Surah Al-Furqan Ayat 25-50

{25. And (remember) the Day when the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and the angels will be sent down, with a grand descending. 

26. The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty) of the Most Gracious, and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers. 

27. And (remember) the Day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.” 

28. “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend!” 

29. “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me. And Shaytan is to man ever a deserter.”}

 

The Terrors of the Day of Resurrection, and how the Wrongdoers will wish that They had taken a Path with the Messenger

Here Allah tells us about the terror of the Day of Resurrection and the tremendous events that will happen, including the splitting of heavens when they are pierced by the clouds, that is the shadow of the magnificent light which dazzles all sight. The angels of heaven will come down on that Day and surround all creatures at the place of gathering, then the Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, will come to pass judgement. Mujahid said, “This is as Allah says: “Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels” (2:210) (At-Tabari 19:260) “The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty) of the Most Gracious,” This is like the Ayah, “Whose is the kingdom this Day: It is Allah’s, the One, the Irresistable!” (40:16)

In the Sahih it says:

“Allah, may He be exalted, will fold up the heavens in His Right Hand, and will take the earths in His other Hand, then He will say: “I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. Where are the kings of the earth Where are the tyrants? Where are the arrogants?”

(Fath Al-Bari 11:379) “and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.” means it will be very difficult, because it will be the Day of justice and the decisive judgement, as Allah says: “Truly, that Day will be a hard Day – Far from easy for the disbelievers” (74:9-10). This is how the disbelievers will be on the Day of Resurrection. As for the believers, Allah says: “The greatest terror will not grieve them.” “And (remember) the Day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say: “O! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.”

Here Allah tells us of the regret felt by the wrongdoer who rejected the path of the Messenger and what he brought from Allah of clear truth concerning which there is no doubt, and followed another path. When the Day of Resurrection comes, he will feel regret but his regret will avail him nothing, and he will bite on his hands in sorrow and grief. Whether this Ayah was revealed concerning Uqbah bin Abi Muit or someone else among the doomed, it applies to every wrongdoer, as Allah says: “On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire” as mentioned in those two Ayat (33:66) Every wrongdoer will feel the ultimate regret on the Day of Resurrection, and will bite at his hands, saying: “O! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend!” meaning, the one among the propagators of misguidance who diverted him from true guidance and led him to follow the path of misguidance, whether this refers to Umayyah bin Khalaf or his brother Ubayy bin Khalaf, or to someone else. “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder” means the Qur’an, “after it had come to me.” means, after it had reached me. Allah says:“And Shaytan is to man ever a deserter (in the hour of need).” meaning, he leads him away from the truth and diverts him from it, and uses him for the purposes of falsehood and calls him to it.

{30. And the Messenger will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an.” 

31. Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals. But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.}

 

The Messenger will complain against His Opponents

Allah tells how His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad will say: “O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur’an.” The idolators would not listen to the Qur’an, as Allah says: “And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qur’an, and make noise in the midst of it.” (41:26). When he would recite Qur’an to them, they would talk nonsense or speak about something else, so that they would not hear it. This is a form of forsaking it and rejecting it, and not believing in it is the same as forsaking it, and not pondering its meanings and trying to understand it is the same as forsaking it, and not acting upon it and following its commandments and heeding its prohibitions is the same as forsaking it, and turning away from it in favor of poetry or other words or songs or idle talk or some other way is the same as forsaking it. We ask Allah, the Most Generous, the Bestower of bounty, the One Who is able to do what He wills, to keep us safe from doing that which earns His wrath and to use us to do that which will earn His pleasure of preserving and understanding His Book, following its commandments night and day in the manner which He loves and which pleases Him, for He is Generous and Kind.

“Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.” means, ‘just as there is for you, O Muhammad, those people who scorned the Qur’an, so in all the previous nations did Allah make for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals, who called people to their misguidance and disbelief,’ as Allah says:“And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies – Shayatin among mankind and Jinn” as stated in these two Ayat. (6:112) Allah says here: “But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.” meaning, for the one who follows His Messenger and believes in His Book, Allah will be his Guide and Helper in this world and the Hereafter. Allah says, “a Guide and Helper.” because the idolators used to try to prevent people from following the Qur’an lest anyone be guided by it. They wanted their way to prevail over the way of the Qur’an. Allah says: “Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.”

{32. And those who disbelieve say: “Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once” Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. 

