Surah As-Suffat Ayat 1-182 (end)

 

Surah As-Saffat

(Those Who Set the Ranks)

Chapter 37

Which was Revealed in Makkah

The Virtues of Surah As-Saffat

 

An-Nasa’i recorded that Abdullah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to command us to make our prayers short and he used to recite As-Saffat when he lead us in prayer.” (An-Nasai 2:95) This was recorded by An-Nasa’i only.

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

{1. By those ranged in ranks.

2. By those who drive the clouds in a good way.

3. By those who bring the Dhikr.

4. Verily, your God is indeed One;

5. Lord of the heavens and of the earth, and all that is between them, and Lord of every point of the sun’s risings.}

It was reported that Abdullah bin Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “By those ranged in ranks.” – they are the angels; “By those who drive the clouds in a good way.” they are the angels; “By those who bring the Dhikr.” they are the angels.” (At-Tabari 21:7) This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Masruq, Said bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi bin Anas. (Al-Qurtubi 15:61) Qatadah said, “The angels form ranks in the heavens.” (At-Tabari 21:7) Muslim recorded that Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

“We have been favoured over the rest of mankind in three ways: our ranks have been made like the ranks of the angels; the entire earth has been made a Masjid for us; and its soil has been made a means of purification for us if we cannot find water.” (Muslim 1:371)

Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah recorded that Jabir bin Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“Will you not form ranks as the angels form ranks in the presence of their Lord?”

We said, ‘How do the angels form ranks in the presence of their Lord?’ He said:

“They complete the rows nearer the front and they consolidate the rows.” (Muslim 1:223)

As-Suddi and others said that the Ayah “By those who drive the clouds in a good way.” means that they drive the clouds. “By those who bring the Dhikr.” As-Suddi said, “The angels bring the Scriptures and the Qur’an from Allah to mankind.”

The One True God is Allah
“Verily, your God is indeed One, Lord of the heavens and the earth,” This is the One by Whom the oath is sworn, stating that there is no God worthy of worship but He, Lord of the heavens and the earth, “and all that is between them,” means, of created beings. “and Lord of every point of the sun’s risings.” means, He is the Sovereign Who is controlling His creation by subjugating it and all that is in it of stars, planets and heavenly bodies which appear from the east and set in the west. Mentioning the east is sufficient and there is no need for the west to be mentioned too, because it is implied in what is said. This has also been stated clearly elsewhere, in the Ayat: “So I swear by the Lord of all the points of sunrise and sunset in the east and the west that surely We are able.” (70:40) “(He is) the Lord of the two easts and the Lord of the two wests.” (55:17) which refers to the rising and setting points of the sun and the moon in both winter and summer.

{6. Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars.

7. And to guard against every rebellious Shaytan.

8. They cannot listen to the higher group for they are pelted from every side.

9. Outcast, and theirs is a constant torment.

10. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.}

The Adornment and Protection of the Heaven comes from Allah

Allah tells us that He has adorned the lowest heaven with the heavenly bodies for those among the people of the earth who look at it. The stars and planets in the sky give light to the people of earth, as Allah says: “And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin, and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.” (67:5), “And indeed, We have put the big stars in the heaven and We beautified it for the beholders. And We have guarded it from every outcast Shaytan. Except him who steals the hearing then he is pursued by a clear flaming fire.” (15:16-18). And Allah says here: “And to guard” meaning, to protect as it should be protected, “against every rebellious Shaytan.” means, every insolent and impudent devil, when he wants to eavesdrop “on news in the heavens”, a piercing fire comes and burns him. Allah, may He be glorified, says: “They cannot listen to the higher group” meaning, they cannot reach the higher group – which refers to the heavens and the angels in them – when they speak of what has been revealed by Allah of His Laws and decrees. We have already mentioned this when explaining the Hadiths quoted when we discussed the Ayah, “when fear is banished from their hearts, they say: “What is it that your Lord has said?” They say: “The truth. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.” (34:23). Allah says: “for they are pelted” meaning, they are hit, “from every side.” means, from all directions from which they try to reach the heaven. (Outcast,) means, they are rejected, and are repelled and prevented from reaching it, and they are pelted. “and theirs is a constant torment.” means, in the Hereafter, they will have an ongoing, everlasting and painful torment, as Allah says: “and [We] have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire” (67:5). “Except such as snatch away something by stealing,” means, except for the one among the Shayatin who manages to get something, which is a word he has heard from the heaven. Then he throws it down to the one who is beneath him, who in turn throws it down to the one who is beneath him. Perhaps the flaming fire will strike him before he is able to throw it down, or perhaps he will throw it – by the decree of Allah – before the flaming fire strikes him and burns him. So the other devil takes it to the soothsayer, as we have seen previously in the Hadith. Allah says: “Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.” meaning, shining brightly. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Shayatin had places where they sat in the heavens listening to what was being revealed by Allah. The stars did not move and the Shayatin were not struck. When they heard the revelation, they would come down to earth and to every word they would add nine of their own. When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was sent, if a Shaytan wanted to take his seat in the heavens, the flaming fire would come and would not miss him; it would burn him every time. They complained about this to Iblis, may Allah curse him, and he said, ‘Something must have happened.’ He sent his troops out and they found the Messenger of Allah standing in prayer between the two mountains of Nakhlah.” – Waki said, “This means in the valley of Nakhlah.” – “They went back to Iblis and told him about that, and he said, ‘This is what has happened.”’ (At-Tabari 21:12)

{11.Then ask them: Are they harder to create, or those whom We have created? Verily, We created them of a sticky clay.

12. Nay, you wondered while they mock.

13. And when they are reminded, they pay no attention.

14. And when they see an Ayah (a sign) from Allah, they mock at it.

15. And they say: This is nothing but evident magic!

16. “When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we verily be resurrected?”

17. And also our fathers of old

18. Say: “Yes, and you shall then be humiliated.

19. It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring!}

 

The Certainty of Life after Death

Allah says: ‘Ask these people, those who deny the resurrection, which is harder to create Are they more difficult to create or the heavens, the earth, the angels, devils, the mighty creatures – everything in between them’ Ibn Masud said that they admitted that these things were harder to create than they were. (At-Tabari 21:19) If this is the case, then why do they deny the resurrection, when they see things that are greater than that which they deny As Allah says: “The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; yet, most of mankind know not” (40:57) Then Allah explains that they were created from something weak, as He says: “Verily, We created them of a sticky clay.” Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak said, “This is the useful kind of mud which sticks to itself.” (Al-Qurtubi 15:69) Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Ikrimah said, “It is sticky and useful.” Qatadah said, “It is that which sticks to the hand.” “Nay, you wondered while they mock.” means, ‘you were astounded, O Muhammad, at these people who denied the resurrection whilst you were certain that it is true, when they disbelieved in what Allah told you of this wondrous matter, which is the re-creation of their bodies after they have disintegrated. They oppose what you say because of their intense disbelief and they make fun of what you tell them about that.’

Qatadah said, “Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was astounded by the mockery of the misguided ones among the sons of Adam.” (At-Tabari 21:23) “And when they see an Ayah” means, clear evidence and proof, “they mock at it.” Mujahid and Qatadah said, “They make fun of it.” (At-Tabari 21:24) “And they say: “This is nothing but evident magic!” means, ‘this that you have brought is nothing but plain magic.’ “When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we (then) verily be resurrected And also our fathers of old” They thought that this was unlikely to happen, and they did not believe it. “Say: “Yes, and you shall then be humiliated.” means, ‘Tell them, O Muhammad: Yes, you will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection, after you have become dust and bones, and you will be humiliated,’ i.e., put to shame before His great might. This is like the Ayat: “And all shall come to Him, humbled” (27:87), and “Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!” (40:60) Then Allah says: “It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring!” means, it will be a single command from Allah, He will call them once to come forth from the earth, then they will be standing before Him, staring at the horrors of the Day of Resurrection. And Allah knows best.

{20. They will say: “Woe to us! This is the Day of Recompense!”

21. (It will be said:) “This is the Day of Judgement which you used to deny.”

22. (It will be said to the angels) Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship,

23. Instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire (Hell);

24. But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned.

25. “What is the matter with you? Why do you not help one another?”

