Surah An-Nahl Ayat 70-90

{70. And Allah created you and then He will cause you to die; and among you there are some who are sent back to senility, so that they know nothing after having known (much). Truly, Allah is Knowing, capable of all things.}

In Man there is a Lesson

Allah tells us that He is controlling the affairs of His servants. He is the One Who created them out of nothing, then He will cause them to die. But there are some of them that He allows to grow old, which is a physical weakness, as Allah says: “Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness” (30:54) “so that they know nothing after having known.” meaning, after he knew things, he will reach a stage where he knows nothing because of weakness of mind due to old age and senility. Thus Al-Bukhari, when commenting on this Ayah, reported a narration from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to pray:

“I seek refuge with You from miserliness, laziness, old age, senility, the punishment of the grave, the Fitnah of the Dajjal and the trials of life and death.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:239)

Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma said, in his famous Muallaqah [Muallaqah (lit. suspended): during the days of Jahiliyyah, poetry, in the form of the Qasidahs or odes, was the only means of literary expression. Seven Qasidahs which were masterpieces of the genre were suspended on the walls of the Kabah. they are known as the “Seven Muallaqat” ] “I became exhausted from the responsibilities of life. Whoever lives for eighty years, no wonder he is tired. I saw death hitting people like a crazed camel, and whoever it hit dies, but whoever is not hit lives until he grows old.”

{71. And Allah honored some of you over others with wealth and properties. Then, those who are so honoured will by no means hand over their wealth and properties to those (captives of war) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in that. Do they then deny the favor of Allah?”

There is a Sign and a Blessings in matters of People’s Livelihood

Allah explains to the idolators the ignorance and disbelief involved in their claim that Allah has partners while also admitting that these partners are His servants. In their Talbiyah [The audible supplication uttered upon the commencement of the Hajj rites, “Here I am O Allah…”] for Hajj, they used to say, “Here I am, there are no partners for You except Your own partner, You own him and everything he owns.” Allah says, denouncing them: ‘You would not accept for your servant to have an equal share in your wealth, so how is it that Allah would accept His servant to be His equal in divinity and glory As Allah says elsewhere: “He sets forth a parable for you from yourselves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servant) to share as equals in the wealth We have granted you, those whom you fear as you fear each other” (30:28) Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas mentioned this Ayah, saying, “Allah is saying – ‘If they did not want their servant to have a share with them in their wealth and wives, how can My servant have a share with Me in My power?’ Thus Allah says:”Do they then deny the favor of Allah?” According to another report, Ibn Abbas said: “How can they accept for Me that which they do not accept for themselves” “Do they then deny the favor of Allah?” (At-Tabari 17:252) meaning, they assign to Allah a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created. They denied His blessings and associated others in worship with Him. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “Umar bin Al-Khattab wrote this letter to Abu Musa Al-Ashari: ‘Be content with your provision in this world, for the Most Merciful has honored some of His servants over others in terms of provision as a test of both. The one who has been given plenty is being tested to see if he will give thanks to Allah and fulfill the duties which are his by virtue of his wealth…”’ It was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.

{72. And Allah has made for you mates of your own kind, and has made for you, from your mates, sons and grandsons, and has granted you good provisions. Do they then believe in false deities and deny favor of Allah?}

Among His Blessings and Signs are Mates, Children and Grandchildren

Allah mentions the blessing He has bestowed upon His servant by giving them mates from among themselves, mates of their own kind. If He had given them mates of another kind, there would be no harmony, love and mercy between them. But out of His mercy He has made the Children of Adam male and female, and has made the females wives or mates for the males. Then Allah mentions that from these wives He creates children and grandchildren, one’s children’s children. This was the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 17:256,257)

