Surah Hud Ayat 108-123 (end)

{108. And those who are blessed, they will be in Paradise, abiding therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills: a gift without an end.}

The Condition of the Happy People and their Destination

Allah, the Exalted, says,“And those who are blessed.” These are the followers of the Messengers.“they will be in Paradise” This means that their final abode will be Paradise.“abiding therein for all the time” This means that they will remain there forever.“that the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills” The meaning of the exception that is made here is that the condition of eternal pleasure that they will experience therein is something that is not mandatory by itself. Rather, it is something that is dependent upon the will of Allah. Unto Him belongs the favor of immortality upon them. For this reason they are inspired to glorify and praise Him, just as they are inspired to breathe. (Muslim 4:2181) Ad-Dahhak and Al-Hasan Al-Basri both said, “It is about the right of the disobedient people of Tawhid who were in the Fire and then brought out of it.” Then Allah finished this statement by saying,“a gift without an end.” This means that it will never be cut off. This has been mentioned by Mujahid, Ibn Abbas, Abu Al-Aliyah and others. (At-Tabari 15:490) This has been mentioned so that the suspicious person will not doubt after the mention of the will of Allah. Someone may think that the mention of Allah’s will here means that the pleasure of Paradise may end or change. To the contrary, it has been decreed that this pleasure will truly be forever and will never end. Likewise, Allah has clarified here that the eternal torment of the people of the Fire in Hell also is due to His will. He explains that He punishes them due to His justness and wisdom. This is why He says,“Verily, your Lord is the doer of whatsoever He intends.”

Similarly, Allah says,“He cannot be questioned as to what He does, while they will be questioned.” (21:23) Here, Allah soothes the hearts and affirms the intent, by His saying,“a gift without an end.” It has been recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Death will be brought in the form of a handsome ram (on the Day of Judgement) and it will be slaughtered between Paradise and the Hellfire. Then, it will be said, “O people of Paradise! Eternity and no death! O people of Hellfire! Eternity and no death!” (Fath Al-Bari 8:282 and Muslim 4:2188)

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

“It will be said, ‘O people of Paradise, verily you will live and you will never die. You will remain young and you will never grow old. You will remain healthy and you will never become ill. You will be happy and you will never grieve.” (Muslim 4:2182)

{109. So be not in doubt as to what these people (pagans and polytheists) worship. They worship nothing but what their fathers worshipped before (them). And verily, We shall repay them in full their portion without diminution. 

110. Indeed, We gave the Book to Musa, but differences arose therein, and had it not been for a Word that had gone forth before from your Lord, the case would have been judged between them, and indeed they are in grave doubt concerning it (this Qur’an). 

111. And verily, to each of them your Lord will repay their works in full. Surely, He is All-Aware of what they do.}

Associating Partners with Allah is no doubt Misguidance

Allah, the Exalted, says,“So be not in doubt as to what these people worship.” This refers to the polytheists. Verily, what they are doing is falsehood, ignorance and misguidance. Verily, they are only worshipping what their fathers worshipped before. This means that they have no support for their Shirk. They are only mimicking their fathers in ignorance. Therefore, Allah will give them due recompense for that and He will punish them with a punishment the likes of which none can give besides Him. If they did any good deeds, then Allah will reward them for those good works in this life, before the life of the Hereafter.

Concerning Allah’s statement,“And verily, We shall repay them in full their portion without diminution.” Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, “We will pay them in full their portion of punishment without diminution.” (At-Tabari 15:492) Then, Allah mentions that He gave Musa the Book, but the people differed concerning it. Some believed in it and some disbelieved in it. Therefore, you, Muhammad, have an example in the Prophets who came before you. So do not grieve or be upset by their denial of you.“and had it not been for a Word [Kalimah] that had gone forth before from your Lord, the case would have been judged between them,” Ibn Jarir said, “If it were not that the punishment had already been delayed until an appointed time, then Allah would have decided the matter between you now. The word Kalimah carries the meaning that Allah will not punish anyone until the proof has been established against him and a Messenger has been sent to him.” (At-Tabari 15:493) This is similar to Allah’s statement,“And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).” (17:15) For verily, Allah says in another verse,“And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, and a term determined, (their punishment) must necessarily have come (in this world). So bear patiently what they say.” (20:129-130) Then, Allah informs that He will gather the early generations and the later generations from all of the nations. He will then reward them based upon their deeds. If they did good deeds, their reward will be good, and if they did evil deeds, their reward will be bad. Allah says,“And verily, to each of them your Lord will repay their works in full. Surely, He is All-Aware of what they do.” This means that He is All-Knower of all of their deeds. This includes their honorable deeds and their despicable deeds, their small deeds and their great deeds. There are many different modes of recitation for this verse, yet all of their meanings agree with what we have mentioned. This is similar to Allah’s statement,“And surely, all – everyone of them will be brought before Us.” (36:32)

{112. So stand (ask Allah to make) you firm and straight as you are commanded and those who turn in repentance with you, and transgress not. Verily, He is All-Seer of what you do. 