26. Nay, but that Day they shall surrender.}

The Day of Recompense

Allah tells us what the disbeliever will say on the Day of Resurrection, how they will blame themselves and admit that they wronged themselves in this world. When they see the horrors of the Day of Resurrection with their own eyes, they will be filled with regret at the time when regret will not avail them anything. “They will say: “Woe to us! This is the Day of Recompense!” And the angels and the believers will say: “This is the Day of Judgement which you used to deny.” This will be said to them as a rebuke and reproof. Allah will command the angels to separate the disbeliever from the believers in the place where they are standing. Allah says: “(It will be said to the angels:) Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions” An-Numan bin Bashir, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Their companions means their counterparts, those who are like them.” (At-Tabari 21:27) This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Said bin Jubayr, Ikrimah, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Abu Salih, Abu Al-Aliyah and Zayd bin Aslam.” (At-Tabari 21:27) Sharik said, narrating from Simak, from An-Numan: “I heard Umar say: “Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions” means, ‘Those who are like them. So those who committed Zina will be gathered with others who committed Zina, those who dealt in Riba will be gathered with others who dealt in Riba, those who drank wine will be gathered with others who drank wine.’ Mujahid and Said bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn Abbas: “their companions” means “Their friends.” “and what they used to worship. Instead of Allah,” means, instead of Allah, i.e., their idols and false gods will be gathered together with them in the same place. “and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire.” means, take them to the way to Hell. This is like the Ayah: “and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf; their abode will be Hell; whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire” (17:97). “But stop them, verily, they are to be questioned.” means, stop them so that they may be questioned about the things they did and said in this world. As Ad-Dahhak said, narrating from Ibn Abbas, this means, ‘detain them, for they are to be brought to account.’ Abdullah bin Al-Mubarak said, “I heard Uthman bin Za’idah say, ‘The first thing about which a man will be asked is the company that he kept. Then by way of rebuke, it will be said to them: “What is the matter with you? Why do you not help one another?” meaning, ‘as you claimed that you would all help one another.’ “Nay, but that Day they shall surrender.” means, they will be subjected to the command of Allah, and they will not be able to resist it or avoid it. And Allah knows best.

{27. And they will turn to one another and question one another.

28. They will say: “It was you who used to come to us from the right side.”

29. They will reply: “Nay, you yourselves were not believers.”

30.”And we had no authority over you. Nay! But you were a transgressing people.”

31. “So now the Word of our Lord has been justified against us, that we shall certainly taste (the torment).”

32. “So we led you astray because we were ourselves astray.”

33. Then verily, that Day, they will (all) share in the torment.

34. Certainly, that is how We deal with the criminals.

35. Truly, when it was said to them: “La ilaha illallah,” they puffed themselves up with pride.

36. And (they) said: “Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet?”

37. Nay! He has come with the truth and he confirms the Messengers.}

 

The arguing of the Idolators on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us that the disbeliever will blame one another in the arena of Resurrection, just as they will argue with one another in the levels of Hell: “The weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Verily, we followed you, can you then take from us some portion of the Fire” Those who were arrogant will say: “We are all (together) in this (Fire)! Verily, Allah has judged between (His) servants!” (40:47-48) “But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!” And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: “Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you? Nay, but you were criminals.” Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: “Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!” And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets, when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do” (34:31-33) Similarly, they are described here as saying: “It was you who used to come to us from the right side.” Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said; “They will say, ‘You used to force us because of your position of power over us, for we were weak and you were strong.”’ Qatadah said, “Men will say to the Jinn, ‘You used to come to us from the right side to block every good deed, and you told us not to do it and you tried to put obstacles in our way.”’ As-Suddi said, “You used to come to us to block the truth, and you made falsehood look attractive to us, and you prevented us from seeing the truth.” (At-Tabari 21:32) Ibn Zayd said, it means: “‘You stood in the way between us and goodness, and you repelled us from Islam and faith and doing the good deeds that we had been commanded to do.” (At-Tabari 21:32) Yazid Ar-Rishk said, “from La ilaha illallah.” “They will reply: “Nay, you yourselves were not believers.” The leaders of the Jinn and mankind will say to their followers, “It is not as you say; your hearts denied faith and were open to disbelief and sin.” “And we had no authority over you.” means, ‘we had no proof of the truth of that to which we called you.’ “Nay! But you were a transgressing people.” ‘You yourselves were evildoers and transgressors against the truth, so you responded to us and neglected the truth which the Prophets brought with proof, and you went against them.’ “So now the Word of our Lord has been justified against us, that we shall certainly (have to) taste (the torment). So we led you astray because we were ourselves astray.” Those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak, ‘the Word of Allah has been justified against us, that we are among the doomed who will taste the punishment of the Day of Resurrection.’ “So we led you astray” means, ‘so we called you to misguidance,’ “because we were ourselves astray.” means, ‘we called you to follow the path which we were on, and you responded.’ Allah says: “Then verily, that Day, they will (all) share in the torment.” means, all of them will be in Hell, each according to what he deserves. “Certainly, that is how We deal with criminals. Truly, when it was said to them: “La ilaha illallah,” they puffed themselves up with pride.” means, in this world they were too arrogant to say these words as the believers said them. Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“I have been commanded to fight the people until they say La ilaha ill-Allah. Whoever says La ilaha illallah, he and his property are safe from me except for his obligation, and his reckoning will be with Allah, may He be glorified.” (Muslim 1:52)

Allah revealed in His Book the story of people who were arrogant, as He says: “Truly, when it was said to them: “La ilaha illallah,” they puffed themselves up with pride. And (they) said: “Are we going to abandon our gods for the sake of a mad poet?’‘ meaning, ‘Shall we stop worshipping our gods and the gods of our forefathers just because of the words of this mad poet?’ – meaning the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. Allah said in refutation of their attitude: “Nay! he has come with the truth” meaning, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, has brought the truth with all that Allah has revealed to him of stories and commandments. “and he confirms the Messengers.” means, he fulfills their prophecies of his praiseworthy characteristics and his perfect way, and he tells people of the Laws and commands of Allah, as they said he would. “Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you” (41:43).

{38. Verily, you are going to taste the painful torment;

39. And you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do.

40. Save the chosen servants of Allah.

41. For them there will be a known provision,

42. Fruits; and they shall be honored,

43. In the Gardens of Delight,

44. Facing one another on thrones.

45. Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine

46. White, delicious to the drinkers.

47. Neither will they have Ghawl from that nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.

48. And beside them will be Qasirat-At-Tarf with (wide and beautiful) eyes.

49. as if they were Bayd Maknun.}

 

The Punishment of the Idolators and the Reward of the sincere Believers

Allah says, addressing the people: “Verily, you are going to taste the painful torment; and you will be requited nothing except for what you used to do.” Then He makes an exception in the case of His sincerely believing servants. This is like the Ayat: “By the Time. Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe and do righteous deeds…” (103:1-3), “Verily, We created man in the best stature. Then We reduced him to the lowest of the low. Save those who believe and do righteous deeds” (95:4-6). “There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a decree which must be accomplished. Then We shall save those who have Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers therein to their knees.” (19:71-72); and “Every person is a pledge for what he has earned, except those on the right” (74:38-39). Allah says here: “Save the chosen servants of Allah.” meaning, they will not taste the painful torment nor will they be brought to account. Their evil acts, if there are any, will be overlooked, and each good deed will be rewarded in multiples of between ten and seven hundred, or as much as Allah wills. “For them there will be a known provision,” Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “This means Paradise.” (At-Tabari 21:35) It is explained further in the next Ayah: “Fruits” meaning, of different kinds. “and they shall be honoured,” means, they will be served and will live a life of luxury. “In the Gardens of Delight, facing one another on thrones.” Mujahid said, “One of them will not look at one another’s backs.” (Al-Qurtubi 15:77) “Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine – white, delicious to the drinkers. Neither will they have Ghawl from that nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.” This is like the Ayah: “Immortal boys will go around them (serving), with cups, and jugs, and a glass of flowing wine, from which they will get neither any aching of the head nor any intoxication.” (56:17-19). Allah refined the wine of Paradise from the bad effects of the wine of this world, which causes headaches and stomach aches – which is the meaning of Ghawl – causing people to lose their minds completely. So He says here: “Round them will be passed a cup of pure wine” meaning, wine from a flowing stream which they do not fear will ever be cut off or cease. Malik narrated that Zayd bin Aslam said, “White flowing wine,” meaning, with a bright, shining color, unlike the wine of this earth with its ugly, repulsive colours of red, black, yellow and turbid shades, and other features which are repugnant to anyone of a sound nature. “delicious to the drinkers.” means, its taste will be as good as its colour, and a good taste indicates that it has a good smell, unlike the wine of this world. “Neither will they have Ghawl from that” means, it will not have any effects on them such as causing stomach aches. This was the view of Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd. (At-Tabari 21:38) This is unlike the wine of this world, which causes colic and so on, because it is too watery. “nor will they suffer intoxication therefrom.” Mujahid said, “It will not cause them to lose their minds.” (At-Tabari 21:40) This was also the view of Ibn Abbas, Muhammad bin Kab, Al-Hasan. Ata’ bin Abi Muslim Al-Khurasani, As-Suddi and others. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn Abbas said, “Wine causes four things: intoxication, headache, vomiting and urine.” (Al-Qurtubi 15:79) So, when Allah mentions the wine of Paradise, He states that it is free of these characteristics, as mentioned in Surat As-Saffat. “And beside them will be Qasirat At-Tarf” means, chaste females, who will not look at anyone other than their husbands, as Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Zayd bin Aslam, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others said. (At-Tabari 21:41) “with (wide and beautiful) eyes” means, with beautiful eyes. It was also said that it means with wide eyes, which is connected to the first meaning. They are wide-eyed and beautiful, and their eyes are described as being beautiful and chaste. Allah says: “And beside them will be Qasirat At-Tarf, with (wide and beautiful) eyes.” “as if they were Bayd Maknun.” Their bodies are described as having the most perfect colour. Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: “as if they were Bayd Maknun.” means, as if they were hidden pearls. (At-Tabari 21:43)