Shubah said, narrating from Abu Bishr from Said bin Jubayr from Ibn Abbas: “Children and grandchildren, who are one’s children and one’s children’s children.” (At-Tabari 17:257) It was also said that this means servants and helpers, or it means sons-in-law or in-laws. I say: if we understand “grandsons” to refer back to wives, then it must mean children, children’s children, and sons-in-law, because they are the husbands of one’s daughter or the children of one’s wife. “and has granted you good provisions.” meaning your food and drink. Then Allah denounces those who associate others in worship with the One Who bestows blessings on them: “Do they then believe in false deities?”, meaning idols and rivals to Allah “and deny the favor of Allah” meaning, by concealing the blessings that Allah has given them and attributing them to others. According to a Sahih Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Allah will say to His servant on the Day of Resurrection, reminding him of His blessings: “Did I not give you a wife? Did I not honor you? Did I not subject horses and camels to your use, and cause you to occupy a position of leadership and honour?” (Muslim 4:2279)

{73. And they worship others besides Allah such as do not have power to grant them any provision from the heavens or the earth nor the ability to do so. 

74. So do not give examples on behalf of Allah. Truly, Allah knows and you know not.}

Denouncing the Worship of anything besides Allah

Allah tells us about the Mushrikin who worship others besides Him, even though He alone is the bountiful Provider, the Creator and Sustainer, without partners or associates, but they still worship idols and make rivals for Him. He says: “such as do not have power to grant them any provision from the heavens or the earth” meaning, nobody can cause rain to fall, or make plants and trees grow. They cannot do these things for themselves, even if they wanted to. Thus Allah says: “So do not give examples on behalf of Allah.” meaning, do not set up rivals to Him or describe anything as being like Him. “Truly, Allah knows and you know not.” meaning, He knows and bears witness that there is no god but Him, but you are ignorant and associate others in worship with Him.

{75. Allah gives the example of a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort, and a man on whom We have bestowed good provisions from Us, and he spends from that secretly and openly. Can they be equal? (By no means). All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.}

The Example of the Believer and the Disbeliever, or the Idol and the True God

Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said: “This is the example which Allah gives of the disbeliever and the believer.” (At-Tabari 17:261) This was also the view of Qatadah (At-Tabari 17:261) and Ibn Jarir (At-Tabari 17:263). The servant who has no power over anything is like the disbeliever, and the one who is given good provisions and spends of them secretly and openly is like the believer. Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid said: “This is an example given of the idol and the True God – can they be the same?” (At-Tabari 17:263)  Once the difference between them is so clear and so obvious, no one can be unaware of it except the one who is foolish. Allah says: “All the praises and thanks are to Allah. Nay! (But) most of them know not.”

{76. And Allah gives an example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he directs him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice, and is himself on the straight path?}

Another Example

Mujahid said, “This also refers to idols and the True God, may He be exalted.” Meaning that the idol is dumb and cannot speak or say anything, good or otherwise. It cannot do anything at all, no words, no action, it is dependent and is a burden on its master. “whichever way he directs him” meaning, wherever he sends him “he brings no good.” meaning, he does not succeed in what he wants. “Is such a man equal?” meaning, a man who has these attributes “to one who commands justice” meaning fairness, one whose words are true and whose deeds are righteous. “and is himself on the straight path” Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said: “This is also an example of the disbeliever and the believer”, as in the previous Ayah.

{77. And to Allah belongs the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly, Allah is able to do all things. 

78. And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts, that you might give thanks. 

79. Do they not see the birds held (flying) in the midst of the sky None holds them up but Allah. Verily, in this are clear signs for people who believe.}

The Unseen belongs to Allah and only He has Knowledge of the Hour

Allah tells us of the perfection of His knowledge and ability to do all things, by telling us that He alone knows the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. No one knows anything about such things except for what Allah informs about as He wills. His complete power, which no one can oppose or resist, means that when He wants a thing, He only has to say to it “Be!” and it is, as Allah says: “And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.” (54:50) meaning, whatever He wills happens in blinking. Thus Allah says here: “And the matter of the Hour is not but as a twinkling of the eye, or even nearer. Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.” Elsewhere, Allah says: “The processes of creating you all and resurrecting you all are but like that of (the creation and resurrection of) a single person.” (31:28)