33. And no example or parable do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof. 

34. Those who will be gathered to Hell on their faces, such will be in an evil state, and most astray from the path.}

 

The Reason why the Qur’an was revealed in Stages, the Refutation of the Disbelievers, and their Evil

Allah tells us about the many objections raised by the disbelievers, their stubbornness, and how they spoke of things which were none of their concern. They said: “Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once” meaning, why was this Qur’an, which was revealed to him, not sent down all at one time, as the previous Books, the Tawrah, Injil, Zabur and other Divine Books Allah answered them, telling them that it was revealed in stages over twenty-three years, according to events and circumstances, and whatever rulings were needed, in order to strengthen the hearts of the believers, as He says: “And (it is) a Qur’an which We have divided (into parts)…” (17:106). Allah says: “that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.” Qatadah said it means: “We have explained it.” Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said it means: “We have given its interpretation.”(At-Tabari 19:266)

“And no example or similitude do they bring,” This means no arguments or doubts, “but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.” They do not say anything in an attempt to oppose the truth, but We respond to them with the truth of that same matter, more clearly and more eloquently than anything they say.

Abu Abdur-Rahman An-Nasa’i recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “The Qur’an was sent down all at once to the first heaven on Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Power), then it was revealed over twenty years.” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:421) Allah says: “And no example or similitude do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.” and: “And (it is) 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” (17:106). Then Allah tells us about the terrible state of the disbelievers when they are raised on the Day of Resurrection and gathered into Hell: “Those who will be gathered to Hell on their faces, such will be in an evil state, and most astray from the path.” In the Sahih, it is reported from Anas that a man said, “O Messenger of Allah, how will the disbeliever be gathered on his face on the Day of Resurrection” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“The One Who caused him to walk on his two feet is able to make him walk on his face on the Day of Resurrection.” (Ahmad 3:229) 

{35. And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, and placed his brother Harun with him as a helper; 

36. And We said: “Go you both to the people who have denied Our Ayat.” Then We destroyed them with utter destruction. 

37. And Nuh’s people, when they denied the Messengers, We drowned them, and We made them as a sign for mankind. And We have prepared a painful torment for the wrongdoers. 

38. And (also) `Ad and Thamud, and the Dwellers of Ar-Rass, and many generations in between. 

39. And for each We put forward examples, and each We brought to utter ruin. 

40. And indeed they have passed by the town on which was rained the evil rain. Did they not then see it Nay! But they used not to expect any resurrection.}

 

Frightening the Idolators of Quraysh

Allah threatens the idolators who denied and opposed His Messenger Muhammad and He warns them of the punishment and painful torment He sent upon the previous nations who rejected their Messengers. Allah begins by mentioning Musa, upon him be peace, whom He sent along with his brother Harun as a helper – i.e., as another Prophet who helped and supported him – but Firawn and his chiefs denied them both: “Allah destroyed them completely, and similar (awaits) the disbelievers” (47:10).

And when the people of Nuh denied him, Allah destroyed them likewise, for whoever denies one Messenger denies all the Messengers, because there is no difference between one Messenger and another. If it had so happened that Allah had sent all His Messengers to them, they would have denied them all. Allah says: “And Nuh’s people, when they denied the Messengers,” although Allah sent only Nuh to them, and he stayed among them for 950 years, calling them to Allah and warning them of His punishment, “And none believed with him, except a few” (11:40). For this reason Allah drowned them all and left no one among the sons of Adam alive on earth apart from those who boarded the boat, “and We made them a sign for mankind.” meaning a lesson to be learned. This is like the Ayah, “Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the boat. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear may understand it” (69:11-12), which means: `We left for you ships that you ride upon to travel across the depths of the seas, so that you may remember the blessing of Allah towards you when He saved you from drowning, and made you the descendants of those who believed in Allah and followed His commandments.’ “And (also) `Ad and Thamud, and the Dwellers of Ar-Rass,” We have already discussed their story, which is referred to in more than one Surah, such as Surat Al-Araf, and there is no need to repeat it here. As for the Dwellers of Ar-Rass, Ibn Jurayj narrated from Ibn Abbas about the Dwellers of Ar-Rass that they were the people of one of the villages of Thamud. (At-Tabari 19:269) Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Bukayr from Ikrimah that Ar-Rass was a well where they buried (Rassu) their Prophet. (Al-Baghawi 3:369)  “and many generations in between.” means nations, many more than have been mentioned here, whom We destroyed. Allah said:“And for each We put forward examples,” meaning, `We showed them the proof and gave them clear evidence,’ as Qatadah said, “They had no excuse.” (At-Tabari 19:272) “and each (of them) We brought to utter ruin.” means, `We destroyed them completely.’ This is like the Ayah, “And how many generations (Qurun) have We destroyed after Nuh!” (17:17). “Generations” (Qurun) here refers to nations among mankind. This is like the Ayah,“Then, after them, We created other generations (Qurun).” (23:42) Some defined a generation as being 120 years, or it was said that a generation was one hundred years, or eighty, or forty, etc. The most correct view is that a generation refers to nations who are one another’s contemporaries, living at the same time. When they go and others succeed them, this is another generation, as it was recorded in the Two Sahihs:

“The best of generations is my generation, then the one that follows it, then the one that follows that.” (Fath Al-Bari 5:306)

“And indeed they have passed by the town on which was rained the evil rain.” refers to the town of the people of Lut, which was called Sodom, and the way in which Allah dealt with it, when He destroyed it by turning it upside down and by sending upon it the rain of stones of baked clay, as Allah says: “And We rained on them a rain. And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned!” (26:176), “Verily, you pass by them in the morning. And at night; will you not then reflect” (37:137-138), “And verily, they were right on the highroad.” (15:76), “They are both on an open highway, plain to see?” (15:79).

Allah says: “Did they not then see it?” meaning, so that they might learn a lesson from what happened to its inhabitants of punishment for denying the Messenger and going against the commands of Allah. “Nay! But they used not to expect any resurrection.” means, the disbelievers who passed by it did not learn any lesson, because they did not expect any resurrection, i.e., on the Day of Judgement.

{41. And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): “Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger?” 

42. “He would have nearly misled us from our gods, had it not been that we were patient and constant in their worship!” And they will know, when they see the torment, who it is that is most astray from the path! 

43. Have you seen him who has taken as his god his own vain desire? Would you then be a guardian over him?

44. Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle – nay, they are even farther astray from the path.}

 

How the Disbelievers mocked the Messenger

Allah tells us how the disbelievers mocked the Messenger when they saw him. This is like the Ayah,“And when the disbelievers see you, they take you not except for mockery” (21:36), which means that they tried to find faults and shortcomings in him. Here Allah says: “And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): “Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger” i.e., they said this by way of belittling and trying to undermine him, so Allah put them in their place, and said: “And indeed Messengers before you were mocked at” (6:10) “He would have nearly misled us from our gods,” They meant: `he nearly turned us away from worshipping idols, and he would have done so, had we not been patient and persevered in our ways.’ So Allah said, warning and threatening them:“And they will know, when they see the torment…”

They took Their Desires as their gods and were more astray than Cattle

Then Allah tells His Prophet that if Allah decrees that someone will be misguided and wretched, then no one can guide him except Allah, glory be to Him:“Have you seen him who has taken as his god his own vain desire?” meaning, whatever he admires and sees as good in his own desires becomes his religion and his way. As Allah says:“Is he then, to whom the evil of his deeds is made fair seeming. So that he consider it as good. Verily, Allah sends astray whom he wills.” (35:8) “Would you then be a guardian over him” Ibn Abbas said: “During the Jahiliyyah, a man would worship a white rock for a while, then if he saw another that looked better, he would worship that and leave the first.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:260)

Then Allah said:“Or do you think that most of them hear or understand” meaning, they are worse than grazing cattle. Cattle only do what they were created to do, but these people were created to worship Allah Alone without associating partners with Him, but they worship others with Him, even though evidence has been established against them and Messengers have been sent to them.

{45. Have you not seen how your Lord spread the shadow. If He willed, He could have made it still – but We have made the sun its guide. 

