Haroen Soebratie

In de naam van Allah, de Barmhartige, de Genadevolle.


The Tafsir of Al-Qur'an

18. Al-Kahf (De Grot)
19. Maryam (Maria)
20. Tha-Ha
21. Al-Anbiya (De Profeten)
22. Al-Haddj (De Pelgrimstocht)
23. Al-Mu'minun (De Gelovigen)
24. An-Nur (Het Licht)
25. Al-Furqan (De Onderscheider)
26. Ash-Shu`ara (De Dichters)
27. An-Naml
28. Al-Qasas (Het Verhaal)

The Tafsir of Surah Al-Kahf (De Grot) (Chapter 18)
Top Index

Which was revealed in Makkah

1. What has been mentioned about the Virtues of this Surah and the first and last ten Ayat, which provide protection from the Dajjal
2. The Revelation of the Qur'an brings both Good News and a Warning
3. Reason why this Surah was revealed
4. Do not feel sorry because the Idolators do not believe Allah consoles His Messenger for his sorrow over the idolators because they would not believe and keep away from him. He also said:
5. This World is the Place of Trial Then Allah tells us that He has made this world a temporary abode, adorned with transient beauty, and He made it a place of trial, not a place of settlement. So He says:
6. The Story of the People of Al-Kahf Here Allah tells us about the story of the people of Al-Kahf in brief and general terms, then He explains it in more detail. He says:
7. Their Belief in Allah and their Retreat from their People
8. The Location of the Cave This indicates that the entrance to the cave faced north, because Allah tells us that when the sun was rising, sunlight entered the cave
9. Their Sleep in the Cave
10. Their awakening and sending One of Themselves to buy Food Allah says: `just as We caused them to sleep, We resurrected them with their bodies, hair and skin intact, and nothing lacking in their form and appearance.' This was after three hundred and nine years. This is why they asked each other
11. How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave
12. Their Number
13. Saying "If Allah wills" when determining to do Something in the Future
14. The Length of their Stay in the Cave
15. The Command to recite the Qur'an and to patiently keep Company with the Believers
16. The Truth is from Allah, and the Punishment of Those Who do not believe in it
17. The Reward of those Who believe and do Righteous Deeds
18. The Example of the Rich Idolators and the Poor Muslims
19. The Response of the Poor Believer
20. The Evil Results of Kufr
21. The Parable of the Worldly Life
22. Between Wealth and Good Deeds
23. The Major Terrors of the Hour
24. The Story of Adam and Iblis
25. The gods of the Idolators did not witness the Creation of anything, not even Themselves
26. Their Partners are not able to respond and the Criminals are brought to the Fire
27. Examples put forth in the Qur'an
28. The Rebellion of the Disbelievers
29. The Worst People are Those Who turn away after being reminded
30. The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr
31. Musa meeting with Al-Khidr and accompanying Him
32. Damaging the Boat
33. The Story of killing the Boy
34. The Story of repairing the Wall Allah tells us that
35. Interpretations of why the Ship was damaged
36. Interpretation of why the Boy was killed
37. Interpretation of why the Wall was repaired for no Charge
38. Was Al-Khidr a Prophet
39. Why he was called Al-Khidr
40. The Story of Dhul-Qarnayn Allah says to His Prophet
41. His traveling and reaching the Place where the Sun sets (the West)
42. His Journey East
43. His Journey to the Land of Ya'juj and Ma'juj, and building the Barrier
44. The Barrier restrains Them, but It will be breached when the Hour draws nigh
45. Hell will be displayed before the Disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection
46. The Greatest Losers in respect of (Their) Deeds
47. The Reward of the Righteous Believers
48. The Words of the Lord can never be finished
49. Muhammad is a Human Being and a Messenger, and the God is One


1. What has been mentioned about the Virtues of this Surah and the first and last ten Ayat, which provide protection from the Dajjal

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Bara' said: "A man recited Al-Kahf and there was an animal in the house which began acting in a nervous manner. He looked, and saw a fog or cloud overhead. He mentioned this to the Prophet , who said:

اقْرَأْ فُلَانُ، فَإِنَّهَا السَّكِينَةُ تَنْزِلُ عِنْدَ الْقُرْآنِ أَوْ تَنَزَّلَتْ لِلْقُرْآن

(Keep on reciting so and so, for this is the tranquillity which descends when one reads Qur'an or because of reading Qur'an;) This was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. This man who recited it was Usayd bin Al-Hudayr, as we have previously mentioned in our Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Ad-Darda' that the Prophet said:

مَنْ حَفِظَ عَشْرَ آيَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ سُورَةِ الْكَهْفِ عُصِمَ مِنَ الدَّجَّال

(Whoever memorizes ten Ayat from the beginning of Surat Al-Kahf will be protected from the Dajjal.) This was also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and At-Tirmidhi. According to the version recorded by At-Tirmidhi,

مَنْ حَفِظَ ثَلَاثَ آيَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ الْكَهْف

(Whoever memorizes three Ayat from the beginning of Al-Kahf.) He said, it is "Hasan Sahih. '' In his Mustadrak, Al-Hakim recorded from Abu Sa`id that the Prophet said:

مَنْ قَرَأَ سُورَةَ الْكَهْفِ فِي يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ أَضَاءَ لَهُ مِنَ النُّورِ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجُمُعَتَيْن

(Whoever recites Surat Al-Kahf on Friday, it will illuminate him with light from one Friday to the next.) Then he said: "This Hadith has a Sahih chain, but they (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not record it.'' Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bayhaqi also recorded it in his Sunan from Al-Hakim, then he narrated with his own chain that the Prophet said:

مَنْ قَرَأَ سُورَةَ الْكَهْفِ كَمَا نَزَلَتْ، كَانَتْ لَهُ نُورًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

(Whoever recites Surat Al-Kahf as it was revealed, it will be a light for him on the Day of Resurrection.)

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]

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

[الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِى أَنْزَلَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ الْكِتَـبَ وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجَا - قَيِّماً لِّيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ الصَّـلِحَاتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا - مَّاكِثِينَ فِيهِ أَبَدًا - وَيُنْذِرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا - مَّا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ وَلاَ لاَبَآئِهِمْ كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةً تَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ إِن يَقُولُونَ إِلاَّ كَذِبًا ]

(1. All praise is due to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness.) (2. (He has made it) straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give good news to the believers, who do righteous deeds, that they shall have a fair reward.) (3. They shall abide therein forever.) (4. And to warn those who say, "Allah has begotten a child.'') (5. No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths. They utter nothing but a lie.)

2. The Revelation of the Qur'an brings both Good News and a Warning

In the beginning of this Tafsir, we mentioned that Allah, praises His Holy Self at the beginning and end of matters, for He is the One to be praised in all circumstances, all praise and thanks be to Him, in the beginning and in the end. He praises Himself for revealing His Mighty Book to His Noble Messenger Muhammad , which is the greatest blessing that Allah has granted the people of this earth. Through the Qur'an, He brings them out of the darkness into light. He has made it a Book that is straight, neither distorted nor confusion therein. It clearly guides to a straight path, plain and manifest, giving a warning to the disbelievers and good news to the believers. This is why Allah says:

[وَلَمْ يَجْعَل لَّهُ عِوَجَا]

(and has not placed therein any crookedness.) meaning, there is nothing twisted or confusing about it. But He has made it balanced and straightforward as He said;

[قَيِّماً]

((He has made it) straight), meaning straightforward,

[لِّيُنْذِرَ بَأْسًا شَدِيدًا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ]

(to give warning of a severe punishment from Him,) meaning, to those who oppose His Prophet and disbelieve in His Book, He issues a warning of severe punishment hastened in this world and postponed to the world Hereafter.

[مِن لَّدُنْهُ]

(from Him) means, from Allah. For none can punish as He punishes and none is stronger or more reliable than Him.

[وَيُبَشِّرُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ]

(and to give good news to the believers,) means, those who believe in this Qur'an and confirm their faith by righteous actions.

[أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًا]

(that they shall have a fair reward.) means, a beautiful reward from Allah.

[مَّاكِثِينَ فِيهِ]

(They shall abide therein) means, in what Allah rewards them with, and that is Paradise, where they will live forever.

[أَبَدًا]

(forever.) means, for always, never ending or ceasing to be.

[وَيُنْذِرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ وَلَدًا ]

(And to warn those who say, "Allah has begotten a child.'') Ibn Ishaq said: "These are the pagan Arabs, who said, `We worship the angels who are the daughters of Allah.'''

[مَا لَهُمْ بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ]

(No knowledge have they of such a thing, ) meaning, this thing that they have fabricated and made up.

[وَلاَ لاَبَآئِهِمْ]

(nor had their fathers.) meaning, their predecessors.

[كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةً]

(Mighty is the word) This highlights the seriousness and enormity of the lie they have made up. Allah says:

[كَبُرَتْ كَلِمَةً تَخْرُجُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ]

(Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths.) meaning, it has no basis apart from what they say, and they have no evidence for it apart from their own lies and fabrications. Hence Allah says:

[إِن يَقُولُونَ إِلاَّ كَذِبًا]

(They utter nothing but a lie.)