Among the favours Allah has granted People are Hearing, Sight and the Heart

Then Allah mentions His blessings to His servants in that He brought them from their mothers’ wombs not knowing a thing, then He gives them hearing to recognize voices, sight to see visible things and hearts – meaning reason – whose seat, according to the correct view, is the heart, although it was also said that its seat is the brain. With his reason, a person can distinguish between what is harmful and what is beneficial. These abilities and senses develop gradually in man. The more he grows, the more his hearing, vision and reason increase, until they reach their peak. Allah has created these faculties in man to enable him to worship his Lord, so he uses all these organs, abilities and strengths to obey his Master. Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Allah says: “Whoever takes My friend as an enemy, has declared war on Me. My servant does not draw near to Me with anything better than his doing that which I have enjoined upon him, and My servant keeps drawing near to Me by doing Nawafil (supererogatory) deeds until I love him. And when I love him, I am his hearing with which he hears, his vision with which he sees, his hand with which he strikes and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask Me for anything, I would give it to him, if he were to call on Me, I would respond, if he were to seek Me for refuge I would surely grant him it. I do not hesitate to do anything as I hesitate to take the soul of My believing servant, because he hates death and I hate to upset him, but it is inevitable.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:348)

The meaning of the Hadith is that when a person is sincere in his obedience towards Allah, all his deeds are done for the sake of Allah, so he only hears for the sake of Allah, he only sees for the sake of Allah – meaning he only listens to or looks at what has been allowed by Allah. He does not strike or walk except in obedience to Allah, seeking Allah’s help in all of these things. Thus in some versions of the Hadith, narrated outside the Sahih, after the phrase “his foot with which he walks”, there is added:

“So through Me he hears, through Me he sees, through Me he strikes and through Me he walks.” (Fath Al-Bari 11:352)

Thus Allah says: “And He gave you hearing, sight, and hearts that you might give thanks.” Elsewhere, He says: “Say it is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts. Little thanks you give. Say: “It is He Who has created you on the earth, and to Him shall you be gathered (in the Hereafter).” (67:23-24)

In the Subjection of the Birds in the Sky there is a Sign

Then Allah tells His servants to look at the birds held (flying) in the sky, between heaven and earth, and how He has caused them to fly with their wings in the sky. They are held up only by Him, it is He Who gave them the strength to do that, subjecting the air to carry them and support them. As Allah says in Surat Al-Mulk:“Do they not see the birds above them, spreading their wings out and folding them in? None holds them up except the Most Gracious (Allah). Verily, He is the All-Seer of everything.” (67:19) And here Allah says: “Verily, in this are clear signs for people who believe.”

{80. And Allah had made your homes a place of rest for you, and made dwellings for you out of the hides of the cattle which you find so light when you travel and when you camp; and furnishings and articles of convenience out of their wool, fur, and hair – comfort for a while. 

81. And Allah has made shade for you out of that which He has created, and He has made places of refuge in the mountains for you, and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat, and coats of mail to protect you from your violence. Thus does He perfect His favor for you, that you may submit yourselves to His will. 

82. Then, if they turn away, your duty (O Muhammad) is only to convey (the Message) in a clear way. 

83. They recognize the grace of Allah, yet they deny it (by worshipping others besides Allah) and most of them are disbelievers.}

Home Furnishings and Clothing are also blessings from Allah

Allah mentions His great blessings for His servant in that He has given them homes to dwell in and protect themselves with, in which they find all kinds of benefits. He has also given them homes from the hides of cattle, i.e., leather, which are light and easy to carry on journeys and can be erected wherever they stop, whether they are traveling or are settled. Thus Allah says: “which you find so light when you travel and when you camp” “out of their wool, fur and hair” refers to sheep, camels and goats respectively.“furnishings” meaning what you take from them, i.e., wealth. It was also said that it means articles of convenience, or clothing. The correct view is more general in meaning than this; it means that you make carpets, clothing and other things from their wool, hair etc., which you use as wealth and for trade. Ibn Abbas said: Al-Athath means articles of convenience and comfort.” (At-Tabari 17:269) This was also the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Atiyah Al-Awfi, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah. The phrase, “for a while” means, until the appointed time.

