Surah Al An’am Part 3 Ayat 50-65

{50. Say: “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Say: “Are the blind and the one who sees equal? Will you not then consider?”

51. And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him, so that they may have Taqwa.

52. And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face. You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing, that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.

53. Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us?” Does not Allah know best those who are grateful?

54. When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: “Salamun Alaykum” (peace be on you); your Lord has written mercy for Himself, so that, if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds, then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

 

The Messenger Neither has the Key to Allah’s Treasures, Nor Knows the Unseen

Allah said to His Messenger, “Say: “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah.” meaning, I do not own Allah’s treasures or have any power over them, ”nor (that) I know the Unseen,” and I do not say that I know the Unseen, because its knowledge is with Allah and I only know what He conveys of it to me. “nor I tell you that I am an angel.” meaning, I do not claim that I am an angel. I am only a human to whom Allah sends revelation, and He honored me with this duty and favoured me with it. “I but follow what is revealed to me.” and I never disobey the revelation in the least. “Say: “Are the blind and the one who sees equal?” meaning, ‘Is the one who is guided, following the truth, equal to the one misled?’ “Will you not then consider?”

In another Ayah, Allah said; “Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind? But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed.” (13:19) Allah’s statement, “And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,” means, warn with this Qur’an, O Muhammad, “Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord” (23:57), who, “Fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning.” (13:21), “those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord” on the Day of Resurrection, “when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,” for on that Day, they will have no relative or intercessor who can prevent His torment if He decides to punish them with it, “so that they may have Taqwa.” Therefore, warn of the Day when there will be no judge except Allah, “so that they may have Taqwa.” and thus work good deeds in this life, so that their good deeds may save them on the Day of Resurrection from Allah’s torment, and so that He will grant them multiple rewards.

Prohibiting the Messenger from Turning the Weak Away and the Order to Honor Them

Allah said, “And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face.” meaning, do not turn away those who have these qualities, instead make them your companions and associates. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.” (18:28)

Allah’s statement, “invoke their Lord…” refers to those who worship Him and supplicate to Him, “morning and evening.” referring to the obligatory prayers, according to Said bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And your Lord said, “Invoke Me, I will respond (to your invocation).” (40:60), I will accept your supplication. Allah said next, “seeking His Face.” meaning, they seek Allah’s Most Generous Face, by sincerity for Him in the acts of worship and obedience they perform. Allah said; “You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing,” This is similar to the answer Nuh gave to his people when they said, “Shall we believe in you, when the meekest (of the people) follow you” (26:111). Nuh answered them, “And what knowledge have I of what they used to do? Their account is only with my Lord, if you could (but) know.” (26:112-113), meaning, their reckoning is for Allah not me, just as my reckoning is not up to them. Allah said here, “that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.” meaning, you will be unjust if you turn them away.

Allah’s statement, “Thus We have tried some of them with others” means, We tested, tried and checked them with each other, “That they might say: “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us?” This is because at first, most of those who followed the Messenger of Allah were the weak among the people, men, women, slaves, and only a few chiefs or noted men followed him. Nuh, was also addressed by his people “Nor do we see any follow you but the meekest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking.” (11:27)

Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked Abu Sufyan, “Do the noblemen or the weak among people follow him (Muhammad)?” Abu Sufyan replied, “Rather the weak among them.” Heraclius commented, “Such is the case with followers of the Messengers.”

The idolators of Quraysh used to mock the weak among them who believed in the Prophet and they even tortured some of them. They used to say, “Are these the ones whom Allah favored above us?” meaning, Allah would not guide these people, instead of us, to all that is good, if indeed what they embraced is good. Allah mentioned similar statements in the Qur’an from the disbelievers, “Had it been a good thing, they (weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!” (46:11), and, “And when Our clear verses are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Which of the two groups is best in position and station.” (19:73) Allah said in reply, “And how many a generation (past nations) have We destroyed before them, who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance?” (19:74). Here, Allah answered the disbelievers when they said, “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us? Does not Allah know best those who are grateful?” Meaning is not Allah more knowledgeable of those who thank and appreciate Him in statement, action and heart Thus Allah directs these believers to the ways of peace, transfers them from darkness to light by His leave, and guides them to the straight path. In another Ayah, Allah said; “As for those who strive hard for Us (Our cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah’s religion). And verily, Allah is with the doers of good” (29:69). An authentic Hadith states,

