Surah Al-An’am Ayat 1-49

The Tafsir of Surah Al-An’am

(Chapter 6)

Which was Revealed in Makkah

The Virtue of Surah Al-Anam and When it Was Revealed

Al-Awfi, Ikrimah and Ata’ said that Ibn Abbas said, “Surat Al-An’am was revealed in Makkah” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 3:243) At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “All of Surat Al-An’am was revealed in Makkah at night, accompanied by seventy thousand angels, raising their voices in glorification of Allah” (At-Tabari 12:215) As-Suddi said that Murrah said that Abdullah said, “Surat Al-An’am was revealed in the company of seventy thousand angels.” (Ad-Daurr Al-Manthur 3:243)

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

{1. All praise be to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and originated the darkness and the light, yet those who disbelieve hold others as equal with their Lord.

2. He it is Who has created you from clay, and then has decreed a stated term. And there is with Him another determined term, yet you doubt.

3. And He is Allah, in the heavens and the earth, He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn.}

All Praise is Due to Allah for His Glorious Ability and Great Power

Allah praises and glorifies His Most Honorable Self for creating the heavens and earth, as a dwelling for His servants, and for making the darkness and the light to benefit them in the night and t he day. In this Ayah, Allah describes darkness in the plural, Zulumat [where Zulmah is singular for darkness], while describing the light in the singular, An-Nur, because An-Nur is more honored. In other Ayat, Allah said, “To the right and to the lefts.” (16:48)

Near the end of this Surah (chapter 6), Allah also said; “And verily, this is my straight path, so follow it, and follow no (other) ways, for they will separate you away from His way.” (6:153) Allah said next, “Yet those who disbelieve hold others as equal with their Lord.” meaning, in spite of all this, some of Allah’s servants disbelieve in Him and hold others as partners and rivals with Him. Some of Allah’s servants claimed a wife and a son for Allah, hallowed be He far above what they attribute to Him. Allah’s statement, “He it is Who has created you from clay” refers to the father of mankind, Adam, from whom mankind originated, multiplied in numbers and spread about, east and west. Allah said, “Then has decreed a stated term. And there is with Him another determined term…” His saying; “Then has decreed a stated term” refers to death, while, “And there is with Him another determined term…” refers to the Hereafter, according to Said bin Jubayr who reported this from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 11:257) Similar statements were narrated from Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Zayd bin Aslam, Atiyyah, As-Suddi, Muqat il bin Hayyan and others. (At-Tabari 11:256-258) Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said that, “And then has decreed a stated term” is the term of this earthly life, while, “And there is with Him another determined term” refers to man’s extent of life until he dies as mentioned in Allah’s statement; (At-Tabari 11:256) “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day, then He raises (wakes) you up again that a term appointed (life) be fulfilled.” (6:60)

The meaning of Allah’s statement, “With Him” is that none but Him knows when it will occur. Allah said in other Ayat, “The knowledge thereof is with my Lord. None can reveal its time but He.” (7:187), and, “They ask you about the Hour – when will be its appointed time You have no knowledge to say anything about it. To your Lord belongs (the knowledge of) the term thereof.” (79:42-44)

Allah said, “Yet you doubt.” the coming of the (last) Hour, according to As-Suddi. (At-Tabari 11:260) Allah said next,“And He is Allah in the heavens and the earth, He knows what you conceal and what you reveal, and He knows what you earn.” Meaning, it is He Who is called Allah, throughout the heavens and the earth, that is, it is He who is worshipped, singled out, whose divinity is believed in by the inhabitants of the heavens and the earth. They call Him Allah, and they supplicate to Him in fear and hope, except those who disbelieve among the Jinns and mankind. In another Ayah, Allah said; “It is He Who is God in the heavens and the earth.” (43:84) meaning, He is the God of those in heaven and those on earth, and He knows all affairs, public and secret. “And He knows what you earn” all the good and bad deeds that you perform.

{4. And never an Ayah comes to them from the Ayat of their Lord, but that they have been turning away from it.

5. Indeed, they rejected the truth when it came to them, but there will come to them the news of that which they used to mock at.

6. Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you? And We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance, and made the rivers flow under them. Yet We destroyed them for their sins, and created after them other generations.}

Threatening the Idolators for their Stubbornness

Allah states that the rebellious, stubborn polytheists will turn away from every Ayah, meaning, sign, miracle and proof that is evidence of Allah’s Uniqueness and the truth of His honorable Messengers. They will not contemplate about these Ayat or care about them. Allah said, “Indeed, they rejected the truth when it came to them, but there will come to them the news of that which they used to mock at.”