113. And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor would you then be helped.}

The Command to Stand Firm and Straight

Allah, the Exalted, commands His Messenger and His believing servants to be firm and to always be upright. This is of the greatest aid for gaining victory over the enemy and confronting the opposition. Allah also forbids transgression, which is to exceed the bounds (of what is allowed). Verily, transgression causes destruction to its practitioner, even if the transgression was directed against a polytheist. Then, Allah informs that He is All-Seer of the actions of His servants. He is not unaware of anything and nothing is hidden from Him.

Concerning Allah’s statement, “And incline not toward those who do wrong,” Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said, “Do not compromise with them.” Ibn Jarir said that Ibn Abbas said, “Do not side with those who do wrong.” (At-Tabari 15:501) This is a good statement. This means, “Do not seek assistance from wrongdoers, because it will be as if you are condoning their actions (of evil).” “lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be helped.” This means that you will not have besides Allah any friend who can save you, nor any helper who can remove you from His torment.

{114. And perform the Salah, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds. That is a reminder for the mindful. 

115. And be patient; verily, Allah wastes not the reward of the doers of good.}

The Command to establish the Prayer

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “And perform the Salah, at the two ends of the day” “This is referring to the morning prayer (Subh) and the evening prayer (Maghrib).” (At-Tabari 15:503) The same was said by Al-Hasan and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. (ibid) In one narration reported by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others, Al-Hasan said, “It means the morning prayer (Subh) and the late afternoon prayer (Asr).” Mujahid said, “It is the morning prayer at the beginning of the day and the noon prayer (Zuhr) and late afternoon prayer (Asr) at the end of the day.” This was also said by Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi and Ad-Dahhak in one narration from him. “and in some hours of the night.” Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and others said, “This means the night prayer (Isha).” Ibn Al-Mubarak reported from Mubarak bin Fadalah that Al-Hasan said, “and in some hours of the night.” “This means the evening (Maghrib) and late night (Isha) prayers. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“They are the approach of the night: Maghrib and Isha.”

The same was said by Mujahid, Muhammad bin Kab, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak (that this means the Maghrib and Isha prayers). It should be noted that this verse was revealed before the five daily prayers were made obligatory during the night of Isra (the Prophet’s night journey to Jerusalem). At that time there were only two obligatory prayers: a prayer before sunrise and a prayer before sunset. During the late night another prayer (Tahajjud) was also made obligatory upon the Prophet and his nation. Later, this obligation was abrogated for his nation and remained obligatory upon him . Finally, this obligation was abrogated for the Prophet as well, according to one opinion. Allah knows best.

The Good Deeds wipe away the Evil Deeds

Concerning Allah’s statement, “Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” This is saying that the performance of good deeds is an expiation of previous sins. This has been mentioned in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and the Sunan Compilers, that the Commander of the faithful, Ali bin Abi Talib, said, “Whenever I used to hear a narration from the Messenger of Allah, Allah would cause me to benefit by it however He willed. If anyone informed me of any statement that he said, I would make him swear (by Allah) that the Prophet said it. If he swore by Allah, then I would believe him. Abu Bakr once told me – and Abu Bakr was truthful – that he heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, say,

“There is not any Muslim who commits a sin, then he makes Wudu’ and prays two units of prayer, except that he will be forgiven (that sin).” (Ahmad 1:9, Abu Dawud 2:180, Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 8:357, An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:109 and Ibn Majah 1:446)

In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Commander of the faithful, Uthman bin Affan made Wudu for the people (to see), just like the Wudu of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Then he said, “I saw the Messenger of Allah make Wudu like this, and he said,

“Whoever makes Wudu like this Wudu of mine, then he prays two units of prayer in which he does not speak to himself, he will be forgiven for his previous sins.” (Fath Al-Bari 1:320, Muslim 1:260)

In the Sahih it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Do you think that if there was a flowing river at the door of anyone of you and he bathed in it five times every day, would there be any dirt left on him?” 

They said, “No, O Messenger of Allah!” He said,

“This is like the five daily prayers, for Allah uses them to wipe away the sins and wrongdoings.” (Al-Bukhari no.527 and Muslim no.667)

Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to say,

“The five daily prayers, Jummuah (Friday prayer) to Jummuah and (the fast of) Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for whatever sins were committed between them, as long as you stay away from the major sins.” (Muslim 1:209)

Al-Bukhari recorded Ibn Masud saying that a man kissed a woman (who was not his relative or wife). He then came to the Prophet and informed him about the incident. Thus, Allah revealed, “And perform Salah, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” (11:114) The man then said, “O Messenger of Allah, is this only for me” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied,

“This is for all of my (Ummah) followers.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:12)

Al-Bukhari recorded this narration in the Book of Prayer as well and the Book of Tafsir. (Fath Al-Bari 7:206)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said that a man came to Umar and said that a woman came to do business with him. During the course of their business, he took her into his place and did everything with her except the actual act of sexual intercourse. Umar said, “Woe unto you! She probably was a woman whose husband is away (fighting) in the path of Allah.” The man said, “Of course she was.” Umar then said, “Go to Abu Bakr and ask him about this.” The man went to Abu Bakr and asked him about the matter. Abu Bakr said, “She probably was a woman whose husband is away (fighting) in the path of Allah,” just as Umar had said. Then he went to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and told him the same story. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“She probably was a woman whose husband is away (fighting) in the path of Allah.”

Then a verse of Qur’an was revealed, “And perform the Salah, at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds.” The man then said, “O Messenger of Allah! Is this verse only for me, or does it apply to all of the people in general” Umar then struck the man on his chest with his hand and said, “No, rather it is for all of the people in general.” Then the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Umar has spoken the truth.” (Ahmad 1:245)

{116. If only there had been among the generations before you persons having wisdom, prohibiting (others) from Fasad (corruption) in the earth, except a few of those whom We saved from among them! Those who did wrong pursued the enjoyment of good things of (this worldly) life, and were criminals. 

117. And your Lord would never destroy the towns wrongfully, while their people were doers of good.}

There must be a Group of People Who forbid Lewdness

Allah, the Exalted, says that there should have been a group of wise people present among the past generations who called to good and forbade the evil and corruption that took place among them in the land. His statement, “except a few” This means that there were only a small number of people present among them who were of this caliber. They were those whom Allah saved at the sudden striking of His vengeance, when His anger was let lose. For this reason Allah commanded this noble Ummah (followers of Muhammad) to always have among them those who command the good and forbid the evil. This is as Allah says, “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil. And it is they who are the successful.” (3:104)

It is related in a Hadith that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, whenever a group of people see an evil and they do not change it, it is likely that Allah will cover them with (His) punishment.” (Ibn Majah 2:1327)

Thus, Allah says, “If only there had been among the generations before you persons having wisdom, prohibiting (others) from the Fasad in the earth,- except a few of those whom We saved from among them!” Concerning the statement, “Those who did wrong pursued the enjoyment of good things of (this worldly) life” This means that they continued in their ways of disobedience and evils and they did not heed the protesting of those righteous people, until the torment suddenly seized them. “and were criminals.” Then, Allah informs that he does not destroy any town, except that it has wronged itself. No correctional punishment or torment comes to any town, except that its people were wrongdoers. This is as Allah says, “We wronged them not, but they wronged themselves.” (11:101) Allah also says, “And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.” (41:46)

{118. And if your Lord had so willed, He could surely have made mankind one Ummah, but they will not cease to disagree. 

119. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy, and for that did He create them. And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled (His saying): “Surely, I shall fill Hell with Jinn and men all together.”}

Allah has not made Faith universally accepted

Allah, the Exalted, informs that He is able to make all of mankind one nation upon belief, or disbelief. This is just as He said, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together.” (10:99) Allah goes on to say, “but they will not cease to disagree. Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy” This means that people will always differ in religions, creeds, beliefs, opinions and sects. Concerning Allah’s statement, “Except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy” This means that those who have received the mercy of Allah by following the Messengers are excluded from this. They are those who adhere to what they are commanded in the religion by the Messengers of Allah. That has always been their characteristic until the coming of the finality of the Prophets and Messengers (Muhammad). Those who received Allah’s mercy are those who followed him, believed in him and supported him. Therefore, they succeeded by achieving happiness in this life and the Hereafter. They are the Saved Sect mentioned in the Hadith recorded in the Musnad and Sunan collections of Hadith. The routes of transmission of this Hadith all strengthen each other (in authenticity). In these narrations the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Verily, the Jews split into seventy-one sects, and the Christians split into seventy-two sects, and this nation (of Muslims) will split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one sect.”

