Surah Al-A’raf Part 2 Ayat 22-37

{22. So he misled them with deception. Then when they tasted of the tree, that which was hidden from them of their shame (private parts) became manifest to them and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise. And their Lord called out to them (saying): “Did I not forbid you that tree and tell you: Verily, Shaytan is an open enemy unto you?”

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

 

Ubayy bin Kab said, “Adam was a tall man, about the height of a palm tree, and he had thick hair on his head. When he committed the error that he committed, his private part appeared to him while before, he did not see it. So he started running in fright through Paradise, but a tree in Paradise took him by the head. He said to it, ‘Release me,’ but it said, ‘No, I will not release you.’ So his Lord called him, ‘O Adam! Do you run away from Me’ He said, ‘O Lord! I felt ashamed before You.”’ (At-Tabari 12:354) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Marduwyah collected this statement using several chains of narration from Al-Hasan from Ubayy bin Kab who narrated it from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. (At-Tabari 12:352) However, relating the Hadith to Ubayy is more correct.

Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, “And they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise.” “Using fig leaves.” (At-Tabari 12:354) This statement has an authentic chain of narration leading to Ibn Abbas. Mujahid said that they began to cover themselves with the leaves of Paradise, “Making them as a dress (or garment).” (At-Tabari 12:353) Commenting on Allah’s statement, “Stripping them of their raiment” (7:27) Wahb bin Munabbih said, “The private parts of Adam and Hawwa’ had a light covering them which prevented them from seeing the private parts of each other. When they ate from the tree, their private parts appeared to them.” Ibn Jarir reported this statement with an authentic chain of narration. (At-Tabari 12:355)

Abdur-Razzaq reported from Qatadah, “Adam said, ‘O Lord! What if I repented and sought forgiveness?’ Allah said, ‘Then, I will admit you into Paradise.’ As for Shaytan, he did not ask for forgiveness, but for respite. Each one of them was given what he asked for.” (Abdur Razzaq 2:226) Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim commented, “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” “These are the words that Adam received from his Lord.” (At-Tabari 12:357)

 

{24. (Allah) said: “Get down, one of you an enemy to the other. On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.”

25. He said: “Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).”}

 

Sending Them All Down to Earth

It was said that, Get down”, was addressed to Adam, Hawwa’, Iblis and the snake. Some scholars did not mention the snake, and Allah knows best. The enmity is primarily between Adam and Iblis, and Hawwa’ follows Adam in this regard. Allah said in Surah Ta Ha, “Get you down (from the Paradise to the earth), both of you, together…” (20:123). If the story about the snake is true, then it is a follower of Iblis. Some scholars mentioned the location on earth they were sent down, but these accounts are taken from the Israelite tales, and only Allah knows if they are true. If having known these areas was useful for the people in matters of religion or life, Allah would have mentioned them in His Book, and His Messenger would have mentioned them too. Allah’s statement, “On earth will be a dwelling place for you and an enjoyment for a time.” means, on earth you will have dwellings and known, designated, appointed terms that have been recorded by the Pen, counted by Predestination and written in the First Record. “He (Allah) said: “Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out (resurrected).” This Ayah is similar to Allah’s other statement, “Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again.” (20:55). Allah states that He has made the earth a dwelling place for the Children of Adam, for the remainder of this earthly life. On it, they will live, die and be buried in their graves; and from it, they will be resurrected for the Day of Resurrection. On that Day, Allah will gather the first and last of creatures and reward or punish each according to his or her deeds.

 

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

Bestowing Raiment and Adornment on Mankind

Allah reminds His servants that He has given them Libas and Rish. Libas refers to the clothes that are used to cover the private parts, while Rish refers to the outer adornments used for purposes of beautification. Therefore, the first type is essential while the second type is complimentary. Ibn Jarir said that Rish includes furniture and outer clothes. (At-Tabari 12:364)

Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on the Ayah, “and the Libas (raiment) of Taqwa…” “When one fears Allah, Allah covers his errors. Hence the Libas of Taqwa’ (that the Ayah mentions).” (At-Tabari 12:368)

 

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

 

Warning against the Lures of Shaytan

Allah warns the Children of Adam against Iblis and his followers, by explaining about his ancient enmity for the father of mankind, Adam peace be upon him. Iblis plotted to have Adam expelled from Paradise, which is the dwelling of comfort, to the dwelling of hardship and fatigue (this life) and caused him to have his private part uncovered, after it had been hidden from him. This, indeed, is indicative of deep hatred (from Shaytan towards Adam and mankind). Allah said in a similar Ayah “Will you then take him (Iblis) and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me, while they are enemies to you What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers.” (18:50).

 

{28. And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: “We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.” Say: “Nay, Allah never commands Fahishah. Do you say about Allah what you know not?”

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

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

 

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

Mujahid said, “The idolators used to go around the House (Kabah) in Tawaf while naked, saying, ‘We perform Tawaf as our mothers gave birth to us.’ The woman would cover her sexual organ with something saying, ‘Today, some or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it, I do not allow it (it is not for adultery or for men to enjoy looking at!).”’ Allah sent down the Ayah, “And when they commit a Fahishah (sin), they say: “We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.” (7:28) [Literally: strictly religious. Called such, as they used to say, ‘We are people of Allah, we shall not go out of the sanctuary.] I say, the Arabs, with the exception of the Quraysh, used to perform Tawaf naked. They claimed they would not make Tawaf while wearing the clothes that they disobeyed Allah in. As for the Quraysh, known as Al-Hums, (At-Tabari 12:37) they used to perform Tawaf in their regular clothes. Whoever among the Arabs borrowed a garment from one of Al-Hums, he would wear it while in Tawaf. And whoever wore a new garment, would discard it and none would wear it after him on completion of Tawaf. Those who did not have a new garment, or were not given one by Al-Hums, then they would perform Tawaf while naked. Even women would go around in Tawaf while naked, and one of them would cover her sexual organ with something and proclaim, “Today, a part or all of it will appear, but whatever appears from it I do not allow it.” Women used to perform Tawaf while naked usually at night. This was a practice that the idolators invented on their own, following only their forefathers in this regard. They falsely claimed that what their forefathers did was in fact following the order and legislation of Allah. Allah then refuted them, Allah said, “And when they commit a Fahishah, they say: “We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has commanded it for us.”

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

Allah replied to this false claim, “(Say), O Muhammad, to those who claimed this, “Nay, Allah never commands Fahsha’…” meaning, the practice you indulge in is a despicable sin, and Allah does not command such a thing. “Do you say about Allah what you know not?” that is, do you attribute to Allah statements that you are not certain are true Allah said next, “Say: “My Lord has commanded justice, (fairness and honesty)”“And that you should face Him only, in every Masjid, and invoke Him only making your religion sincere to Him…” This Ayah means, Allah commands you to be straightforward in worshipping Him, by following the Messengers who were supported with miracles and obeying what they conveyed from Allah and the Law that they brought. He also commands sincerity in worshipping Him, for He, Exalted He is, does not accept a good deed until it satisfies these two conditions: being correct and in conformity with His Law, and being free of Shirk.

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

Allah’s saying “As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again” (7:29). Until; “error” There is some difference over the meaning of: “As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again.” Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said that it means, “He will bring you back to life after you die.” (At-Tabari 12:385) Al-Hasan Al- Basri commented, “As He made you begin in this life, He will bring you back to life on the Day of Resurrection.” (At-Tabari 12:385) Qatadah commented on: “As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again.” “He started their creation after they were nothing, and they perished later on, and He shall bring them back again.” (At-Tabari 12:385) Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, “As He created you in the beginning, He will bring you back in the end.” This last explanation was preferred by Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir and he supported it with what he reported from Ibn Abbas, “The Messenger of Allah stood up and gave us a speech, saying,

“O people! You will be gathered to Allah while barefooted, naked and uncircumcised, ”As We began the first creation, We shall repeat it. (It is) a promise binding upon Us. Truly, We shall do it” (21:104) (At-Tabari 12:386)

This Hadith was collected in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 6:445 and 8:135 and Muslim 4:2194) Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, “As He brought you in the beginning, so shall you be brought into being again. A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error” Allah, the Exalted, began the creation of the Sons of Adam, some believers and some disbelievers, just as He said, “He it is Who created you, then some of you are disbelievers and some of you are believers.” (64:2). He will then return them on the Day of Resurrection as He started them, some believers and some disbelievers. (At-Tabari 12:382) I say, what supports this meaning, is the Hadith from Ibn Masud that Al-Bukhari recorded, (that the Prophet said)

“By He, other than Whom there is no god, one of you might perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until only the length of an arm or a forearm would separate him from it. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he commits the work of the people of the Fire and thus enters it. And one of you might perform the deeds of the people of the Fire until only the length of an arm or a forearm separates between him and the Fire. However, that which was written in the Book takes precedence, and he performs the work of the people of Paradise and thus enters Paradise.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:486)

We should combine this meaning — if it is held to be the correct meaning for the Ayah — with Allah’s statement: “So set you your face towards the religion, Hanifan. Allah’s Fitrah with which He has created mankind.” (30:30), [The meaning of the ayah is ‘Dedicate yourself to the natural religion of Allah which made for humanity.’] and what is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Abu Hurayrah who said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Every child is born upon the Fitrah, it is only his parents who turn him into a Jew, a Christian or a Zoroastrian.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:290 and Muslim 4:2047)

Muslim recorded that Iyad bin Himar said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Allah said, ‘I created My servants Hunafa’ (monotheists), but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion.” (Muslim 4:2197) 

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

“All people go out in the morning and sell themselves, and some of them free themselves while some others destroy themselves.” (Muslim 1:203)

Allah’s decree will certainly come to pass in His creation. Verily, He it is “Who has measured (everything); and then guided” (87: 3), and, “He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.”  (20:50). And in the Two Sahihs:

“As for those among you who are among the people of happiness, they will be facilitated to perform the deeds of the people of happiness. As for those who are among the miserable, they will be facilitated to commit the deeds of the miserable.” (At-Tabari 12:388)

This is why Allah said here, “A group He has guided, and a group deserved to be in error” Allah then explained why, “because surely, they took the Shayatin as supporters instead of Allah”. Ibn Jarir said, “This is one of the clearest arguments proving the mistake of those who claim that Allah does not punish anyone for disobedient acts he commits of deviations he believes in until after knowledge of what is correct reaches him, then he were to obstinately avoid it anyway. If this were true, then there would be no difference between the deviations of the misguided group – their belief that they are guided – and the group that is in fact guided. Yet Allah has differentiated between the two in this noble Ayah, doing so in both name and judgement.” (Fath Al-Bari 3:267 and Muslim 4:2039)

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

 

Allah commands taking Adornment when going to the Masjid

This honorable Ayah refutes the idolators’ practice of performing Tawaf around the Sacred House while naked. Muslim, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Jarir, (the following wording is that of Ibn Jarir) recorded that Shu`bah said that Salamah bin Kuhayl said that Muslim Al-Batin said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said, “The idolators used to go around the House while naked, both men and women, men in the day and women by night. The woman would say, “Today, a part or all of it will be unveiled, but whatever is exposed of it, I do not allow.” (Muslim 4:2320)

Allah said in reply, “Take your adornment to every Masjid” Al-Awfi said that Ibn Abbas commented on: “Take your adornment to every Masjid” “There were people who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked, and Allah ordered them to take adornment, meaning, wear clean, proper clothes that cover the private parts. people were commanded to wear their best clothes when performing every prayer.” (At-Tabari 12:391) Mujahid, Ata’, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Said bin Jubayr, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and Malik narrated a similar saying from Az-Zuhri, (At-Tabari 12:392-394) and from several of the Salaf. They said that this Ayah was revealed about the idolators who used to perform Tawaf around the House while naked.

This Ayah (7:31), as well as the Sunnah, encourage wearing the best clothes when praying, especially for Friday and Id prayers. It is also recommended [for men] to wear perfume for prayer, because it is adornment, and to use Siwak for it is part of what completes adornment. The best color for clothes is white, for Imam Ahmad narrated that Ibn Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be him, said,

“Wear white clothes, for it is among your best clothes, and also wrap your dead with it. And Ithmid (antimony) is among the best of your Kuhl, for it clears the sight and helps the hair grow.” (Ahmad 1:247)

This Hadith has a sound chain of narration, consisting of narrators who conform to the conditions and guidelines of Imam Muslim. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah also recorded it, and At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih.” (Abu Dawud 4:332)

Prohibiting Extravagance

Allah said,And eat and drink…”. Al-Bukhari said that Ibn Abbas said, “Eat what you wish and wear what you wish, as long as you avoid two things: extravagance and arrogance.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:264) Ibn Jarir said that Muhammad bin Abdul-Ala narrated to us that Muhammad bin Thawr narrated to us from Mamar from Ibn Tawus from his father who said that Ibn Abbas said, “Allah has allowed eating and drinking, as long as it does not contain extravagance or arrogance.” (At-Tabari 12:394) This chain is Sahih. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Miqdam bin Madikarib Al-Kindi said that he heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying,

“The Son of Adam will not fill a pot worse for himself than his stomach. It is enough for the Son of Adam to eat a few bites that strengthens his spine. If he likes to have more, then let him fill a third with food, a third with drink and leave a third for his breathing.” (Ahmad 4:132)

An-Nasa’i and At- Tirmidhi collected this Hadith, (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:51) At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan” or “Hasan Sahih” according to another manuscript.