“Allah does not look at your shapes or colours, but He looks at your heart and actions.” (Muslim 4:1987)

Allah’s statement, “When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: “Salamun Alaykum” (peace be on you)” means, honor them by returning the Salam and give them the good news of Allah’s exclusive, encompassing mercy for them. So Allah said; “your Lord has written Mercy for Himself” meaning, He has obliged His Most Honored Self to grant mercy, as a favor, out of His compassion and beneficence, “So that, if any of you does evil in ignorance…” as every person who disobeys Allah does it in ignorance, “and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds” by repenting from the sins that he committed, intending not to repeat the sin in the future, but to perform righteous deeds, “then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

”When Allah finished with the creation, He wrote in a Book that He has with Him above the Throne, ‘My mercy prevails over My anger’.” (Ahmad 2:313)

 

{55. And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail, that the way of the criminals, may become manifest.

56. Say: “I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke (worship) besides Allah.” Say: “I will not follow your vain desires. If I did, I would go astray, and I would not be one of the rightly guided.”

57. Say: “I am on clear proof from my Lord, but you deny it. I do not have what you are hastily seeking (the torment). The decision is only for Allah, He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.”

58. Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.”

59. And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows what ever there is on the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.}

The Prophet Understands What He Conveys; Torment is in Allah’s Hands Not the Prophet’s

Allah says, just as We mentioned the clear signs that testify and direct to the path of guidance, all the while chastising useless arguments and defiance, ”And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail,” that is, whatever responsible adults need explained to them, in the affairs of life and religion, “That the way of the criminals may become manifest.” so that the path of the criminals who defy the Prophets is apparent and clear. This Ayah was also said to mean, so that you, O Muhammad, are aware of the path of the criminals. Allah’s statement, “Say: “I am on clear proof from my Lord…” means: I have a clear understanding of the Law of Allah that He has revealed to me, “but you deny it.” meaning, but you disbelieve in the truth that came to me from Allah. “I do not have what you are hastily seeking” meaning, the torment, “The decision is only for Allah,” for the ruling of this is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish you soon in response to your wish! If He wills, He will give you respite, out of His great wisdom. This is why Allah said, “He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.” and the best in reckoning between His servants. Allah’s statement, “Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I,” means, if I have what you ask for, I will surely send down what you deserve of it, “but Allah knows best the wrongdoers”

Someone might ask about the meaning of this Ayah compared to the Hadith in the Two Sahihs, from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said to the Messenger, “O Allah’s Messenger! Have you encountered a day harder than the day (of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied,

“Your people have troubled me alot and the worst trouble was on the day of Aqabah when I presented myself to Ibn Abd Yalil bin Abd Kulal, who did not respond to my call. So I departed, overwhelmed with severe sorrow, proceeded on and could not relax until I found myself at Qarn Ath-Thaalib where I raised my head towards the sky to see a     cloud unexpectedly shading me. I looked up and saw Jibril in it and he called me saying, ‘Indeed Allah has heard what you said to the people and what they have responded to you. Therefore, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, ‘O Muhammad! Verily, Allah has heard how your people responded to you and He has sent me to you so that you could order me to do what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akhshabayn (two mountains to the north and south of Makkah) fall on them.The Prophet said, No, but I hope that Allah will let them generate offspring who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:630; Muslim 3:1420)

Tormenting the disbelievers of Quraysh was offered to the Prophet, but he chose patience and asked Allah for respite for them, so that Allah might let them generate offspring who will not associate anything with Him in worship. Therefore, how can we combine the meaning of this Hadith and the honorable Ayah, “Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.” The answer to this question is, Allah knows the best, that the Ayah states that if the punishment that they asked for was in the Prophet’s hand at the time, he would have sent it on them as they asked. As for the Hadith, the disbelievers did not ask the Prophet to send the torment down on them. Rather, the angel responsible for the mountains offered him the choice to let the two mountains to the north and south of Makkah close in on the disbelievers and crush them. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not wish that and asked for respite out of compassion for them.

