The people most severely tested are the Prophets, then the
righteous, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in
accordance with the degree of his religious commitment; the stronger his
religious commitment, the stronger his test.
Or think you that you
will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away
before you! They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so
shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, "When
(will come) the help of Allah?''
Yes! Certainly, the help
of Allah is near! (2:214)
means, in the Hereafter, and does righteous deeds, and hopes for a great reward
with Allah, then Allah will fulfill his hopes and reward him for his deeds in
full. This will undoubtedly come to pass, for He is the One Who hears all
supplications, He knows and understands the needs of all created beings.
And whosoever strives, he
strives only for himself.
This is like the Ayah,
مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلِنَفْسِهِ
Whosoever does righteous
good deed, it is for himself. (41:46)
Whoever does a righteous deed, the benefit of that deed will come back to him,
for Allah has no need of the deeds of His servants, and even if all of them were
to be as pious as the most pious man among them, that would not add to His
dominion in the slightest.
And whosoever strives, he
strives only for himself. Verily, Allah stands not in need of any of the
Then Allah tells us that even though He has no need of His creatures, He is kind
and generous to them. He will still give to those who believe and do righteous
deeds the best of rewards, which is that He will expiate for them their bad
deeds, and will reward them according to the best deeds that they did. He will
accept the fewest good deeds and in return for one good deed will give anything
between ten rewards and seven hundred, but for every bad deed, He will give only
one evil merit, or even that He may overlook and forgive.
And We have enjoined on man
to be dutiful to his parents;
Allah commands His servants to be dutiful to parents, after urging them to
adhere to belief in His Tawhid, because a
person's parents are the cause of his existence. So he must treat them with the
utmost kindness and respect, his father for spending on him and his mother
because of her compassion for him.
And your Lord has
decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents.
If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a
word of disrespect, nor shout at them, but address them in terms of honor. And
lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: "My
Lord! Bestow on them Your mercy as they did bring me up when I was young.''
Although Allah orders us to show kindness, mercy and respect towards them in
return for their previous kindness, He says:
but if they strive to make
associate with Me, which you have no knowledge of, then obey them not.
meaning, if they are idolators, and they try to make you follow them in their
religion, then beware of them, and do not obey them in that, for you will be
brought back to Me on the Day of Resurrection, and Allah will reward you for
your kindness towards them and your patience in adhering to your religion.
Unto Me is your return and
I shall tell you what you used to do.
It is Allah Who will gather you with the group of the righteous, not with the
group of your parents, even though you were the closest of people to them in the
world. For a person will be gathered on the Day of Resurrection with those whom
he loves, meaning, religious love.
The Attitudes of the Hypocrites and
the Ways in which Allah tests People
Allah mentions the descriptions of the liars who falsely claim faith with their
lips, while faith is not firm in their hearts. When a test or trial comes in
this world, they think that this is a punishment from Allah, so they leave
Islam. Allah says:
Those who wait and watch
about you; if you gain a victory from Allah, they say: "Were we not with you''
But if the disbelievers gain a success, they say (to them): "Did we not gain
mastery over you and did we not protect you from the believers''. (4:141)
And indeed Allah knows
those who believe, and verily He knows the hypocrites.
Allah will test the people with calamities and with times of ease, so that He
may distinguish the believers from the hypocrites, to see who will obey Allah
both in times of hardship and of ease, and who will obey Him only when things
are going in accordance with their desires. As Allah says:
And verily, they shall bear
their own loads, and other loads besides their own.
Here Allah tells us that those who call others to disbelief and misguidance
will, on the Day of Resurrection, bear their own sins and the sins of others,
because of the people they misguided. Yet that will not detract from the burden
of those other people in the slightest, as Allah says:
A man will come on the Day
of Resurrection with good deeds like mountains, but he had wronged this one,
taken the wealth of that one and slandered the honor of another. So each of them
will take from his good deeds. And if there is nothing left of his good deeds,
it will be taken from their evil and placed on him.
Here Allah consoles His servant and Messenger Muhammad by telling him that Nuh,
peace be upon him, stayed among his people for this long period of time, calling
them night and day, in secret and openly, but in spite of all that they still
persisted in their aversion to the truth, turning away from it and disbelieving
in him. Only a few of them believed with him.
and he stayed among them a
thousand years less fifty years; and the Deluge overtook them while they were
meaning, `after this long period of time, when the Message and the warning had
been of no avail, so, O Muhammad, do not feel sorry because of those among your
people who disbelieve in you, and do not grieve for them, for Allah guides
whomsoever He wills and leaves astray whomsoever He wills. The matter rests with
Him and all things will return to Him.'
means, those who believed in Nuh, peace be upon him. We have already discussed
this in detail in Surah Hud, and there is no
need to repeat it here.
... وَجَعَلْنَاهَا آيَةً لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٥﴾
and made it (the ship) an
Ayah for all people.
means, `We caused that ship to remain,' whether in itself, as Qatadah said, that
it remained until the beginning of Islam, on Mount Judi, or whether the concept
of sailing in ships was left as a reminder to mankind of how Allah had saved
them from the Flood. This is like the Ayat:
You worship besides Allah only idols, and you only invent
falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allah have no
power to give you provision, so seek from Allah your provision, and
worship Him, and be grateful to Him. To Him you will be brought
And (remember) Ibrahim when
he said to his people:
Allah tells us how His servant, Messenger and close friend Ibrahim, the
Imam of the monotheists, called his people to
worship Allah alone, with no partner or associate, to fear Him alone, to seek
provision from Him alone, with no partner or associate, to give thanks to Him
alone, for He is the One to Whom thanks should be given for the blessings which
none can bestow but He.
Ibrahim said to his people:
... اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاتَّقُوهُ ...
Worship Allah, and have
Taqwa of Him,
meaning worship Him and fear Him Alone, with all sincerity.
You worship besides Allah
only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship
besides Allah have no power to give you provision,
Allah states that the idols which they worshipped were not able to do any harm
or any good, and tells them, "You made up names for them and called them gods,
but they are created beings just like you.''
This interpretation was reported by Al-`Awfi from Ibn Abbas. It was also the
view of Mujahid and As-Suddi.
Al-Walibi reported from Ibn Abbas: "You invent falsehood, means, you carve
idols,'' which do not have the power to provide for you.
... فَابْتَغُوا عِندَ اللَّهِ الرِّزْقَ ...
so seek from Allah your
This emphasizes the idea of asking Allah Alone.
This is like the Ayat:
إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ
You (Alone) we worship,
and You (Alone) we ask for help. (1:5)
And His saying:
رَبِّ ابْنِ لِى عِندَكَ بَيْتاً فِى الْجَنَّةِ
My Lord! Build for me,
with You, a home in Paradise. (66:11)
Allah says here:فَابْتَغُوا
(so seek) meaning, ask for عِندَ اللَّهِ الرِّزْقَ
(from Allah your provision),meaning, do not seek it from anyone or anything
other than Him, for no one else possesses the power to do anything.
... وَاعْبُدُوهُ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ ...
and worship Him, and be
grateful to Him.
Eat from what He has provided and worship Him Alone, and give thanks to Him for
the blessings He has given you.
... إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
To Him you will be brought
means, on the Day of Resurrection, when He will reward or punish each person
according to his deeds.
And the duty of the
Messenger is only to convey plainly.
All the Messengers have to do is to convey the Message as Allah has commanded
them. Allah guides whoever He wills and leaves astray whoever He wills, so
strive to be among the blessed.
Qatadah said concerning the Ayah:
وَإِن تُكَذِّبُوا فَقَدْ كَذَّبَ أُمَمٌ مِّن قَبْلِكُمْ
(And if you deny, then nations before you have denied), "These are words of
consolation to His Prophet, peace be upon him.''
This suggestion by Qatadah implies that the narrative (about Ibrahim) is
interrupted here, and resumes with the words "And nothing was the answer of (Ibrahim's)
people...'' in Ayah 24.
This was also stated by Ibn Jarir. From the context it appears that Ibrahim,
peace be upon him, said all of what is in this section. Here he establishes
proof against them that the Resurrection will indeed come to pass, because at
the end of this passage it says: فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ
("And nothing was the answer of his people...''). (29:24)
Allah tells us that Ibrahim, peace be upon him, showed them the proof of life
after death, which they denied, in their souls. For Allah created them after
they had been nothing at all, then they came into existence and became people
who could hear and see. The One Who originated this is able to repeat it, it is
very easy for Him. Then he taught them to contemplate the visible signs on the
horizons and the things that Allah has created: the heavens with their stars and
planets, moving and stationary, the earth with its plains and mountains, its
valleys, deserts and wildernesses, trees and rivers, fruits and oceans. All of
that indicates that these are themselves created things, and that there must be
a Creator Who does as He chooses, Who merely says to a thing "Be!'' and it is.
He punishes whom He wills,
and shows mercy to whom He wills;
He is the Ruler Who is in control, Who does as He wishes and judges as He wants,
and there is none who can put back His judgement. None can question Him about
what He does; rather it is they who will be questioned, for His is the power to
create and to command, and whatever He decides is fair and just, for He is the
sovereign who cannot be unjust in the slightest.
According to a Hadith recorded by the
The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on
the Day of Resurrection, you shall deny each other, and curse each
other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no
They said: "Build for
him a building and throw him into the blazing fire!'' So they plotted a plot
against him, but We made them the lowest. (37:97-98)
They spent a long time gathering a huge amount of firewood, they built a fence
around it, then they set it ablaze until its flames reached up to the sky. No
greater fire had ever been lit. Then they went to Ibrahim, seized him and put
him into a catapult, then they threw him into the fire. But Allah made it cool
and safe for him, and after spending several days in it, he emerged unscathed.
For this reason and others, Allah made him an Imam
for mankind, for he offered himself to the Most Merciful, he offered his body to
the flames, he offered his son as a sacrifice, and he gave his wealth to care
for his guests. For all of these reasons he is beloved by the followers of all
... فَأَنجَاهُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ ...
Then Allah saved him from
means, He rescued him from it by making it cool and safe for him.
And (Ibrahim) said: "You
have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of
Here Ibrahim was rebuking his people for their evil deed of worshipping idols,
and telling them: `You have taken these as gods and you come together to worship
them so that there is friendship and love among you in this world,'
... ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ...
but on the Day of
the situation will be the opposite, and this love and friendship will turn into
hatred and enmity. Then
... يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُم بِبَعْضٍ ...
you shall deny each other,
meaning, `you will denounce one another and deny whatever was between you,'
... وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُم بَعْضًا ...
and curse each other,
means, the followers will curse their leaders and the leaders will curse their
كُلَّمَا دَخَلَتْ أُمَّةٌ لَّعَنَتْ أُخْتَهَا
Every time a new nation
enters (the Fire), it curses its sister nation (that went before). (7:37)
He said: "I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily, He is
the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.''
إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِى ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ
وَالْكِتَـبَ وَءَاتَيْنَاهُ أَجْرَهُ فِى الدُّنْيَا And
We bestowed on him, Ishaq and Ya`qub, and We ordained among his
offspring Prophethood and the Book, and We granted him his reward in
وَإِنَّهُ فِى لاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ
and verily, in the Hereafter he is indeed among the righteous.
It was said that he was the son of Ibrahim's brother, and that his name was Lut
bin Haran bin Azar. None of Ibrahim's people believed in Ibrahim besides Lut and
Sarah the wife of Ibrahim. But if it is asked
how we may reconcile this Ayah with the
Hadith narrated in the
Sahih which says that when Ibrahim passed by
that tyrant and he asked about Sarah and what
her relationship was to him, Ibrahim said, "My sister.''
Then he went to her and said, "I told him that you are my sister, so do not let
him think I am lying, for there are no believers on earth except for you and I,
and you are my sister in faith.''
It seems -- and Allah knows best -- that the meaning here is, there is no other
Muslim couple on earth apart from you and I.
Among his people, only Lut believed in him and migrated with him to Syria, then
during Ibrahim's lifetime he was sent as a Messenger to the people of
Sadum (Sodom) where he settled. We have
already discussed their story and more is to come.
... وَقَالَ إِنِّي مُهَاجِرٌ إِلَى رَبِّي ...
He (Ibrahim) said: "I will
emigrate for the sake of my Lord.''
It may be that the pronoun in the verb "he said'' refers to Lut, because he was
the last person mentioned before this phrase; or it may refer to Ibrahim.
Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said that Ibrahim is the one who is referred in the
فَآمَنَ لَهُ لُوطٌ ...
So, Lut believed in him.
i.e., out of all his people.
... وَقَالَ إِنِّي مُهَاجِرٌ إِلَى رَبِّي ...
He said: "I will emigrate
for the sake of my Lord.
Then Allah tells us that he chose to leave them so that he might be able to
follow his religion openly. So he said:
... إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Verily, He is the
All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
Power belongs to Him and to His Messenger and to those who believe in him, and
He is Wise in all that He says and does, and in all His rulings and decrees,
both universal and legislative.
Qatadah said, "They migrated together from Kutha, which is on the outskirts of
Kufa, and went to Syria.''
Allah gave Ibrahim, Ishaq and Ya`qub, and ordained Prophethood in His Offspring.
and We ordained among his
offspring Prophethood and the Book,
This is a tremendous blessing. Not only did Allah take him as a close friend and
make him an Imam for mankind, but He also
ordained Prophethood and the Book among his offspring.
After the time of Ibrahim there was no Prophet who was not from among his
descendants. All of the Prophets of the Children of Israel were from among his
descendants, from Ya`qub bin Ishaq bin Ibrahim
to the last of them, `Isa bin Maryam, who
stood in the midst of his people and announced the good news of the
Hashimi QurashiArab Prophet, the last of all the Messengers, the leader of the sons of
Adam in this world and the next, whom Allah chose from the heart of the Arab
nation, from the descendants of Ismail bin Ibrahim,
may peace be upon them. There is no Prophet from the line of
Ismail besides him, may the best of blessings
and peace be upon him.
and We granted him his
reward in this world; and verily, in the Hereafter he is indeed among the
Allah granted him happiness in this world that was connected to happiness in the
Hereafter, for in this world he had plentiful provision, a splendid home, a
beautiful and righteous wife, and he was and still is spoken of highly, for
everyone loves him and regards him as a friend.
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and others said: "He obeyed Allah in all ways.''
This is like the Ayah,
وَإِبْرَهِيمَ الَّذِى وَفَّى
And of Ibrahim who
fulfilled all. (53:37)
He did all that he was commanded to do and obeyed his Lord to the utmost. Allah
says: وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَجْرَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِنَّهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ
(and We granted him his reward in this world; and verily, in the Hereafter he is
indeed among the righteous).
Verily, you practice sodomy
with men, and rob the wayfarer!''
Allah tells us that His Prophet Lut, peace be upon him, denounced his people for
their evil deed and their immoral actions in having intercourse with males, a
deed which none of the sons of Adam had ever committed before them. As well as
doing this, they also disbelieved in Allah and rejected and opposed His
Messenger, they robbed wayfarers, they would lie in wait on the road, kill
people and loot their possessions.
... وَتَأْتُونَ فِي نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنكَرَ ...
And practice Al-Munkar in
This means, `in your gatherings you do and say things that are not befitting,
and you do not denounce one another for doing such things.'
Some said that they used to have intercourse with one another in public; this
was the view of Mujahid.
Some said that they used to compete in passing gas and laughing. This was the
view of A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, and Al-Qasim.
Some of them said that they used to make rams fight one another, or organize
cockfights. They used to do all of these things, and they were even eviler than
And when Our messengers
came to Ibrahim with the glad tidings they said: "Verily, we are going to
destroy the people of this town; truly, its people have been wrongdoers.''
When Lut, peace be upon him, asked Allah to help him against them, Allah sent
angels to help him. They first came to Ibrahim in the form of guests, so he
offered them hospitality in the appropriate manner. When he saw that they had no
interest in the food, he felt some mistrust of them and was fearful of them.
They started to calm him down and gave him the news of a righteous son born by
his wife Sarah, who was present, and she was
astonished by this, as we have already explained in our Tafsir of Surah
Hud and Surah Al-Hijr.
When they brought this news to Ibrahim and told him that they were sent to
destroy the people of Lut, he began to speak up for them, hoping to win more
time for them so that they might be guided by Allah. When they said, "We have
come to destroy the people of this township,''
They said: "We know better
who is there. We will verily, save him and his family except his wife, she will
be of those who remain behind.''
meaning, one of those who will be destroyed, because she used to support them in
their disbelief and wrongdoing.
وَلَمَّا أَن جَاءتْ
رُسُلُنَا لُوطًا ...
And when Our messengers
came to Lut,
Then the angels left him and visited Lut in the form of handsome young men. When
he saw them like that,
... سِيءَ بِهِمْ وَضَاقَ بِهِمْ ذَرْعًا ...
he was grieved because of
them, and felt straitened on their account.
means, he was worried since if he had them as guests then he was afraid for them
and what his people might do to them, but if he did not host them, he was still
afraid of what might happen to them. At that point he did not know who they
stones of Sijjil, in a
well-arranged manner one after another. Marked from your Lord; and they are not
ever far from the evil doers. (11:82-83)
Allah turned the place where they had lived into a putrid, stinking lake, which
will remain as a lesson to mankind until the Day of Resurrection, and they will
be among those who are most severely punished on the Day of Resurrection.
Allah tells us that His servant and Messenger Shu`ayb, peace be upon him, warned
his people, the people of Madyan, and commanded them to worship Allah Alone with
no partner or associate, and to fear the wrath and punishment of Allah on the
Day of Resurrection.
and commit no mischief on
the earth as mischief-makers.
This is forbidding them to make mischief on earth by spreading corruption, which
means going around doing evil to people. They used to cheat in weights and
measures, and ambush people on the road; this is in addition to their disbelief
in Allah and His Messenger. So Allah destroyed them with a mighty earthquake
that convulsed their land, and the Sayhah
(shout) which tore their hearts from their bodies, and the torment of the Day of
Shade, when their souls were taken. This was the torment of a great day.
We have already examined their story in detail in Surah
Hud and Surah Ash-Shu`ara'.
And `Ad and Thamud! And
indeed (their destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined)
dwellings. Shaytan made their deeds fair seeming to them, and turned them away
from the path, though they were intelligent.
This was the case with `Ad, and this happened
because they said: "Who is stronger than us!'' So, there came upon them a
violent, intensely cold wind, which was very strong and carried pebbles which it
threw upon them. It carried them through the air, lifting a man up to the sky
and then hurling him headlong to the ground, so that his head split and he was
left as a body without a head, like uprooted stems of date palms.
... وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ ...
and of them were some who
were overtaken by As-Sayhah,
This is what happened to Thamud, against whom
evidence was established because of the she-camel who came forth when the rock
was split, exactly as they had asked for. Yet despite that they did not believe,
rather they persisted in their evil behavior and disbelief, and threatening to
expel Allah's Prophet Salih and the believers
with him, or to stone them. So the Sayhah
struck them, taking away their powers of speech and movement.
... وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْضَ ...
and of them were some whom
We caused the earth to swallow,
This refers to Qarun who transgressed, he was
evil and arrogant. He disobeyed his Lord, the Most High, and paraded through the
land in a boastful manner, filled with self-admiration, thinking that he was
better than others. He showed off as he walked, so Allah caused the earth to
swallow him and his house, and he will continue sinking into it until the Day of
... وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَغْرَقْنَا ...
and of them were some whom
This refers to Fir`awn, his minister
Haman and their troops, all of whom were
drowned in a single morning, not one of them escaped.
... وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ ...
It was not Allah Who
in what He did to them,
... وَلَكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ ﴿٤٠﴾
but they wronged
that happened to them as a
punishment for what they did with their own hands.
Verily, Allah knows what
things they invoke instead of Him. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
This is how Allah described the idolators in their reverence of gods besides
Him, hoping that they would help them and provide for them, and turning to them
in times of difficulties. In this regard, they were like the house of a spider,
which is so weak and frail, because by clinging to these gods they were like a
person who holds on to a spider's web, who does not gain any benefit from that.
If they knew this, they would not take any protectors besides Allah. This is
unlike the Muslim believer, whose heart is devoted to Allah, yet he still does
righteous deeds and follows the Laws of Allah, for he has grasped the most
trustworthy handle that will never break because it is so strong and firm.
Then Allah warns those who worship others besides Him and associate others with
Him that He knows what they do and the rivals they associate with Him. He will
punish them for their attribution, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.
And these are the examples
We give for mankind; but none will understand them except those who have
meaning, no one understands them or ponders them except those who are possessed
of deep knowledge.
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Amr bin Murrah said,
"I never came across an
Ayah of the Book of Allah that I did not
know, but it grieved me, because I heard that Allah says:
وَتِلْكَ الْأَمْثَالُ نَضْرِبُهَا لِلنَّاسِ وَمَا يَعْقِلُهَا إِلَّا
And these are the examples We give for mankind; but none will understand them
except those who have knowledge.''
And speak to him mildly,
perhaps he may accept admonition or fear. (20:44)
Allah says here:
... إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ ...
except with such of them as do wrong;
meaning, those who turn away from the truth, turning a blind eye to clear
evidence, being stubborn and arrogant. In this case you should progress from
debate to combat, fighting them in such a way as to deter them from committing
aggression against you.
say (to them): "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to
means, `if they tell you something which you do not know to be true or false,
say to them: We do not hasten to say it is a lie, because it may be true, and we
do not hasten to say it is true because it may be false. We believe in it in
general, under the condition that it has been revealed and has not been altered
or deliberately misinterpreted.'
Do not believe the People of the Book and do not deny them. Say:
believe in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to
you. Our God and your God is One, and to Him we have submitted.''''
Hadith was narrated only by Al-Bukhari.
Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn Abbas said:
"How can you ask the People of the Book about anything, when your Book that was
revealed to the Messenger of Allah is more recent, you read it pure and
uncontaminated, it tells you that the People of the Book altered and changed the
Book, that they write the Book with their own hands and then say, `This is from
Allah,' to purchase with it a small price.
Should not the knowledge that you have, prevent you from asking them?
No, by Allah, we have never seen any of them asking you about what was sent down
Al-Bukhari recorded that Humayd bin Abdur-Rahman heard Mu`awiyah talking to a
group of Quraysh in Al-Madinah. He mentioned Ka`b Al-Ahbar, and said:
"He was one of the most truthful of those who narrated from the People of the
Book, even though we found that some of what he said might be lies.''
I say, this means that
some of what he said could be classified linguistically as lies, but he did not
intend to lie, because he was narrating from manuscripts which he thought were
good, but they contained fabricated material, because they did not have people
who were so conscientious in memorizing the Scriptures by heart as the people of
this great Ummah.
Neither did you read any book before it (this Qur'an) nor did you write any book
with your right hand.
meaning, `you lived among your people for a long time before you brought this
Qur'an. During this time you never read any book or wrote anything. Your people,
as well as others all know that you are an unlettered man who does not read or
This is how he was also described in the previous Scriptures, as Allah says:
Those who follow the
Messenger, the Prophet, the unlettered about whom they find written with them in
the Tawrah and the Injil, -- he commands them with good; and forbids them from
This is how the Messenger of Allah will remain until the Day of Resurrection,
unable to write even one line or one letter. He used to have scribes who would
write down the revelation for him, or would write letters from him to be sent to
... إِذًا لَّارْتَابَ الْمُبْطِلُونَ
that case, indeed, the followers of falsehood might have doubted.
means, `if you had been literate, some ignorant people would have doubted you.
They would have said that you learned this from Books inherited from the
Prophets which came before.'
Indeed, they did say that, even though they knew that he was unlettered and
could not read or write.
There has never been any Prophet who was not given that which
would make people believe in him. What I have been given is revelation which
Allah reveals to me, and I hope that I will have the most followers among them.
According to the Hadith of `Iyad bin Himar,
recorded in Sahih Muslim, Allah says:
"I am testing you and testing others through you, revealing to
you a Book which cannot be washed away by water, which you recite while you are
asleep and while you are awake.''
This means, if the manuscript where it is written were to be washed with water,
there is no need for that manuscript. This is because it is preserved in the
hearts and is easy on the tongue (i.e., is easy to recite), and is controlling
people's hearts and minds. It is miraculous in its wording and in its meanings.
In the previous Scriptures this Ummah was
described as carrying their holy Books in their hearts.
they say: "Why are not signs sent down to him from his Lord!''
Allah tells us how the idolators stubbornly demanded signs, meaning that they
wanted signs to show them that Muhammad was indeed the Messenger of Allah, just
as Salih was given the sign of the she-camel.
... قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْآيَاتُ عِندَ اللَّهِ...
-- `O Muhammad' -- The signs are only with Allah,
meaning, `the matter rests with Allah, and if He knew that you would be guided,
He would respond to your request, because it is very easy for Him to do that.
Yet He knows that you are merely being stubborn and putting me to the test, so
He will not respond to you.'
Not upon you is their
guidance, but Allah guides whom He wills. (2:272)
Then Allah shows us how ignorant and foolish they were when they demanded a sign
to prove to them that what Muhammad had brought to them was true. He brought
them a great Book which falsehood cannot reach, neither from before it or behind
it, it was greater than all other miracles, for the most eloquent of men could
not match it or produce ten Surahs, or even
one Surah like it.
it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book which is
recited to them!
means, `is it not sufficient as a sign for them that We have sent down to you
this great Book which tells them about what happened before their time, what
will happen after they are gone, and passes judgement between them. Even though
you are an unlettered man who can neither read nor write, and you have not mixed
with any of the People of the Book. Yet you brought them news of what was said
in the first Scriptures showing what is right in the matters that they dispute
over, and bringing clear and obvious truth.'
There is no Prophet who was not given some miracles that would
make the people believe in him. What I have been given is revelation which Allah
reveals to me, and I hope that I will have the greatest number of followers on
the Day of Resurrection.''
"Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you...''
`He knows best the words of denial that you utter, and he knows what I am
telling you about Him and that He has sent me. If I were telling lies about Him,
He would have executed His vengeance upon me,' as Allah says elsewhere:
And if he had forged a
false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by his right hand,
and then We certainly would have cut off his aorta, and none of you could have
withheld Us from (punishing) him. (69:44-47)
`But I am telling the
truth in what I say to you about Him, so He has supported me with clear miracles
and definitive evidence.'
those who believe in falsehood, and disbelieve in Allah, it is they who are the
means, on the Day of Resurrection, they will be punished for what they did, and
will get what they justly deserve for rejecting the truth and following
falsehood, for disbelieving in the Messengers of Allah even when there was proof
that they were telling the truth, and for worshipping false gods with no
Allah will punish them for
all that, for He is All-Wise and All-Knowing.
And when they said: "O
Allah! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from
the sky or bring on us a painful torment.'' (8:32)
And Allah says here: وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ وَلَوْلَا أَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى
(And they ask you to hasten on the torment, and had it not been for a term
appointed, the torment would certainly have come to them).
Were it not for the fact that Allah has decreed that the punishment should be
delayed until the Day of Resurrection, the torment would have come upon them
quickly as they demanded.
Advice to migrate and the Promise
of Provision and a Goodly Reward
Allah commands His believing servants to migrate from a land in which they are
not able to establish Islam, to the spacious earth of Allah where they can do
so, by declaring Allah to be One and worshipping Him as He has commanded.
servants who believe! Certainly, spacious is My earth. Therefore worship Me.
When things became too difficult for the believers in Makkah who were in a weak
position and were oppressed, they left and migrated to Ethiopia, where they were
able to practice their religion. The Muslims found Ethiopia the best place for
guest; where Ashamah, the Negus or king, may Allah have mercy on him, gave them
refuge, helped them, supported them, and honored them in his land.
Later, the Messenger of Allah and his remaining Companions migrated to Al-Madinah,
formerly known as Yathrib, may Allah protect it.
Everyone shall taste death. Then unto Us you shall be returned.
meaning, `wherever you are, death with catch up with you, so always obey Allah
and be where Allah commands you to be, for this is better for you. Death is
inevitable and there is no escape from it, and then you will return to Allah,
and whoever was obedient to Him will have the best reward.'
those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to them We shall surely give
lofty dwellings in Paradise, underneath which rivers flow,
meaning, `We shall cause them to dwell in lofty homes in Paradise under which
various kinds of rivers flow -- water, wine, honey and milk -- which they can
direct and cause to flow wherever they wish.'
... خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ...
live therein forever.
means, they will remain there forever, never wanting to leave.
... نِعْمَ أَجْرُ الْعَامِلِينَ
Excellent is the reward for the workers.
these rooms will be a blessed reward for the good deeds of the believers,
in adhering to their religion, who migrated for the sake of Allah and fought the
enemy, leaving behind their families and relatives to seek Allah's Face, and
hoping for that which is with Him, believing His promise.
Ibn Abi Hatim, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded from Abu Mu`aniq Al-Ash`ari
that Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari told him that the Messenger of Allah told him:
In Paradise there are rooms whose outside can be seen from the
inside, and their inside can be seen from the outside; Allah has prepared them
pray and fast continually,
who stand in prayer at night while people are asleep.
... وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ
put their trust in their Lord.
in all their affairs, spiritual and worldly alike.
Then Allah tells us that provision is not limited only to one place, but it is
given to all His creatures no matter where they are. Indeed, when the
Muhajirin migrated, their provision was
greater and better than before, because after a short time they became rulers in
the land, in all regions.
so many a moving creature carries not its own provision!
meaning, it does not have the ability to gather its provision and save it for
... اللَّهُ يَرْزُقُهَا وَإِيَّاكُمْ ...
Allah provides for it and for you.
means, Allah allots its provision to it even though it is weak, and makes it
easy for it. He sends provision to every creature in the appropriate manner,
even the ants in the depths of the earth, the birds in the air and the fish in
the sea. Allah says:
if you were to ask them: "Who sends down water from the sky, and gives life
therewith to the earth after its death!'' They will surely reply: "Allah.''
"All the praises and thanks be to Allah!''
most of them have no sense.
Allah states that there is no God but He. The idolators who worshipped others
besides Him recognized that He was the sole creator of the heavens and earth,
the sun and the moon, alternating the night and day.
They acknowledged that He was the Creator Who provided for His servants and
decreed how long they should live. He made them and their provision different,
so that some were rich and some were poor, and He knew best what was suitable
for each of them, who deserved to be rich and who deserved to be poor.
So, Allah stated that He has alone created everything, and that He alone is
controlling them -- if this is how it is, then why worship anyone else?
Why put one's trust in anyone else?
Since dominion is His Alone, then let worship be for Him Alone.
Allah often establishes
His divinity by referring to their acknowledgement of His Unique Lordship,
because the idolators used to acknowledge His Lordship, as they said in their
Hajj and `Umrah): "At Your service,
You have no partner, except the partner that You have, and You possess him and
whatever he has.''
when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl that when the Messenger of
Allah conquered Makkah, he (Ikrimah) ran away, fleeing from him. When he was on
the sea, headed for Ethiopia, the ship started to rock and the crew said:
"O people, pray sincerely to your Lord alone, for no one can save us from this
"By Allah, if there is none who can save us on the sea except Him, then there is
none who can save us on land except Him either, O Allah, I vow to You that if I
come out of this, I will go and put my hand in the hand of Muhammad and I will
find him kind and merciful.''
they not seen that We have made a secure sanctuary, while men are being snatched
away from all around them!
Allah reminds Quraysh how He blessed them by granting them access to His
sanctuary which He has made (open) to (all) men, the dweller in it and the
visitor from the country are equal there, and whoever enters it is safe, because
he is in a place of great security, although the Arabs of the desert round about
used to ambush and raid one another and kill one another.
For the protection of
the Quraysh. The caravans to set forth safe in winter and in summer. So let them
worship the Lord of this House. Who has fed them against hunger, and has made
them safe from fear. (106:1-4)
Have you not seen those
who have changed the blessings of Allah into disbelief, and caused their people
to dwell in the house of destruction! (14:28)
They disbelieved in the Prophet, servant and Messenger of Allah , when what they
should have done was to worship Allah Alone and not associate anything with Him,
and to believe in, honor and respect the Messenger, but they rejected him and
fought him, and expelled him from their midst. So, Allah took His blessing away
from them, and killed those of them whom He killed at
Badr, then His Messenger and the believers
gained the upper hand, and Allah enabled His Messenger to conquer Makkah, and He
disgraced them and humiliated them (the disbelievers).
who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah or denies the truth,
when it comes to him!
There is no one who will be more severely punished than one who tells lies about
Allah and says that Allah revealed something to him at the time when Allah did
not reveal anything to him, or says, `I shall reveal something like that which
And there is no one who will be more severely punished than one who denies the
truth when it comes to him, for the former is a fabricator and the latter is a
for those who strive hard for Us (in Our cause), We will surely guide them to
Our paths. And verily, Allah is with the doers of good.
"Those who act upon what they know, Allah will guide them to that which they do
Ahmad bin Abu Al-Hawari said,
"I told this to Abu Sulayman Ad-Darani, and he liked it and said: `No one who is
inspired to do something good should do it until he hears a report concerning
that; if he hears a report then he should go ahead and do it, and praise Allah
because it was in accordance with what he himself felt.'''
وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(And verily, Allah is with the doers of good).
Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ash-Sha`bi said; "Isa
binMaryam, peace be upon him, said:
`Righteousness means doing good to those who ill-treat you, it does not mean
doing good to those who do good to you.'''