Al-Hasan said: “as if they were Bayd Maknun.” means, protected, never touched by any hands. As-Suddi said, “The well preserved egg in its nest.” Said bin Jubayr said: “as if they were Bayd Maknun.” means, “The inside of the egg.” Ata’ Al-Khurasani said, “It is the membrane which is between its outer shell and its inner contents.” As-Suddi said: “as if they were Bayd Maknun.” means, “The white of the egg when its shell is removed.” Ibn Jarir’s view concerning the meaning of Maknun (well preserved) is that the outer shell is touched by the wing of the bird and the nest, and by people’s hands, unlike the interior of the egg. And Allah knows best.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 231-252

{50. Then they will turn to one another, mutually questioning.

51. A speaker of them will say: “Verily, I had a companion (in the world),”

52. “Who used to say: ‘Are you among those who believe.

53. (That) when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be indebted (Madinun)?”

54. (The speaker) said: “Will you look down?”

55. So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.

56. He said: “By Allah! You have nearly ruined me.”

57. “Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).”

58. “Are we then not to die (any more)?”

59. “Except our first death, and we shall not be punished?”

60. Truly, this is the supreme success!

61. For the like of this let the workers work.}

The gathering of the People of Paradise, and the exchange between One of Them and His Counterpart in Hell, and His Gratitude for the Blessings of Allah

Allah tells us how the people of Paradise will turn to one another, asking one another about their situation, how they were in this world and what they suffered. This is part of their conversation when they get together to converse and drink, sitting on their thrones, servants coming and going, bringing all kinds of good food, drink, clothes and other delights no eye has seen, no ear has heard, never having comprehend the mind of man. “A speaker of them will say: “Verily, I had a companion…” Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him said, “This refers to an idolator man who had a companion among the believers in this world.” (At-Tabari 21:45)  “Who used to say: “Are you among those who believe…” means, ‘do you believe in the resurrection after death, and the Reckoning and reward or punishment’ He used to say that by way of astonishment, disbelief and stubbornness. “(That) when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be indebted (Madinun).” Mujahid and As-Suddi said, “Brought to account.” (At-Tabari 21:47) Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi said, “Rewarded or punished according to our deeds.” (At-Tabari 21:47) Both views are correct.

“(The speaker) said: “Will you look down?” meaning, look over. The believer will say this to his companions among the people of Paradise. “So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the Fire.” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Said bin Jubayr, Khulayd Al-Usari, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ata’ Al-Khurasani said, “This means, in the middle of Hell.” (At-Tabari 21:48) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “In the middle of Hell as if he were a burning star.” (At-Tabari 21:48) “He said: “By Allah! You have nearly ruined me.” The believer will say, addressing the disbeliever: ‘By Allah, you nearly caused me to be doomed, if I had obeyed you.’ “Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).” means, ‘Were it not for the favor of my Lord towards me, I would have been like you in the middle of Hell where you are, brought forth with you for punishment. But He bestowed His grace upon me, had mercy upon me and guided me to faith and to belief in Him Alone.’ “and never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allah had guided us!” (7:43) “Are we then not to die (any more)? Except our first death, and we shall not be punished?” This is what the believers will say when they feel joy at what Allah has given them, and they realize that they are to remain in Paradise forever with no punishment and no death to come. Allah says: “Truly, this is the supreme success!” Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “They know that death brings an end to every delight, so they will say, “Are we then not to die? Except our first death, and we shall not be punished?” It will be said, “No, “Truly, this is the supreme success!.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 7:95) “For the like of this let the workers work.” Ibn Jarir said, “These are the Words of Allah, and it means: for the like of this pleasure and this success, let the workers work in this world, so that they may attain it in the Hereafter. (At-Tabari 21:52)

{62. Is that (Paradise) better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqum?

63. Truly, We have made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers.

64. Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire,

65. The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of Shayatin.

66. Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.

67. Then on the top of that they will be given boiling Hamim.

68. Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell.

69. Verily, they found their fathers on the wrong path;

70. So they (too) hastened in their footsteps!}

The Tree of Zaqqum and its Companions

Here Allah asks: ‘Is that which He has mentioned of the delights of Paradise with its food, drink, companions and other joys better entertainment, or “or the tree of Zaqqum” which is in Hell?’ The meaning here is a specific kind of tree which is called Zaqqum. This is like the Ayah: “And a tree that springs forth from Mount Sinai, that grows (produces) oil, and (it is a) relish for the eaters.” (23:20) – which is the olive tree. This is supported by the Ayah: “Then moreover, verily, – you the erring-ones, the deniers! You, verily, will eat of the trees of Zaqqum.” (56:51-52). “Truly, We have made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers.” Qatadah said, “The tree of Zaqqum is mentioned as a test for those who are misguided. They said, ‘Your companion tells you that in the Fire there is a tree, but fire consumes trees.’ Then Allah revealed the words: “Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire.” meaning, it is nourished by the fire, for it was created from fire.” (At-Tabari 21:52) Mujahid said: “Truly, We have made it (as) a trial for the wrongdoers.” Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, said, “Zaqqum means dates and butter which I eat [Atazaqqamuhu].” (At-Tabari 21:53)

I say that the meaning of the Ayah is, “We have told you, O Muhammad, of the tree of Zaqqum as a trial with which We test the people to see who will believe and who will disbelieve.” This is like the Ayah: “And We made not the vision which we showed you but a trial for mankind, and 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” (17:60). “Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire.” means, its roots grow at the bottom of Hell. “The shoots of its fruit stalks are like the heads of Shayatin.” this is a description of how ugly and repulsive it is. It is likened to “the heads of Shayatin”, even though they have never seen them, because it is a well-established idea in people’s minds that devils are ugly in appearance. “Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith.” Allah mentions that they will eat of this extremely ugly tree even though its fruit tastes and smells so bad; they will be forced to eat from it because they will not find anything else to eat except this tree and similar things, as Allah says: “No food will there be for them but a poisonous thorny plant, Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger.” (88:6 -7). “Then on the top of that they will be boiling Hamim” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “This means they will be given boiling Hamim to drink after they have eaten from Zaqqum.” (At-Tabari 21:55) According to another report, he said that this means a mixture made from boiling water. Someone else said that it means boiling water will be mixed with pus and offensive discharges that leak from their private parts and eyes.

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Said bin Jubayr said, “When the people of Hell get hungry, they will ask for food from the tree of Zaqqum. They will eat from it, then the skin of their faces will fall off, If someone were to pass by, he would recognize them from their faces. Then thirst will be sent upon them, so they will ask to be given something to drink, and they will be given water like boiling oil that has been heated to the ultimate degree. When it is brought near to their mouths, the flesh of their faces from which the skin has fallen off will be baked by its heat, and whatever is in their stomachs will melt. They will walk with their guts falling out and with their skin falling off, then they will be beaten with hooked rods of iron. Then every part of their bodies will burst into loud lamentations.

“Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell.” means, after that interval, they will be sent back to the burning fire, searing heat and scorching flames, and they will rotate between the one and the other. This is like the Ayah, “They will go between it (Hell) and the fierce boiling water!” (55:44). Qatadah recited this Ayah when discussing this Ayah. (At-Tabari 21:56) This is a good interpretation. Abdullah bin Masud recited it differently, with the meaning “Their return in the afternoon.” Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, used to say: “By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, midday on the Day of Resurrection will not come until the people of Paradise will be in Paradise and the people of Hell will be in Hell.” Then he recited: “The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose” (25:24). (At-Tabari 21:56) Allah’s saying; “Verily, they found their fathers on the wrong path” means, ‘We will punish them for that because they found their fathers following misguidance and they followed them with no evidence or proof.’ Allah says: “So they (too) hastened in their footsteps!” Mujahid said, “This is like running.” (At-Tabari 21:57) Said bin Jubayr said, “They followed ignorance and foolishness.”

{71. And indeed most of the earlier ones went astray before them;

72. And indeed We sent among them warners;

73. Then see what was the end of those who were warned.

74. Except the chosen servants of Allah.}

Allah tells us that most of the previous nations went astray, worshipping other gods alongside Allah. He states that He sent among them warners to alert them to the anger, wrath and vengeance of Allah towards those who disbelieve in Him and worship others besides Him. He tells us that they persisted in their opposition to their Messengers and their disbelief in them, so He destroyed those who disbelieved in Him and saved the believers and caused them to prevail. Allah says: “Then see what was the end of those who were warned. Except the chosen servants of Allah”.

{75. And indeed Nuh invoked Us, and We are the best of those who answer.

76. And We rescued him and his family from the great distress,

77. And, his progeny, them We made the survivors.

78. And left for him (a goodly remembrance) among the later generations

79. “Salam (peace!) be upon Nuh among the all creatures!”

80. Verily, thus We reward the gooddoers.

81. Verily, he [Nuh] was one of Our believing servants.

82. Then We drowned the others.}

Nuh and His People

When Allah tells us about how most of the early people went astray from the path of salvation, He starts the detailed explanation of that with the story of Nuh and the rejection of his people. Only a few of Nuh’s people believed in him, despite the long period of time he spent among them. He stayed among them for one thousand years less fifty, and after he stayed among them for so long and their disbelief became too much for him to bear – for every time he called them, they turned away from him even more – he prayed to his Lord saying, “I have been overcome, so help (me)!” So Allah became angry because Nuh was angry with them. He says: “And indeed Nuh invoked Us, and We are the best of those who answer.” “And We rescued him and his family from the great distress.” means, their disbelief and their insults. “And, his progeny, them We made the survivors.” Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, “There was no one left apart from the offspring of Nuh, peace be upon him.” (At-Tabari 21:59) Said bin Abi Arubah said, narrating from Qatadah concerning the Ayah, “And, his progeny, them We made the survivors.” “All people descended from the offspring of Nuh, peace be upon him.” (At-Tabari 21:59) At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim narrated from Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet said, concerning the Ayah, “And, his progeny, them We made the survivors” “Sam, Ham and Yafith.” (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 5:365) Imam Ahmad recorded from Samurah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Sam was the father of the Arabs, Ham was the father of the Ethiopians and Yafith was the father of the Romans.” (Ahmad 5:9)

This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi. (Tuhfat Al-Ahwadhi 9:98) What is meant here by Romans is the original Romans, i.e., the Greeks who claimed descent from Ruma (Roma) the son of Liti, the son of Yunan, the son of Yafith, the son of Nuh, peace be upon him. “And left for him among the later generations.” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “He is remembered in a good way.” (At-Tabari 21:60) Mujahid said this means “An honorable mention by all the Prophets.” (At-Tabari 21:60) Qatadah and As-Suddi said, “Allah caused him to be praised constantly by others.” (At-Tabari 21:60) Ad-Dahhak said it means “Salam and praise.” “Salam (peace!) be upon Nuh among the all creatures!” This explains for us the extent of the honorable mention and praise, for he is greeted with peace by all groups and nations. “Verily, thus We reward the gooddoers.” means, ‘This is how We reward those of Our servants who do deeds of obedience to Allah. We gave him an honorable mention so that after he died he is still remembered in a manner that befits his status.’ Then Allah says: “Verily, he [Nuh] was one of Our believing servants.” meaning, one of the sincere believers in the Oneness of Allah, one of those who had certain faith. “Then We drowned the others.” means, ‘We destroyed them, and there was no trace whatsoever left of them, and they are only known by this unfavorable description.’

{83. And verily, among those who followed his way was Ibrahim.

84. When he came to his Lord with a Salim heart.

85. When he said to his father and to his people: “What is it that which you worship?”

86.”Is it a falsehood – gods other than Allah – that you desire?”

87. “Then what think you about the Lord of the all that exists?”}

The Story of Ibrahim and His People

Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: “And verily, among those who followed his ways was Ibrahim.” means, he was one of the followers of his religion. (At-Tabari 21:61) Mujahid said, “He was following his path and his way.” (At-Tabari 21:61) “When he came to his Lord with a Salim heart.” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “This means that he bore witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah.” (Al-Qurtubi 15:91)

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Awf said, “I said to Muhammad bin Sirin, ‘What is the Salim heart?’ He said, ‘One which knows that Allah is true and that the Hour will undoubtedly come to pass, and that Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.”’ (Al-Qurtubi 15:91) Al-Hasan said, “One that is free from Shirk.” (At-Tabari 21:62) Urwah said, “One that is not cursed.” (At-Tabari 21:62) “When he said to his father and to his people: “What is it that which you worship” He denounced his people for their worship of idols and false gods, Allah said: “Is it a falsehood – gods other than Allah – that you desire? Then what think you about the Lord of the all that exists?” Qatadah said, “This means, ‘what do you think He will do with you when you meet Him, given that you worshipped others alongside Him?” (At-Tabari 21:63)

{88. Then he cast a glance at the stars,

89. And he said: “Verily, I am sick.”

90. So they turned away from him and departed.

91. Then he turned to their gods and said: “Will you not eat?”

92. “What is the matter with you that you speak not?”

93. Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand.

94. Then they came hastily towards him.

95. He said: “Worship you that which you (yourselves) carve?”

96.”While Allah has created you and what you make!”

97. They said: “Build for him a building and throw him into the blazing fire!”

98. So, they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.”}

Ibrahim, peace be upon him, said this to his people so that he could stay behind in the city when they went out for their festival. The time was approaching for them to go out to celebrate a festival of theirs, and he wanted to be alone with their gods so that he could break them, so he told them something that was true, for he was indeed sick of the implications of what they believed in. “So they turned away from him and departed.” Qatadah said, “The Arabs say of one who thinks deeply that he is looking at the stars.” (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 7:100) What Qatadah meant is that he looked at the heavens thinking of a way to distract his people. So he said, “Verily, I am sick.” meaning, weak. Ibn Jarir narrated here a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, stating that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said:

“Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him) did not lie except in three cases. Two were for the sake of Allah: (one is) when he said, “Verily, I am sick”; and (the second) when he said, “Nay, this one, the biggest (his wife) of them (idols) did it.” and (the third) when he said concerning (his wife) Sarah, “She is my sister.”