Shade, Places of Refuge in the Mountains, garments and Coats of Mail are also Blessings from Allah

“And Allah has made shade for you out of that which He has created” Qatadah said: “This means trees.” (At-Tabari 17:268) “and He has made places of refuge in the mountains for you” meaning fortresses and strongholds. “and He has made garments for you to protect you from the heat” meaning clothing of cotton, linen and wool. “and coats of mail to protect you from your violence” such as shields made of layers of sheet iron, coats of mail and so on. “Thus does He perfect His favor for you” meaning, thus He gives you what you need to go about your business, so that this will help you to worship and obey Him. “that you may submit yourselves to His will”. This is interpreted by the majority to mean submitting to Allah or becoming Muslim.

All the Messenger has to do is convey the Message

“Then if they turn away” meaning, after this declaration and reminder, do not worry about them. “your duty (O Muhammad) is only to convey (the Message) in a clear way” and you have delivered the Message to them. “They recognize the grace of Allah, yet they deny it” meaning they know that Allah is the One Who grants these blessings to them, and that He is Bountiful towards them, but they still deny this by worshipping others besides Him and thinking that their help and provisions come from others besides Him. “and most of them are disbelievers.”

{84. And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation, then those who disbelieve will not be given leave, nor will they be allowed (to return to the world) to repent and ask for Allah’s forgiveness.

85. And once those who did wrong see the torment, it will not decrease for them, nor will they be given respite.

86. And when those who associated partners with Allah see their partners, they will say: “Our Lord! These are our partners whom we used to call upon besides you.” But they will throw back their statement at them (saying): “You indeed are liars!” 

87. And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day, and what they falsely invented will wander away from them.

88. Those who disbelieved and tried to obstruct the path of Allah, for them We will add torment on top of the torment because of the corruption they spread.}

The Plight of the Idolators on the Day of Judgement

Allah tells us about the predicament of the idolators on the Day when they will be resurrected in the realm of the Hereafter. He will raise a witness from every nation – that is – their Prophet, to testify about their response to the Message he conveyed from Allah. “then, those who disbelieved will not be given leave.” meaning, they will not be allowed to offer any excuse, as Allah says: “That will be a Day when they do not speak. And they will not be permitted to present any excuse” (77:35-36). Hence, Allah says: “nor will they be allowed (to return to the world) to repent and ask for Allah’s forgiveness. And once those who did wrong see” meaning those who associated others in worship with Allah, “the torment, it will not decrease for them,” meaning it will not be reduced for them even for a moment. “nor will they be given respite.” meaning, it will not be delayed for them, rather they will be taken quickly from the place of gathering, with no calling to account. Then Hell will be brought forth, pulled by seventy thousand ropes, each of which is held by seventy thousand angels, and a neck will stretch forth from Hell towards the people, and it will expel a gust of hot air. No one will be left but will fall to his knees. Then it (the neck that is stretched forth) will say, “I have been entrusted to deal with every stubborn, arrogant one who joined another god with Allah,” and so and so, mentioning different types of people, as was reported in the Hadith. Then it will come down upon them and pick them up from where they are standing as a bird picks up a seed. Allah says: “When it (Hell) sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring. And when they are thrown into a narrow part of it, chained together, they will cry for destruction. Today, do not scream for one destruction, but scream repeatedly for destruction.” (25:12-14) “And the guilty shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are about to fall into it. And they will find no way to avoid it.” (18:53) “If only those who disbelieved knew (about the time) when they will not be able to protect their faces nor their backs from the Fire, and they have no help. Nay, it (the Fire) will come upon them all of a sudden and will perplex them, and they will have no power to avert it nor will they have any respite.” (21:39-40)

 

The gods of the Idolators will disown Them at the Time when They need them most

Then Allah tells us that their gods will disown them when they need them most. He says: “And when those who associated partners with Allah see their partners” meaning, those whom they used to worship in this world.’ “they will say: “Our Lord! These are our partners whom we used to call upon besides you.” But they will throw their statements back at them (saying): “You are indeed liars!” i.e., those gods will say to them, ‘you are lying. We never commanded you to worship us.’ Allah says: “And who is more astray than one who calls upon others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their invocations to them And when the people are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worship” (46:5-6) “And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory. Nay, but they will deny their worship, and become their adversaries (on the Day of Resurrection).” (19:81-82) Al-Khalil [Ibrahim] said: “but on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown each other” (29:25) And Allah says: “And it will be said (to them): “Call upon your partners” (28:64) And there are many other similar Ayat.