Ata’ Al-Khurasani said that Ibn Abbas commented on the Ayah, “And eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.” “With food and drink.” (At-Tabari 12:394) Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement, “Certainly He (Allah) likes not the wasteful.” “Allah the Exalted says that He does not like those who trespass the limits on an allowed matter or a prohibited matter, those who go to the extreme over what He has allowed, allow what He has prohibited, or prohibit what He has allowed. But, He likes that what He has allowed be considered as such (without extravagance) and what He has prohibited be considered as such. This is the justice that He has commanded.” (At-Tabari 12:395)

 

{32. Say: “Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His servants, and At-Tayyibat (good things) of sustenance” Say: “They are, in the life of this world, for those who believe, (and) exclusively for them (believers) on the Day of Resurrection.” Thus We explain the Ayat in detail for people who have knowledge.}

 

Allah refutes those who prohibit any type of food, drink or clothes according to their own understanding, without relying on what Allah has legislated. ‘‘Say” O Muhammad, to the idolators who prohibit some things out of false opinion and fabrication, “Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for His servants” meaning, these things were created for those who believe in Allah and worship Him in this life, even though the disbelievers share in these bounties in this life. In the Hereafter, the believers will have all this to themselves and none of the disbelievers will have a share in it, for Paradise is prohibited for the disbelievers.

 

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

 

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

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon, said,

“None is more jealous than Allah, and this is why He prohibited Fawahish, committed openly or in secret. And none likes praise more than Allah.” (Ahmad 1:381)

This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 9:230 and Muslim 4:2114) In the explanation of Surat Al-Anam, we explained the Fahishah that is committed openly and in secret. Allah said next, “and Ithm, and transgression without right,” (7:33). As-Suddi commented, “Al-Ithm means, ‘disobedience’. As for unrighteous oppression, it occurs when you transgress against people without justification.” (At-Tabari 12:403) Mujahid said, “Ithm includes all types of disobedience. Allah said that the oppressor commits oppression against himself.” (At-Tabari 12:403) Therefore, the meaning of, Ithm is the sin that one commits against himself, while ‘oppression’ pertains to transgression against other people, and Allah prohibited both. Allah’s statement, “and joining partners with Allah for which He has given no authority,” prohibits calling partners with Allah in worship. ”and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.” such as lies and inventions, like claiming that Allah has a son, and other evil creeds that you — O idolators — have no knowledge of. This is similar to His saying: ”So shun the abomination (worshipping) of the idols” (22:30).

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

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

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

Allah said, “And every Ummah has”, meaning, each generation and nation, ”its appointed term; when their term comes’‘ which they were destined for, ”neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)”. Allah then warned the Children of Adam that He sent to them Messengers who conveyed to them His Ayat. Allah also conveyed good news, as well as warning, ”then whosoever has Taqwa and becomes righteous” by abandoning the prohibitions and performing acts of obedience, ”on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve. But those who reject Our Ayat and treat them with arrogance” meaning, their hearts denied the Ayat and they were too arrogant to abide by them, ”they are the dwellers of the Fire, they will abide therein forever.” without end to their dwelling in it.

 

{37. Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat? For such their appointed portion will reach them from the Book (of Decrees) until Our messengers (the angel of death and his assistants) come to them to take their souls, they (the angels) will say: “Where are those whom you used to invoke and worship besides Allah,” they will reply, “They have vanished and deserted us.” And they will bear witness against themselves, that they were disbelievers.}

 

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

Allah said, ”Who is more unjust than one who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat?” meaning, none is more unjust than whoever invents a lie about Allah or rejects the Ayat that He has revealed. Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi said that, ”For such their appointed portion will reach them from the Book” refers to each person’s deeds, alloted provisions and age. (At-Tabari 12:413) Similar was said by Ar-Rabi bin Anas and  Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. (At-Tabari 12:413-414) Allah said in similar statements, ”Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah, will never be successful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! And then unto Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they used to disbelieve.” (10:69-70) and, ”And whoever disbelieves, let not his disbelief grieve you. To Us is their return, and We shall inform them what they have done. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). We let them enjoy for a little while.” (31:23-24). Allah said next, ”until when Our messengers come to them to take their souls.” Allah states that when death comes to the idolators and the angels come to capture their souls to take them to Hellfire, the angels horrify them, saying, “Where are the so-called partners (of Allah) whom you used to call in the life of this world, invoking and worshipping them instead of Allah Call them so that they save you from what you are suffering.” However, the idolators will reply, “They have vanished and deserted us” meaning, we have lost them and thus, we do not hope in their benefit or aid, ”And they will bear witness against themselves” they will admit and proclaim against themselves, ”that they were disbelievers.”

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