This Ayah contains a warning and a stern threat for the disbelievers’ rejection of the truth, stating that the disbelievers will surely know the truth of what they used to deny and taste the evil end of their behavior. Allah advises and warns the disbelievers, that they should avoid the torments and afflictions of this life, similar to what befell their likes from previous nations, who were stronger, wealthier, had more offspring, and were more exploitive on the earth. Allah said, “Have they not seen how many a generation before them We have destroyed whom We had established on the earth such as We have not established you?” meaning, they had more wealth, children, buildings, abundant provision, riches and soldiers. Allah said next, “and We poured out on them rain from the sky in abundance,” in reference to rain that comes often, “And made the rivers flow under them.” as rain was abundant and the springs were plentiful, so that We deceived them.“Yet We destroyed them for their sins” meaning the mistakes and errors that they committed, ”and created after them other generations” for, these generations of old perished and became as legends and stories, ”And created after them other generations.” so that We test the new generations, as well. Yet, they committed similar errors and were destroyed, as their ancestors were destroyed. Therefore, beware of the same end that might befall you, for you are not dearer to Allah than these previous nations, but the Messenger whom you defied is dearer to Allah than the Messengers they defied. Thus, you are more liable than them to receive torment, if it was not for Allah’s mercy and kindness.

{7. And even if We had sent down unto you a Message written on paper so that they could touch it with their hands, the disbelievers would have said: “This is nothing but obvious magic!”

8. And they say: “Why has not an angel been sent down to him?” Had We sent down an angel, the matter would have been judged at once, and no respite would be granted to them.

9. And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have made him a man, and We would have certainly caused them confusion in a matter which they have already covered with confusion.

10. And indeed Messengers were mocked before you, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at.

11. Say: “Travel in the land and see what was the end of those who rejected truth.”}

Censuring the Rebellious and their Refusal to Accept Human Messengers

Allah describes the rebellion and stubbornness of the idolators in defying the truth and arguing against it, ”And even if We had sent down unto you a Message written on paper so that they could touch it with their hands,” meaning, if they saw this Message’s descent and were eye-witnesses to that, ”the disbelievers would have said: “This is nothing but obvious magic!”

This is similar to Allah’s description of the disbelievers’ defiance of facts and truth, “And even if We opened to them a gate from the heaven and they were to continue ascending thereto. They would surely say: “Our eyes have been (as if) dazzled. Nay, we are a people bewitched.” (15:14-15), and, “And if they were to see a piece of the heaven falling down, they would say, “Clouds gathered in heaps!” (52:44). “And they say: “Why has not an angel been sent down to him” to convey the Message with admonition along with him. Allah replied, “Had We sent down an angel, the matter would have been judged at once, and no respite would be granted to them.”

Consequently, even if the angels descend, while the disbelievers still had the same attitude, then the torment will surely befall them from Allah as a consequence. Allah said in other Ayat, “We send not the angels down except with the truth (i.e. for torment, etc.), and in that case, they (the disbelievers) would have no respite!” (15:8), and, “On the Day they will see the angels, no glad tidings will there be for the criminals that day.” (25:22) Allah’s statement, “And had We appointed him an angel, We indeed would have made him a man, and We would have certainly caused them confusion in a matter which they have already covered with confusion.” meaning, if We send an angel along with the human Messenger, or if We send an angel as a Messenger to mankind, he would be in the shape of a man so that they would be able to speak to him and benefit from his teachings. In this case, the angel “in the shape of a human” will also cause confusion for them, just as the confusion they caused themselves over accepting humans as Messengers! Allah said, “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.” (17:95)

It is a mercy from Allah to His creation that He sends every type of creation, Messengers from among their kind, so that they are able to call their people to Allah, and their people able to talk to them, ask them and benefit from them. In another Ayah, Allah said; “Indeed Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting unto them His verses (the Qur’an), and purifying them.” (3:164)

Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah (6:9 above), “If an angel was sent to them, he would come in the shape of a man. This is because they will not be able to look at the angel due to light.” (At-Tabari 11:268) “… and We would have certainly caused them confusion in a matter which they have already covered with confusion.” meaning, We would confuse them over their confusion. And Al-Walibi reported Ibn Abbas saying; “We brought doubts around them.”

