Surah Al-Isra Ayat 86-111 (end)

{86. And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you. Then you would find no protector for you against Us in that respect. 

87. Except as a mercy from your Lord. Verily, His grace unto you is ever great. 

88. Say: “If mankind and the Jinn were together to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they helped one another.” 

89. And indeed We have fully explained to mankind, in this Qur’an, every kind of similitude, but most of mankind refuse (the truth and accept nothing) but disbelief.}

If Allah had willed, He could take away the Qur’an

Allah mentions the blessing and great bounty that He has bestowed upon His servant and Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of allah be upon him, by revealing to Him the Noble Qur’an to which falsehood cannot come, from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise. Ibn Masud said, “A red wind will come to the people, meaning at the end of time, from the direction of Syria, and there will be nothing left in a man’s Mushaf (copy of the Qur’an) or in his heart, not even one Ayah.” Then Ibn Masud recited: “And if We willed, We could surely take away that which We have revealed to you.” (At-Tabari 17:546)

Challenging by the Qur’an

Then Allah points out the great virtue of the Qur’an, and says that even if mankind and the Jinn were all to come together and agree to produce something like that which was revealed to His Messenger, peace and blessings of allah be upon him, they would never be able to do it, even if they were to cooperate and support and help one another. This is something which is impossible. How could the words of created beings be like the Words of the Creator Who has no equal and peer, for there is none like unto Him “And indeed We have fully explained to mankind” meaning, ‘We have furnished them with evidence and definitive proof, and We have shown them the truth and explained it in detail, yet despite that most of mankind insist on disbelief, i.e., denying and rejecting the truth.’

{90. And they say: “We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us;” 

91. “Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly;” 

92. “Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended, or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face;” 

93. “Or you have a house of Zukhruf*, or you ascend up into the sky, and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.” Say: “Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger”}

[* Meaning gold. See the tafsir of Surah Az-Zukhruf (43:35)]

 

 

The Reason why the Idolators’ Demands were Refused

In the case of this gathering where the Quraysh came together to speak with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, if Allah knew that they were making these requests in order to be guided, they would have been granted, but He knew that they were making these demands out of disbelief and stubbornness. It was said to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “If you wish, We will give them what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, I will punish them with a punishment that I have never imposed upon anyone else in the universe; or if you wish, I will open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.” He said:

“Rather, You open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.” (Ahmad 1:242)

This is like the Ayah: “And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction).” (17:59)

And Allah says: “And they say: “Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets (as we)? Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him? Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat? ” And the wrongdoers say: “You follow none but a man bewitched.” See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray, and they cannot find a path. Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than that – Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces. Nay, they deny the Hour, and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire.” (25:7-11)

Allah’s saying, “until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us” refers to a spring of flowing water. They asked him to bring forth springs of fresh water in the land of Al-Hijaz, here and there. This is easy for Allah, may He be glorified and exalted; if He willed, He could do that. He could have responded to all their demands, but He knew that they would not be guided by that, as He says: “Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.” (10:96-97) And Allah says: “And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together all things before their very eyes, they would not have believed” (6:111)

His saying; “Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended” means, ‘you promised us that on the Day of Resurrection the heavens will be split asunder, being broken and torn up, with parts of it falling down, so do that in this world and make it fall in pieces.’ This is like when they said: “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky.” (8:32) Similarly, the people of Shuayb asked him: “So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!” (26:187)

So Allah punished them with the punishment of the day of Shadow (a gloomy cloud), which was the torment of a Great Day. (26:189) As for the Prophet of Repentance and Mercy, who was sent as a mercy to the worlds, he asked Allah to delay their punishment, in the hope that Allah would bring forth from their offspring people who would worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate. This is what indeed did happen, for among those who are mentioned above were some who later embraced Islam and became good and sincere Muslims, even Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah, who followed the Prophet (out of that meeting) and spoke to him as he did. He became a sincere Muslim and turned to Allah in repentance. “Or you have a house of Zukhruf.”

Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said, “This is gold.” (At-Tabari 17:553) This was also what was said in the recitation of Ibn Masud, “Or you have a house of gold.” (At-Tabari 17:553) “or you ascend up into the sky” meaning, you climb up on a ladder while we are watching you. “and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.”

Mujahid said, “This means a book in which there would be one page for each person, on which would be the words: ‘This is a book from Allah to so-and-so the son of so-and-so, which he would find by his head when he woke up in the morning.” (At-Tabari 17:554) “Say: “Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger” meaning, ‘Glorified, exalted and sanctified be He above the notion that anyone would come before Him concerning any matter pertaining to His authority and sovereignty. He is the One Who does what He wills. If He willed, he could have given you what you asked for, or if He willed, he could have refrained. I am only a Messenger to you, sent to convey the Messages of my Lord and advise you. I have done that, and the response to what you have asked is to be decided by Allah, may He be glorified.’

{94. And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: “Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger?” 

95. Say: “If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.”}

The refusal of the Idolators to believe because the Messenger was a Human – and its refutation

“And nothing prevented men” means, most of them, “from believing” and following the Messengers, except the fact that they found it strange that human beings would be sent as Messengers, as Allah says: “Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying): “Warn mankind, and give good news to those who believe that they shall have with their Lord the rewards of their good deeds” (10:2) And Allah says: “That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they said: “Shall mere men guide us” (64:6) Firawn and his people said: “They said: “Shall we believe in two men like ourselves, and their people are obedient to us with humility!” (23: 47) Similarly, the nations said to their Messengers: “You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority” (14:10) And there are many other similar Ayat. Then Allah says, pointing out His kindness and mercy towards His servants, that He sends to them Messengers of their own kind so that they will understand what he says and will be able to speak to him directly. If He sent to mankind a Messenger from among the angels, they would not be able to deal with him face to face and learn from him, as Allah says: “Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves” (3:164) “Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves” (10:128) “Similarly, We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting to you Our verses (the Qur’an) and purifying you, and teaching you the Book and the Hikmah, and teaching you that which you used not to know. Therefore remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me.” (2:151-152) Allah says here: “Say: “If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security” meaning, just as you do, “We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.” meaning, ‘one of their own kind. But as you are human, We have sent to you Messengers from yourselves, as a kindness and a mercy.’

{96. Say: “Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you. Verily, He is Ever the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His servants.”}

Allah tells His Prophetpeace and blessings of Allah be upon him, how to prove that what he has brought is true, saying to him to tell them: “He (Allah) is a witness over me and over you. He knows what I have brought to you. If I were lying to you, He would take revenge on me in the severest manner,” as Allah says: “And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by his right hand, And then We certainly would have cut off his life artery.” (69:44-46) Allah said; “Verily, He is Ever the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His servants.” meaning, He knows best who among them deserves blessings, good treatment and guidance, and who deserves to be doomed and led astray. He says:

{97. And he whom Allah guides, he is led aright; and whomever He leaves astray can never find helpers other than Him, and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their abode will be Hell; whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.}

Guidance and Misguidance are in the Hands of Allah

Allah tells us how He deals with His creation and how His rulings are carried out. He tells us that there is none who can put back His judgement, for whomever He guides cannot be led astray, “and whomever He leaves astray can never find helpers other than Him” to guide him. As Allah says: “He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no Wali (guiding friend) to lead him” (18:17)

The Punishment of the People of Misguidance

“and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces” Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that the Prophet was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, how will the people be gathered on their faces” He said,

“The One Who made them walk on their feet is able to make them walk on their faces.” (Ahmad 3:167)

It was also reported (by Al-Bukhari and Muslim) in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 8:350, Muslim 4:2161)

“blind” means, unable to see. “dumb” means, unable to speak. “deaf” means, unable to hear. They will be in this state as a punishment for the way they were in this world, blind, dumb and deaf to the truth. This will be their recompense when they are gathered on the Day of Resurrection, at the time when they need these faculties most of all. “their abode” means, their destination. “will be Hell; whenever it abates” Ibn Abbas said, “(This means) calms down,” (At-Tabari 17:561) Mujahid said, (It means) is extinguished,” “We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.” meaning, increasing its flames and heat and coals, as Allah says: “So taste you (the results of your evil actions). No increase shall We give you, except in torment.” (78:30)

{98. That is their recompense, because they denied Our Ayat and said: “When we are bones and fragments, shall we really be raised up as a new creation?” 

99. See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create the like of them. And He has decreed for them an appointed term, whereof there is no doubt. But the wrongdoers refuse but disbelief.}

“Our Ayat”, i.e., Our proof and evidence, and did not think that the resurrection could ever happen.”and said: “When we are bones and fragments…” meaning, when we have disintegrated and our bodies have rotted away, “shall we really be raised up as a new creation” meaning, after we have disintegrated and disappeared and been absorbed into the earth, will we come back a second time Allah established proof against them and told them that He is able to do that, for He created the heavens and the earth, so raising them up again is easier for Him than that, as He says: “The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind” (40:57) “Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead?” (46: 33) “Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator. Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, “Be!” and it is!” (36:81-82) And Allah says here: “See they not that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, is able to create the like of them.” meaning, on the Day of Resurrection, He will recreate and restore their bodies, as He created them in the first place. “And He has decreed for them an appointed term, whereof there is no doubt.” means, He has set a time for them to be re-created and brought forth from their graves, an appointed time which must surely come to pass. As Allah says: “And We delay it only for a term (already) fixed.” (11:104) “But the wrongdoers refuse” – after the proof has been established against them, “(and accept nothing) but disbelief.” means, they persist in their falsehood and misguidance.

{100. Say: “If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord, then you would surely hold back for fear of spending, and man is ever miserly!”}

Holding back is Part of Man’s Nature

Allah says to His Messengerpeace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “Tell them, O Muhammad, even if you had authority over the treasures of Allah, you would refrain from spending for fear of exhausting it.” Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said, “This means for fear of poverty,” (At-Tabari 17:563) lest it run out, despite the fact that it can never be exhausted or come to an end. This is because it is part of your nature. So Allah says:“and man is ever miserly.” Ibn Abbas and Qatadah said: “(This means) stingy and holding back.” (At-Tabari 17:563) Allah says: “Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqira.” (4:53), meaning that even if they had a share in the authority of Allah, they would not have given anything to anyone, not even the amount of a Naqira (speck on the back of a date stone). Allah describes man as he really is, except for those whom Allah helps and guides. Miserliness, discontent and impatience are human characteristics, as Allah says: “Verily, man was created very impatient; irritable when evil touches him; and stingy when good touches him. Except those who are devoted to Salah (prayers).” (70:19-22). And there are many other such references in the Qur’an. This is an indication of the generosity and kindness of Allah. In the Two Sahihs it says:

“Allah’s Hand is full and never decreases because of His giving night and day. Do you not see how much He has given since He created the heavens and the earth, yet that which is in His right hand never decreases.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:202, Muslim 2:691)

{101. And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs. Ask then the Children of Israel, when he came to them, then Firawn said to him: “O Musa ! I think you are indeed bewitched.” 

102. He said: “Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth. And I think you are indeed, O Firawn, doomed to destruction!” 

103. So he resolved to turn them out of the land. But We drowned him and all who were with him. 

104. And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.”}

The Nine Signs of Musa

Allah tells us that He sent Musa with nine clear signs, which provided definitive proof that his prophethood was real and that what he was conveying from the One Who had sent him to Firawn was true. These clear signs were: his staff, his hand, the years of famine, the sea, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood. This was the view of Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 17:564) Muhammad bin Kab said, “They were his hand and his staff, the five signs mentioned in Al-Araf, and destruction of wealth (See the Tafsir of Surah Yunus 10:88) and the rock.” (At-Tabari 17:565) Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ash-Shabi and Qatadah said: “They are his hand, his staff, the years of famine, the failure of the crops, the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs and the blood.” (At-Tabari 17:565, 566)

“Yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were criminals,” (7:133) meaning, despite all these signs and their witnessing of them, they disbelieved them and belied them wrongfully and arrogantly, although they were themselves were convinced of them, so they did not have any effect on them. By the same token, (Allah tells His Messenger here,) ‘if We were to respond to what these people are asking you for, who have said that they will not believe in you until you cause springs to gush forth throughout the land for them, they would not respond or believe except if Allah willed.’ As Firawn said to Musa, even though he had witnessed the signs which he brought, “O Musa! I think you are indeed bewitched.” It was said that this meant he thought he was a sorcerer, but Allah knows best. These nine signs which were mentioned by the Imams (scholars) quoted above are what is referred to here, and in the Ayah: “And throw down your stick!” But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and did not look back. (It was said:) “O Musa ! Fear not.” until His saying,“among the nine signs (you will take) to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious.” (27:10-12) These Ayat include mention of the stick and the hand, and the rest of the nine signs are mentioned in detail in Surat Al-Araf. Musa was also given many other signs, such as striking the rock with his staff and water flowing from it, their being shaded with clouds, manna and quails, and other signs which were bestowed upon the Children of Israel after they had left the land of Egypt. But here Allah mentions the nine signs which were witnessed by his people in Egypt. These became evidence against them, because they stubbornly rejected them out of disbelief. So Musa said to Fira`wn: “Verily, you know that these signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth.” meaning, as proof and evidence of the truth of what I have brought to you. “And I think you are indeed, O Firawn, doomed to destruction!” i.e., bound to be destroyed. This was the view of Mujahid and Qatadah. (At-Tabari 17:571) Ibn Abbas said: “It means cursed.” (At-Tabari 17:570) Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said: “doomed to destruction.” means defeated. (At-Tabari 17:570) As Mujahid said, “doomed” includes all of these meanings.

The Destruction of Firawn and His People

“So he resolved to turn them out of the land.” means, he wanted to expel them and drive them out. “But We drowned him and all who were with him. And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land…”

This is good news for Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, a foretelling of the conquest of Makkah, even though this Surah was revealed in Makkah before the Hijrah. Similarly, the people of Makkah wanted to expel the Prophet from the city, as Allah says in two Ayat: “And verily, they were about to frighten you so much as to drive you out from the land…” (17:76-77)

Hence Allah caused His Messenger to inherit Makkah, so he entered it by force, according to the better-known of the two opinions, and he defeated its people then out of kindness and generosity, he let them go, just as Allah caused the Children of Israel, who had been oppressed, to inherit the land, east and west, and to inherit the land of Firawn’s people, with its farmland, crops and treasures. As Allah said, “thus We caused the Children of Israel to inherit them.” (26:59). Here Allah says: “And We said to the Children of Israel after him: “Dwell in the land, then, when the final and the last promise comes near, We shall bring you altogether as mixed crowd.” meaning, all of you, you and your ene mies. Ibn Abbas, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said, “It means all together.” (At-Tabari 17:573)

{105. And with truth We have sent it down, and with truth it has descended. And We have sent you as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings, and a warner. 

106. And a Qur’an which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages.}

The Revelation of the Qur’an in Stages

Allah tells us that His Book, the Glorious Qur’an, has been sent with truth, i.e., it contains the truth, as Allah says: “But Allah bears witness to that which He has sent down unto you; He has sent it down with His knowledge, and the angels bear witness” (4:166) meaning, it contains the knowledge which Allah wanted to teach to you, with His rulings, commands and prohibitions. “and with truth it has descended.” means, “It has been sent down to you, O Muhammad, preserved and protected, not contaminated or mixed with anything else, with nothing added or taken away. It has come to you with the truth, brought down by one mighty in power, trustworthy and strong, one who is obeyed by the higher group (angels).’ “And We have sent you” O Muhammad “as nothing but a bearer of glad tidings and a warner”. a bearer of glad tidings for the believers who obey you and a warner to the disbelievers who disobey you.“And (it is) a Qur’an which We have divided”, The word translated here as “We have divided” may be read in two ways. If it is read as “Faraqnahu”, with no Shaddah, the meaning is: ‘We have made it depart from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz to Bayt Al-Izzah in the lowest heaven, then it was revealed in stages to the Messenger of Allah, according to events, over a period of twenty-three years.’ This was narrated by Ikrimah from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 17:574) It was also narrated that Ibn Abbas read it as “Farraqnahu”, with a Shaddah, meaning, ‘We revealed it Ayah by Ayah , and have explained it and made it clear.’ (At-Tabari 17:573) Hence Allah says: “in order that you might recite it to men”, meaning, convey it to the people and recite it to them, “at intervals.” meaning slowly. “And We have revealed it by stages.” means, little by little.

{107. Say: “Believe in it or do not believe (in it). Verily, those who were given knowledge before it, when it is recited to them, fall down on their chins (faces) in humble prostration.” 

108. And they say: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.” 

109. And they fall down on their chins (faces) weeping and it increases their humility.}

Those Who were Given the Knowledge before truly admit the Qur’an

Allah says to His Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “Say” O Muhammad to these disbelievers concerning what you have brought to them of this Glorious Qur’an: “Believe in it (the Qur’an) or do not believe (in it).” meaning, it is all the same whether you believe in it or not, for it is true in and of itself. It was revealed by Allah, Who mentioned it previously in the Books that He revealed to other Messengers. Hence He says: “Verily, those who were given knowledge before it” meaning righteous people among the People of the Book, who adhered to their Books and appreciated them without distorting them. “when it is recited to them” means, when this Qur’an is recited to them, “fall down on their chins (faces) in humble prostration.” means, to Allah, in gratitude for the blessing He has bestowed on them by considering them fit to live until they met this Messenger to whom this Book was revealed. Hence they say: “Glory be to our Lord!”, meaning, they extol and glorify their Lord for His perfect power and for not delaying the fulfillment of the promise which He made through His earlier Prophets, that He would send Muhammad . Hence they said: “Glory be to our Lord! Truly, the promise of our Lord must be fulfilled.” “And they fall down on their chins (faces) weeping” means, in submission to Allah, may He be glorified, and in expression of their belief and faith in His Book and His Messenger . “and it increases their humility.” means, it increases them in faith and submission. As Allah says:“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa.” (47:17). “And they fall down” is a description rather than an action (i.e., this is a further description of their humility as referred to in Ayah 107; it does not imply that they prostrate twice).