46. Then We withdraw it towards Ourselves – a gradual withdrawal. 

47. And it is He Who makes the night a covering for you, and the sleep (as) a repose, and makes the day Nushur.}

 

Evidence of the existence of the Creator and the extent of His Power

Here Allah begins explaining the evidence for His existence and His perfect power to create various things and pairs of opposites. Allah says: “Have you not seen how your Lord spread the shadow?” Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Abu Malik, Masruq, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said, “This refers to the period from the beginning of the dawn until the sun rises.” (At-Tabari 19:275) “If He willed, He could have made it still” meaning, immobile, never changing. This is like the Ayat:“Say : “Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you…” (28:71) “but We have made the sun its guide.” means, were it not for the sun rising, it would not be there, for a thing can only be known in contrast to its opposite. Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “The sun is a guide which follows the shade until the shade disappears. ” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:262)  “Then We withdraw it towards Ourselves – a gradual withdrawal.” This refers to the shade. “gradual” meaning slowly. As-Suddi said: “A gentle, concealed, withdrawal until there is no shade left on earth except under a roof or a tree, and the sun is shining on whatever is above it.” “a gradual withdrawal.” Ayyub bin Musa said: “Little by little. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 6:262)  “And it is He Who makes the night a covering for you,” It covers and conceals all things. This is like the Ayah: “By the night as it envelops” (92:1).“and the sleep a repose” means, a halt to movement so that bodies may rest. For the faculties and limbs get tired from their constant movement during the day when one goes out to earn a living. When night comes, and it becomes quiet, they stop moving, and rest; so sleep provides a rejuvenation for both the body and the soul.

“and makes the day Nushur” meaning, people get up and go out to earn a living and attend to their business. This is like the Ayah: “It is out of His mercy that He has made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and that you may seek of His bounty…” (28:73)

{48. And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy; and We send down pure water from the sky, 

49. That We may give life thereby to a dead land, and We give to drink thereof many of the cattle and men that We have created. 

50. And indeed We have distributed it among them in order that they may remember the grace of Allah, but most men refuse (out of) gratitude.}

 

This is also part of His complete power and supreme authority

Allah sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, i.e., they bring the clouds behind them. The winds are of many different types, depending on the purpose for which they are sent. Some of them form the clouds, others carry the clouds or drive them, and others come ahead of the clouds as heralds announcing their coming. Some of them come before that to stir up the earth, and some of them fertilize or “seed” the clouds to make it rain. Allah says: “and We send down pure water from the sky”, meaning, as a means of purifying it.

Abu Sa`id said, “It was said: “O Messenger of Allah, can we perform Wudu’ with the water of the well of Buda`ah For it is a well in which rubbish and the flesh of dogs are thrown. He said: “Water is pure and nothing makes it impure.” This was recorded by Ash-Shafi`i and Ahmad, who graded it Sahih, and also by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Hasan, and by An-Nasa’i. (Musnad Ash-Shafi 1:21)

His saying: “That We may give life thereby to a dead land,” means, a land that waited a long time for rain. It is devoid of vegetation or anything at all. When the rain comes to it, it becomes alive and its hills are covered with all kinds of colourful flowers, as Allah says: “but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth…” (41:39). His saying: “and We give to drink thereof many of the cattle and men that We had created.” means, so that animals such as cattle can drink from it, and people who are in desperate need of water can drink from it and water their crops and fruits. This is like the Ayah: “And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired,” (42:28) “Look then at the effects of Allah’s mercy, how He revives the earth after its death.” (30:50) His saying: “And indeed We have distributed it among them in order that they may remember” means, `We cause rain to fall on this land and not on that, and We cause the clouds to pass over one land and go to another, where We cause sufficient rain to fall so that its people have plenty, but not one drop falls on the first land.’ There is a reason and great wisdom behind this. Ibn Abbas and Ibn Masud, may Allah be pleased with them said: “One year does not have more rain than another, but Allah distributes the rain as He wills. Then he recited this Ayah: “And indeed We have distributed it (rain or water) amongst them in order that they may remember the grace of Allah, but most men refuse (out of) ingratitude.” (At-Tabari 19:280) meaning, so that they may be reminded, when Allah brings the dead earth back to life, that He is able to bring the dead and dry bones back to life, or that those from whom rain is withheld are suffering this because of some sin they have committed, so that they may give it up. “but most men refuse (out of) ingratitude.” `Ikrimah said, “This refers to those who say that rain comes because of such and such a star.” (At-Tabari 19:280)This view of `Ikrimah is similar to the authentic Hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim: One day after a night’s rain, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said to his Companions:

“Do you know what your Lord says?”

They said: “Allah and His Messenger know best.” He said:

“He says: “This morning some of My servants became believers in Me, and some became disbelievers. As for the one who said, `We have been given rain by the mercy and grace of Allah,’ he is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. As for the one who said, `We have been given rain by such and such a star,’ he is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.” (Muslim 1:83)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Abridged (Vol 7) Pages 164-182

 

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