Surah Al-Isra Ayat 59-111 (end)

{59. 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 make them afraid (of destruction).}

The Reason who Allah did not send Signs or Miracles

Said bin Jubayr said, “The idolators said: ‘O Muhammad, you claim that before you there were Prophets, among whom was one to whom the wind was subjugated, and another who could bring the dead back to life. If you want us to believe in you, ask your Lord to turn As-Safa’ into gold for us.’ Allah conveyed to him by inspiration (Wahy): ‘I have heard what they have said. If you wish, I will do what they say, but if they do not believe after that, the punishment will come down upon them, because after the sign has been sent, there is no room for speculation. Or if you wish, I will be patient with your people and give them more time.’ He said:

“O Lord, give them more time.” (At-Tabari 17:477)

These narrations are supported by the Hadith of Ibn Abbas recorded by Ahmad. This was also narrated by Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and others. (At-Tabari 17:477) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said, “The people of Makkah asked the Prophet to turn As-Safa’ into gold for them, and to remove the mountains (from around Makkah) so that they could cultivate the land. It was said to him (by Allah): ‘If you wish, I will be patient and give them more time, or if you wish, I will do what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, they will be destroyed as the nations before them were destroyed.’ He said,“No, be patient and give them more time.” Then Allah revealed: “And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them.” (Ahmad 1:258) An-Nasa’i also reported this from the Hadith of Jarir. (An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 6:380)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas said: The Quraysh said to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Ask your Lord to turn As-Safa’ into gold and we will believe in you.” He said, “Will you really do that?” They said, “Yes.” So he asked his Lord, and Jibril came to him and said: “Your Lord conveys His Salam to you and says, ‘If you wish, I will turn As-Safa’ into gold for them, then whoever of them disbelieves after that, will be punished with a torment the like of which has never be seen in creation; or if you wish, I will open the gates of repentance and mercy for them.”’ He said, “Rather the gates of repentance and mercy.” (Ahmad 1:242)

“And We sent not the signs except to make them afraid (of destruction).” Qatadah said, “Allah makes people afraid with whatever signs He wills, so that they may learn a lesson and remember and return to Him. We were told that Al-Kufah was shaken at the time of Ibn Masud, who said: ‘O people, your Lord is rebuking you, so pay heed!” (At-Tabari 17:478) Similarly, it was reported that Al-Madinah was struck by several earthquakes at the time of Umar bin Al-Khattab. Umar said: “You have changed, by Allah, and if such a quake were to strike again, I will subject you to such and such.” (Ibn Abi Shaybah 2:473) The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon:

“The sun and the moon are two of the signs of Allah, and they are not eclipsed for the death or life of anyone. Allah uses them to make His servants afraid, so if you see them, hasten to remember Him, call on Him and seek His forgiveness.”

Then he said: “O Ummah of Muhammad, by Allah, no one has a greater sense of jealousy than Allah if He sees His servant, or female servant, committing Zina (illegal sexual intercourse). O Ummah of Muhammad, if you knew what I know, you would laugh little and weep much.” (Fath Al-Bari 2:615, Muslim 2:618)

{60. And (remember) when We told you: “Verily, your Lord has encompassed mankind.” And We made not the vision which We showed you but a trial for mankind, and (likewise) the accursed tree in the Qur’an. We warn and make them afraid but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allah.}

Allah has encompassed Mankind and made the Vision of His Prophet a Trial for Them

Allah says to His Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, encouraging him to convey the Message and informing him that He is protecting him from the people, that He is able to deal with them and that they are in His grasp and under His domination and control. “And (remember) when We told you: “Verily, your Lord has encompassed mankind..” (At-Tabari 17:479, 480) Mujahid, Urwah bin Az-Az-Zubayr, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others said, “This means, He protected you from them.” “And We made not the vision which We showed you but a trial for mankind” Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said: “And We made not the vision which We showed you but a trial for mankind,” “This is the vision which the Messenger of Allah saw with his own eyes on the night when he was taken on the Night Journey (Al-Isra’). “and (likewise) the accursed tree in the Quran. refers to the Tree of Zaqqum.” (Fath Al-Bari 8:250) This was also recorded by Ahmad, Abdur-Razzaq and others. (Ahmad 1:221) It was also reported by Al-Awfi from Ibn Abbas. (At-Tabari 17:481, 484)

It was also interpreted as referring to the Night of the Isra’ by Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Masruq, Ibrahim, Qatadah, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd and several others. (At-Tabari 17: 480) We have already quoted at length a comprehensive collection of Hadith about the Isra’ at the beginning of this Surah, praise be to Allah. We have also already stated that some people gave up their Islam after they had been following the truth, because their hearts and minds could not comprehend that, and they denied what their knowledge could not grasp, but Allah caused it to increase and strengthen the faith of others, and so He says: “but a trial”, meaning a test. As for the cursed tree, this is the Tree of Zaqqum. (See Surat As-Suffat [37:62]) When the Messenger of Allah told them that he had seen Paradise and Hell, and seen the Tree of Zaqqum, they did not believe that, and Abu Jahl, upon whom be the curses of Allah, even said, “Bring us some dates and butter,” and he started eating them and saying, “Let us have some Zaqqum, we don’t know any other Zaqqum but this.” This was narrated by Ibn Abbas, Masruq, Abu Malik, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others. Everyone who interpreted the Ayah to refer to the Night of the Isra’, also interpreted it to refer to the Tree of Zaqqum. (At-Tabari 17:484) “[We] make them afraid” meaning, ‘We make the disbelievers afraid with Our warnings and punishments and torment.’ “but it only increases them in naught save great disbelief, oppression and disobedience to Allah.” means, it only pushes them further into their disbelief and misguidance, and this is because Allah has forsaken them.

{61. And (remember) when We said to the angels: “Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.” They prostrated themselves except Iblis. He said: “Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay?” 

62. He said: “See this one whom You have honored above me, if You give me respite to the Day of Resurrection, I will surely, seize and mislead his offspring, all but a few!”}

The Story of Adam and Iblis

Allah mentions here the enmity of Iblis, may the curse of Allah be upon him and his progeny. This is an ancient hatred, dating from the time that Allah created Adam, when He commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam, and all of them prostrated except Iblis, who was too arrogant and he haughtily refused to prostrate to him. He said in a tone indicating contempt: “He said: “Shall I prostrate myself to one whom You created from clay?” According to another Ayah, he said: “I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.” (7:12) He also said, speaking to the Lord with disbelief and insolence, but the Lord bore it patiently: “He said: “See this one whom You have honoured above me…”

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “He is saying, ‘I am going to dominate his offspring, all but a few.”’ Mujahid said (it means), “I am going to surround them.” Ibn Zayd said (it means), “I am going to lead them astray.” (At-Tabari 17:489) All of them are close in meaning, and the meaning of the Ayah is, “Do You see this one whom You have honored and made greater than me? If You give me time, I will lead his descendants astray, all but a few of them.”

{63. (Allah) said: “Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all) an ample recompense. 

64. “And fool them gradually, those whom you can among them with your voice, Ajlib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry, share with them wealth and children, and make promises to them.” But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit. 

65. “Verily, My servants, you have no authority over them. And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.”}

When Iblis asked for respite, Allah said to him: “Go” I will give you respite.’ According to another Ayah (Allah) said: “Verily, you are of those allowed respite till the Day of the time appointed.” (38:80-81). Then Allah warned him and those who follow him among the progeny of Adam about Hell: “(Allah) said: “Go, and whosoever of them follows you, surely, Hell will be the recompense of you (all)” meaning, for your deeds. “an ample recompense.” Mujahid said, “Sufficient recompense.”  (At-Tabari 17:490) Qatadah said, “It will be abundant for you and will not be decreased for you.” (At-Tabari 17:490)“And fool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” It was said that this refers to singing. (At-Tabari 17:490) Mujahid said, “With idle entertainment and singing,” meaning, influence them with that. “And fool them gradually those whom you can among them with your voice” Ibn Abbas said, “Every caller who calls people to disobey Allah.” (At-Tabari 17:490) This was the view of Qatadah, (At-Tabari 17:490) and was also the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir. “Ajib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry.” Send your troops and cavalry and infantry against them. The meaning is, send whatever forces you have at your disposal against them. This is a command “related to the divine decree”, as Allah says elsewhere: “See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil.” (19:83), meaning, to provoke them and drive them towards evil. “Ajlib upon them with your cavalry and your infantry,”

Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said, “Everyone who rides or walks to go and commit sin and disobey Allah.” (At-Tabari 17:491) Qatadah said, “He has infantry and cavalry among the Jinn and among humans. They are the ones who obey him.” (At-Tabari 17:491) The Arabs use the verb Ajlaba when describing somebody shouting at another person. Hence it is forbidden in races to shout at one another and push one another. From this root is also derived the word Jalabah, which means raising voices. “and share with them wealth and children,” Ibn Abbas and Mujahid said, “This means what he commands them to do of spending money in disobedience to Allah, may He be exalted.” (At-Tabari 17:493) “and children”

Ibn’ Abbas, as reported by Al-Awfi, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak said, “This means the children of Zina (i.e., illegitimate children).” (At-Tabari 17:494) Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas said, “This means the children whom they used to kill out of folly, without knowledge.” (At-Tabari 17:494) Qatadah reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: “Allah caused Shaytan to take a share of wealth and children by making them Magians, Jews and Christians, and making them follow any religion other than Islam, and by making them give a part of their wealth to the Shaytan.” (At-Tabari 17:495) Qatadah said the same. (At-Tabari 17:495) “and share with them wealth and children.”

The fact that only wealth and children are mentioned in this Ayah, does not mean that it is limited only to those things. Everything in which a person disobeys Allah or obeys the Shaytan means that he is sharing with him. It was reported in Sahih Muslim from Iyad bin Himar that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Allah the Mighty and Exalted says, “I have created My servants as Hunafa’ [monotheists], then the Shayatin come to them and lead them astray from their religion and (tell that) what I have permitted for them is forbidden to them.” (Muslim 4:2197)

According to the Two Sahihs, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“When one of you wants to have intercourse with his wife, let him say, ‘In the Name of Allah. O Allah, keep us away from Shaytan and keep Shaytan away from what you bestow on us (children).’ Then if a child is decreed for them from that, the Shaytan will never harm him.” (Fath Al-Bari 6:376)

“…and make promises to them.” But Shaytan promises them nothing but deceit.”

As Allah tells us, Iblis will say, on the Day when the matter is decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you.” (14:22) “Verily, My servants, you have no authority over them.” Here Allah tells us that He supports His believing servants, and guards and protects them against the accursed Shaytan. Allah says: “And All-Sufficient is your Lord as a Guardian.” meaning, as a Protector, Supporter and Helper.

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