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allah.}

On the Day of Judgement, the Sinners’ Limbs will testify against Them

“And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, then they will be driven.” means, remind these idolators of the Day when they will be gathered to the Fire and they will be driven, i.e., the keepers of Hell will gather the first of them with the last of them, as Allah says elsewhere: “And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state” (19:86). “Till, when they reach it,” means, when they stand at its edge, “their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.” means, all their deeds, earlier and later; not a single letter will be concealed. “And they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us” they will blame their limbs and their skins when they testify against them, at which point their limbs will answer: “They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak — as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time” means, and He cannot be opposed or resisted, and to Him you will return. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar narrated that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah laughed and smiled one day, and said:

“Will you not ask about why I laughed?”

They said, “O Messenger of Allah, why did you laugh” He said:

“I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, “My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly” Allah will say, “Yes.” The man will say, “I will not accept any witness against me except from myself.” Allah will say, “Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses” These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say, “Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!” (Al-Hakim 4:601)

It was recorded by him and Ibn Abi Hatim. (At-Tabari 21:452) It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa’i. (Muslim 4:2280, An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:508) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Burdah said that Abu Musa said, “The disbeliever or the hypocrite will be called to account and his Lord will show him his deeds, but he will deny them and say, ‘O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written about me something that I did not do.’ The angel will say to him, ‘Did you not do such and such on such and such a day in such and such a place’ He will say, ‘No, by Your glory O Lord, I did not do it.’ When he does that, a seal will be placed over his mouth.” Al-Ashari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.” Allah’s saying: “And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you” means, their organs and skins will say to them, when they blame them for testifying against them, ‘you did not hide from us what you used to do, on the contrary, you openly committed disbelief and sin, and you claimed that you did not care, because you did not believe that Allah knew about all your deeds.’ Allah says: “but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction” meaning, ‘this evil thought, i.e., your belief that Allah did not know much of what you were doing, is what has caused you to be doomed and has made your losers before your Lord.’ “and you have become of those utterly lost!” means, ‘in the place of Resurrection, you have lost your own selves and your families.’

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “I was hiding beneath the covering of the Kabah, and three men came along — a man from the Quraysh and two of his brothers-in-law from Thaqif, or a man from Thaqif and two of his brothers-in-law from the Quraysh. Their bellies were very fat, and did not have much understanding. They said some words I could not hear, then one of them said, ‘Do you think that Allah can hear what we are saying now?’ The other said, ‘If we raise our voices, He will hear it, but if we do not raise our voices, He will not hear it.’ The other said, ‘If He can hear one thing from us, He can hear everything.’ I mentioned this to the Prophet , then Allah revealed the words: “And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you” until; “of those utterly lost!” (Ahmad 1:381) This is how it was recorded by At-Tirmidhi. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 9:123) A similar report was also narrated by Ahmad (through a different chain), Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, (Ahmad 1:408, Muslim 4:2142) and Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded (a different chain). (Fath Al-Bari 8:424)

“Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allah, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allah.” means, whether they bear it patiently or not, they are in the Fire and they will have no escape or way out from it, and even if they try to please Allah and offer excuses, nothing of that will be accepted from them. Ibn Jarir said, “The meaning of the Ayah, “and if they seek to please Allah,” is: They will ask to go back to this world, but this plea will not be answered. This is like the Ayah: “They will say: “Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people. Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.” He will say: “Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!” (23:106-108). (At-Tabari 21:458)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol 8 (Abridged) Pages 511-533

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment