Surah Al-An’am Part 4 Ayat 66-83

{66. But your people have denied it (the Qur’an) though it is the truth. Say: “I am not responsible for your affairs.”

67. For every news there is a reality and you will come to know.

68. And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur’an) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance, sit not you in the company of those people who are the wrongdoers.

69. There is no responsibility for them upon those who have Taqwa, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may (attain) Taqwa.}

The Invitation to the Truth is Guidance Without Coercion

Allah said, “But have denied it” denied the Qur’an, guidance and clear explanation that you (O Muhammad ) have brought them, “your people” meaning, Quraysh, “though it is the truth.” beyond which there is no other truth. “Say: “I am not responsible for your affairs.” meaning, I have not been appointed a guardian or watcher over you. Allah also said; “And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.” (18:29), This means, my duty is to convey the Message and your duty is to hear and obey. Those who follow me, will acquire happiness in this life and the Hereafter. Those who defy me will become miserable in this life and the Hereafter. So Allah said; “For every news there is a reality…” meaning, for every news, there is a reality, in that, this news will occur, perhaps after a while, according to Ibn Abbas and others. Allah said in other Ayat, “And you shall certainly know the truth of it after a while.” (38:88) and, “(For) each and every matter there is a decree (from Allah).” (13:38). This, indeed, is a warning and a promise that will surely occur, “And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur’an)”, by denying and mocking them.

The Prohibition of Sitting with Those Who Deny and Mock Allah’s Ayat

“stay away from them till they turn to another topic.” until they talk about a subject other than the denial they were engaged in. “And if Shaytan causes you to forget…” This command includes every member of this Ummah. No one is to sit with those who deny and distort Allah’s Ayat and explain them incorrectly. If one forgets and sits with such people, “and you will come to know.” Allah’s statement, “then after the remembrance sit not you” after you remember, “in the company of those people who are the wrongdoers”. A Hadith states,

“My Ummah was forgiven unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are coerced to do.” (Ibn Majah 1:659)

The Ayah above (6:68) is the Ayah mentioned in Allah’s statement, “And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them.” (4:140), for, if you still sit with them, agreeing to what they say, you will be just like them. Allah’s statement , “There is no responsibility for them upon those who have Taqwa,” means, when the believers avoid sitting with wrongdoers in this case, they will be innocent of them and they will have saved themselves from their sin. Allah’s statement, “but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may avoid that”, means, We commanded you to ignore and avoid them, so that they become aware of the error they are indulging in, that they may avoid this behavior and never repeat it again.

{70. And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But remind (them) with it (the Qur’an) lest a soul Tubsal for that which one has earned, when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah, and even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him. Such are they who are given up to destruction because of that which they have earned. For them will be a drink of boiling water and a painful torment because they used to disbelieve.}

Allah said, “And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world.” The Ayah commands to leave such people, ignore them and give them respite, for soon, they will taste a tremendous torment. This is why Allah said, “But remind with it” meaning, remind the people with this Qur’an and warn them against Allah’s revenge and painful torment on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said; “lest a soul Tubsal for that which one has earned” meaning, so that it is not Tubsal. Ad-Dahhak from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi said that Tubsal means, be submissive. (At-Tabari 11:443) Al-Walibi said that Ibn Abbas said that Tubsal means, ‘be exposed’. (At-Tabari 11:444) Qatadah said that Tubsal means, be prevented’, Murrah and Ibn Zayd said that it means, ‘be recompensed’, (At-Tabari 11:443) Al-Kalbi said, ‘be reckoned’. (At-Tabari 11:444) All these statements and expressions are similar, for they all mean exposure to destruction, being kept away from all that is good, and being restrained from attaining what is desired. Allah also said; “Every person is restrained by what he has earned. Except those on the Right.” (74:38-39), and “when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah,” and, “and even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him.” meaning, whatever the ransom such people offer, it will not be accepted from them. Allah said in a similar statement, “Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them.” (3:91) Allah said here, “Such are they who are given up to destruction because of that which they have earned. For them will be a drink of boiling water and a painful torment because they used to disbelieve.”