Only Allah Knows the Unseen

Allah said next, “And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He.” Al- Bukhari recorded that Salim bin Abdullah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The keys of the Unseen are five and none except Allah knows them: “Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware)” (31:34). (Fath Al-Bari 8:141)

Allah’s statement, “And He knows whatever there is on the land and in the sea” means, Allah’s honored knowledge encompasses everything, including the creatures living in the sea and on land, and none of it, not even the weight of an atom on earth or in heaven, ever escapes His knowledge. Allah’s statement, “not a leaf falls, but He knows it.” means, He knows the movements of everything including inanimate things. Therefore, what about His knowledge of the living creatures, especially, those whom the Divine laws have been imposed upon such as mankind and the Jinns In another Ayah, Allah said; “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.” (40:19)

{60. It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day, then he raises (wakes) you up again, that a term appointed be fulfilled, then (in the end), unto Him will be your return. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.

61. He is the Qahir over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.

62. Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgment and He is the swiftest in taking account.}

The Servants are in Allah’s Hands Before and After Death

Allah states that He brings death to His servants in their sleep at night, for sleep is minor death. Allah said in other Ayat, “And (remember) when Allah said: “O Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself…” (3:55), and, “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed.” (39:42),thus mentioning both minor and major death. Allah says, “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day” meaning, He knows the deeds and actions that you perform during the day. This Ayah demonstrates Allah’s perfect knowledge of His creation, by day and night, and in their movements and idleness. Allah said in other Ayat, “It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day.” (13:10), and “It is out of His mercy that He made night and day, so that you may rest therein”, by night, “and that you may seek of His bounty” by day. Allah said, “And (We) have made the night as a covering. And (We) have made the day for livelihood.” (78:10-11).

Allah said here, “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day,” (6:60), Then said, “then he raises (wakes) you up again” by day, according to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Allah’s statement, “that a term appointed be fulfilled” refers to the life span of every person, “then (in the end), unto Him will be your return.” on the Day of Resurrection, “Then He will inform you of what you used to do.” He will reward you, good for good, and evil for evil. Allah’s statement, “He is the Qahir over His servants.” The Qahir means, the one who controls everything, all are subservient to Hissupreme grace, greatness and majesty, “and He sends guardians over you,” angels who guard mankind. In another Ayah, Allah said; “For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah.” (13:11), watching his deeds and recording them. Allah said, “But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you.” (82:10), and “(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive, one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter, but there is a watcher by him, ready.” (50:17-18). Allah’s statement, “until when death approaches one of you…” refers to, when one’s life span comes to an end and he is dying, “Our messengers take his soul…” meaning, there are angels who are responsible for this job. Ibn Abbas and several others said that the Angel of Death has angels who pull the soul from its body and when it reaches the throat, the Angel of Death captures it. (At-Tabari 11:410) Allah said;“and they never neglect their duty.” They guard the soul of the dead person and take it to wherever Allah wills, to Illiyyin if he was among the righteous, and to Sijjin [Refer to Surah Al-Mutaffifin] if he was among the wicked (disbelievers, sinners, etc.), we seek refuge with Allah from this end. Allah said next, “Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said,

“The angels attend the dying person. If he is a righteous person, the angels will say, ‘O pure soul from a pure body! Come out with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ The angels will keep saying this until the soul leaves its body, and they will then raise it up to heaven and will ask that the door be opened for the soul and it will be asked, ‘Who is this?’ It will be said, ‘(The soul of) so-and-so.’ It will be said, ‘Welcome, to the pure soul that inhabited the pure body. Enter with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ This statement will be repeated until the soul reaches the heaven above which there is Allah. If the dying person is evil, the angels will say, ‘Get out (of your body), O wicked soul from a wicked body! Get out in disgrace and receive the news of boiling fluid, a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold and other (torments) of similar kind – all together – to match them.’ This statement will be said repeatedly until the evil soul leaves its body. The soul will be raised up to heaven and a request will be made that the door be opened for it. It will be asked, ‘Who is this?’ It will be said, ‘(The soul of) so and so.’ It will be said, ‘No welcome to the wicked soul from the wicked body. Return with disgrace, for the doors of heaven will not be opened for you.’ So it will be thrown from heaven until it returns to the grave. So the righteous person sits and similar is said to him as before. And the evil person sits and similar is said to him as before.”(Ahmad 2:364)

It is also possible that the meaning of, “Then they are returned…” refers to the return of all creation to Allah on the Day of Resurrection, when He will subject them to His just decision. Allah said in other Ayat, “Say: “(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed meeting of a known Day.” (56:49-50) and, “And We shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind…” (18:47) until, “And your Lord treats no one with injustice.” (18:49) Allah said here, “their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgement and He is the swiftest in taking account.” (6:62)

{63. Say: “Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret (saying): ‘If He (Allah) only saves us from these (dangers), we shall truly be grateful.”