Allah’s statement, “And indeed Messengers were mocked before you, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at.” comforts the Messenger concerning the denial of him by his people. The Ayah also promises the Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, and his believers, of Allah’s victory and the good end in this life and the Hereafter. Allah said next, “Say: “Travel in the land and see what was the end of those who rejected truth.” meaning, contemplate about yourselves and think about the afflictions Allah struck the previous nations with, those who defied His Messengers and denied them. Allah sent torment, afflictions and punishment on them in this life, as well as the painful torment in the Hereafter, while saving His Messengers and believing servants.

{12. Say: “To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth?” Say: “To Allah.” He has prescribed mercy for Himself. Indeed He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt. Those who destroy themselves will not believe.

13. And to Him belongs whatsoever exists in the night and the day, and He is the All-Hearing, the All- Knowing.”

14. Say: “Shall I take as a guardian any other than Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth And it is He Who feeds but is not fed.” Say: “Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit. ”And be not you of the idolators.

15. Say: “I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the torment of a Mighty Day.”

16. Who is averted from (such a torment) on that Day; then He (Allah) has surely been Merciful to him. And that would be the obvious success.}

Allah is the Creator and the Sustainer

Allah states that He is the King and Owner of the heavens and earth and all of what is in them, and that He has written mercy on His Most Honorable Self. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs, that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“When Allah created the creation, He wrote in a Book that He has with Him above the Throne; ‘My mercy overcomes My anger.” (Fath Al-Bari 13:395)

Allah said; “Indeed He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt.” swearing by His Most Honored Self that He will gather His servants, “For appointed meeting of a known Day.” (56:50), the Day of Resurrection that will certainly occur, and there is no doubt for His believing servants in this fact. As for those who deny and refuse, they are in confusion and disarray. Allah’s statement, “Those who destroy themselves” on the Day of Resurrection, “will not believe.” in the Return and thus do not fear the repercussions of that Day. Allah said next, “And to Him belongs whatsoever exists in the night and the day.” meaning, all creatures in the heavens and earth are Allah’s servants and creatures, and they are all under His authority, power and will; there is no deity worthy of worship except Him, “and He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

He hears the statements of His servants and knows their actions, secrets and what they conceal. Allah then said to His servant and Messenger Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, whom He sent with the pure Tawhid and the straight religion, commanding him to call the people to Allah’s straight path; “Say: “Shall I take as a guardian any other than Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the earth?” Similarly, Allah said, “Say: “Do you order me to worship other than Allah, O you fools?” (39:64).

The meaning here is, I will not take a guardian except Allah, without partners, for He is the Creator of the heavens and earth Who orignated them without precedent, “And it is He Who feeds but is not fed.” For He sustains His creatures without needing them. Allah also said; “And I created not the Jinn and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone).” (51:56) Some scholars read it, “And it is He Who feeds but He does not eat.” meaning, Allah does not eat. Abu Hurayrah narrated, “A man from Al-Ansar from the area of Quba’ invited the Prophet to eat some food, and we went along with the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. When the Prophet ate and washed his hands, he said,

“All praise is due to Allah, Who feeds but is never fed, He bestowed bounty unto us, Who gave us guidance and fed us, gave us something to drink, covered our nakedness; and for every favor He has given us. All praise is due to Allah, praise that should not be neglected, my Lord, all the while affirming that we will never be able to duly thank Him; nor be appreciative enough of Him, nor be free of needing Him. All thanks and praises are due to Allah Who fed us the food, gave us the drink, covered our nudity, guided us from misguidance, gave us sight from blindness, and honored us above many of His creaturers. All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all that exists.” (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:82)

”Say: “Verily, I am commanded to be the first of those who submit themselves to Allah as (Muslims).” from this Ummah, “And be not you of the idolaters. Say: “I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the torment of a Mighty Day.” (6:14-15), the Day of Resurrection, “Who is averted from” such a torment, “on that Day, He has surely been Merciful to him” meaning, Allah will have been merciful to him, “And that would be the obvious success.” Allah also said, “And whoever is moved away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful.” (3:185), success here indicates acquiring profit and negates loss.

{17. And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is able to do all things.

18. And He is the Irresistible, above His servants, and He is the All-Wise, Well-Acquainted with all things.

19. Say: “What thing is the most great in witness?” Say: “Allah is Witness between you and I; this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach. Can you verily bear witness that besides Allah there are other gods” Say “I bear no (such) witness!” Say: “Only He is God, alone, and truly I am innocent of what you join in worship with Him.”

20. Those to whom We have given the Scripture recognize him, as they recognize their own children. Those who have lost (destroyed) themselves will not believe.

21. And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat Verily, the wrongdoers shall never be successful.}

Allah is the Irresistible, Able to Bring Benefit and Protect from Harm

Allah states that He Alone brings benefit or harm, and that He does what He wills with His creatures, none can resist Hisjudgment or prevent what He decrees, “And if Allah touches you with harm, none can remove it but He, and if He touches you with good, then He is able to do all things.” Similarly, Allah said, “Whatever mercy, Allah may grant to mankind, none can withhold it, and whatever He may withhold, none can grant it thereafter” (35:2).

It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to supplicate,

 “O Allah, there is none Who can avert what You grant or give what You deprive, and no fortune ever helps the fortunate against You.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:379)

This is why Allah said, “And He is the Irresistible, above His servants” meaning, to Him the necks are subservient, the tyrants humble before Him and He has complete control over all things. The creatures have all bowed to Allah and are humbled before His grace, honor, pride, greatness, highness and ability over all things. The creatures are insignificant before Him, for they are all under His irresistible decision and power, “and He is the All-Wise,” in all His actions, “Well-Acquainted with all things.” Who places everything in its rightful place, grants and favors whomever deserves His favor. Allah said next, “Say: “What thing is the most great in witness?” or what is the greatest witness, “Say: “Allah (the Most Great!) is Witness between you and I” for He knows what I brought you and what you will answer me with, “this Qur’an has been revealed to me that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.” Therefore, this Qur’an is a warner for all those who hear of it. In another Ayah, Allah said, “But those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.” (11:17)

Ar-Rabi bin Anas said, “Those who follow the Messenger of Allah ought to call to what the Messenger of Allah called to and warn against what he warned against.” Allah said next, “Can you verily bear witness…” O idolators, “that besides Allah there are other gods” Say, “I bear no (such) witness!” Similarly, in another Ayah, Allah said; “Then if they testify, testify not you with them.” (6:150) Allah said next, “Say: “Only He is God, alone, and truly I am innocent of what you join in worship with Him.”

People of the Book Recognize the Prophet Just as They Recognize Their Own Children

Allah says, the People of the Book know what you brought them, O Muhammad , as they know their own children. This is because they received good news from the previous Messengers and Prophets about the coming of Muhammad , his attributes, homeland, his migration, and the description of his Ummah. Allah said next, “Those who have lost (destroyed) themselves” and thus incurred the ultimate loss, “will not believe.” in this clear matter. A matter about which the previous Prophets gave good news, and a matter extolled about in ancient and modern times. Allah said next, “And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or rejects His Ayat?” meaning, there is no person more unjust than he who lies about Allah and claims that Allah has sent him, while Allah did not send him. There is no person more unjust than he who denies Allah’s proofs, signs and evidences, “Verily, the wrongdoers shall never be successful.” Surely, both of these people will never acquire success, whoever falsely [claims that Allah sent him] and whoever refuses [Allah’s Ayat].

{22. And on the Day when We shall gather them all together, We shall say to those who joined partners in worship (with Us): “Where are your partners (false deities) whom you used to assert (as partners in worship with Allah)?”

23. There will then be (left) no Fitnah for them but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others (in worship with Allah).”

24. Look! How they lie against themselves! But the (lie) which they invented will disappear from them.

25. And of them there are some who listen to you; but We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they see every one of the Ayat they will not believe therein; to the point that when they come to you to argue with you, those who disbelieve say: “These are nothing but tales of the men of old.”

26. And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him, and (by doing so) they destroy none but themselves, yet they perceive (it) not.}

The Polythiests Shall be Questioned About the Shirk They Committed

About the polytheists, Allah said: “And on the Day when We shall gather them all together” This is on the Day of Resurrection, when He will ask them about the idols and rivals that they worshipped instead of Him. Allah will say to them, “Where are your partners (false deities) whom you used to assert (as partners in worship with Allah)?” (At-Tabari 11:299) Allah said in Surat Al-Qasas, “And (remember) the Day when He will call to them, and say, “Where are My (so-called) partners whom you used to assert?” (28:62). Allah’s statement, “There will then be (left) no Fitnah for them” means, argument. Ata’ Al-Khurasani said that, “There will then be (left) no Fitnah for them” in the face of the affliction that will be placed on them, “but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others (in worship with Allah).”

