All Praise and the Knowledge of the
Unseen belong to Allah Alone
Allah tells us that all praise belongs to Him alone in this world and in the
Hereafter, because He is the Giver and Bestower who gives to the people of this
world and the Hereafter, the Sovereign and Controller of all. Allah says:
And He is Allah; none
has the right to be worshipped but He, all praise is due to Him (both) in the
first (i.e., in this world) and in the last (the Hereafter). And for Him is the
decision, and to Him shall you (all) be returned. (28:70)
knows that which goes into the earth and that which comes forth from it,
meaning, He knows the number of raindrops that sink into the depths of the
earth, and the seeds that have been sown, and the things that are hidden in it,
and He knows what comes forth from that, how many they are, how they grow and
what they look like.
... وَمَا يَنزِلُ مِنَ السَّمَاء ...
that which descends from the heaven,
means, of raindrops and provision,
... وَمَا يَعْرُجُ فِيهَا ...
that which ascends to it.
and what ascends into it, i.e., righteous deeds and other things.
... وَهُوَ الرَّحِيمُ الْغَفُورُ
He is the Most Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving.
means, He is Most Merciful to His servants; He does not hasten to punish them,
and He forgives the sins of those who repent to Him and put their trust in Him.
The Hour will come so that each
Person will be rewarded or punished in accordance with His Deeds
This is one of three Ayat -- there is no
fourth -- where Allah commands His Messenger to swear by His Almighty Lord that
the resurrection will surely come, because the stubborn followers of disbelief
denied that it would happen.
- One of these Ayat is in Surah
Yunus, where Allah says:
All-Knower of the Unseen, not even the weight of a speck of dust or less than
that or greater escapes His knowledge in the heavens or in the earth but it is
in a Clear Book.
Mujahid and Qatadah said, "Nothing is hidden or concealed from Him.''
In other words, everything is encompassed by His knowledge, and nothing is
hidden from Him. Even though bones may be scattered and disintegrate, He knows
where they have gone and where they have dispersed, then He will bring them back
just as He created them in the first place, because He has knowledge of all
Then Allah tells us of His wisdom in re-creating bodies and bringing about the
Hour, as He says:
those who have been given knowledge see that what is revealed to you from your
Lord is the truth,
This is another kind of wisdom, following on from the one before, which is that
when those who believed in what was revealed to the Messengers see the onset of
the Hour and how the righteous and the wicked will be rewarded and punished
respectively, which they knew of beforehand in this world from the Books of
Allah and which they are now seeing with their own eyes, they will say:
لَقَدْ جَآءَتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ
Indeed, the Messengers
of our Lord did come with the truth. (7:43)
those who have been given knowledge see that what is revealed to you from your
Lord is the truth, and that it guides to the path of the Exalted in might, Owner
of all praise.
The Exalted in might is the One Who is All-Powerful, Whom none can overwhelm or
resist, but He subjugates and controls all things. The Owner of All praise is
the One Who, in all His words, deeds, laws and decrees, is deserving of praise,
may He be glorified and exalted.
but those who disbelieve in the Hereafter are (themselves) in a torment, and in
meaning, the matter is not as they claim or as they think; on the contrary,
Muhammad is the one who is telling the truth, and is righteous and wise; he is
the one who has brought the truth, and they are the foolish and ignorant liars.
... فِي الْعَذَابِ ...
(themselves) in a torment,
means, their disbelief, which will lead them to the torment of Allah.
.. وَالضَّلَالِ الْبَعِيدِ
in far error.
i.e. far from the truth in this world.
Then Allah warns them of His power in the creation of heavens and earth, as He
Verily, in this is a sign for every Munib servant.
Ma`mar narrating from Qatadah, said that Al-Munib
means every one who repents.
Sufyan narrated from Qatadah, that Al-Munib
is the one who turns to Allah.
This means that in looking at the creation of the heavens and the earth, there
is a sign for every servant who is intelligent and wise and who turns towards
There is a sign of the Allah's ability to recreate bodies and bring about the
Resurrection, because the One Who was able to create these heavens -- with their
vast reaches of space, and this earth, as deep and vast as it is -- is able to
recreate bodies and revive decayed bones.
indeed We bestowed grace on Dawud from Us (saying):
you mountains! Glorify with him! And you birds (also)!
And We made the iron soft for him.''