{71. Say: “Shall we invoke others besides Allah (false deities), that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels after Allah has guided us — Like one whom the Shayatin (devils) have made to go astray, confused (wandering) through the land, his companions calling himtoguidance(saying): `Cometous.”’Say: “Verily, Allah’s guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit (ourselves) to the Lord of all that exists.

72. And to perform the Salah, and have Taqwa of Him, and it is He to Whom you shall be gathered.

73. It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth, and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become. His Word is the truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the Sur will be blown. All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the All-Wise, Well-Aware.}

The Parable of Those Who Revert to Disbelief After Faith and Good Deeds

As-Suddi said, “Some idolators said to some Muslims, ‘Follow us and abandon the religion of Muhammad.’ Allah sent down the revelation, “Say: “Shall we invoke others besides Allah, that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels…” by reverting to disbelief, “…after Allah has guided us.” for if we do this, our example will be like he whom the devils have caused to wander in confusion throughout the land. Allah says here, your example, if you revert to disbelief after you believed, is that of a man who went with some people on a road, but he lost his way and the devils led him to wander in confusion over the land. Meanwhile, his companions on the road were calling him to come to them saying, ‘Come back to us, for we are on the path.’ But, he refused to go back to them. This is the example of he who follows the devil after recognizing Muhammad, and Muhammad is the person who is calling the people to the path, and the path is Islam.” Ibn Jarir recorded this statement. (At-Tabari 11:452)

Allah’s statement, “Like one whom the Shayatin (devils) have made to go astray (wandering) through the land,” refers to ghouls, “calling him” by his name, his father’s and his grandfather’s names. So he follows the devils’ call thinking that it is a path of guidance, but by the morning he will find himself destroyed and perhaps they eat him. The Jinns will then let him wander in a wasteland where he will die of thirst. This is the example of those who follow the false gods that are being worshipped instead of Allah, Most Honored. Ibn Jarir also recorded this. (At-Tabari 11:452) Allah said, “Say: “Verily, Allah’s guidance is the only guidance,” Allah said in other instances, “And whomsoever Allah guides, for him there will be none to misguide him.” (39:37), and, “If you covet for their guidance, then verily Allah guides not those whom He makes to go astray. And they will have no helpers.” (17:37) Allah’s statement, “and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of all that exists.” means, we were commanded to worship Allah in sincerity to Him alone, without partners. “And to perform the Salah, and have Taqwa of Him.” meaning, we were commanded to perform the prayer and to fear Allah in all circumstances, “and it is He to Whom you shall be gathered.” on the Day of Resurrection. “It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth.” meaning, in justice, and He is their Originator and Owner Who governs their affairs and the affairs of their inhabitants. Allah said, “and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become.” Referring to the Day of Resurrection, which will come faster than the blink of an eye, when Allah says to it, ‘Be.’

As-Sur; The Trumpet

Allah’s statement, “on the Day when the Sur will be blown…” refers to His statement, “and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become.” as we stated above. Or, it means, “His will be the dominion on the Day when the Sur will be blown.” Allah said in other Ayat, “Whose is the kingdom this Day It is Allah’s, the One, the Irresistible!” (40:16), and, “The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty), belonging to the Most Beneficent (Allah), and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.” (25:26) The Sur is the Trumpet into which the angel Israfil, peace be upon him, will blow. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“Israfil has held the Sur in his mouth and lowered his forehead, awaiting the command to blow in it.” (At-Tabari 5:238)

Muslim recorded this Hadith in his Sahih. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Amr said, “A bedouin man said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What is the Sur?’ He said,

“A Trumpet which will be blown.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:117, Ahmad 2:162)

{74. And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error.”

75. Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have faith with certainty.

76. When the night overcame him he saw a Kawkab. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala, he said: “I like not those that set.”

77. When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.”

78. When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it Afalat, he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.

79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not of the idolators.”}

Ibrahim Advises his Father

Ibrahim advised, discouraged and forbade his father from worshipping idols, just as Allah stated, “And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods” meaning, do you worship an idol instead of Allah “Verily, I see you and your people…” who follow your path, “in manifest error” wandering in confusion unaware of where to go. Therefore, you are in disarray and ignorance, and this fact is clear to all those who have sound reason. Allah also said, “And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, the story of) Ibrahim. Verily! He was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a straight path. O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily! Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtakes you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan (in the Hell-fire).” He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unanswered in my invocation to my Lord.” (19:41-48)

Ibrahim continued asking for forgiveness for his father for the rest of his father’s life. When his father died an idolator and Ibrahim realized this fact, he stopped asking Allah for forgiveness for him and disassociated himself from him. Allah said, “And invoking for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrahim was patient in supplication and forbearing.” (9:114). It was recorded in the Sahih that Ibrahim will meet his father Azar on the Day of Resurrection and Azar will say to him, “My son! This Day, I will not disobey you.” Ibrahim will say, “O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day they are resurrected; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father” Then Allah will say, “O Ibrahim! Look behind you!” He will look and there he will see (that his father was changed into) a male hyena covered in dung, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:445) [There are a number of reasons explained for this incident, among them, that Ibrahim will not feel disgraced by seeing a dung-covered hyena thrown in the Fire, and that this is the true worth of his father. See the reference given for more comments.]

Tawhid Becomes Apparent to Ibrahim

Allah’s statement, “Thus did We show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth…” (6:75), means, when he contemplated about the creation of the heaven and earth, We showed Ibrahim the proofs of Allah’s Oneness over His dominion and His creation, which indicate that there is no god or Lord except Allah. Allah said in other Ayat; “Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth.” (10:101), and, “See they not what is before them and what is behind them, of the heaven and the earth? If We will, We sink the earth with them, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily, in this is a sign for every servant who turns to Allah.” (34:9) Allah said next, “When the night overcame him” covered him with darkness, “He saw a Kawkab” a star. “He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala” meaning, set, he said, “I like not those that set.” Qatadah commented, “Ibrahim knew that his Lord is Eternal and never ceases.” (At-Tabari 11:480) “When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” this radiating, rising star is my lord, “This is greater” bigger than the star and the moon, and more radiant. “But when it Afalat” set, “he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face…”, meaning, I have purified my religion and made my worship sincere, “towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth,” Who originated them and shaped them without precedence, “Hanifan” avoiding Shirk and embracing Tawhid. This is why he said next, “and I am not of the idolators.”

Prophet Ibrahim Debates with his People

We should note here that, in these Ayat, Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was debating with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping idols and images. In the first case with his father, Ibrahim explained to his people their error in worshipping the idols of earth, which they made in the shape of heavenly angels, so that they intercede on their behalf with the Glorious Creator. His people thought that they are too insignificant to worship Allah directly, and this is why they turned to the worship of angels as intercessors with Allah for their provisions, gaining victory and attaining their various needs. He then explained to them the error and deviation of worshipping the seven planets, which they said were the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The brightest of these objects and the most honored to them was the Sun, the Moon then Venus. Ibrahim, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, first proved that Venus is not worthy of being worshipped, for it is subservient to a term and course appointed that it does not defy, nor swerving right or left. Venus does not have any say in its affairs, for it is only a heavenly object that Allah created and made bright out of His wisdom. Venus rises from the east and sets in the west where it disappears from sight. This rotation is repeated the next night, and so forth. Such an object is not worthy of being a god. Ibrahim then went on to mention the Moon in the same manner in which he mentioned Venus, and then the Sun. When he proved that these three objects were not gods, although they are the brightest objects the eyes can see, “he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.” meaning, I am free from worshipping these objects and from taking them as protectors. Therefore, if they are indeed gods as you claim, then all of you bring your plot against me and do not give me respite.

“Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not one of the idolators.” meaning, I worship the Creator of these things, Who originated and decreed them, and Who governs their affairs and made them subservient. It is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things, and He is the Creator, Lord, King and God of all things in existence. In another Ayah, Allah said, “Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars, subjecting them to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists!” (7:54). Allah described Prophet Ibrahim, “And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his (portion of) guidance, and We were well- acquainted with him. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted” (21:51-52). These Ayat indicate that Ibrahim was debating with his people about the Shirk they practiced.

{80. His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me about Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord wills something. My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things. Will you not then remember

81. And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah, while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan.(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security If you but know.”

82. It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.

83. And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We in degrees raise whom We will. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.}

Allah states that His Khalil, Prophet Ibrahim, said when his people mentioned various doubts and disputed with him about the Tawhid that he called to: “Do you dispute with me about Allah while He has guided me?”. The Ayah means, do you argue with me about Allah, other than Whom there is no god worthy of worship, while He has guided me to the Truth and made me aware of it Therefore, how can I ever consider your misguided statements and false doubts Ibrahim said next, “and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord wills something.”

Ibrahim said, among the proofs to the falsehood of your creed, is that these false gods that you worship do not bring about any effect, and I do not fear them or care about them. Therefore, if these gods are able to cause harm, then use them against me and do not give me respite. Ibrahim’s statement, “except when my Lord wills something.” means, only Allah causes benefit or harm. “My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things.” meaning, Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things and nothing escapes His complete observation, “Will you not then remember?” what I explained to you, considering your idols as false gods and refraining from worshipping them? This reasoning from Prophet Ibrahim is similar to the argument that Prophet Hud used against his people, Ad. Allah mentioned this incident in His Book, when He said, “They said: “O Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil.” He said: “I call Allah to witness – and bear you witness – that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship with Him (Allah). So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path (the truth).” (11:53-56)

Ibrahim’s statement, “And how should I fear those whom you associate…” means, how should I fear the idols that you worship instead of Allah, “while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan.” meaning, proof, according to Ibn Abbas and others among the Salaf. (At-Tabari 11:491) Allah said in similar Ayat; “Or have they partners who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed?” (42:21), and, “They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.” (53:21) His statement, “(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know.” means, which of the two parties is on the truth, those who worship Him in Whose Hand is harm and benefit, or those who worship what cannot bring harm or benefit, without authority to justify worshipping them Who among these two parties has more right to be saved from Allah’s torment on the Day of Resurrection Allah said, “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” Therefore, those who worship Allah alone without partners, will acquire safety on the Day of Resurrection, and they are the guided ones in this life and the Hereafter.

Shirk is the Greatest Zulm (Wrong)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah said, “When the Ayah, “and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong).” was revealed, the Companions of the Prophet said, ‘And who among us did not commit Zulm against himself?’ The Ayah, “Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” (31:13), was later revealed.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:144) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said, “When this Ayah was revealed, “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong),” it was hard on the people. They said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Who among us did not commit Zulm against himself?’ He said, “It is not what you understood from it. Did you not hear what the righteous servant (Luqman) said, ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Shirk is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” (31:13). Therefore, it is about Shirk. (Ahmad 1:444)

Allah’s statement, “And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people.” means, We directed him to proclaim Our proof against them. Mujahid and others said that ‘Our proof’ refers to, “And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm”, while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security” (At-Tabari 11:505)

Allah has testified Ibrahim’s statement and affirmed security and guidance, saying; “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm, for them there is security and they are the guided.” Allah said, “And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We raise in degrees whom We will.” And; “Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.” He is All-Wise in His statements and actions, All- Knower of those whom He guides or misguides, and whether the proof was established against them or not. Allah also said, “Truly! Those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them — until they see the painful torment.” (10:96-97) This is why Allah said here, “Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.”

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