Allah said next, “Look! How they lie against themselves! But the (lie) which they invented will disappear from them.” which is similar to His other statement, “Then it will be said to them: “Where are (all) those whom you used to join in worship as partners besides Allah?” They will say, “They have vanished from us: Nay, we did not invoke (worship) anything before.” Thus Allah leads astray the disbelievers.” (40:73-74)

The Miserable Do Not Benefit from the Qur’an

Allah’s statement, “And of them there are some who listen to you; but We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in their ears; if they see every one of the Ayat they will not believe therein” means, they come to you, (O Muhammad), so that they hear you recite the Qur’an, but its recitation does not benefit them, because Allah has set veils on their hearts, and so they do not understand the Qur’an, “and (set) deafness in their ears” that prevents them from hearing what benefits them. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And the example of those who disbelieve, is as that of him who shouts at one who hears nothing but calls and cries.” (2:171)

Allah said next, “if they see every one of the Ayat they will not believe therein” meaning, they will not believe in any of the Ayat, proofs, clear evidences and signs they witness because they do not have sound comprehension or fair judgment. In another Ayah, Allah said, “Had Allah known of any good in them, He would indeed have made them listen.” (8:23) Allah said, “to the point that when they come to you to argue with you…” using falsehood against truth, “those who disbelieve say: “These are nothing but tales of the men of old.” The disbelievers say, what you (O Muhammad) brought us was taken from the books of those who were before us, meaning plagiarised, “And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him” They discourage people from following the truth, believing in Muhammad and obeying the Qur’an, “and they themselves keep away from him” They thus combine both evil acts, for they neither benefit themselves, nor let others benefit from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn Abbas said that the Ayah, “And they prevent others from him.” means, they hinder people from believing in Muhammad. (At-Tabari 11:311) Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah said, “The disbelievers of Quraysh used to refrain from meeting Muhammad and they discouraged people from coming to him.” (At-Tabari 11:311) Similar was reported from Qatadah, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak and several others. (At-Tabari 11:312)  “and (by doing so) they destroy not but themselves, yet they perceive (it) not.” They destroy themselves by committing this evil action, and its harm will only touch them. Yet, they do not perceive this fact!

{27. If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!”

28. Nay, what they had been concealing before has become manifest to them. But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.

29. And they said: “There is no (other life) but our (present) life of this world, and never shall we be resurrected.”

30. If you could but see when they will stand before their Lord! He will say: “Is not this the truth” They will say: “Yes, by our Lord!” He will then say: “So taste you the torment because you used not to believe. ”}

Wishes and Hopes Do Not Help One When He Sees the Torment

Allah mentions the condition of the disbelievers when they are made to stand before the Fire on the Day of Resurrection and witness its chains and restraints, along with seeing the horrible, momentous conditions in the Fire with their own eyes. This is when the disbelievers will say, “Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!”

They wish that they would be sent back to the life of the world so that they could perform righteous deeds, refrain from disbelieving in the Ayat of their Lord and be among the believers. Allah said, “Nay, what they had been concealing before has become manifest to them.” meaning, the disbelief, denial and rebellion that they used to hide in their hearts will then be uncovered, even though they will try to hide this fact in this life and the Hereafter. Earlier, Allah said, “There will then be (left) no trial for them but to say: “By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.” Look! How they lie against themselves! But the (lie) which they invented will disappear from them.”

It is also possible that the meaning here is that the disbelievers will realize the truth that they knew all along in their hearts, that is, that what the Messengers brought them in this life is true, although they used to deny his Message before their followers. Allah said that Musa said to Firawn, “Verily, you know that these signs have clearly been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth as eye-opening evidence.” (17:102) Allah said about Firawn and his people, “And they belied them (those Ayat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though they were themselves convinced thereof.” (27:14) “Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before.” (6:28)

When this occurs, and the disbelievers ask to be returned to this life, they will not do so because they truly wish to embrace the faith. Rather, they ask to be returned to this life for fear of the torment that they are witnessing before them, as punishment for the disbelief they committed, and to try and avoid the Fire that they see before their eyes.

“But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.” meaning, they lie when they say they wish to go back to this life so that they can embrace the faith. Allah states that even if they were sent back to the life of this world, they will again commit the disbelief and defiance that they were prohibited.“And indeed they are liars.” in their statement that, “Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!” Nay, what they had been concealing before has become manifest to them. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars. And they said: “There is no (other life) but our (present) life of this world, and never shall we be resurrected.”

Therefore, they will revert to their old behavior and say, “There is no life but our life of this world” and there is no Hereafter, “and never shall we be resurrected.” Allah said, “If you could but see when they will stand before their Lord!” in front of Him, “Is not this the truth?” meaning, is not Resurrection true, contarary to what you thought, “They will say: “Yes, by our Lord!” He will then say: “So taste you the torment because you used not to believe.” and because you today denied Resurrection. Therefore, taste the torment, “Is this magic, or do you not see” (52:15)

 {31. They indeed are losers who denied their meeting with Allah, until all of a sudden, the Hour (signs of death) is upon them, and they say: “Alas for us that we gave no thought to it,” while they will bear their burdens on their backs; and evil indeed are the burdens that they will bear!

