Surah Al-An’am Ayat 50-83

{50. Say: “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.” Say: “Are the blind and the one who sees equal? Will you not then consider?”

51. And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him, so that they may have Taqwa.

52. And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face. You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing, that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.

53. Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us?” Does not Allah know best those who are grateful?

54. When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: “Salamun Alaykum” (peace be on you); your Lord has written mercy for Himself, so that, if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds, then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.}

The Messenger Neither has the Key to Allah’s Treasures, Nor Knows the Unseen

Allah said to His Messenger, “Say: “I don’t tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah.” meaning, I do not own Allah’s treasures or have any power over them, ”nor (that) I know the Unseen,” and I do not say that I know the Unseen, because its knowledge is with Allah and I only know what He conveys of it to me. “nor I tell you that I am an angel.” meaning, I do not claim that I am an angel. I am only a human to whom Allah sends revelation, and He honored me with this duty and favoured me with it. “I but follow what is revealed to me.” and I never disobey the revelation in the least. “Say: “Are the blind and the one who sees equal?” meaning, ‘Is the one who is guided, following the truth, equal to the one misled?’ “Will you not then consider?”

In another Ayah, Allah said; “Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind? But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed.” (13:19) Allah’s statement, “And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,” means, warn with this Qur’an, O Muhammad, “Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord” (23:57), who, “Fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning.” (13:21), “those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord” on the Day of Resurrection, “when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,” for on that Day, they will have no relative or intercessor who can prevent His torment if He decides to punish them with it, “so that they may have Taqwa.” Therefore, warn of the Day when there will be no judge except Allah, “so that they may have Taqwa.” and thus work good deeds in this life, so that their good deeds may save them on the Day of Resurrection from Allah’s torment, and so that He will grant them multiple rewards.

Prohibiting the Messenger from Turning the Weak Away and the Order to Honor Them

Allah said, “And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face.” meaning, do not turn away those who have these qualities, instead make them your companions and associates. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.” (18:28)

Allah’s statement, “invoke their Lord…” refers to those who worship Him and supplicate to Him, “morning and evening.” referring to the obligatory prayers, according to Said bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. In another Ayah, Allah said; “And your Lord said, “Invoke Me, I will respond (to your invocation).” (40:60), I will accept your supplication. Allah said next, “seeking His Face.” meaning, they seek Allah’s Most Generous Face, by sincerity for Him in the acts of worship and obedience they perform. Allah said; “You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing,” This is similar to the answer Nuh gave to his people when they said, “Shall we believe in you, when the meekest (of the people) follow you” (26:111). Nuh answered them, “And what knowledge have I of what they used to do? Their account is only with my Lord, if you could (but) know.” (26:112-113), meaning, their reckoning is for Allah not me, just as my reckoning is not up to them. Allah said here, “that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.” meaning, you will be unjust if you turn them away.

Allah’s statement, “Thus We have tried some of them with others” means, We tested, tried and checked them with each other, “That they might say: “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us?” This is because at first, most of those who followed the Messenger of Allah were the weak among the people, men, women, slaves, and only a few chiefs or noted men followed him. Nuh, was also addressed by his people “Nor do we see any follow you but the meekest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking.” (11:27)

Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked Abu Sufyan, “Do the noblemen or the weak among people follow him (Muhammad)?” Abu Sufyan replied, “Rather the weak among them.” Heraclius commented, “Such is the case with followers of the Messengers.”

The idolators of Quraysh used to mock the weak among them who believed in the Prophet and they even tortured some of them. They used to say, “Are these the ones whom Allah favored above us?” meaning, Allah would not guide these people, instead of us, to all that is good, if indeed what they embraced is good. Allah mentioned similar statements in the Qur’an from the disbelievers, “Had it been a good thing, they (weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!” (46:11), and, “And when Our clear verses are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Which of the two groups is best in position and station.” (19:73) Allah said in reply, “And how many a generation (past nations) have We destroyed before them, who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance?” (19:74). Here, Allah answered the disbelievers when they said, “Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us? Does not Allah know best those who are grateful?” Meaning is not Allah more knowledgeable of those who thank and appreciate Him in statement, action and heart Thus Allah directs these believers to the ways of peace, transfers them from darkness to light by His leave, and guides them to the straight path. In another Ayah, Allah said; “As for those who strive hard for Us (Our cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah’s religion). And verily, Allah is with the doers of good” (29:69). An authentic Hadith states,

