Surah Hud Ayat 17-35

{17. Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it; and before it, came the Book of Musa, a guidance and a mercy, they believe therein, but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place. So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord, but most of mankind believe not.}

The One Who believes in the Qur’an is upon Clear Proof from His Lord

Allah, the Exalted, informs of the condition of the believers who are upon the natural religion of Allah, which He made inherent in His creatures. This is based upon their confession to Him that there is none worthy of worship except He. This is similar to 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 this Ayah is, “Dedicate yourself to the natural religion of Allah which He made for humanity.”]  In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Every child is born upon the Fitrah, but his parents make him a Jew, Christian, or Magian. This is just as the calf that is born whole. Have you noticed any calves that are born mutilated?” (Fath Al-Bari 3:290, and Muslim 4:2047)

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

“Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Verily, I created my servants Hunafa’, but the devils came to them and distracted them from their religion. They made unlawful for them what I had made lawful for them and they commanded them to associate partners with Me, concerning which no authority has been revealed.” (Muslim 4:2197)

Therefore, the believer is one who remains upon this Fitrah. Concerning Allah’s statement, “and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it” This means that a witness comes to him from Allah. That witness is the pure, perfect and magnificent legislation that Allah revealed to the Prophets. These legislations were finalized with the legislation (Shariah) of Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. The believer has the natural disposition that bears witness to (the truth of) the general legislation, and accepts that specific laws are taken from the general legislation. The Fitrah accepts the Shariah and believes in it. For this reason Allah, the Exalted, says, “Can they who rely on a clear proof from their Lord, and whom a witness from Him recites (follows) it?” This clear proof which is recited is the Qur’an, which Jibril conveyed to the Prophet and the Prophet Muhammad conveyed it to his Ummah.

Then Allah says, “and before it, came the Book of Musa” This means that before the Qur’an, there was the Book of Musa, the Tawrah. “a guidance and a mercy” This means that Allah, the Exalted, revealed it to that Ummah as a leader for them and a guide for them to follow, as a mercy from Allah upon them. Therefore, whoever believed in it with true faith, then it would lead him to believe in the Qur’an as well. For this reason Allah said, “they believe therein” Then Allah, the Exalted, threatens those who reject the Qur’an, or any part of it, by saying, “but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.” This is directed towards everyone on the face of the earth who disbelieves in the Qur’an, whether they are idolators, disbelievers, People of the Scripture, or other sects from the descendants of Adam. This applies to all whom the Qur’an reaches, regardless of their differences in colour, appearance, or nationality. As Allah says, “that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.” (6:19) Allah, the Exalted, said, “Say: “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.” Allah says, “but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.”

In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ashari, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“By He in Whose Hand is my soul! there is no one of this Ummah, whether he be a Jew or Christian, who hears of me and does not believe in me, except that he will enter the Hell- fire.” (Muslim 1:135)

Every Hadith is confirmed by the Qur’an

Ayyub As-Sakhtiyani reported from Said bin Jubayr that he said, “I did not hear any Hadith of the Prophet, substantiated as he stated it, except that I found its confirmation in the Qur’an. (The narrator said, “Or he said, ‘I found its verification in the Qur’an.”’) Thus, it reached me that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“There is no one of this Ummah, whether he be a Jew or Christian, who hears of me and does not believe in me, except that he will enter the Hellfire.”

Therefore, I said, ‘Where is its verification in the Book of Allah Most of what I have heard reported from the Messenger of Allah, I have found its verification in the Qur’an.’ Then I found this verse, “but those of the sects that reject it (the Qur’an), the Fire will be their promised meeting place.” And this means from all religions.” (At-Tabari 15:280)

Then Allah says, “So be not in doubt about it. Verily, it is the truth from your Lord,” This means that the Qur’an is the truth from Allah and there is no doubt or suspicion concerning it.

This is as Allah says, “Alif Lam Mim. The revelations of the Book in which there is no doubt, is from the Lord of all that exists!” (32:1-2) Allah, the Exalted, says, “Alif Lam Mim. This is the Book in which there is no doubt.” (2:1-2) The Ayah, “but most of mankind believe not.” is similar to Allah’s statement, “And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.” (12:103)

Likewise, Allah says, “And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path.” Allah also says, “And indeed Iblis did prove true his thought about them: and they followed him, all except a group of true believers.” (34:20)

{18. And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah. Such will be brought before their Lord, and the witnesses will say,”These are the ones who lied against their Lord!” No doubt! The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers. 

19. Those who hinder (others) from the path of Allah, and seek a crookedness therein, while they are disbelievers in the Hereafter. 

20. By no means will they escape on earth, nor have they protectors besides Allah! Their torment will be doubled! They could not bear to listen and they used not to see (the truth). 

21. They are those who have lost their own selves, and that which they invented eluded them. 

22. Certainly, they are those who will be the greatest losers in the Hereafter.}

Those Who invented Lies Against Allah and hinder Others from His Path are the Greatest Losers

Allah, the Exalted, explains the condition of those who lie against Him and that their scandal in the Hereafter will be presented before the heads of creation (for testimony) from the angels, Messengers, Prophets and the rest of mankind and Jinns. This is just as Imam Ahmad recorded from Safwan bin Muhriz. Safwan said, “I was holding the hand of Ibn Umar when a man was brought to him. The man said, ‘How did you hear the Messenger of Allah describe An-Najwa (secret counsel or confidential talk) on the Day of Resurrection?’ Ibn Umar said, ‘I heard him say,

“Verily, Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will draw near the believer and He will place His shade over him. He will conceal him from the people and make him confess to his sins. He will say to him, “Do you recognize this sin? Do you recognize that sin? Do you recognize such and such sin?” This will continue until He makes him confess to all of his sins and he (the believer) will think to himself that he is about to be destroyed. Then Allah will say, “Verily, I have concealed these sins for you in the worldly life and I have forgiven you for them today.’‘ Then he (the believer) will be given his Book of good deeds. As for the disbelievers and the hypocrites, the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied against their Lord! No doubt! The curse of Allah is on the wrongdoers.” (Ahmad 2:74)

Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this narration in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 8:204 and Muslim 4:2120)

Concerning Allah’s statement, “Those who hinder (others) from the path of Allah, and seek a crookedness therein” This means that they prevent the people from following the truth and traversing upon the path of guidance that leads to Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. In doing so they also keep the people away from Paradise itself. Allah’s statement, “and seek a crookedness therein,” This means that they want their path to be crooked and uneven. Then, Allah’s statement, “while they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.” This means that they deny the Hereafter and they reject the idea that any of its events will occur, or any of it exists at all. Concerning Allah’s statement, “By no means will they escape on earth, nor have they protectors besides Allah!” This means that these disbelievers are under the power of Allah and His force. They are in His grasp and are subject to His authority. He is Most Able to exact vengeance against them in this life before the coming of the Hereafter. This is like Allah’s statement, “but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.” (14:42)

In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Prophet said, 

“Verily Allah gives respite to the oppressor until He seizes him, then he will not be able to escape Him.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:205 and Muslim 4:1997)

For this reason Allah says, “Their torment will be doubled!” This means that the torment will be doubled upon them, because Allah gave them hearing, vision and hearts, but these things did not benefit them. Rather, they were deaf from hearing the truth and blinded away from following it. This is just as Allah has mentioned concerning them when they enter into the Hellfire. Allah says, “And they will say: “Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!” Allah also says, “Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment to the torment.” (16:88)

For this reason they will be punished for every command that they abandoned and every prohibition that they indulged in. Then Allah continues by saying, “They are those who have lost their own selves, and that which they invented eluded them.” They lost themselves, meaning that they be made to enter a blazing Fire, where they will be punished, and its torment will not be lifted from them for even the blinking of an eye. This is as Allah said, “Whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.” (17:97)

Concerning the statement, “eluded them.” meaning that it has left them. “that which they invented” besides Allah, such as rivals and idols. Yet, these things did not avail them in the slightest. In fact, these things actually caused them great harm. This is as Allah says, “And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.” (46:6) Allah says, “When those who were followed disown those who followed (them), and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.” (2:166)

Likewise, there are many other verses that prove this loss of theirs and their destruction. For this reason Allah says, “Certainly, they are those who will be the greatest losers in the Hearafter.” (11:22) In this verse Allah informs about the direction of their end. He explains that they are the greatest losers among mankind in their transaction for the abode of the Hereafter. That is because they exchanged the highest levels (of Paradise) for the lowest levels (of Hell) and they substituted the pleasure of Gardens (of Paradise) for the fierce boiling water (of Hell). They exchanged the drink of sealed nectar with the fierce hot wind, boiling water, and a shade of black smoke. They chose food from the filth of dirty wounds instead of wide-eyed lovely maidens. They preferred Hawiyah (a pit in Hell) instead of lofty castles. They chose the anger of Allah and His punishment over nearness to Him and the blessing of gazing at Him. Therefore, it is no injustice that such people should be the greatest losers in the Hereafter.

{23. Verily, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and humble themselves before their Lord, they will be the dwellers of Paradise to dwell therein forever. 

24. The likeness of the two parties is as the blind and the deaf and the seer and the hearer. Are they equal when compared Will you not then take heed.}

Rewarding the people of Faith

When Allah, the Exalted, mentioned the condition of the wretched, He also commended the people of delight (the believers). They are those who believe and work righteous deeds. This their hearts believed and their limbs worked righteous deeds, both in statements and actions. This includes their performance of deeds of obedience and their abandonment of evils. In this way they are the inheritors of Gardens (of Paradise), which contains lofty rooms and seats arranged in rows. Therein they will find bunches of fruit near them, elevated couches, fair and beautiful wives, various types of fruits, desired kinds of food and delicious drinks. They also will be allowed to see the Creator of the heavens and the earth and they will be in this state of pleasure forever. They will not die, nor will they grow old. They will not experience sickness, nor will they sleep. They will not have excrement, nor will they spit or snot. Their sweat will be of the perfume of musk.

The Parable of the Believers and the Disbelievers

Then, Allah, the Exalted, makes a parable of the disbelievers and the believers. He says, “The likeness of the two parties” This refers to those disbelievers whom Allah first described as wretched, and then those believers whom He described with delightfulness. The first group is like one who is blind and deaf, while the second group is like he who sees and hears. Thus, the disbeliever is blind from the truth in this life and in the Hereafter. He is not guided to goodness, nor does he recognize it. He is deaf from hearing the proofs, thus he does not hear that which would benefit him. As Allah says, “Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen.” (8:23) The believer is smart, bright and clever. He sees the truth and distinguishes between the truth and falsehood. Thus, he follows the good and abandons the evil. He hears and distinguishes between the proof and scepticism. Therefore, falsehood does not overcome him. Are these two types of people alike “Will you not then take heed?” This statement means, “Will you not consider, so that you may distinguish between these two categories of people.” This is as Allah mentions in another verse, “Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful.” (59:20) Allah also says, “Not alike are the blind and the seeing. Nor are (alike) darkness and light. Nor are (alike) the shade and the sun’s heat. Nor are (alike) the living and the dead. Verily, Allah makes whom He wills to hear, but you cannot make hear those who are in graves. You are only a warner. Verily, We have sent you with the truth, a bearer of glad tidings and a warner. And there never was a nation but a warner had passed among them.” (35:19-24)

{25. And indeed We sent Nuh to his people (and he said): “I have come to you as a plain warner.” 

26.”That you worship none but Allah; surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.” 

27. The chiefs who disbelieved among his people said: “We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us, in fact we think you are liars.”}

The Story of Nuh and His Conversation with His People

Allah, the Exalted, informs about Prophet Nuh. He was the first Messenger whom Allah sent to the people of the earth who were polytheists involved in worshipping idols. Allah mentions that he (Nuh) said to his people, “I have come to you as a plain warner.” meaning, to openly warn you against facing Allah’s punishment if you continue worshipping other than Allah. Thus, Nuh said, “That you worship none but Allah”

This can also be seen in his statement, “surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.” This means, “If you all continue doing this, then Allah will punish you with a severe punishment in the Hereafter.” Then Allah says, “The chiefs who disbelieved among his people said, “ The word ‘chiefs’ (Al-Mala’u) here means the leaders and the heads of the disbelievers. They said, “We see you but a man like ourselves,” This means, “You are not an angel. You are only a human being, so how can revelation come to you over us We do not see anyone following you except the lowliest people among us, like the merchants, weavers and similar people. No people of nobility, or rulers among us follow you. These people who follow you are not known for their intelligence, wit, or sharp thinking. Rather, you merely invited them (to this Islam) and they responded to your call and followed you (ignorantly).” This is the meaning of their statement, “nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking.” The statement, “without thinking,” means that they merely followed the first thing that came to their minds. Concerning the statement, “And we do not see in you any merit above us, in fact we think you are liars.”

In this they are saying, “We do not see that you [and your followers] have any virtuous status above us in your physical appearance, your character, your provisions, or your condition, since you accepted this (new) religion of yours.” “in fact we think you are liars” This means, “We think you are lying about that which you are claiming for yourselves of righteousness, piety, worship and happiness in the abode of the Hereafter when you arrive there.” This was the response of the disbelievers to Nuh and his followers. This is a proof of their ignorance and their deficiency in knowledge and intelligence. For verily, the truth is not to be rejected because of the lowly status of those who follow it. Verily, the truth is correct in itself, regardless of whether its followers are of low status, or nobility. Actually, the reality concerning which there is no doubt, is that the followers of the truth are the noble ones, even though they may be poor. On the other hand, those who reject the truth are the lowly wretches, even though they may be wealthy. Thus, we see that usually the weakest of people are the ones who follow the truth, while the nobility and high-class people usually are opposed to the truth. This is as Allah says, “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.” (43:23)

When Heraclius, the emperor of Rome, asked Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb about the qualities of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, he said to him, “Are his followers the noble people, or the weak?” Abu Sufyan said, “They are the weakest of them.” Then Heraclius said, “They (weak ones) are the followers of the Messengers.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:42)

Concerning their statement, “without thinking.” In reality this is not objectionable, or something derogatory, because the truth when it is made clear, does not leave room for second-guessing, or excessive thinking. Rather, it is mandatory that it should be followed and this is the condition of every pious, intelligent person. No one continues doubtfully pondering the truth (after it is made clear) except one who is ignorant and excessively critical. The Messengers – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all – only delivered what was obvious and clear.

Concerning Allah’s statement, “And we do not see in you any merit above us” They did not see this (the virtue of accepting Islam) because they were blind from the truth. They could not see, nor could they hear. Rather, they were wavering in their skepticism. They were wandering blindly in the darknesses of their ignorance. They, in reality, were the slanderers and liars, lowly and despicable. Therefore, in the Hereafter they will be the greatest losers.

{28. He said: “O my people! Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord, and a mercy (prophethood) has come to me from Him, but that (mercy) has been obscured from your sight. Shall we compel you (to accept) it when you have a strong hatred for it.}

The Response of Nuh

Allah says, informing about the response of Nuh to his people, “Tell me, if I have a clear proof from my Lord” Bayyinah means certainty, a clear matter, and truthful prophethood. That is the greatest mercy from Allah upon him (Nuh) and them (his people). “but that (mercy) has been obscured from your sight.” “Obscured from your sight” in this verse means, `it was hidden from you and you are not guided to it. Thus, you ﴿people﴾ did not know its importance so you hastily rejected and denied it.’ “Shall we compel you (to accept) it” This means, “Should we force you to accept it, while you actually detest it.”

{29. And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant. 

30. And O my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them away Will you not then give a thought.}

Nuh says to his people, “I do not ask you for any wealth in return for my sincere advice to you.” Wealth (Mal) here means, “payment that I take from you.” Nuh means, “I am only seeking the reward from Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.” Concerning the statement, “I am not going to drive away those who have believed.” This alludes to the fact that they (the disbelievers) requested Nuh to disassociate himself from the believers, because they were averse to them and felt themselves too important to sit with them. This is similar to the request of disbelievers to the seal of the Messengers to disassociate himself from a group of the people who were considered weak in their social status. They wanted the Prophet to sit with them in a special gathering of the elite. Therefore, Allah revealed, “And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.” Allah also says, “Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: “Is it these (poor believers) whom Allah has favored from among us” Does not Allah know best those who are grateful” (6:53)

{31. And I do not say to you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor that I know the Ghayb; nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allah will not bestow any good on them. Allah knows what is in their inner selves. In that case, I should, indeed be one of the wrongdoers.}

Nuh is informing them that he is a Messenger from Allah, calling to the worship of Allah alone, without any partners and he is doing this by the permission of Allah. At the same time, he is not asking them for any reward for this work. He invites whomever he meets, whether of nobility or low class. Therefore, whoever responds favorably, then he has achieved salvation. He also explains that he has no power to manipulate the hidden treasures of Allah, nor does he have any knowledge of the Unseen, except what Allah has allowed him to know. Likewise, he is not an angel, rather, he is merely a human Messenger aided with miracles. Nuh goes on to say, “I do not say about these people whom you (disbelievers) detest and look down upon, that Allah will not reward them for their deeds. Allah knows best what is in their souls. If they are believers in their hearts, as their condition appears to be outwardly, then they will have a good reward. If anyone behaves evilly with them after they have believed, then he is a wrongdoer who speaks what he has no knowledge of.

 

{32. They said: “O Nuh! You have disputed with us, and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.” 

33. He said: “Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He wills, and then you will escape not. 

34. “And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah’s will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.”}

The People’s Request of Nuh to bring the Torment and His Response to Them

Allah, the Exalted, informs that the people of Nuh sought to hasten Allah’s vengeance, torment, anger and the trial (His punishment). This is based on their saying, “They said: “O Nuh! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us…” They meant by this, “You (Nuh) have argued with us long enough, and we are still not going to follow you.” “now bring upon us what you threaten us with,” What he (Nuh) promised is referring to the vengeance and torment (from Allah). They were actually saying, “Supplicate against us however you wish, and let whatever you have supplicated come to us.” “…if you are of the truthful.” (In reply to this,) He said: “Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He wills, and then you will escape not.” (11:32-33) This means, ‘It is only Allah Who can punish you and hasten your punishment for you. He is the One from Whom nothing escapes. ”And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you good counsel, if Allah’s will is to keep you astray.” This means: something that could be useful to you (in acceptance) of my preaching to you, warning you and advising you. “if Allah’s will is to keep you astray.” This means: your deception and your ultimate destruction. “He is your Lord! and to Him you shall return.” He is the Owner of the finality of all matters. He is the Controller, the Judge, the Most Just and He does not do any injustice. Unto Him belongs the creation and the command. He is the Originator and the Repeater (of the creation). He is the Owner of this life and the Hereafter.

{35. Or they (the pagans of Makkah) say: “He has fabricated it.” Say: “If I have fabricated it, upon me be my crimes, but I am innocent of (all) those crimes which you commit.}

An Interruption to verify the Truthfulness of the Prophet

This is presented in the middle of the story to affirm the story itself. It is as if Allah, the Exalted, is saying to Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Or do these obstinate disbelievers say that he fabricated this and invented it himself” “Say: “If I have fabricated it, upon me be my crimes…” This means: such sin would be mine alone. “but I am innocent of (all) those crimes which you commit.” This story is not invented, or fabricated falsely. Because he (the Prophet) knows better the punishment of Allah for one who lies on Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abrdiged) Vol 5 Pages 37-57

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Surah Hud Ayat 17-35

  1. SHAS says:

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s