Everything will surrender to Allah on the day of Resurrection

“And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day,” Qatadah and Ikrimah said: “They will humble themselves and surrender on that Day”. (At-Tabari 17:276) i.e. they will all surrender to Allah, there will not be anyone who does not hear and obey. As Allah says: “How clearly will they see and hear, the day when they will appear before Us!” meaning, they will see and hear better than they have ever seen and heard before.

And Allah says: “And if you only could see when the guilty hand their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.” (32:12) “And (all) faces shall be humbled before the Ever Living, the Sustainer.” (20:111) meaning, they will humble and submit themselves. “And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day, and what they falsely invented will wander away from them” The things that they used to worship which were all based on fabrications and lies, will all disappear, and they will have no helper or supporter, and no one to turn to.

Those among the Idolators who corrupted Others will receive a Greater Punishment

Then Allah tells us: “Those who disbelieved and tried to obstruct the path of Allah, for them We will add torment” meaning one punishment for their disbelief and another punishment for turning others away from following the truth, as Allah says: “And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him” (6:26) meaning they forbade others to follow him and they themselves shunned him, but: “they destroyed only themselves, while they do not realize it.” This is evidence that there will be varying levels of punishment for the disbelievers, just as there will be varying degrees of Paradise for the believers, as Allah says: “For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.” (7:38)

{89. And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation from among themselves, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these. And We have revealed the Book (the Qur’an) to you as an explanation of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and good news for the Muslims.}

Every Prophet will bear Witness against his Nation on the day of Resurrection

Allah addressed His servant and Messenger Muhammad , saying: “And on the Day when We resurrect a witness from each nation from among themselves, and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these.”, meaning, your Ummah. The Ayah means: remember that Day and its terrors, and the great honor and high position that Allah has bestowed upon you. This Ayah is like the Ayah with which Abdullah bin Masud ended when he recited to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, from the beginning of Surat An-Nisa’. When he reached the Ayah: “How (will it be) then, when We bring from each nation a witness and We bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these” (4:41) the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to him:

“Enough.”

Ibn Masud said: “I turned to him and saw his eyes streaming with tears.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:99)

The Quran explains Everything

“And We revealed the Book (the Qur’an) to you as an explanation of everything” Ibn Masud said: ” [Allah] made it clear that in this Qur’an there is complete knowledge and about everything.” (At-Tabari 17:269) The Qur’an contains all kinds of beneficial knowledge, such as reports of what happened in the past, information about what is yet to come, what is lawful and unlawful, and what people need to know about their worldly affairs, their religion, their livelihood in this world, and their destiny in the Hereafter. “a guidance” means, for their hearts. “a mercy, and good news for the Muslims.” Al-Awzai said: “And We have revealed the Book (the Qur’an) as an explanation of everything” meaning, with the Sunnah. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 5:158)

The is the reason why the phrase, “And We have revealed the Book to you” is mentioned immediately after the phrase, “And We shall bring you (O Muhammad) as a witness against these.” the meaning – and Allah knows best – is that the One Who obligated you to convey the Book which He revealed to you, will also ask you about that on the Day of Resurrection. “Then We shall indeed question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and We shall indeed question the Messengers.” (7:6) “So by your Lord We question them all about what they did.” (15:92-92) “On the Day when Allah gathers the Messengers together and says to them: “What was the response you received (to your Message)” They will say: “We have no knowledge, indeed only You are the Knower of all that is hidden.” (5:109) And Allah says: “Verily, He Who obligated the Qur’an upon you (O Muhammad) will surely bring you back to the return.” (28:85) meaning, the One Who gave you the obligation of conveying the Qur’an will bring you back to Him, and your return will be on the Day of Resurrection, and He will question you about you commission of the duty He gave you. This is one of the opinions, and it presents a good understanding of it.