32. And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement. But far better is the abode of the Hereafter for those have Taqwa. Will you not then understand}

Allah describes the regret of the disbelievers when facing Him, and their disappointment at the commencement, along with their sorrow for not performing good deeds and for their evil deeds. This is why Allah said, “until all of a sudden, the Hour (signs of death) is upon them, and they say: “Alas for us that we gave no thought to it.” ‘It’ here refers to either the life of this world, or the affairs of the Hereafter. Allah’s statement, “while they will bear their burdens on their backs; and evil indeed are the burdens that they will bear!” Asbat said that As-Suddi said, “Upon entering his grave, every unjust person will meet a man with an ugly face, dark skin, awful odor, wearing dirty clothes, who will enter his grave with him. When the unjust person sees him, he will say, ‘How ugly is your face!’ He will reply, ‘So was your work, it was ugly.’ The unjust person will say, ‘How foul is the odor coming from you!’ He will reply, ‘Such was the case with your work, it stunk.’ The unjust person will say, ‘How dirty are your clothes!’ He will reply, ‘And your work too was dirty.’ The unjust person will ask, ‘Who are you?’ He will reply, ‘I am your deeds.’ So he will remain with the unjust person in his grave, and when he is resurrected on the Day of Resurrection, his companion will say to him, ‘In the life of the world, I used to carry you because you followed desire and lust. Today, you carry me.’ So he will ride on the unjust person’s back and lead him until he enters the Fire. So Allah said, “while they will bear their burdens on their backs; and evil indeed are the burdens that they will bear!” (6:31) ” (At-Tabari 11:328)

Allah’s statement, “And the life of this world is nothing but play and amusement.” means, most of it is play and amusement, “But far better is the abode of the Hereafter for those who have Taqwa. Will you not then understand.”

{33. We know indeed the grief which their words cause you; it is not you that they deny, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.

34. Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our help reached them, and none can alter the Words of Allah. Surely, there has reached you the information about the Messengers (before you).

35. If their aversion is hard on you, then if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the sky, so that you may bring them a sign. And had Allah willed, He could have gathered them together upon true guidance, so be not you one of the ignorant.

36. It is only those who listen, that will respond, but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned.}

Comforting the Prophet

Allah comforts the Prophet in his grief over his people’s denial and defiance of him, “We know indeed the grief which their words cause you” meaning, We know about their denial of you and your sadness and sorrow for them. Allah said in other Ayat, “So destroy not yourself in sorrow for them.” (35:8), and “It may be that you are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers.” (26:3), and, “Perhaps, you, would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps (for their turning away from you), because they believe not in this narration.” (18:6) Allah’s statement, “it is not you that they deny, but it is the verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.” means, they do not accuse you of being a liar, “but it is the Verses of Allah that the wrongdoers deny.”

It is only the truth that they reject and refuse. Allah’s statement, “Verily, (many) Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt, till Our help reached them”

This comforts the Prophet’s concern for those who denied and rejected him. Allah also commands the Prophet to be patient, just as the mighty Messengers before him were. He also promised him victory, just as the previous Messengers were victorious and the good end was theirs, after the denial and harm their people placed on them. Then, victory came to them in this life, just as victory is theirs in the Hereafter. Allah said, “and none can alter the Words of Allah.”

This refers to His decision that victory in this life and the Hereafter is for His believing servants. Allah said in other Ayat, “And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers. That they verily would be made triumphant. And that Our hosts, they verily would be the victors.” (37:171- 173), and, “Allah has decreed: “Verily! It is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.” Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty.” (58:21) Allah said; “Surely, there has reached you the information about the Messengers (before you).” who were given victory and prevailed over the people who rejected them. And you (O Muhammad), have a good example in them. Allah said next, “If their aversion is hard on you” and you cannot be patient because of their aversion, “then if you were able to seek a tunnel in the ground or a ladder to the sky…”

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas commented, “If you were able to seek a tunnel and bring them an Ayah, or go up a ladder in the sky and bring a better Ayah than the one I (Allah) gave them, then do that.”(At-Tabari 11:338) Allah’s statement, “And had Allah willed, He could have gathered them together upon true guidance, so be not you one of the ignorant.” is similar to His statement, “And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together”

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said about Allah’s statement, “And had Allah willed, He could have gathered them together upon true guidance” “The Messenger of Allah was eager that all people believe and be guided to follow him. Allah told him that only those whose happiness Allah has written in the first Dhikr will believe.” (At-Tabari 11:340 – Meaning those He had decreed to believe). Allah’s statement, “It is only those who listen, that will respond” means, only those who hear the speech, comprehend and understand it, will accept your call, O Muhammad ! In another Ayah, Allah said; “That it may give warning to him who is living, and that the Word may be justified against the disbelievers.” (36:70). Allah’s statement, “but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned.” refers to the disbelievers because their hearts are dead. Therefore, Allah resembled them to dead corpses as a way of mocking and belittling them, saying, “but as for the dead (disbelievers), Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned (for their recompense).”