64. Say: “Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.”

65. Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.” See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.}

Allah’s Compassion and Generosity, and His Power and Torment

Allah mentions how He favors His servants, saving them during times of need, in the darkness of land and at sea, such as when storms strike. In such cases, they call on Allah alone, without partners, in supplication. In other Ayat, Allah said, “And when harm strikes you at sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him.” (17:67), “He it is Who enables you to travel through the land and the sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they rejoice, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him alone, saying: “If You deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful”. (10:22), and, “Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy Is there any god with Allah High Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners (with Him)!” (27:63) .

Allah said in this honorable Ayah, “Say: “Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret.” i.e., in public and secret, “(Saying): ‘If He (Allah) only saves us…” from this distress, “we shall truly be grateful.” thereafter. Allah said, “Say: “Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.” meaning, yet you call other gods besides Him in times of comfort. Allah said; “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet,” He said thisafter His statement, “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you..’‘, after He saves you. Allah said in Surah Subhan (chapter 17), “And yet you commit Shirk.” Allah said next, “Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty. Truly! He is Ever Merciful towards you. And when harm strikes you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful. Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a storm of stones ? Then, you shall find no guardian. Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you because of your disbelief, then you will not find any avenger therein against Us?” (17:66-69).

Al-Bukhari, may Allah grant him His mercy, commented on Allah’s statement, “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.” See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.” “Yalbisakum means, ‘cover you with confusion’, So it means to, ‘divide into parties and sects’. Jabir bin Abdullah said, ‘When this Ayah was revealed, “Say: “He has power to send torment on you from above” Allah’s Messenger said, “I seek refuge with Your Face.” “or from under your feet” he again said, “I seek refuge with Your Face.” “or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.” he said, “This is less burdensome or easier.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:141)

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sad bin Abi Waqqas said, We accompanied the Messenger of Allah and passed by the Masjid of Bani Muawiyah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him  went in and offered a two Rakah prayer, and we prayed behind him. He supplicated to his Lord for a long time and then said,

“I asked my Lord for three: I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah (Muslims) by drowning and He gave that to me. I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah by famine and He gave that to me. And I asked Him not to make them taste the violence of one another, but He did not give that to me.”  (Muslim no.2890)

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, who attended the battle of Badr with the Messenger of Allah , said, “I met Allah’s Messenger during a night in which he prayed throughout it, until dawn. When the Messenger of Allah ended his prayer, I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! This night, you have performed a prayer that I never saw you perform before.’ Allah’s Messenger said,

“Yes, it was a prayer of eagerness and fear. During this prayer, I asked my Lord for three things and He gave me two and refused to give me the third. I asked my Lord not to destroy us with what He destroyed the nations before us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to make our enemies prevail above us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to cover us with confusion in party strife, but He refused.” (Ahmad 3:108)

Allah’s statement, “or to cover you with confusion in party strife,” means, He causes you to be in disarray and separate into opposing parties and groups. Al-Walibi (Ali bin Abi Talhah) reported that Ibn Abbas said that this Ayah refers to desires. (At-Tabari 11:420) Mujahid and several others said similarly. A Hadith from the Prophet,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, collected from various chains of narration, states,

“And this Ummah (Muslims) will divide into seventy – three groups, all of them in the Fire except one.” (Abu Dawud 5:5)

Allah said; “and make you taste the violence of one another.” meaning, some of you will esperience torture and murder from one another, according to Ibn Abbas and others.

Allah said next, “See how variously We explain the Ayat” by making them clear, plain and duly explained, “So that they may understand.” and comprehend Allah’s Ayat, proofs and evidences.

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