{90. Verily, Allah orders justice and kindness, and giving (help) to the relatives, and He forbids immoral sins, and evil and tyranny. He admonishes you, so that perhaps you may take heed.}

The Command to be Fair and Kind

Allah tells us that He commands His servant to be just, i.e., fair and moderate, and that He encourages kindness and good treatment. As He says: “And if you punish them, then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted. But if you have patience with them, then it is better for those who are patient.” (16:126) “The recompense for an offense is an offense the like thereof; but whoever forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is with Allah.” (42:40) “and wounds equal for equal. But if anyone remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall count as atonement for him.” (5:45) And there are other Ayat which support the institution of justice in Islam, as well as encouraging a fair and generous attitude.

The Command to Maintain the Ties of Kinship and the prohibition of Immoral Sins, Evil and Tyranny

“and giving (help) to relatives” meaning that Allah is commanding us to uphold the ties of kinship, as He says: “And give the relative his due and to the poor and to the wayfarer. But do not spend wastefully in the manner of a spendthrift.” (17:26) “and He forbids immoral sins, and evil” Fahsha’ refers to all things that are forbidden, and Munkar refers to those forbidden deeds that are committed openly by the one who does them. Hence Allah says elsewhere: “Say (O Muhammad): “(But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are the indecencies, whether committed openly or secretly” (7:33) Baghy refers to aggression towards people. In a Hadith, the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“There is no sin more deserving of having its punishment hastened in this world, as well as what is reserved in the Hereafter for the one who does it, than tyrannical aggression and cutting the ties of kinship.” (Abu Dawud 5:208)

“He admonishes you,” meaning, He commands what He commands you of good and He forbids what He forbids you of evil; “so that perhaps you may take heed” Ash-Shabi reported that Shatiyr bin Shakl said: “I heard Ibn Masud say: ‘The most comprehensive Ayah in the Qur’an is in Surat An-Nahl: “Verily, Allah enjoins justice and kindness…” (At-Tabari 17:280) It was reported by Ibn Jarir.

The Eyewitness Account of Uthman

Concerning the revelation of this Ayah, Imam Ahmad reported a Hasan Hadith from Abdullah bin Abbas who said: “While the Messenger of Allah was sitting in the courtyard of his house, Uthman bin Mazun passed by and smiled at the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to him,

“Won’t you sit down?”

He said, ‘Certainly.’ So the Messenger of Allah sat facing him, and while they were talking, the Messenger of Allah began looking up at the sky, looking at it for a while, then he brought his gaze down until he was looking at the ground to his right. Then the Messenger of Allah turned slightly away from his companion Uthman to where he was looking. Then he began to tilt his head as if trying to understand something, and Ibn Mazun was looking on. When the matter was finished and he had understood what had been said to him, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, stared at the sky again as he had the first time, looking at whatever he could see until it disappeared. Then he turned back to face Uthman again. Uthman said, ‘O Muhammad, I have never seen you do anything like you did today while I was sitting with you.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“What did you see me do?”

Uthman said: ‘I saw you staring at the sky, then you lowered your gaze until you were looking to your right, then you turned to him and left me. Then you tilted your head as if you were trying to understand something that was being said to you.’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Did you notice that?”

Uthman said, ‘Yes’. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“A messenger from Allah came to me just now, when you were sitting here.”

Uthman said, ‘A messenger from Allah’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“Yes.”

Uthman said, ‘And what did he say to you?’ The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Verily, Allah orders justice and kindness…”

Uthman said: ‘That was when faith was established in my heart and I began to love Muhammad.” It is a Hasan Hadith having a good connected chain of narrators in which their hearing it from each other is clear.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abdridged) Vol 5 Pages 491-512

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