 {37. And they said: “Why is not a sign sent down to him from his Lord?” Say: “Allah is certainly able to send down a sign, but most of them know not.”

38. There is not a moving creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are Umam like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.

39. Those who reject Our Ayat are deaf and dumb in darkness. Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the straight path whom He wills.}

The Idolators Ask for a Miracle

Allah states that the idolators used to proclaim, “Why does not (Muhammad) bring an Ayah from his Lord,” meaning, a miracle of their choice! They would sometimes say, “We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the ground for us.” (17:90). “Say: “Allah is certainly able to send down a sign, but most of them know not.” Certainly, Allah is able to send an Ayah (sign). But, He decided out of His wisdom to delay that, because if He sends an Ayah of their liking and they still do not believe, this will hasten their punishment as with the previous nations. Allah said in other Ayat, “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, “If We will, We could send down to them from the heaven a sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility” (26:4).

The Meaning of Umam

Allah said, “There is not a moving (living) creature on earth, nor a bird that flies with its two wings, but are Umam like you.” Mujahid commented, “Meaning, various species that have distinct names.” Qatadah said, “Birds are an Ummah, humans are an Ummah and the Jinns are an Ummah.” As- Suddi said that, “but are Umam like you.” means, creations “or species”. (At-Tabari 11:345) Allah’s statement, “We have neglected nothing in the Book” means, the knowledge about all things is with Allah, and He never forgets any of His creatures, nor their sustenance, nor their affairs, whether these creat ures live in the sea or on land. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And no moving creature is there on earth but its provision is due from Allah. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus, grave, etc). All is in a Clear Book.” (11:6), there is a record of their names, numbers, movements, and lack of movement. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And so many a moving creature there is, that carries not its own provision! Allah provides for it and for you. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (29:60) Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Ibn Abbas said about the Ayah, “then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.” “Death gathers them.”(Ibn Abi Hatim 4:1286)  It was also said that the Day of Resurrection gathers them, for in another Ayah, Allah said; “And when the wild beasts shall be gathered together.” (81:5)  Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah said about Allah’s statement, “but are Umam like you. We have neglected nothing in the Book, then unto their Lord they (all) shall be gathered.” “All creatures will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection, the beasts, birds and all others. Allah’s justice will be so perfect, that the un-horned sheep will receive retribution from the horned sheep. Allah will then command them, ‘Be dust!’ This is when the disbeliever will say, “Woe to me! Would that I were dust!” (78: 40). (At-Tabari 11:347) And this was reported from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in the Hadith about the Trumpet.

The Disbelievers will be Deaf and Mute in Darkness

Allah said, “Those who reject Our Ayat are deaf and dumb in darkness.” due to their ignorance, little knowledge and minute comprehension. Their example is that of the deaf-mute who cannot hear nor speak, as well as being blinded by darkness. Therefore, how can such a person find guidance to the path or change the condition he is in Allah said in other Ayat, “Their parable is that of one who kindled a fire; then, when it illuminated all around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness. (So) they could not see. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the right path)” (2:17-18), and, “Or like the darkness in a vast deep sea, overwhelmed with a great wave topped by a great wave, topped by dark clouds, darkness, one above another, if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! And he for whom Allah has not appointed light, for him there is no light.” (24:40) This is why Allah said here, “Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the straight path whom He wills.” for He does what He wills with His creatures.

{40. Say: “Tell me if Allah’s torment comes upon you, or the Hour comes upon you, would you then call upon any one other than Allah (Reply) if you are truthful!”

41. Nay! To Him alone you call, and, if He willed, He would remove that (distress) for which you call upon Him, and you forget at that time whatever partners you joined with Him (in worship)!

42. Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you. And We seized them with extreme poverty and loss of health so that they might believe with humility.

43. When Our torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility, But their hearts became hardened, and Shaytan made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do.