This Hadith is recorded in the books of the Sahih and Sunan with various chain of narrations. (Fath Al-Bari 6:447) But this is not the kind of real lie for which a person is to be condemned – Allah forbid! One calls it a lie for lack of a better word, because it is abstruse speech used for a legitimate religious purpose, and it was said that what was meant by the words, “Verily, I am sick” was, ‘I am sick at heart of your worshipping idols instead of Allah.’ Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “The people of Ibrahim went out to their festival and they wanted to make him go out too. So he lay down on his back and said, “Verily, I am sick.” and he started looking at the sky. When they had gone out, he turned to their gods and broke them.” (At-Tabari 21:63) This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Allah said: “So they turned away from him and departed.” meaning, he went to them after they had left, quickly and secretly. “and said: “Will you not eat?” They had placed food before them as a sacrifice, so that the food might be blessed. When Ibrahim, peace be upon him, looked at the food that was before them, he said: “Will you not eat? What is the matter with you that you speak not?” “Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand.” Al-Farra’ said, “This means, he started to hit them with his right hand.” Qatadah and Al-Jawhari said, “He turned to them, hitting them with his right hand.” (At-Tabari 21:67) He struck them with his right hand because the right hand is stronger and more powerful. Then he left them broken to pieces, (all) except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it, as we have already seen in the Tafsir of Surat Al-Anbiya’. “Then they came hastily towards him.” Mujahid and others said, “This means, they came rushing. The story is told in brief here; in Surat Al-Anbiya’, it is told in more detail. When they returned, they did not know at first who had done this, until they investigated and found out that Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was the one who had done it. When they came to rebuke him, he started rebuking and criticizing them and said: “Worship you that which you carve?” meaning, ‘do you worship instead of Allah idols which you yourselves carve and fashion with your own hands’ “While Allah has created you and what you make!” This may mean, ‘Allah has created you and what you do;’ or it may mean, ‘Allah has created you and what you make.’ Both views are synonymous. The former is more apparent because of the report recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book Afal Al-Ibad from Hudhayfah, attributed to the Prophet: “Allah has created every doer of deeds and what he does.” Thereupon he recited: “While Allah has created you and what you make!” (As-Sunnah, Ibn Abi Asim 1:158) When the proof had been established against them, they resolved to seize him by force and they said: “Build for him a building (i.e. furnace) and throw him into the blazing fire!” There happened what we have already discussed in our Tafsir of Surat Al-Anbiya’, (21:68-70) and Allah saved him from the fire and caused him to prevail over them, making his proof supreme and supporting it. Allah says: “So, they plotted a plot against him, but We made them the lowest.”

{99. And he said: “Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me!”

100. “My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.”

101. So, We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.

102. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.”

103. Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead;

104. We called out to him: “O Ibrahim!”

105. “You have fulfilled the dream!” Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.

106. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.

107. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice;

108. And We left for him among the later generations.

109. “Salam (peace!) be upon Ibrahim!”

110. Thus indeed do We reward the doers of good.

111. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.

112. And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq – a Prophet from the righteous.

113. We blessed him and Ishaq. And of their progeny are (some) that do right, and some that plainly wrong themselves.}

Ibrahim’s Emigration, the Test of the Sacrifice of Ismail, and how Allah blessed Him

Allah tells us that after He helped His close friend Ibrahim, peace be upon him, against his people, and after Ibrahim gave up hoping that they would ever believe despite all the mighty signs that they had witnessed, he emigrated away from them, and said: “Verily, I am going to my Lord. He will guide me! My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.” meaning, obedient children, in compensation for his people and relatives whom he had left. Allah said: “So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.” This child was Ismail, peace be upon him, for he was the first child of whom glad tidings were given to Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and he was older than Ishaq. The Muslims and the People of the Book agree, and indeed it is stated in their Book, that Ismail, peace be upon him, was born when Ibrahim, peace be upon him, was eighty-six years old, and Ishaq was born when Ibrahim was ninety-nine years old. According to their Book, Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son, and in another text it says his firstborn son. But here they falsely inserted the name of Ishaq. This is not right because it goes against what their own Scripture says. They inserted the name of Ishaq because he is their ancestor, while Ismail is the ancestor of the Arabs. They were jealous of them, so they added this idea and changed the meaning of the phrase “only son” to mean ‘the only son who is with you,’ because Ismail had been taken with his mother to Makkah. But this is a case of falsification and distortion, because the words “only son” cannot be said except in the case of one who has no other son. Furthermore, the firstborn son has a special status that is not shared by subsequent children, so the command to sacrifice him is a more exquisite test. “And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him,” means, when he grew up and started to go with his father and walk with him, for Ibrahim used to go every so often to check on his son and his mother in the land of Faran (i.e., Makkah), to see how they were doing. It was said that he used to ride on Al-Buraq, traveling there swiftly, and Allah knows best. It was reported from Ibn Abbas, peace be upon him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Zayd bin Aslam and others that “And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him,” means, when he became a young man and was able to work as his father did. (At-Tabari 21:72,73) “And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!” (At-Tabari 21:75) Ubayd bin Umayr said, “The dreams of the Prophets are revelation,” then he recited this Ayah: “he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!”. He told his son that in order to make it easier for him, and also to test his patience and resolve, at a young age, in obeying Allah and obeying his father. “He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded…” meaning, ‘obey the command of Allah and sacrifice me.’ “if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.” meaning, ‘I will be patient and will seek the reward for that with Allah.’ He, may peace and blessings be upon him, believed in what had been promised. Allah said: “And mention in the Book Ismail. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.” (19:54-55). “Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead” means, when both of them had pronounced the Shahadah and remembered Allah – Ibrahim because he was about to offer a sacrifice and Ismail because he was about to die. Or it was said that “submitted themselves” means that they submitted and followed the command of Allah; Ibrahim obeyed the command of Allah and Ismail obeyed Allah and his father. This was the view of Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Ishaq, (At-Tabari 21:77) and others.

The meaning of the phrase “and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead” is: he placed him facedown so that he could slaughter him from behind, and not have to see his face at the time of slaughter, so that it would be easier for him. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said: “and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead” means, “He turned him upside down on his face.” (At-Tabari 21:77, 78) Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When the rituals were enjoined upon Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the Shaytan appeared to him at the Masa and raced with him, but Ibrahim got there first. Then Jibril, upon him be peace, took him to Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the Shaytan appeared to him, so he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared. Then he appeared him at Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta and he stoned him with seven pebbles. Then he laid him prostrate on his face. Ismail, peace be upon him, was wearing a white shirt, and he said, ‘O my father, I do not have any garment in which I can be shrouded apart from this; take it off me so that you can shroud me in it.’ He started to take it off, then he was called from behind: “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream!” Ibrahim turned, and saw a fine, horned, white ram.” Ibn Abbas said, “We used to look for similar types of rams.” (Ahmad 1:297)

Hisham mentioned this Hadith at length in Al-Manasik. “We called out to him: “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled the dream!” means, ‘the purpose of your dream has been fulfilled by your laying down your son to sacrifice him.’ As-Suddi and others said that he passed the knife over Ismail’s neck, but it did not cut him at all, because a sheet of copper was placed between them. Ibrahim was called at that point, and it was said: “You have fulfilled the dream!” (At-Tabari 21:74) Allah says; “Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.” means, ‘this is how We deal with those who obey Us in things that are difficult for them; We make for them a way out.’ As Allah says: “And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” (65:2-3). On the basis of this Ayah and this story, some of the scholars of Usul have stated that it is valid for a ruling to be abrogated before anyone is able to act upon it – unlike some of the Mutazilah. The evidence for this is obvious, because Allah commanded Ibrahim, peace be upon him, to sacrifice his son, then He abrogated that and pointed out the ransom. The purpose of His command had been primarily to reward His close Friend for his patience and resolve in sacrificing his son. Allah says: “Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.” meaning, it was clearly a test when he was commanded to sacrifice his son, so, he hastened to do it, in submission to the command of Allah and in obedience to Him. Allah said: “And of Ibrahim who fulfilled all that.” (53:37), and “And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice”. It was reported that Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “A ram which had grazed in Paradise for forty years.” (At-Tabari 21:90)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said, “A woman from Bani Sulaym, who was the midwife of most of the people in our household, told me that the Messenger of Allah sent for Uthman bin Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him.” On one occasion she said, “I asked Uthman, ‘Why did the Prophet call you?’ He said, ‘The Messenger of Allah said to me,

“I saw the horns of the ram when I entered the House [i.e., the Kabah], and I forgot to tell you to cover them up; cover them up, for there should not be anything in the House which could distract the worshipper.”

Sufyan said, “The horns of the ram remained hanging in the House until it was burned, and they were burned too.” (Ahmad 4:68)

This offers independent evidence that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Quraysh had inherited the horns of the ram that Ibrahim sacrificed, and they had been passed down from generation to generation, until the Messenger of Allah was sent. And Allah knows best.