They (the Companions) said, “Who are they (the Saved Sect) O Messenger of Allah?” He said,

“The sect that is upon what my Companions and I are upon.” (Ahmad 2:332, Abu Dawud 5:4, Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:397 and Ibn Majah 2:1322)

Al-Hakim recorded this narration in his Mustadrak with this additional wording. (Al-Hakim 1:129)

Concerning Allah’s statement, “And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled (His saying): “Surely, I shall fill Hell with Jinn and men all together.”

Allah, the Exalted, informs that He precedes everything in His preordainment and decree, by His perfect knowledge and penetrating wisdom. The result of this decree is that from those whom He has created, some deserve the Paradise and some deserve the Hell Fire. From this decree is that He will fill the Hellfire with both mankind and Jinns. His is the profound evidence and the perfect wisdom. 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,

“Paradise and the Hellfire debated. Paradise said, ‘None will enter me except the weak and despised of the people.’ The Hell- fire said, ‘I have inherited the haughty and the arrogant people.’ Then Allah said to the Paradise, ‘You are My mercy and I grant mercy with you to whoever I wish.’ Then He said to the Hellfire, ‘You are My torment and I take vengeance with you upon whoever I wish. I will fill each one of you.’ However, the Paradise will always have more bounties, to such an extent that Allah will create more creatures to dwell in it and enjoy its extra bounties. The Hellfire will continue saying, ‘Are there anymore (to enter me),’ until the Lord of might places His Foot over it. Then it (Hell) will say, “Enough, enough, by Your might!” (Fath Al-Bari 13:444 and Muslim 4:2186)

{120. And all that We relate to you of the news of the Messengers is in order that We may make strong and firm your heart thereby. And in this has come to you the truth, as well as an admonition and a reminder for the believers.}

The Conclusion

Allah, the Exalted, is saying, ‘We relate all of these stories to you (Muhammad) concerning what happened with the Messengers who came before you with their nations. This is an explanation of what transpired in their arguments and disputes and how the Prophets were all rejected and harmed. These stories also explain how Allah helped His party of believers and disgraced His enemies, the disbelievers. We relate all of this to you (Muhammad) in order to make your heart firm and so that you may take an example from your brothers who passed before you of the Messengers.’ Concerning Allah’s statement, “And in this has come to you the truth” This is referring to this Surah itself. This was said by Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and a group of the Salaf and it is the correct view. This means, ‘This comprehensive Surah contains the stories of the Prophets and how Allah saved them, and the believers along with them and how He destroyed the disbelievers. There has come to you (Muhammad) stories of truth and true events in this Surah. In this Surah is an admonition that prevents the disbelievers, and a reminder that causes the believers to reflect.

{121. And say to those who do not believe: “Act according to your ability and way, We are acting. 

122. And you wait! We (too) are waiting.”}

Allah, the Exalted, commands His Messenger to say to those who disbelieve in what he has come with from his Lord, by way of warning, “Act according to your ability” This means upon your path and your way. “We are acting” (in our way). This means that we are upon our path and our way (Islam). “And you wait ! We (too) are waiting.” This means, “And you will come to know for which of us will be the (happy) end in the Hereafter. Certainly the wrongdoers will not be successful.” (6:135) Verily, Allah fulfilled His promise to His Messenger , helped him and aided him. He made His Word uppermost (victorious), and the word of those who disbelieved lowly and disgraced. Allah is truly the Most Mighty, Most Wise.

{123. And to Allah belongs the Ghayb of the heavens and the earth, and to Him return all affairs (for decision). So worship Him and put your trust in Him. And your Lord is not unaware of what you (people) do.}

Allah, the Exalted, informs that  He is the All-Knower of the unseen of the heavens and the earth and that unto Him is the final return. He explains that everyone who does a deed, He will give them their deed (reward for it) on the Day of Reckoning. Unto Him belongs the creation and the command. Then He, the Exalted, commands that He should be worshipped and relied upon, for verily, He is sufficient for whoever trusts and turns to Him. Concerning His statement, “And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.” This means, ‘The lies (of the disbelievers) against you O Muhammad are not hidden from Him. He is the All-Knower of the conditions of His creatures and He will give them the perfect recompense for their deeds in this life and the Hereafter. He will aid you (Muhammad) and His party over the disbelievers in this life and in the Hereafter.’ This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Hud, and all praises and thanks are due to Allah.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged (Vol 5) Pages 116-133 

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