“Allah does not look at your shapes or colours, but He looks at your heart and actions.” (Muslim 4:1987)

Allah’s statement, “When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: “Salamun Alaykum” (peace be on you)” means, honor them by returning the Salam and give them the good news of Allah’s exclusive, encompassing mercy for them. So Allah said; “your Lord has written Mercy for Himself” meaning, He has obliged His Most Honored Self to grant mercy, as a favor, out of His compassion and beneficence, “So that, if any of you does evil in ignorance…” as every person who disobeys Allah does it in ignorance, “and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds” by repenting from the sins that he committed, intending not to repeat the sin in the future, but to perform righteous deeds, “then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

”When Allah finished with the creation, He wrote in a Book that He has with Him above the Throne, ‘My mercy prevails over My anger’.” (Ahmad 2:313)

{55. And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail, that the way of the criminals, may become manifest.

56. Say: “I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke (worship) besides Allah.” Say: “I will not follow your vain desires. If I did, I would go astray, and I would not be one of the rightly guided.”

57. Say: “I am on clear proof from my Lord, but you deny it. I do not have what you are hastily seeking (the torment). The decision is only for Allah, He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.”

58. Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.”

59. And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows what ever there is on the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.}

The Prophet Understands What He Conveys; Torment is in Allah’s Hands Not the Prophet’s

Allah says, just as We mentioned the clear signs that testify and direct to the path of guidance, all the while chastising useless arguments and defiance, ”And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail,” that is, whatever responsible adults need explained to them, in the affairs of life and religion, “That the way of the criminals may become manifest.” so that the path of the criminals who defy the Prophets is apparent and clear. This Ayah was also said to mean, so that you, O Muhammad, are aware of the path of the criminals. Allah’s statement, “Say: “I am on clear proof from my Lord…” means: I have a clear understanding of the Law of Allah that He has revealed to me, “but you deny it.” meaning, but you disbelieve in the truth that came to me from Allah. “I do not have what you are hastily seeking” meaning, the torment, “The decision is only for Allah,” for the ruling of this is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish you soon in response to your wish! If He wills, He will give you respite, out of His great wisdom. This is why Allah said, “He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.” and the best in reckoning between His servants. Allah’s statement, “Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I,” means, if I have what you ask for, I will surely send down what you deserve of it, “but Allah knows best the wrongdoers”

Someone might ask about the meaning of this Ayah compared to the Hadith in the Two Sahihs, from A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that she said to the Messenger, “O Allah’s Messenger! Have you encountered a day harder than the day (of the battle) of Uhud?” The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, replied,

“Your people have troubled me alot and the worst trouble was on the day of Aqabah when I presented myself to Ibn Abd Yalil bin Abd Kulal, who did not respond to my call. So I departed, overwhelmed with severe sorrow, proceeded on and could not relax until I found myself at Qarn Ath-Thaalib where I raised my head towards the sky to see a     cloud unexpectedly shading me. I looked up and saw Jibril in it and he called me saying, ‘Indeed Allah has heard what you said to the people and what they have responded to you. Therefore, Allah has sent the Angel of the Mountains to you so that you may order him to do whatever you wish to these people.’ The Angel of the Mountains called and greeted me, and then said, ‘O Muhammad! Verily, Allah has heard how your people responded to you and He has sent me to you so that you could order me to do what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akhshabayn (two mountains to the north and south of Makkah) fall on them.The Prophet said, No, but I hope that Allah will let them generate offspring who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:630; Muslim 3:1420)

Tormenting the disbelievers of Quraysh was offered to the Prophet, but he chose patience and asked Allah for respite for them, so that Allah might let them generate offspring who will not associate anything with Him in worship. Therefore, how can we combine the meaning of this Hadith and the honorable Ayah, “Say: “If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.” The answer to this question is, Allah knows the best, that the Ayah states that if the punishment that they asked for was in the Prophet’s hand at the time, he would have sent it on them as they asked. As for the Hadith, the disbelievers did not ask the Prophet to send the torment down on them. Rather, the angel responsible for the mountains offered him the choice to let the two mountains to the north and south of Makkah close in on the disbelievers and crush them. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, did not wish that and asked for respite out of compassion for them.

Only Allah Knows the Unseen

Allah said next, “And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He.” Al- Bukhari recorded that Salim bin Abdullah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said,

“The keys of the Unseen are five and none except Allah knows them: “Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware)” (31:34). (Fath Al-Bari 8:141)

Allah’s statement, “And He knows whatever there is on the land and in the sea” means, Allah’s honored knowledge encompasses everything, including the creatures living in the sea and on land, and none of it, not even the weight of an atom on earth or in heaven, ever escapes His knowledge. Allah’s statement, “not a leaf falls, but He knows it.” means, He knows the movements of everything including inanimate things. Therefore, what about His knowledge of the living creatures, especially, those whom the Divine laws have been imposed upon such as mankind and the Jinns In another Ayah, Allah said; “Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.” (40:19)

{60. 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 be fulfilled, then (in the end), unto Him will be your return. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.

61. He is the Qahir over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.

62. Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgment and He is the swiftest in taking account.}

The Servants are in Allah’s Hands Before and After Death

Allah states that He brings death to His servants in their sleep at night, for sleep is minor death. Allah said in other Ayat, “And (remember) when Allah said: “O Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself…” (3:55), and, “It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed.” (39:42),thus mentioning both minor and major death. Allah says, “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day” meaning, He knows the deeds and actions that you perform during the day. This Ayah demonstrates Allah’s perfect knowledge of His creation, by day and night, and in their movements and idleness. Allah said in other Ayat, “It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day.” (13:10), and “It is out of His mercy that He made night and day, so that you may rest therein”, by night, “and that you may seek of His bounty” by day. Allah said, “And (We) have made the night as a covering. And (We) have made the day for livelihood.” (78:10-11).

Allah said here, “It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day,” (6:60), Then said, “then he raises (wakes) you up again” by day, according to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Allah’s statement, “that a term appointed be fulfilled” refers to the life span of every person, “then (in the end), unto Him will be your return.” on the Day of Resurrection, “Then He will inform you of what you used to do.” He will reward you, good for good, and evil for evil. Allah’s statement, “He is the Qahir over His servants.” The Qahir means, the one who controls everything, all are subservient to Hissupreme grace, greatness and majesty, “and He sends guardians over you,” angels who guard mankind. In another Ayah, Allah said; “For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah.” (13:11), watching his deeds and recording them. Allah said, “But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you.” (82:10), and “(Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive, one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter, but there is a watcher by him, ready.” (50:17-18). Allah’s statement, “until when death approaches one of you…” refers to, when one’s life span comes to an end and he is dying, “Our messengers take his soul…” meaning, there are angels who are responsible for this job. Ibn Abbas and several others said that the Angel of Death has angels who pull the soul from its body and when it reaches the throat, the Angel of Death captures it. (At-Tabari 11:410) Allah said;“and they never neglect their duty.” They guard the soul of the dead person and take it to wherever Allah wills, to Illiyyin if he was among the righteous, and to Sijjin [Refer to Surah Al-Mutaffifin] if he was among the wicked (disbelievers, sinners, etc.), we seek refuge with Allah from this end. Allah said next, “Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him said,

“The angels attend the dying person. If he is a righteous person, the angels will say, ‘O pure soul from a pure body! Come out with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ The angels will keep saying this until the soul leaves its body, and they will then raise it up to heaven and will ask that the door be opened for the soul and it will be asked, ‘Who is this?’ It will be said, ‘(The soul of) so-and-so.’ It will be said, ‘Welcome, to the pure soul that inhabited the pure body. Enter with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.’ This statement will be repeated until the soul reaches the heaven above which there is Allah. If the dying person is evil, the angels will say, ‘Get out (of your body), O wicked soul from a wicked body! Get out in disgrace and receive the news of boiling fluid, a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold and other (torments) of similar kind – all together – to match them.’ This statement will be said repeatedly until the evil soul leaves its body. The soul will be raised up to heaven and a request will be made that the door be opened for it. It will be asked, ‘Who is this?’ It will be said, ‘(The soul of) so and so.’ It will be said, ‘No welcome to the wicked soul from the wicked body. Return with disgrace, for the doors of heaven will not be opened for you.’ So it will be thrown from heaven until it returns to the grave. So the righteous person sits and similar is said to him as before. And the evil person sits and similar is said to him as before.”(Ahmad 2:364)

It is also possible that the meaning of, “Then they are returned…” refers to the return of all creation to Allah on the Day of Resurrection, when He will subject them to His just decision. Allah said in other Ayat, “Say: “(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed meeting of a known Day.” (56:49-50) and, “And We shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind…” (18:47) until, “And your Lord treats no one with injustice.” (18:49) Allah said here, “their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgement and He is the swiftest in taking account.” (6:62)

{63. Say: “Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret (saying): ‘If He (Allah) only saves us from these (dangers), we shall truly be grateful.”

64. Say: “Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.”

65. Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.” See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.}

Allah’s Compassion and Generosity, and His Power and Torment

Allah mentions how He favors His servants, saving them during times of need, in the darkness of land and at sea, such as when storms strike. In such cases, they call on Allah alone, without partners, in supplication. In other Ayat, Allah said, “And when harm strikes you at sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him.” (17:67), “He it is Who enables you to travel through the land and the sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they rejoice, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him alone, saying: “If You deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful”. (10:22), and, “Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy Is there any god with Allah High Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners (with Him)!” (27:63) .

Allah said in this honorable Ayah, “Say: “Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret.” i.e., in public and secret, “(Saying): ‘If He (Allah) only saves us…” from this distress, “we shall truly be grateful.” thereafter. Allah said, “Say: “Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.” meaning, yet you call other gods besides Him in times of comfort. Allah said; “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet,” He said thisafter His statement, “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you..’‘, after He saves you. Allah said in Surah Subhan (chapter 17), “And yet you commit Shirk.” Allah said next, “Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty. Truly! He is Ever Merciful towards you. And when harm strikes you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful. Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a storm of stones ? Then, you shall find no guardian. Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you because of your disbelief, then you will not find any avenger therein against Us?” (17:66-69).

Al-Bukhari, may Allah grant him His mercy, commented on Allah’s statement, “Say: “He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.” See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.” “Yalbisakum means, ‘cover you with confusion’, So it means to, ‘divide into parties and sects’. Jabir bin Abdullah said, ‘When this Ayah was revealed, “Say: “He has power to send torment on you from above” Allah’s Messenger said, “I seek refuge with Your Face.” “or from under your feet” he again said, “I seek refuge with Your Face.” “or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.” he said, “This is less burdensome or easier.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:141)

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sad bin Abi Waqqas said, We accompanied the Messenger of Allah and passed by the Masjid of Bani Muawiyah. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him  went in and offered a two Rakah prayer, and we prayed behind him. He supplicated to his Lord for a long time and then said,

“I asked my Lord for three: I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah (Muslims) by drowning and He gave that to me. I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah by famine and He gave that to me. And I asked Him not to make them taste the violence of one another, but He did not give that to me.”  (Muslim no.2890)

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, who attended the battle of Badr with the Messenger of Allah , said, “I met Allah’s Messenger during a night in which he prayed throughout it, until dawn. When the Messenger of Allah ended his prayer, I said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! This night, you have performed a prayer that I never saw you perform before.’ Allah’s Messenger said,

“Yes, it was a prayer of eagerness and fear. During this prayer, I asked my Lord for three things and He gave me two and refused to give me the third. I asked my Lord not to destroy us with what He destroyed the nations before us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to make our enemies prevail above us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to cover us with confusion in party strife, but He refused.” (Ahmad 3:108)

Allah’s statement, “or to cover you with confusion in party strife,” means, He causes you to be in disarray and separate into opposing parties and groups. Al-Walibi (Ali bin Abi Talhah) reported that Ibn Abbas said that this Ayah refers to desires. (At-Tabari 11:420) Mujahid and several others said similarly. A Hadith from the Prophet,peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, collected from various chains of narration, states,

“And this Ummah (Muslims) will divide into seventy – three groups, all of them in the Fire except one.” (Abu Dawud 5:5)

Allah said; “and make you taste the violence of one another.” meaning, some of you will esperience torture and murder from one another, according to Ibn Abbas and others.

Allah said next, “See how variously We explain the Ayat” by making them clear, plain and duly explained, “So that they may understand.” and comprehend Allah’s Ayat, proofs and evidences.

{66. But your people have denied it (the Qur’an) though it is the truth. Say: “I am not responsible for your affairs.”

67. For every news there is a reality and you will come to know.

68. And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur’an) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance, sit not you in the company of those people who are the wrongdoers.

69. There is no responsibility for them upon those who have Taqwa, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may (attain) Taqwa.}

 

The Invitation to the Truth is Guidance Without Coercion

Allah said, “But have denied it” denied the Qur’an, guidance and clear explanation that you (O Muhammad ) have brought them, “your people” meaning, Quraysh, “though it is the truth.” beyond which there is no other truth. “Say: “I am not responsible for your affairs.” meaning, I have not been appointed a guardian or watcher over you. Allah also said; “And say: “The truth is from your Lord.” Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.” (18:29), This means, my duty is to convey the Message and your duty is to hear and obey. Those who follow me, will acquire happiness in this life and the Hereafter. Those who defy me will become miserable in this life and the Hereafter. So Allah said; “For every news there is a reality…” meaning, for every news, there is a reality, in that, this news will occur, perhaps after a while, according to Ibn Abbas and others. Allah said in other Ayat, “And you shall certainly know the truth of it after a while.” (38:88) and, “(For) each and every matter there is a decree (from Allah).” (13:38). This, indeed, is a warning and a promise that will surely occur, “And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur’an)”, by denying and mocking them.

The Prohibition of Sitting with Those Who Deny and Mock Allah’s Ayat

“stay away from them till they turn to another topic.” until they talk about a subject other than the denial they were engaged in. “And if Shaytan causes you to forget…” This command includes every member of this Ummah. No one is to sit with those who deny and distort Allah’s Ayat and explain them incorrectly. If one forgets and sits with such people, “and you will come to know.” Allah’s statement, “then after the remembrance sit not you” after you remember, “in the company of those people who are the wrongdoers”. A Hadith states,

“My Ummah was forgiven unintentional errors, forgetfulness and what they are coerced to do.” (Ibn Majah 1:659)

The Ayah above (6:68) is the Ayah mentioned in Allah’s statement, “And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them.” (4:140), for, if you still sit with them, agreeing to what they say, you will be just like them. Allah’s statement , “There is no responsibility for them upon those who have Taqwa,” means, when the believers avoid sitting with wrongdoers in this case, they will be innocent of them and they will have saved themselves from their sin. Allah’s statement, “but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may avoid that”, means, We commanded you to ignore and avoid them, so that they become aware of the error they are indulging in, that they may avoid this behavior and never repeat it again.

{70. And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world. But remind (them) with it (the Qur’an) lest a soul Tubsal for that which one has earned, when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah, and even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him. Such are they who are given up to destruction because of that which they have earned. For them will be a drink of boiling water and a painful torment because they used to disbelieve.}

Allah said, “And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world.” The Ayah commands to leave such people, ignore them and give them respite, for soon, they will taste a tremendous torment. This is why Allah said, “But remind with it” meaning, remind the people with this Qur’an and warn them against Allah’s revenge and painful torment on the Day of Resurrection. Allah said; “lest a soul Tubsal for that which one has earned” meaning, so that it is not Tubsal. Ad-Dahhak from Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi said that Tubsal means, be submissive. (At-Tabari 11:443) Al-Walibi said that Ibn Abbas said that Tubsal means, ‘be exposed’. (At-Tabari 11:444) Qatadah said that Tubsal means, be prevented’, Murrah and Ibn Zayd said that it means, ‘be recompensed’, (At-Tabari 11:443) Al-Kalbi said, ‘be reckoned’. (At-Tabari 11:444) All these statements and expressions are similar, for they all mean exposure to destruction, being kept away from all that is good, and being restrained from attaining what is desired. Allah also said; “Every person is restrained by what he has earned. Except those on the Right.” (74:38-39), and “when he will find for himself no protector or intercessor besides Allah,” and, “and even if he offers every ransom, it will not be accepted from him.” meaning, whatever the ransom such people offer, it will not be accepted from them. Allah said in a similar statement, “Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them.” (3:91) Allah said here, “Such are they who are given up to destruction because of that which they have earned. For them will be a drink of boiling water and a painful torment because they used to disbelieve.”

{71. Say: “Shall we invoke others besides Allah (false deities), that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels after Allah has guided us — Like one whom the Shayatin (devils) have made to go astray, confused (wandering) through the land, his companions calling himtoguidance(saying): `Cometous.”’Say: “Verily, Allah’s guidance is the only guidance, and we have been commanded to submit (ourselves) to the Lord of all that exists.

72. And to perform the Salah, and have Taqwa of Him, and it is He to Whom you shall be gathered.

73. It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth, and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become. His Word is the truth. His will be the dominion on the Day when the Sur will be blown. All-Knower of the unseen and the seen. He is the All-Wise, Well-Aware.}

 

The Parable of Those Who Revert to Disbelief After Faith and Good Deeds

As-Suddi said, “Some idolators said to some Muslims, ‘Follow us and abandon the religion of Muhammad.’ Allah sent down the revelation, “Say: “Shall we invoke others besides Allah, that can do us neither good nor harm, and shall we turn on our heels…” by reverting to disbelief, “…after Allah has guided us.” for if we do this, our example will be like he whom the devils have caused to wander in confusion throughout the land. Allah says here, your example, if you revert to disbelief after you believed, is that of a man who went with some people on a road, but he lost his way and the devils led him to wander in confusion over the land. Meanwhile, his companions on the road were calling him to come to them saying, ‘Come back to us, for we are on the path.’ But, he refused to go back to them. This is the example of he who follows the devil after recognizing Muhammad, and Muhammad is the person who is calling the people to the path, and the path is Islam.” Ibn Jarir recorded this statement. (At-Tabari 11:452)

Allah’s statement, “Like one whom the Shayatin (devils) have made to go astray (wandering) through the land,” refers to ghouls, “calling him” by his name, his father’s and his grandfather’s names. So he follows the devils’ call thinking that it is a path of guidance, but by the morning he will find himself destroyed and perhaps they eat him. The Jinns will then let him wander in a wasteland where he will die of thirst. This is the example of those who follow the false gods that are being worshipped instead of Allah, Most Honored. Ibn Jarir also recorded this. (At-Tabari 11:452) Allah said, “Say: “Verily, Allah’s guidance is the only guidance,” Allah said in other instances, “And whomsoever Allah guides, for him there will be none to misguide him.” (39:37), and, “If you covet for their guidance, then verily Allah guides not those whom He makes to go astray. And they will have no helpers.” (17:37) Allah’s statement, “and we have been commanded to submit to the Lord of all that exists.” means, we were commanded to worship Allah in sincerity to Him alone, without partners. “And to perform the Salah, and have Taqwa of Him.” meaning, we were commanded to perform the prayer and to fear Allah in all circumstances, “and it is He to Whom you shall be gathered.” on the Day of Resurrection. “It is He Who has created the heavens and the earth in truth.” meaning, in justice, and He is their Originator and Owner Who governs their affairs and the affairs of their inhabitants. Allah said, “and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become.” Referring to the Day of Resurrection, which will come faster than the blink of an eye, when Allah says to it, ‘Be.’

As-Sur; The Trumpet

Allah’s statement, “on the Day when the Sur will be blown…” refers to His statement, “and on the Day He will say: “Be!” it shall become.” as we stated above. Or, it means, “His will be the dominion on the Day when the Sur will be blown.” Allah said in other Ayat, “Whose is the kingdom this Day It is Allah’s, the One, the Irresistible!” (40:16), and, “The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty), belonging to the Most Beneficent (Allah), and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.” (25:26) The Sur is the Trumpet into which the angel Israfil, peace be upon him, will blow. The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him said,

“Israfil has held the Sur in his mouth and lowered his forehead, awaiting the command to blow in it.” (At-Tabari 5:238)

Muslim recorded this Hadith in his Sahih. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah bin Amr said, “A bedouin man said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What is the Sur?’ He said,

“A Trumpet which will be blown.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 7:117, Ahmad 2:162)

 

{74. And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error.”

75. Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have faith with certainty.

76. When the night overcame him he saw a Kawkab. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala, he said: “I like not those that set.”

77. When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.”

78. When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it Afalat, he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.

79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not of the idolators.”}

 

Ibrahim Advises his Father

Ibrahim advised, discouraged and forbade his father from worshipping idols, just as Allah stated, “And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as gods” meaning, do you worship an idol instead of Allah “Verily, I see you and your people…” who follow your path, “in manifest error” wandering in confusion unaware of where to go. Therefore, you are in disarray and ignorance, and this fact is clear to all those who have sound reason. Allah also said, “And mention in the Book (the Qur’an, the story of) Ibrahim. Verily! He was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a straight path. O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily! Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtakes you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan (in the Hell-fire).” He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unanswered in my invocation to my Lord.” (19:41-48)

Ibrahim continued asking for forgiveness for his father for the rest of his father’s life. When his father died an idolator and Ibrahim realized this fact, he stopped asking Allah for forgiveness for him and disassociated himself from him. Allah said, “And invoking for his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily Ibrahim was patient in supplication and forbearing.” (9:114). It was recorded in the Sahih that Ibrahim will meet his father Azar on the Day of Resurrection and Azar will say to him, “My son! This Day, I will not disobey you.” Ibrahim will say, “O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day they are resurrected; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father” Then Allah will say, “O Ibrahim! Look behind you!” He will look and there he will see (that his father was changed into) a male hyena covered in dung, which will be caught by the legs and thrown in the (Hell) Fire.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:445) [There are a number of reasons explained for this incident, among them, that Ibrahim will not feel disgraced by seeing a dung-covered hyena thrown in the Fire, and that this is the true worth of his father. See the reference given for more comments.]

Tawhid Becomes Apparent to Ibrahim

Allah’s statement, “Thus did We show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth…” (6:75), means, when he contemplated about the creation of the heaven and earth, We showed Ibrahim the proofs of Allah’s Oneness over His dominion and His creation, which indicate that there is no god or Lord except Allah. Allah said in other Ayat; “Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth.” (10:101), and, “See they not what is before them and what is behind them, of the heaven and the earth? If We will, We sink the earth with them, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily, in this is a sign for every servant who turns to Allah.” (34:9) Allah said next, “When the night overcame him” covered him with darkness, “He saw a Kawkab” a star. “He said: “This is my lord.” But when it Afala” meaning, set, he said, “I like not those that set.” Qatadah commented, “Ibrahim knew that his Lord is Eternal and never ceases.” (At-Tabari 11:480) “When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the misguided people.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” this radiating, rising star is my lord, “This is greater” bigger than the star and the moon, and more radiant. “But when it Afalat” set, “he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face…”, meaning, I have purified my religion and made my worship sincere, “towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth,” Who originated them and shaped them without precedence, “Hanifan” avoiding Shirk and embracing Tawhid. This is why he said next, “and I am not of the idolators.”

Prophet Ibrahim Debates with his People

We should note here that, in these Ayat, Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was debating with his people, explaining to them the error of their way in worshipping idols and images. In the first case with his father, Ibrahim explained to his people their error in worshipping the idols of earth, which they made in the shape of heavenly angels, so that they intercede on their behalf with the Glorious Creator. His people thought that they are too insignificant to worship Allah directly, and this is why they turned to the worship of angels as intercessors with Allah for their provisions, gaining victory and attaining their various needs. He then explained to them the error and deviation of worshipping the seven planets, which they said were the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. The brightest of these objects and the most honored to them was the Sun, the Moon then Venus. Ibrahim, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him, first proved that Venus is not worthy of being worshipped, for it is subservient to a term and course appointed that it does not defy, nor swerving right or left. Venus does not have any say in its affairs, for it is only a heavenly object that Allah created and made bright out of His wisdom. Venus rises from the east and sets in the west where it disappears from sight. This rotation is repeated the next night, and so forth. Such an object is not worthy of being a god. Ibrahim then went on to mention the Moon in the same manner in which he mentioned Venus, and then the Sun. When he proved that these three objects were not gods, although they are the brightest objects the eyes can see, “he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah.” meaning, I am free from worshipping these objects and from taking them as protectors. Therefore, if they are indeed gods as you claim, then all of you bring your plot against me and do not give me respite.

“Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth, Hanifan, and I am not one of the idolators.” meaning, I worship the Creator of these things, Who originated and decreed them, and Who governs their affairs and made them subservient. It is He in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things, and He is the Creator, Lord, King and God of all things in existence. In another Ayah, Allah said, “Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne. He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars, subjecting them to His command. Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists!” (7:54). Allah described Prophet Ibrahim, “And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his (portion of) guidance, and We were well- acquainted with him. When he said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted” (21:51-52). These Ayat indicate that Ibrahim was debating with his people about the Shirk they practiced.

{80. His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me about Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord wills something. My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things. Will you not then remember

81. And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah, while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan.(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security If you but know.”

82. It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.

83. And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We in degrees raise whom We will. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.}

Allah states that His Khalil, Prophet Ibrahim, said when his people mentioned various doubts and disputed with him about the Tawhid that he called to: “Do you dispute with me about Allah while He has guided me?”. The Ayah means, do you argue with me about Allah, other than Whom there is no god worthy of worship, while He has guided me to the Truth and made me aware of it Therefore, how can I ever consider your misguided statements and false doubts Ibrahim said next, “and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord wills something.”

Ibrahim said, among the proofs to the falsehood of your creed, is that these false gods that you worship do not bring about any effect, and I do not fear them or care about them. Therefore, if these gods are able to cause harm, then use them against me and do not give me respite. Ibrahim’s statement, “except when my Lord wills something.” means, only Allah causes benefit or harm. “My Lord comprehends in His knowledge all things.” meaning, Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things and nothing escapes His complete observation, “Will you not then remember?” what I explained to you, considering your idols as false gods and refraining from worshipping them? This reasoning from Prophet Ibrahim is similar to the argument that Prophet Hud used against his people, Ad. Allah mentioned this incident in His Book, when He said, “They said: “O Hud! No evidence have you brought us, and we shall not leave our gods for your (mere) saying! And we are not believers in you. All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil.” He said: “I call Allah to witness – and bear you witness – that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship with Him (Allah). So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path (the truth).” (11:53-56)

Ibrahim’s statement, “And how should I fear those whom you associate…” means, how should I fear the idols that you worship instead of Allah, “while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan.” meaning, proof, according to Ibn Abbas and others among the Salaf. (At-Tabari 11:491) Allah said in similar Ayat; “Or have they partners who have instituted for them a religion which Allah has not allowed?” (42:21), and, “They are but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority.” (53:21) His statement, “(So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know.” means, which of the two parties is on the truth, those who worship Him in Whose Hand is harm and benefit, or those who worship what cannot bring harm or benefit, without authority to justify worshipping them Who among these two parties has more right to be saved from Allah’s torment on the Day of Resurrection Allah said, “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” Therefore, those who worship Allah alone without partners, will acquire safety on the Day of Resurrection, and they are the guided ones in this life and the Hereafter.

Shirk is the Greatest Zulm (Wrong)

Al-Bukhari recorded that Abdullah said, “When the Ayah, “and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong).” was revealed, the Companions of the Prophet said, ‘And who among us did not commit Zulm against himself?’ The Ayah, “Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” (31:13), was later revealed.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:144) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abdullah said, “When this Ayah was revealed, “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong),” it was hard on the people. They said, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Who among us did not commit Zulm against himself?’ He said, “It is not what you understood from it. Did you not hear what the righteous servant (Luqman) said, ‘O my son! Join not in worship others with Allah. Verily! Shirk is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed.” (31:13). Therefore, it is about Shirk. (Ahmad 1:444)

Allah’s statement, “And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people.” means, We directed him to proclaim Our proof against them. Mujahid and others said that ‘Our proof’ refers to, “And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm”, while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any Sultan. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security” (At-Tabari 11:505)

Allah has testified Ibrahim’s statement and affirmed security and guidance, saying; “It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm, for them there is security and they are the guided.” Allah said, “And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We raise in degrees whom We will.” And; “Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.” He is All-Wise in His statements and actions, All- Knower of those whom He guides or misguides, and whether the proof was established against them or not. Allah also said, “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) This is why Allah said here, “Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.”

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