44. So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.

45. So the roots of the people who did wrong were cut off. And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the all that exists.}

The Idolators Call On Allah Alone During Torment and Distress

Allah states that He does what He wills with His creatures and none can resist His decision or avert what He decrees for them. He is the One Who has no partners, Who accepts the supplication from whomever He wills. Allah said, “Say: “Tell me if Allah’s torment comes upon you, or the Hour comes upon you, would you then call upon any one other than Allah (Reply) if you are truthful!”

This means, you – disbelievers – will not call other than Allah in this case, because you know that none except He is able to remove the affliction. Allah said, “if you are truthful” by taking gods besides Him. “Nay! To Him alone you call, and, if He willed, He would remove that (distress) for which you call upon Him, and you forget at that time whatever partners you joined with Him (in worship)!” for in times of necessity, you only call on Allah and forget your idols and false deities. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him (Allah)” (17:67).

Allah said; “Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you. And We seized them with extreme poverty…” That is, loss of wealth and diminished provisions, “and loss of health” various illnesses, diseases and pain, “so that they might believe with humility” and call Allah and supplicate to Him with humbleness and humility. Allah said; “When Our torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility?” Meaning: Why do they not believe and humble themselves before Us when We test them with disaster “But their hearts became hardened” for their hearts are not soft or humble, “and Shaytan made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do.” That is, Shirk, defiance and rebellion. “So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded” by ignoring and turning away from it, “We opened to them the gates of everything” Meaning: ‘We opened the gates of provisions for them from wherever they wished, so that We deceive them.’ We seek refuge with Allah from such an end. This is why Allah said, “until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given” such as wealth, children and provisions, “all of a sudden, We took them to punishment and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.” They have no hope for any type of good thing. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Whomever Allah gives provision and he thinks that Allah is not testing him, has no wisdom. Whomever has little provision and thinks that Allah will not look at (provide for) him, has no wisdom.” He then recited the Ayah, “So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.” He added, “By the Lord of the Kabah! Allah deceived these people, when He gave them what they wished, and then they were punished.” Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 3:270)

{46. Say: “Tell me, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight, and sealed up your hearts, is there a god other than Allah who could restore them to you” See how variously We explain the Ayat, yet they turn aside.

47. Say: “Tell me, if the punishment of Allah comes to you suddenly, or openly, will any be destroyed except the wrongdoing people”

48. And We send not the Messengers but as givers of glad tidings and as warners. So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds, upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.

49. But those who reject Our Ayat, the torment will strike them for their rebelling.}

Allah said to His Messenger, say, O Muhammad, to those rebellious liars, “Tell me, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight.” just as He gave these senses to you. In another Ayah, Allah said; “It is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing, seeing.” (67:23). The Ayah above might also mean that Allah will not allow the disbelievers to benefit from these senses in religious terms. This is why He said next, “and sealed up your hearts” He also said in other Ayat, “Or who owns hearing and sight” (10:31), and, “And know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart.”

Allah said; “Is there a god other than Allah who could restore them to you?” Meaning, is there anyone except Allah who is able to give you back these senses if Allah took them from you Only Allah is able to do so, and this is why He said here, “See how variously We explain the Ayat?” and make them plain and clear, testifying to Allah’s Oneness in lordship and that those worshipped besides Him are all false and unworthy. “yet they turn aside.” After this explanation, they still turn away from the truth and hinder people from following it.

Allah’s statement, “Say: “Tell me, if the punishment of Allah comes to you suddenly…” means, while you are unaware – or during the night – striking you all of a sudden, “or openly” during the day, or publicly, “will any be destroyed except the wrongdoing people” This torment only strikes those who commit injustice against themselves by associating others with Allah, while those who worship Allah alone without partners will be saved from it, and they will have no fear or sorrow. In another Ayah, Allah said; “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm,(wrong or Shirk).” (6:82)

Allah’s statement, “And We send not the Messengers but as bearers of glad tidings and as warners.” means, the Messengers bring good news to Allah’s servants, as well as, command all that is good and righteous. They also warn those who disbelieve in Allah of His anger and of all types of torment. Allah said, “So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds.” meaning, whoever believes in his heart with what the Messengers were sent with and makes his works righteous by imitating them; “upon such shall come no fear” concerning the future, “nor shall they grieve.” about what they missed in the past and left behind them in this world. Certainly, Allah will be the Wali and Protector over what they left behind. Allah said next, “But those who reject Our Ayat, the torment will strike them for their rebelling.” The torment will strike them because of disbelieving in the Message of the Messengers, defying Allah’s commands, committing what He prohibited and transgressing His set limits.

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