Reports which state that the One Who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, and that this is Correct without Doubt

Said bin Jubayr, Amir Ash-Shabi, Yusuf bin Mihran, Mujahid, Ata and others reported from Ibn Abbas that it was Ismail, peace be upon him. Ibn Jarir narrated that Ibn Abbas said, “The one who was ransomed was Ismail, peace be upon him. The Jews claimed that it was Ishaq, but the Jews lied.” (At-Tabari 21:83)

It was reported that Ibn Umar said, “The sacrifice was Ismail.” (At-Tabari 21:82) Ibn Abi Najih said, narrating from Mujahid, “It was Ismail, peace be upon him.” (At-Tabari 21:84) This was also the view of Yusuf bin Mihran. Ash-Shabi said, “It was Ismail, peace be upon him, and I saw the horns of the ram in the Kabah.” (At-Tabari 21:84)

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Al-Hasan bin Dinar and Amr bin Ubayd from Al-Hasan Al-Basri that he did not doubt that the one of the two sons Ibrahim was commanded to sacrifice was Ismail, peace be upon him. (At-Tabari 21:85) Ibn Ishaq said, “I heard Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi say, ‘The one whom Allah commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice of his two sons was Ismail.’ We find this in the Book of Allah, because when Allah finishes the story of the one of the two sons of Ibrahim who was to be sacrificed, He then says: “And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq – a Prophet from the righteous”, and “So, We gave her glad tidings of Ishaq and after Ishaq, of Yaqub” (11:71). He mentions the son and the son of the son, but He would not have commanded him to sacrifice Ishaq when He had promised that this son would in turn have a son. The one whom He commanded him to sacrifice can only have been Ismail.” (At-Tabari 21:87) Ibn Ishaq said, “I heard him say that often.” (At-Tabari 21:85)

Ibn Ishaq reported from Buraydah bin Sufyan bin Farwah Al-Aslami that Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi told them that he mentioned that to Umar bin Abd Al-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, when he was Khalifah, while he was with him in Syria. Umar said to him, “This is something about which I have never given any thought, but I see that it is as you say.” Then he sent for a man who was with him in Syria, a Jew who had become a Muslim and was committed to Islam, and he thought that he had been one of their scholars. Umar bin Abd Al-Aziz, may Allah be pleased with him, asked him about that.

Muhammad bin Kab said, “I was with Umar bin Abd Al-Aziz. Umar said to him, ‘Which of the two sons of Ibrahim was he commanded to sacrifice?’ He said, Ismail. By Allah, O Commander of the faithful, the Jews know this, but they were jealous of you Arabs because it was your father about whom Allah issued this command and the virtue that Allah mentioned was because of his patience in obeying the command. So they denied that and claimed that it was Ishaq, because he is their father.”’ (At-Tabari 21:85)

Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy on him, said, “I asked my father about which son was to be sacrificed – was it Ismail or Ishaq?” He said, “Ismail.” This was mentioned in Kitab Az-Zuhd. (Az-Zuhd Abdullah bin Ahmad: 80)

Ibn Abi Hatim said, “I heard my father say, ‘The correct view is that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail, peace be upon him.”’ He said, “And it was narrated that Ali, Ibn Umar, Abu Hurayrah, Abu At-Tufayl, Said bin Al-Musayyib, Said bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan, Mujahid, Ash-Shabi, Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi, Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Ali and Abu Salih, may Allah be pleased with them all, said that the one who was to be sacrificed was Ismail.” (At-Tabari 21:82-84)

Al-Baghawi said in his Tafsir, “This was the view of Abdullah bin Umar, Said bin Al-Musayyib, As-Suddi, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi bin Anas, Muhammad bin Kab Al-Qurazi and Al-Kalbi.” (Al-Baghawi 4:32) This was also reported from Ibn Abbas and from Abu Amr bin Al-Ala’. “And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq – a Prophet from the righteous.” having given the glad tidings of the one who was to be sacrificed, who was Ismail, Allah immediately follows that with mention of the glad tidings of his brother Ishaq. This is also mentioned in Surah Hud (11:71) and in Surat Al-Hijr (15:53-55). “a Prophet” means, from him there will come a righteous Prophet. “We blessed him and Ishaq. And of their progeny are (some) that do right, and some that plainly wrong themselves.” This is like the Ayah: “It was said: “O Nuh! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you, but people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.” (11:48)

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 252-279

{114. And, indeed We gave Our grace to Musa and Harun.

115. And We saved them and their people from the great distress,

116. And helped them, so that they became the victors;

117. And We gave them the clear Scripture;

118. And guided them to the right path.

119. And We left for them among the later generations.

120. “Salam (peace!) be upon Musa and Harun!”

121. Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.

122. Verily, they were two of Our believing servants.}

Musa and Harun

Allah tells us how He blessed Musa and Harun with prophethood and how He saved them, along with those who believed, from the oppression of Firawn and his people, who had persecuted them by killing their sons and sparing their women, and by forcing them to do the most menial tasks, then ultimately He caused them to prevail over them and to seize their lands and their wealth and all that they had spent their entire lives amassing. Then Allah revealed to Musa the Clear and Mighty Book, which is the Tawrah, as Allah says: “And indeed We granted to Musa and Harun the criterion (of right and wrong), and a shining light” (21:48). And Allah says here: “And We gave them the clear Scripture; and guided them to the right path.” meaning, with regard to words and deeds. “And We left for them among the later generations.” means, that after they died they would be mentioned in good terms and spoken of highly. Then Allah explain this further: “Salam (peace!) be upon Musa and Harun! Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good. Verily, they were two of Our believing servants.”

{123. And verily, Ilyas was one of the Messengers.

124. When he said to his people: “Will you not have Taqwa?”

125. “Will you call upon Bal and forsake the Best of creators,

126. Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers?”

127. But they denied him, so they will certainly be brought forth,

128. Save the chosen servants of Allah.

129. And We left for him among the later generations.

130. “Salam (peace!) be upon Ilyasin!”

131. Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.

132. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.}

Ilyas

Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq said, “Ilyas is another name for Idris.” (At-Tabari 21:95) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abdullah bin Masud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Ilyas is Idris.” (Al-Qurtubi 15:115) This was also the view of Ad-Dahhak. Wahb bin Munabbih said, “He is Ilyas bin Yasin bin Finhas bin Al-Izar bin Harun bin Imran. (At-Tabari 21:97)

Allah sent him to the Children of Israel after Hizqil (Ezekiel), may peace be upon them both. They had started to worship an idol called Bal, and he called them to Allah, may He be exalted, and forbade them to worship anyone besides Him. Their king believed in him, then he apostatized, and they persisted in their misguided ways, and not one person among them believed in him. So he prayed to Allah against them, and Allah withheld the rain from them for three years. Then they asked him to relieve them from that, and promised that they would believe in him if rain came to them. So he prayed to Allah for them, and the rains came, but they persisted in their evil ways of disbelief. So he asked Allah to take him to Him. Al-Yasa bin Akhtub had grown up under his care, may peace be upon them both. So Ilyas was commanded to go to such and such a place, and whatever mount came to him, he was to ride on it and not to give it away. A horse of fire was brought to him, so he rode it, and Allah clothed him with light and covered him with feathers, and he used to fly with the angels as a human angel, heavenly yet also earthly. This is what was narrated by Wahb bin Munabbih from the People of the Book; Allah knows best how true it is. “When he said to his people: “Will you not have Taqwa?” means, ‘do you not fear Allah when you worship others instead of Him?’ “Will you call upon Bal and forsake the Best of creators?” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that the word Bal means lord. (At-Tabari 21:96) Ikrimah and Qatadah said, “This is the language of the people of Yemen.” (At-Tabari 21:96) According to another report from Qatadah, it is the language of Azd Shanu’ah. (Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 7:119) Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam narrated from his father that it is the name of an idol which was worshipped by the people of a city called Balabak (Baalbek) which is to the west of Damascus. (At-Tabari 21:97) Ad-Dahhak said, “It is an idol which they used to worship.” (At-Tabari 21:97) “Will you call upon Bal?” means, ‘will you worship an idol?’ “and forsake the Best of creators, Allah, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers” means, ‘He is the One Who is deserving of your worship alone, with no partners or associates.’ “But they denied him, so they will certainly be brought forth,” means, for the punishment on the Day of Reckoning. “Save the chosen servants of Allah.” means, those who believe in Him alone. “And We left for him among the later generations.” means, he is praised and spoken of highly. “Salam (peace!) be upon Ilyasin!” Similarly, one might say for Ismail, Ismain. This is the language (dialect) of Bani Asad; they say Mikal, Mika’il, and Mika’in. They say Ibrahim and Ibraham; Isra’il, Isra’in; Tur Sina’, Tur Sinin. All of that is fine. “Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good. Verily, he was one of Our believing servants.” We have already discussed the meaning of this above. And Allah knows best.

{133. And verily, Lut was one of the Messengers.

134. When We saved him and his family, all,

135.Except an old woman (his wife) who was among those who remained behind.

136. Then We destroyed the rest.

137. Verily, you pass by them in the morning.

138. And at night; will you not then reflect}

The Destruction of the People of Lut (Lot)

Allah tells us that He sent His servant and Messenger Lut, peace be upon him, to his people, and they denied him, so Allah saved him from among them, him and his family with the exception of his wife, who was destroyed along with her people. Allah destroyed them with different kinds of punishments, and made their vicinity a foul, stinking lake which is on a well-travelled route where people pass by night and day (i.e., the Dead Sea, which lays close to the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah on the highway between Arabia and Syria). Allah says: “Verily, you pass by them in the morning. And at night; will you not then reflect” meaning, ‘will you not learn a lesson from them and how Allah destroyed them, and realize that a similar end awaits the disbelievers.’

{139. And verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers.

140. When he ran to the laden ship:

141. Then he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers.

142. Then a (big) fish swallowed him as he had done an act worthy of blame.

143. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,

144. He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.

145. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick,

146. And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.

147. And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.

148. And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while.}

The Story of Yunus

We have already discussed the story of Yunus, peace be upon him, in Surat Al-Anbiya (21:87-88). In the Two Sahihs it is reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“It is not right for any person to say I am better than Yunus bin Matta.” (Fath Al-Bari 4:193)

“When he ran to the laden ship.” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “It was filled with cargo.” “Then he (agreed to) cast lots,” (At-Tabari 21:106) means, “to draw lots.” “and he was among the losers.” means among those who have been overcome. This was because the ship was being pounded by the waves on all sides, and they were at risk of drowning, so they drew lots, and whoever lost would be thrown overboard so as to lighten the load. The Prophet of Allah Yunus, peace be upon him, lost the draw three times, but they did not want to throw him overboard. He took off his garment so that he could throw himself into the sea, and they tried to stop him. Then Allah commanded a large fish from the Green Sea (i.e., Mediterranian Sea) to cleave the oceans and come and swallow Yunus, peace be upon him, without cutting his flesh or breaking his bones. The fish came and Yunus, peace be upon him, threw himself overboard, and the fish swallowed him and took him away, traveling through all the seas with him. When Yunus had stayed for some time in the fish’s belly, he thought that he had died; then he moved his head and legs and arms, and saw that he was alive. He prayed in the belly of the fish, and one of the things he said in his main prayer was: “O Lord, I have taken as a place of worship to You a place which no other person has reached.” They differed as to how long he spent in the belly of the fish. Some said three days; this was the view of Qatadah. Some said seven days; this was the view of Jafar As-Sadiq, may Allah be pleased with him. Some said forty days; this was the view of Abu Malik. (At-Tabari 21:111) Mujahid said, narrating from Ash-Shabi, “It swallowed him in the morning and cast him forth in the evening.” And Allah knows best how long exactly was.

Allah says, “Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.” It was said that, if he had not already done righteous deeds during his time of ease. This was the view of Ad-Dahhak bin Qays, Abu Al-Aliyah, Wahb bin Munabbih, Qatadah and others, (At-Tabari 21:108) and it was the view favoured by Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:108) This is what is indicated in the authentic Hadith which we quote below, if Allah wills. In a Hadith narrated from Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:

“Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty.”(Ahmad 1:307)

And it was said that what was meant by the Ayah: “Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,” was the meaning of the following Ayat: “But he cried through the darkness (saying): “La ilaha illa Anta, You are glorified! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.” So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers.” (21:87-88). This was the view of Said bin Jubayr and others. (At-Tabari 21:110)

Allah says: “But We cast him forth” meaning, ‘We threw him out,’ “on the naked shore” Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and others said that this refers to land in which there is no vegetation and no buildings. “while he was sick,” means, when he was weak of body. “And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.” Ibn Masud and Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Said bin Jubayr, Wahb bin Munabbih, Hilal bin Yasaf, Abdullah bin Tawus, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ata’ Al-Khurasani and several others, all said that gourd means squash. (At-Tabari 21:113)

Some of them mentioned that the squash has a number of benefits: it grows quickly, its leaves offer shade because of their large size and smooth texture, flies do not come near it, and its fruits provide good nourishment; they may be eaten raw or cooked, and both the pulp and the peel may be eaten. It was reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, used to like squash and would look for it wherever it was on the serving dish. (Al-Bukhari 2092)

“And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.”

It is as if he was commanded, after he came forth from the fish, to go back to those to whom he had been sent in the first place, and they all believed in him. “or even more.” Makhul said, “They numbered one hundred and ten thousand. This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Ibn Jarir said, “Some of the scholars of Arabic, the people of Basrah, said that this means up to one hundred thousand or more.” (At-Tabari 21:116) Ibn Jarir interpreted this Ayah as he interpreted the Ayat: “Then, after that, your hearts were hardened and became as stones or even worse in hardness” (2:74). “Behold! a section of them fear men as they fear Allah or even more” (4:77), and “And was at a distance of two bows’ length or (even) nearer” (53:9). The meaning is, not less than that, but rather more. “And they believed” means, these people to whom Yunus, peace be upon him, had been sent all believed. “so We gave them enjoyment for a while.” means, until the time of their appointed end. This is like the Ayah, “Was there any town (community) that believed, and its faith (at that moment) saved it – except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.” (10:98)

{149. Now ask them: “Are there (only) daughters for your Lord and sons for them?”

150. Or did We create the angels female while they were witnesses?

151. Verily, it is of their falsehood that they say:

152. “Allah has begotten.” And, verily, they are liars!

153. Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons?

154. What is the matter with you? How do you decide?

155. Will you not then remember?

156. Or is there for you a plain authority?

157. Then bring your Book if you are truthful!

158. And they have invented a kinship between Him and the Jinn, but the Jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him).

159. Glorified be Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!

160. Except the servants of Allah, whom He chooses.}

Refutation of Those Who attribute Children to Allah and say that the Angels are His Daughters

Allah denounces those idolators who attribute daughters to Allah – exalted be He above that – and attributed to themselves what they desired, i.e., they wanted male offspring to themselves. “And when the news of (the birth of) a female (child) is brought to any of them, his face becomes dark, and he is filled with inward grief!” (16:58), i.e., that upsets him, and he would only choose sons for himself. Allah says: ‘Then how can they attribute to Allah the share that they would not choose for themselves’ Allah says: “Now ask them” means, quiz them by way of denunciation, “Are there (only) daughters for your? Lord and sons for them?” This is like the Ayah: “Is it for you the males and for Him the females? That indeed is a division most unfair!” (53:21-22). “Or did We create the angels female while they were witnesses?” means, how did they decide that the angels are female when they did not witness their creation This is like the Ayah: “And they make the angels females who themselves are servants of the Most Gracious. Did they witness their creation? Their testimony will be recorded, and they will be questioned!” (43:19), which means, they will be questioned about that on the Day of Resurrection. “Verily, it is of their falsehood” means, it is a part of the lies they tell. “that they say: “Allah has begotten.” meaning, that offspring have been born to Him. “And verily, they are liars!” Allah mentions three of the things they said about the angels, which formed the utmost disbelief and falsehood. They said that they were the daughters of Allah and that Allah had offspring – exalted and sanctified be He above that. Then they made these offspring female, then they worshipped them instead of Allah, exalted and sanctified be He – any of which on its own would be sufficient to condemn them to spend eternity in Hell. Then Allah says, denouncing them: “Has He (then) chosen daughters rather than sons?” meaning, what would make Him choose daughters rather than sons This is like the Ayah, “Has then your Lord preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters? Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying.” (17:40) Allah says: “What is the matter with you? How do you decide?” meaning, ‘what kind of reasoning makes you say that?’ “Will you not then remember? Or is there for you a plain authority” means, ‘evidence to prove what you say.’ “Then bring your Book if you are truthful!” means, ‘produce evidence for that derived from a Book revealed from heaven by Allah, to prove that He has taken what you say (i.e., offspring). What you say is totally irrational.’ “And they have invented a kinship between Him and the Jinn,” Mujahid said, “The idolators said that the angels were the daughters of Allah. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, ‘Then who are their mothers?’ They said, ‘The daughters of the leaders of the Jinn.” (At-Tabari 21:121) Qatadah and Ibn Zayd also said this. Allah – may He be blessed and exalted – says: “but the jinn know” meaning, those to whom this is attributed “know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him).” means, that those who say that will be brought forth for punishment on the Day of Reckoning, because of the lies and falsehood that they uttered without knowledge. “Glorified be Allah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!” means, exalted, sanctified and glorified be He far above having any offspring and far above what the wrongdoers and heretics attribute to Him. “Except the servants of Allah, whom He chooses.” The pronoun in the verb translated as “they attribute” refers to all of mankind, then He excludes those whom He chooses, who are the ones who follow the truth revealed to every Prophet who was sent.

{161. So, verily you and those whom you worship

162. Cannot lead astray,

163. Except those who are predestined to burn in Hell!

164. And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place;

165. And verily, we (angels), we stand in rows;

166. And verily, we (angels) indeed are those who glorify.

167. And indeed they used to say

168. “If we had a reminder as had the men of old,”

169. “We would have indeed been the chosen servants of Allah!”

170. But (now) they disbelieve therein, so they will come to know!}

 

No One believes what the Idolators say except Those Who are even more misguided than They

Allah says, addressing the idolators: “So, verily you and those whom you worship cannot lead astray, except those who are predestined to burn in Hell!” meaning, ‘the only ones who will believe what you say and follow your misguided ways of false worship are those who are more misguided than you and are created for Hell.’ “They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones.” (7:179). This is the parable of the people who follow the belief and ideas of Shirk, disbelief and misguidance, as Allah says: “Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside (by the decree of Allah).” (51:8-9) meaning, the one who is misled by it is the one who is turned aside.

The Place of the Angels and Their Ranks glorify Allah

Then Allah says, declaring the angels to be above the position attributed to them by those who disbelieved in them and told lies about them – that they are the daughters of Allah – “And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place” meaning, each one has his own place in the heavens and in the places of worship, which he does not overstep. Ad-Dahhak said in his Tafsir: “And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place” Masruq used to narrate that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said, ‘The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“There is no place in the lower heaven without an angel standing or prostrating in it.” 

This is what Allah says: “And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place (or position)”.” (At-Tabari 21:127)

It was reported that Ibn Masud said, “In the heavens there is one heaven in which there is no space a hand span wide but there is the forehead or the foot of an angel on it. ” Then he recited: “And there is not one of us (angels) but has his known place” (At-Tabari 21:127)  Said bin Jubayr similarly said: “And we (angels), we stand in rows.” means, we stand in rows to worship, as we have already seen in the Ayah “By those ranged in ranks (or rows)” Abu Nadrah said, “When the Iqamah had been given, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, would turn to face the people and say: ‘Make your rows straight, for Allah wants you to follow the ways of the angels.’ Then he would say,

“And verily, we stand in rows” ‘Move back, O so-and-so, move forward, O so-and-so.’

Then he would go forward and say ‘Allahu Akbar”’ This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir. (At-Tabari 21:128)

In Sahih Muslim it is narrated that Hudhayfah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them, said,

“We have been favoured above mankind in three things: our rows have been made like the rows of the angels; the whole earth has been made a place of prayer for us; and its soil is a means of purification for us.” (Muslim 1:371)

“And verily, we indeed are those who glorify.” means, ‘we stand in rows and glorify the Lord, praising Him, sanctifying Him and declaring Him to be above any faults or shortcomings. We are servants of Him and in need of Him, humbling ourselves before Him.’

The Quraysh wished that They could have a Reminder as had the Men of old
“And indeed they used to say: “If we had a reminder as had the men of old, we would have indeed been the chosen servants of Allah!” means, ‘they used to wish – before you, O Muhammad, came to them – that they would have someone to remind them about Allah and what happened in earlier times, and to bring them the Book of Allah.’ This is like the Ayat: “And they swore by Allah their most binding oath that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations (before them); yet when a warner came to them, it increased in them naught but flight (from the truth).” (35:42), and “Lest you should say: “The Book was sent down only to two sects before us, and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.” Or lest you should say: “If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely have been better guided than they.” So now has come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, and a form of guidance and a mercy. Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayat of Allah and turns away therefrom We shall requite those who turn away from Our Ayat with an evil torment, because of their turning away.” (6:156-157) Allah says here: “But they disbelieve therein, so they will come to know!” This is a definite and stern threat because of their disbelief in their Lord and their rejection of His Messenger .

{171. And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers,

172. That they verily would be made triumphant,

173. And that Our hosts! They verily would be the victors.

174. So, turn away from them for a while,

175. And watch them and they shall see!

176. Do they seek to hasten on Our torment?

177. Then, when it descends in their courtyard, evil will be the morning for those who had warned!

178. So, turn away from them for a while,

179. And watch and they shall see!}

The Promise of Victory and the Command to turn away from Idolators

Allah says, “And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers,”meaning, it has already been stated in the first decree that the Messengers and their followers will ultimately prevail in this world and the Hereafter. This is like the Ayah: “Allah has decreed: “Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.” Verily, Allah is All-Powerful, Almighty.” (58:21), and “Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world’s life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth.” (40:51). “And, verily, Our Word has gone forth of old for Our servants, the Messengers, that they verily would be made triumphant,”meaning, ‘in this world and in the Hereafter, as We have already stated that they would prevail over their people who disbelieved in them and went against them, and how Allah destroyed the disbelievers and saved His believing servants. ‘ “And that Our hosts they verily would be the victors.”means, that they would ultimately prevail. “So turn away from them for a while,” means, ‘bear their annoyance with patience and wait until an appointed time, when We shall cause you to prevail and will grant you victory.’ “And watch them and they shall see!” means, ‘watch them and see what will happen to them by way of punishment for their opposition towards you and their disbelief in you.’ Allah said, as a threat and a warning, “and they shall see!”. Then Allah says: “Do they seek to hasten on Our torment”meaning, ‘they seek to hasten on the punishment because they disbelieve in you, and Allah is angry with them because of that and will make them suffer the consequences, and because of their disbelief and stubbornness, He will hasten on the punishment.’ “Then, when it descends in their courtyard, evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!”means, when the punishment comes down to the place where they are, terrible will be the day of their punishment and destruction. As-Suddi said: “Then, when it descends in their courtyard,”means, in their homes; “evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!” means, how terrible that morning will be for them. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “On the morning of Khaybar, when the people came out with their tools (to go about their daily work) and saw the (Muslim) army, they went back and said, `Muhammad by Allah! Muhammad and the army!’ The Prophet said:

“Allahu Akbar! Khaybar has been destroyed. Then, when it descends in the courtyard of any people, evil will be the morning for those who had been warned!” (Fath Al-Bari 2:107)

“So turn away from them for a while, and watch and they shall see!”

This is a reiteration of the command stated above. And Allah knows best.

 

{180. Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Al-Izzah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!

181.And Salam (peace!) be on the Messengers!

182. And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.}

Allah glorified Himself and states that He is far above what the lying wrongdoers say about Him; Allah says: “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Al-Izzah!” meaning, the Owner of might and power Whom none can resist. “(He is free) from what they attribute unto Him!” means, from what these lying fabricators say. “And Salam be on the Messengers!” means, may the peace of Allah be upon them in this world and in the Hereafter, because what they say about their Lord is sound, correct and true. “And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.” means, praise be to Him at the beginning and end of all things. Because Tasbih (glorification) implies a declaration of being free from all shortcomings, the two ideas appear together here and in many places in the Qur’an. Allah says: “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of Al-Izzah! (He is free) from what they attribute unto Him! And Salam (peace!) be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.” Said bin Abi Arubah narrated that Qatadah said, “The Messenger of Allah said:
“When you send Salam on me, send Salam on all the Messengers, for I am one of the Messengers.”
This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim. Abu Muhammad Al-Baghawi recorded in his Tafsir that Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Whoever wants a greater measure of reward on the Day of Resurrection, let him say at the end of any gathering, “Glorified be your Lord, the Lord of honor, glory and power! “He is free” from what they attribute unto Him! And Salam (peace!) be on the Messengers! And all the praises and thanks be to Allah, Lord of all that exists.” Other Hadiths concerning the expiation for any wrongs that may have occurred during a gathering prescribe saying the words: “Glory be to You, O Allah, and praise. There is no God except You; I seek your forgiveness and I repent to you. ” I have written a chapter dealing exclusively with this topic.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat As-Saffat.
And Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, knows best.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) Vol 8 Pages 279-303

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