{110. Say: “Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names. And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud nor in a low voice, but follow a way between. 

111. And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify Him with all magnificence.”}

To Allah belong the Most Beautiful Names

Allah says: “Say” O Muhammad, to these idolators who deny that Allah possesses the attribute of mercy and refuse to call Him Ar-Rahman, “Invoke Allah or invoke Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), by whatever name you invoke Him (it is the same), for to Him belong the Best Names.” meaning, there is no difference between calling on Him as Allah or calling on Him as Ar-Rahman, because He has the Most Beautiful Names, as He says: “He is Allah, beside Whom none has the right to be worshipped but He the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” (59:22) Until His saying; “To Him belong the Best Names. All that is in the heavens and the earth glorify Him.” (59:24) Makhul reported that one of the idolators heard the Prophet saying when he was prostrating: “O Most Gracious, O Most Merciful.” The idolator said, he claims to pray to One, but he is praying to two! Then Allah revealed this Ayah. This was also narrated from Ibn Abbas, and by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 17:580)

The Command to recite neither loudly nor softly

“And offer your Salah neither aloud” Imam Ahmad reported that Ibn Abbas said: “This Ayah was revealed when the Messenger of Allah was preaching underground in Makkah.” “And offer your Salah neither aloud nor in a low voice”

Ibn Abbas said: “When he prayed with his Companions, he would recite Qur’an loudly, and when the idolators heard that, they insulted the Qur’an, and the One Who had revealed it and the one who had brought it. So Allah said to His Prophet : “And offer your Salah (prayer) neither aloud” means, do not recite it aloud, lest the idolators hear you and insult the Qur’an, “nor in a low voice” means, nor recite it so quietly that your companions cannot hear the Qur’an and learn it from you. “but follow a way between. ” (Ahmad 1:23) This was also reported in the Two Sahihs. (Fath Al-Bari 8:257, Muslim 1:329)

Ad-Dahhak also narrated something similar from Ibn Abbas, and added: “When he migrated to Al-Madinah, this no longer applied, and he recited as he wished.” (At-Tabari 17:584)

Muhammad bin Ishaq said that Ibn Abbas said, “When the Messenger of Allah recited Qur’an quietly while he was praying, the (idolators) would disperse and refuse to listen to him; if one of them wanted to hear some of what he was reciting in his prayer, he would try to listen without anyone seeing him, because he was afraid of them. If he realized that anybody knew he was listening, he would go away lest they harm him, so he would stop listening. If the Prophet lowered his voice, those who wanted to listen to his recitation could not hear anything, so Allah revealed, “And offer your Salah neither aloud” meaning, do not recite aloud, lest those who want to listen disperse for fear of attracting unwelcome attention, “nor in a low voice” but do not make your voice so soft that the one who is trying to listen without being seen cannot hear anything at all. Perhaps he will pay attention to some of what he hears and benefit from it. “but follow a way between.”  (At-Tabari 17:585) This was the view of Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah that this Ayah was revealed concerning recitation in prayer. (At-Tabari 17:587) It was narrated from Ibn Masud: “Do not make it so soft that no one can hear it except yourself.” (At-Tabari 17:589)

Declaration of Tawhid

“And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son…” because Allah has stated that the Most Beautiful Names belong to Him, and has declared Himself to be above having any faults or defects. “And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion…” indeed, He is Allah, (the) One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.“nor He is low to have a supporter.” means, He is not so humble or weak that He needs to have a helper or supporter or adviser, rather He Alone, with no partner or associate, may He be exalted, is the Creator of all things and is the One Who is running and controlling them by His will, with no partner or associate.“nor He is low to have a supporter.” Mujahid said: He does not form an alliance with anyone, nor does He seek the support or help of anyone.(At-Tabari 17:590)  “And magnify Him with all magnificence.” means, glorify and extol Him far above whatever the transgressors and aggressors say.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Qurazi used to say about this Ayah, “And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son…” that the Jews and Christians said that Allah has taken a son; the Arabs said, “At Your service, You have no partner except the partner You have, and You possess him and whatever he owns;” and the Sabians and Magians said, “If it were not for the supporters of Allah, He would be weak.” Then Allah revealed this Ayah : “And say: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has not begotten a son, and Who has no partner in (His) dominion, nor is He low to have a supporter. And magnify Him with all magnificence.” (At-Tabari 17:590)

End of Tafsir Surah Subhan (Surat Al-Isra’). And to Allah be the praise and blessings.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 6 Pages 79-108

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