Here Allah tells us how He blessed His servant and Messenger Dawud (David),
peace be upon him, and what He gave him of His great bounty, giving him both
Prophethood and kingship, and huge numbers of troops. And He blessed him with a
mighty voice. Such that when he glorified Allah, the firm, solid, high mountains
joined him in glorifying Allah, and the free-roaming birds, who go out in the
morning and come back in the evening, stopped for him, and he was able to speak
In the Sahih it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah heard the voice of Abu
Musa Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, reciting at night, and he
stopped and listened to his recitation, then he said:
to Suleiman (We subjected) the wind, its morning was a month's (journey), and
its afternoon was a month's (journey).
Having mentioned the blessings with which He favored Dawud, Allah follows this
by mentioning what He gave to Dawud's son Suleiman (Solomon), may peace be upon
them both. He subjugated the wind to him, so that it would carry his carpet one
way for a month, then back again the next month.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said,
"He set out from Damascus in the morning, landed in Istakhar where he ate a
meal, then flew on from Istakhar and spent the night in Kabil.''
Between Damascus and Istakhar is an entire month's travel for a swift rider, and
between Istakhar and Kabul is an entire month's travel for a swift rider.
... وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ ....
We caused a fount Qitr to flow for him,
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata' Al-Khurasani,
Qatadah, As-Suddi, Malik from Zayd bin Aslam, Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam
and others said, "Qitr means copper.''
Qatadah said, "It was in Yemen.''
Allah brought forth all the things that people make for Suleiman, peace be upon
there were Jinn that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord.
means, `We subjugated the Jinn to work in front of him,' by the permission of
his Lord, i.e., by Allah's decree and subjugation, they built whatever
constructions he wanted, and did other work as well.
... وَمَن يَزِغْ مِنْهُمْ عَنْ أَمْرِنَا...
whosoever of them turned aside from Our command,
means, whoever among them tried to rebel and disobey,
... نُذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابِ السَّعِيرِ ﴿١٢﴾
shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire.
Allah tells us how Suleiman, peace be upon him, died and how Allah concealed his
death from the Jinn who were subjugated to him to do hard labor. He remained
leaning on his stick, which was his staff, as Ibn Abbas may Allah be pleased
with him, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and others said.
He stayed like that for a long time, nearly a year. When a creature of the
earth, which was a kind of worm, ate through the stick, it became weak and fell
to the ground. Then it became apparent that he had died a long time before.
It also became clear to Jinn and men alike that the Jinn do not know the Unseen
as they (the Jinn) used to imagine and tried to deceive people.
nothing informed them (Jinn) of his death except a little worm of the earth
which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his stick. So when he fell down, the Jinn
saw clearly that if they had known the Unseen, they would not have stayed in the
meaning, it became clear
to the people that they (the Jinn) were lying.
Indeed there was for Saba' a sign in their dwelling place -- two
gardens on the right and on the left; (and it was said to them:)
"Eat of the provision of your Lord, and be grateful to Him.'' A fair
land and an Oft-Forgiving Lord!
The Disbelief of Saba' (Sheba) and
refers to the kings and people of the Yemen.
(surname of the ancient kings of Yemen) were part of them, and
Bilqis, the queen who met Suleiman, peace be
upon him, was also one of them.
They lived a life of enviable luxury in their land with plentiful provision,
crops and fruits. Allah sent them messengers telling them to eat of His
provision and give thanks to Him by worshipping Him alone, and they followed
that for as long as Allah willed, then they turned away from that which they had
been commanded to do. So they were punished with a flood which scattered them
throughout the lands around Saba' in all
directions, as we will see in detail below, if Allah wills. In Him we put our
Ibn Jarir recorded that Farwah bin Musayk Al-Ghutayfi, may Allah be pleased with
"A man said, `O Messenger of Allah! Tell me about Saba' -- what was it, a land
or a woman?'
It was neither a land nor a woman. It was a man who had ten children, six of
whom went Yemen and four of whom went Ash-Sham. Those who went Ash-Sham were
Lakhm, Judham, Amilah and Ghassan. Those who went south were Kindah, Al-Ash`ariyyun,
Al-Azd, Madhhij, Himyar and Anmar.
A man asked, `Who are Anmar?'
الَّذِينَ مِنْهُمْ خَثْعَمُ وَبَجِيلَة
Those among whom are Khath`am and Bajilah.''
was recorded by At-Tirmidhi in his Jami` (Sunan) in more detail than this; then
he said, "This is a Hasan Gharib Hadith.''
The genealogists -- including Muhammad bin Ishaq -- said,
"The name of Saba' was Abd Shams bin Yashjub
bin Yarub bin Qahtan; he was called Saba'
because he was the first Arab tribe to disperse.
He was also known as Ar-Ra'ish, because he
was the first one to take booty in war and give it to his people, so he was
called Ar-Ra'ish; because the Arabs call
wealth Rish or
They differ over Qahtan, about whom there were three views.
-The first, he
descended from the line of Iram bin Sam bin Nuh, then there were three different
views over how he descended from him.
-The second was that
he was descended from `Abir, another name for Hud,
peace be upon him, then there were also three different views over exactly how
he descended from him.
-The third was that
he was descended from Isma`il bin Ibrahim Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, then
there were also three different views over exactly how he descended from him.
This was discussed in full detail by Imam Al-Hafiz Abu Umar bin Abdul-Barr
An-Namari, may Allah have mercy on him, in his book Al-Musamma Al-Inbah Ala
Dhikr Usul Al-Qaba'il Ar-Ruwat.
The meaning of the Prophet's words, (He was a man among the Arabs), means that
he was one of the original Arabs, who were before Ibrahim, peace be upon him,
and were descendants of Sam bin Nuh (Shem, the son of Noah).
According to the third view mentioned above, he descended from Ibrahim, peace be
upon him, but this was not a well-known view among them. And Allah knows best.
But in Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is reported that the Messenger of Allah passed by a
group of people from (the tribe of) Aslam who were practicing archery, and he
said, (Shoot, O sons of Isma`il, for your father was an archer).
Aslam was a tribe of the Ansar, and the Ansar -- both Aws and Khazraj -- were
from Ghassan, from the Arabs of Yemen from Saba',
who settled in Yathrib when
Saba' was scattered throughout the land when
Allah sent against them the flood released from the dam.
A group of them also settled in Syria, and they were called Ghassan for the name
of the water beside which they camped -- it was said that it was in the Yemen,
or that it was near Al-Mushallal, as Hassan bin Thabit, may Allah be pleased
with him, said in one of his poems.
The meaning of his words:
"If you ask, then we are the community of the noble descendants, our lineage is
Al-Azd and our water is Ghassan.'' He had ten sons among the Arabs. means that
these ten were of his lineage, and that the origins of the Arab tribes of the
Yemen go back to him, not that they were his sons born of his loins. There may
have been two or three generations between him and some of them, or more or
less, as is explained in detail in the books of genealogy.
The meaning of the words, Six of whom went south and four of whom went north.
is that after Allah sent against them the flood released from the dam, some of
them stayed in their homeland, whilst others left to go elsewhere.
The Dam of Ma'arib and the Flood
The story of the dam is about the water which used to come to them from between
two mountains, combined with the floods from rainfall and their valleys. Their
ancient kings built a huge, strong dam and the water reached a high level
between these two mountains. Then they planted trees and got the best fruits
that could ever be harvested, plentiful and beautiful.
A number of the Salaf, including Qatadah,
mentioned that a woman could walk beneath the trees, carrying a basket or vessel
-- such as is used for gathering fruit -- on her head. And that the fruit would
fall from the trees and fill the basket without any need for her to make the
effort to pick the fruit, because it was so plentiful and ripe.
This was the dam of Ma'arib, a land between which and San`a' was a journey of
Others said that in their land there were no flies, mosquitoes or fleas, or any
kind of vermin. This was because the weather was good and the people were
healthy, and Allah took care of them so that they would single out and worship
Him alone, as He says:
means, from worshipping Allah alone and from giving thanks to Him for the
blessings that He had bestowed upon them, and they started to worship the sun
instead of Allah, as the hoopoe told Suleiman, peace be upon him:
"I have come to you from Saba' (Sheba) with true news. I found a woman ruling
over them, she has been given all things, and she has a great throne. I found
her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaytan has made
their deeds fair seeming to them, and has barred them from the way, so they have
no guidance.'' (27:22-24)
عَلَيْهِمْ سَيْلَ الْعَرِمِ ...
We sent against them flood released from the dam,
Some, including Ibn Abbas, Wahb bin Munabbih, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that;
when Allah wanted to punish them by sending the flood upon them, he sent beasts
from the earth to the dam, large rats, which made a hole in it.
Wahb bin Munabbih said,
"They found it written in their Scriptures that the dam would be destroyed
because of these large rats. So they brought cats for a while, but when the
decree came to pass, the rats overran the cats and went into the dam, making a
hole in it, and it collapsed.''
Qatadah and others said,
"The large rat is the desert rat. They gnawed at the bottom of the dam until it
became weak, then the time of the floods came and the waters hit the structure
and it collapsed. The waters rushed through the bottom of the valley and
destroyed everything in their path -- buildings, trees, etc.''
As the water drained from the trees that were on the mountains, to the right and
the left, those trees dried up and were destroyed. Those beautiful,
fruit-bearing trees were replaced with something altogether different, as Allah
We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit (ukul
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Ata' Al-Khurasani, Qatadah and As-Suddi said,
"It refers to Arak (Zingiber officinale) and
bitter bad fruit.''
... وَأَثْلٍ ...
Al- Awfi and Ibn Abbas said that this means tamarisk.
Others said that it means a tree that resembles a tamarisk, and it was said that
it was the gum acacia or mimosa. And Allah knows best.
... وَشَيْءٍ مِّن سِدْرٍ قَلِيلٍ
some few lote trees.
Because the lote trees were the best of the trees with which the garden was
replaced, there were only a few of them.
This is what happened to those two gardens after they had been so fruitful and
productive, offering beautiful scenes, deep shade and flowing rivers: they were
replaced with thorny trees, tamarisks and lote trees with huge thorns and little
fruit. This was because of their disbelief and their sin of associating others
with Allah, and because they denied the truth and turned towards falsehood.
Allah tells us about the blessings which the people of
Saba' enjoyed, and the luxuries and plentiful
provision which was theirs in their land, with its secure dwellings and towns
which were joined to one another, with many trees, crops and fruits. When they
traveled, they had no need to carry provisions or water with them; wherever they
stopped, they would find water and fruits, so they could take their noontime
rest in one town, and stay overnight in another, according to their needs on
We made them as tales (in the land), and We dispersed them all totally.
means, `We made them something for people to talk about when they converse in
the evening, how Allah plotted against them and dispersed them after they had
been together living a life of luxury, and they were scattered here and there
throughout the land.'
So, the Arabs say of a people when they are dispersed, "They have been scattered
like Saba','' in all directions.
Verily, in this are indeed signs for every steadfast, grateful.
In the punishment which these people suffered, the way in which their blessings
and good health were turned into vengeance for their disbelief and sins, is a
lesson and an indication for every person who is steadfast in the face of
adversity and grateful for blessings.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him,
I am amazed at what Allah has decreed for the believer; if
something good befalls him, He praises his Lord and gives thanks, and if
something bad befalls him, he praises his Lord and has patience. The believer
will be rewarded for everything, even the morsel of food which he lifts to his
This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah.
There is a corroborating report in the Two Sahihs, where a Hadith narrated by
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, says:
How amazing is the affair of the believer! Allah does not decree
anything for him but it is good for him. If something good happens to him, he
gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him, he
bears it with patience, and that is good for him. This is not for anyone except
It was reported that Qatadah said:إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ
(Verily, in this are indeed signs for every steadfast, grateful). It was
Mutarrif who used to say:
"How blessed is the
grateful, patient servant. If he is given something, he gives thanks, and if he
is tested, he bears it with patience.''
How Iblis' thought about the
Disbeliever proved True
Having mentioned Saba' and how they followed
their desires, and the Shaytan, Allah tells
us about their counterparts among those who follow Iblis and their own desires,
and who go against wisdom and true guidance.
except that We might test him who believes in the Hereafter, from him who is in
doubt about it.
means, `We gave him power over them only to show who believes in the Hereafter
and that it will come to pass.'
The people will be brought to account and rewarded or punished accordingly, so
that he will worship his Lord properly in this world -- and to distinguish these
believers from those who are in doubt about the Hereafter.
... وَرَبُّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَفِيظٌ ﴿٢١﴾
your Lord is a Watchful over everything.
means, despite His watching, those who follow Iblis go astray, but by His
watching and care, the believers who follow the Messengers are saved.
Say: "Call upon those whom you assert besides Allah, they possess
not even the weight of a speck of dust, either in the heavens or on
the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor there is for Him
any supporter from among them.''
The Helplessness of the gods of the
Allah states clearly that He is the One and Only God, the Self-Sufficient
Master, Who has no peer or partner; He is independent in His command and there
is no one who can share or dispute with Him in that, or overturn His command.
and they cannot
intercede except for him with whom He is pleased. And they stand in awe for fear
of Him. (21:28)
It was reported in the Two Sahihs through more than one chain of narration that
the Messenger of Allah, who is the leader of the sons of Adam and the greatest
intercessor before Allah, will go to stand in Al-Maqam
Al-Mahmud(the praised position) to
intercede for all of mankind when their Lord comes to pass judgement upon them.
Then I will prostrate to Allah, may He be exalted, and He will
leave me (in that position), as long as Allah wills, and He will inspire me to
speak words of praise which I cannot mention now. Then it will be said, "O
Muhammad, raise your head.
-Speak, you will be heard;
you will be given;
-intercede, your intercession will be accepted...''
much so that when fear is banished from their hearts, they say:
"What is it that your Lord has said!''
say the truth.
This also refers to the great degree of His might and power. When He speaks
words of revelation, the inhabitants of the heavens hear what He says, and they
tremble with fear (of Allah) so much that they swoon.
This was the view of Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, Masruq and
حَتَّى إِذَا فُزِّعَ عَن قُلُوبِهِمْ
(So much so that when fear is banished from their hearts) means, when the fear
leaves their hearts.
Ibn Abbas, Ibn Umar, Abu Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami, Ash-Sha`bi, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i,
Ad-Dhahhak, Al-Hasan and Qatadah said concerning the Ayah,
حَتَّى إِذَا فُزِّعَ عَن قُلُوبِهِمْ قَالُوا مَاذَا قَالَ رَبُّكُمْ قَالُوا
الْحَقَّ (So much so that when
fear is banished from their hearts, they say: "What is it that your Lord has
said!'' They say the truth), "When the fear is lifted from their hearts.''
When this happens, some of them say to others, "What did your Lord say!''
Those (angels) who are carrying the Throne tell those who are next to them, then
they in turn pass it on to those who are next to them, and so on, until the news
reaches the inhabitants of the lowest heaven. Allah says,
قَالُوا الْحَقَّ (They say the truth) meaning, they
report what He said, without adding or taking away anything.
... وَهُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْكَبِيرُ
And He is the Most High, the Most Great.
In his Tafsir of this
Ayah in his Sahih, Al-Bukhari recorded that
Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him said,
When Allah decrees a matter in heaven, the angels beat their
wings in submission to His Words, making a sound like a chain striking a smooth
rock. When the 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.
Then the one who is listening out hears that, and those who are
listening out are standing one above the other. --
Sufyan (one of the narrators) demonstrated with his hand, holding
it vertically with the fingers outspread.
So he hears what is said and passes it on to the one below him,
and that one passes it to the one who is below him, and so on until it reaches
the lips of the soothsayer or fortune-teller.
Maybe a meteor will hit him before he can pass anything on, or
maybe he will pass it on before he is hit. He tells a hundred lies alongside it,
but it will be said, "Did he not tell us that on such and such a day, such and
such would happen?''
So they believe him because of the one thing which was heard from
was recorded by Al-Bukhari, not by Muslim. Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah
also recorded it.
"Who gives you provision from the heavens and the earth!''
Allah tells us that He is unique in His power of creation and His giving of
provision, and that He is unique in His divinity also. As they used to admit
that no one in heaven or on earth except Allah gave them provision, i.e., by
sending down water and causing crops to grow, so they should also realize that
there is no god worthy of worship besides Him.
verily, (either) we or you are rightly guided or in plain error.
`One of the two sides must be speaking falsehood, and one must be telling the
truth. There is no way that you and we could both be following true guidance, or
could both be misguided. Only one of us can be correct, and we have produced the
proof of Tawhid which indicates that your
Shirk must be false.'
"You will not be asked about our sins, nor shall we be asked of what you do.''
This indicates disowning them, saying, `you do not belong to us and we do not
belong to you, because we call people to Allah, to believe that He is the Only
God and to worship Him alone. If you respond, then you will belong to us and we
to you, but if you reject our call, then we have nothing to do with you and you
have nothing to do with us.'
Say: "O disbelievers! I
worship not that which you worship, Nor will you worship that which I worship.
And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping. Nor will you worship
that which I worship. To you be your religion, and to me my religion.''
means, `on the Day of Resurrection, He will bring all of creation together in
one arena, then He will judge between us with truth, i.e., with justice.'
... ثُمَّ يَفْتَحُ بَيْنَنَا بِالْحَقِّ ...
He will judge between us with truth.
Each person will be rewarded or punished according to his deeds; if they are
good, then his end will be good, and if they are bad, then his end will be bad.
On that Day they will know who has attained victory, glory and eternal
happiness, as Allah says:
And on the Day when the
Hour will be established -- that Day shall (all men) be separated. Then as for
those who believed and did righteous good deeds, such shall be honored and made
to enjoy luxurious life (forever) in a Garden of Delight. And as for those who
disbelieved and denied Our Ayat, and the meeting of the Hereafter, such shall be
brought forth to the torment. (30:14-16)
... وَهُوَ الْفَتَّاحُ الْعَلِيمُ
He is the Just Judge, the All-Knower of the true state of affairs.
"Show me those whom you have joined with Him as partners...''
means, `show me those gods whom you made as rivals and equals to Allah.'
... كَلَّا ...
means, He has no peer, rival, partner or equal.
... بَلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ ...
He is Allah,
meaning, the One and Only God Who has no partner.
... الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ
Almighty, the All-Wise.
means, the Owner of might with which He subjugates and controls all things, the
One Who is Wise in all His Words and deeds, Laws and decrees. Blessed and
exalted and sanctified be He far above all that they say.
we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you?
meaning, `we did nothing more to you than to call you, and you followed us
without any evidence or proof, and you went against the evidence and proof which
the Messengers brought because of your own desires; it was your own choice.'
Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant:
"Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day...''
meaning, `you used to plot against us night and day, tempting us with promises
and false hopes, and telling us that we were truly guided and that we were
following something, but all of that was falsehood and manifest lies.'
Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said: بَلْ مَكْرُ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ,
means, "You plotted by night and day.''
Malik narrated something similar from Zayd bin Aslam.
How Those Who lived a Life of
Luxury disbelieved in the Messengers and were misled by Their pursuit of Wealth
Allah is consoling His Prophet and commanding him to follow the example of the
Messengers that came before him. He tells him that no Prophet was ever sent to a
township but those among its people who lived a life of luxury disbelieved in
him, and the weaker people of the town followed him.
The people of Nuh, peace be upon him, said to him:
أَنُؤْمِنُ لَكَ وَاتَّبَعَكَ الاٌّرْذَلُونَ
Shall we believe in you,
when the weakest (of the people) follow you. (26:110)
And when We decide to
destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order to those among
them who lead a life of luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the Word
(of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete
they say: "We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be
meaning, they were proud of their great wealth and great numbers of children,
and they believed that this was a sign that Allah loved them and cared for them,
and that if He gave them this in this world, He would not punish them in the
Hereafter. This was too far-fetched.
So, let not their wealth
nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah's plan is to punish them with
these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart while
they are disbelievers. (9:55)
Leave Me Alone (to deal)
with whom I created lonely. And then granted him resources in abundance. And
children to be by his side. And made life smooth and comfortable for him. After
all that he desires that I should give more.Nay! Verily, he has been opposing
Our Ayat. I shall oblige him to face a severe torment! (74:11-17)
And Allah has told us about the story of the owner of those two gardens, that he
had wealth and crops and children, but that could not help him at all when all
of that was taken from him in this world, before he reached the Hereafter.
See how We favor one
above another, and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater
in favor. (17:21)
This means that just as there are differences between them in this world --
where one may be poor and in straitened circumstances while another is rich and
enjoys a life of plenty -- so they will be in the Hereafter. There one will
reside in apartments in the highest levels of Paradise, whilst another will be
in the lowest levels of Hell.
As the Prophet said, describing the best of people in this world:
whatsoever you spend of anything, He will replace it.
means, `whatever you spend in the ways that He has commanded you and permitted
you, He will compensate you for it in this world by giving you something else
instead, and in the Hereafter by giving you reward.'
And (remember) the Day when He will gather them all together, then He will say
to the angels:
Allah tells us that on the Day of Resurrection, He will rebuke the idolators
before all of creation. He will ask the angels whom the idolators used to
worship, claiming that their idols were in the form of these angels and that
they could bring them nearer to Allah.
Today, none of you can profit or harm one another.
means, `none of those idols and rivals whom you hoped would benefit you, will be
of any avail to you, those whom you worshipped in the hope that they would help
you at times of stress and calamity. Today they will have no power either to
benefit you or to harm you.'
We had not given them Scriptures that they could study, nor sent to them before
you any warner.
meaning, Allah did not reveal any Book to the Arabs before the Qur'an, and He
did not send any Prophet to them before Muhammad. They used to wish for that and
say, `if only a warner comes to us or a Book is revealed to us, we would be more
guided than others,' but when Allah blessed them with that, they disbelieved him
and stubbornly rejected him.
And indeed We had firmly
established them with that wherewith We have not established you! And We had
assigned them the hearing, seeing, and hearts; but their hearing, seeing, and
their hearts availed them nothing since they used to deny the Ayat of Allah, and
they were completely encircled by that which they used to mock at! (46:26)
Say: "I exhort you to one (thing) only, that you stand up for
Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness
in your companion. He is only a warner to you in face of a severe
you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no
madness in your companion.
meaning, `stand sincerely before Allah, without being influenced by your own
desires or tribal feelings, and ask one another, is Muhammad crazy Advise one
(and reflect) means, let each person look within himself concerning the matter
of Muhammad, and ask other people about him if he is still confused, then let
him think about the matter. Allah says:
أَن تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَى وَفُرَادَى ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا مَا بِصَاحِبِكُم
مِّن جِنَّةٍ (that you stand up for
Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness in your
This meaning was stated by Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b, As-Suddi, Qatadah and
"If (even) I go astray, I shall stray only to my own loss. But if I remain
guided, it is because of the Revelation of my Lord to me...''
means, all good comes from Allah, and in what Allah sends down of revelation and
clear truth there is guidance and wisdom. So whoever goes astray, does so by
himself, as Abdullah bin Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said when he was
asked about some issue. He said,
"I will say what I think, and if it is correct, then it is from Allah, and if it
is wrong, then it is from me and from the Shaytan,
and Allah and His Messenger have nothing to do with it.''
... إِنَّهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ
Truly, He is All-Hearer, Ever Near.
means, He hears all the words of His servants, and He is always near to respond
to them when they call on Him.
An-Nasa'i recorded the Hadith of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, which also appears in the
And if you only could
see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our
Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back that we will do righteous good
deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.'' (32:12)
how could they receive from a place so far off!
meaning, how could they attain faith now that they are so far removed from the
place where it could be accepted from them, and they have entered the realm of
the Hereafter which is the realm of reward and punishment, not the realm of
trial and testing. If they had believed in this world, that would have been good
for them, but now they have entered the Hereafter, there is no way that their
faith can be accepted, just as there is no way a person can get a thing if he is
far away from it.
Mujahid said: وَأَنَّى لَهُمُ التَّنَاوُشُ
but how could they At-Tana'wush means, How
could they attain that?
Az-Zuhri said, They will wish to attain faith when they have reached the
Hereafter and are cut off from this world.
Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, They will seek something when they have no way of
attaining it, they will seek faith from a distant place.
they (used to) conjecture about the Unseen from a far place.
Malik narrated from Zayd bin Aslam that he said:
(and they (used to) conjecture about the Unseen), means, "By guessing.'' as
Allah says, رَجْماً بِالْغَيْبِ guessing at the
Sometimes they said he was a poet, sometimes they said he was a soothsayer, or a
sorcerer, or a mad man, or other baseless comments. They denied the idea of
resurrection and said:
a barrier will be set between them and that which they desire,
Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Ad-Dahhak and others said, "This means faith.''
As-Suddi said: "It means "Repentance.''
This was also the view of Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him.
Mujahid said: وَحِيلَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ مَا يَشْتَهُونَ means, "This world and
its wealth, luxuries and people.''
Something similar was narrated from Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas,
may Allah be pleased with him.
It is also the opinion of Al-Bukhari and the Group.
The correct view is that there is no contradiction between the two views, for a
barrier will be set between them and what they desire in this world, and what
they seek in the Hereafter will be denied from them.
... كَمَا فُعِلَ بِأَشْيَاعِهِم مِّن قَبْلُ ...
was done in the past with the people of their kind.
means, as happened to the nations of the past who disbelieved in the Messengers;
when the punishment of Allah came upon them, they wished that they had believed,
but this was not accepted from them.