3. Reason why this Surah was revealed

Muhammad bin Ishaq mentioned the reason why this Surah was revealed. He said that an old man from among the people of Egypt who came to them some forty-odd years ago told him, from `Ikrimah that Ibn `Abbas said: "The Quraysh sent An-Nadr bin Al-Harith and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah, and told them: `Ask them (the rabbis) about Muhammad, and describe him to them, and tell them what he is saying. They are the people of the first Book, and they have more knowledge of the Prophets than we do.' So they set out and when they reached Al-Madinah, they asked the Jewish rabbis about the Messenger of Allah . They described him to them and told them some of what he had said. They said, `You are the people of the Tawrah and we have come to you so that you can tell us about this companion of ours.' They (the rabbis) said, `Ask him about three things which we will tell you to ask, and if he answers them then he is a Prophet who has been sent (by Allah); if he does not, then he is saying things that are not true, in which case how you will deal with him will be up to you. Ask him about some young men in ancient times, what was their story For theirs is a strange and wondrous tale. Ask him about a man who travelled a great deal and reached the east and the west of the earth. What was his story And ask him about the Ruh (soul or spirit) -- what is it If he tells you about these things, then he is a Prophet, so follow him, but if he does not tell you, then he is a man who is making things up, so deal with him as you see fit.' So An-Nadr and `Uqbah left and came back to the Quraysh, and said: `O people of Quraysh, we have come to you with a decisive solution which will put an end to the problem between you and Muhammad. The Jewish rabbis told us to ask him about some matters,' and they told the Quraysh what they were. Then they came to the Messenger of Allah and said, `O Muhammad, tell us,' and they asked him about the things they had been told to ask. The Messenger of Allah said,

أُخْبِرُكُمْ غَدًا عَمَّا سَأَلْتُمْ عَنْه

(I will tell you tomorrow about what you have asked me.) but he did not say `If Allah wills.' So they went away, and the Messenger of Allah stayed for fifteen days without any revelation from Allah concerning that, and Jibril, peace be upon him, did not come to him either. The people of Makkah started to doubt him, and said, `Muhammad promised to tell us the next day, and now fifteen days have gone by and he has not told us anything in response to the questions we asked.' The Messenger of Allah felt sad because of the delay in revelation, and was grieved by what the people of Makkah were saying about him. Then Jibril came to him from Allah with the Surah about the companions of Al-Kahf, which also contained a rebuke for feeling sad about the idolators. The Surah also told him about the things they had asked him about, the young men and the traveler. The question about the Ruh was answered in the Ayah;

[وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الرُّوحِ قُلِ الرُّوحُ]

(And they ask you concerning the Ruh (the spirit); say: "The Ruh...'') [17:85].

[فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ أَسَفاً - إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الاٌّرْضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُم أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً - وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيداً جُرُزاً ]

(6. Perhaps, you would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps, because they believe not in this narration.) (7. Verily, we have made that which is on earth an adornment for it, in order that We may test which of them are best in deeds.) (8. And verily, We shall make all that is on it bare, dry soil.)

4. Do not feel sorry because the Idolators do not believe Allah consoles His Messenger for his sorrow over the idolators because they would not believe and keep away from him. He also said:

[فَلاَ تَذْهَبْ نَفْسُكَ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسَرَتٍ]

(So destroy not yourself in sorrow for them.) [35:8]

[وَلاَ تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ]

(And grieve not over them.) [16:127]

[لَعَلَّكَ بَـخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ أَلاَّ يَكُونُواْ مُؤْمِنِينَ ]

(It may be that you are going to kill yourself with grief, that they do not become believers.) [26:3] meaning, maybe you will destroy yourself with your grief over them. Allah says:

[فَلَعَلَّكَ بَـخِعٌ نَّفْسَكَ عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِمْ إِن لَّمْ يُؤْمِنُواْ بِهَـذَا الْحَدِيثِ]

(Perhaps, you would kill yourself in grief, over their footsteps, because they believe not in this narration.) meaning the Qur'an.

[أَسَفاً]

(in grief) Allah is saying, `do not destroy yourself with regret.' Qatadah said: "killing yourself with anger and grief over them.'' Mujahid said: "with anxiety.'' These are synonymous, so the meaning is: `Do not feel sorry for them, just convey the Message of Allah to them. Whoever goes the right way, then he goes the right way only for the benefit of himself. And whoever goes astray, then he strays at his own loss, so do not destroy yourself in sorrow for them.'

5. This World is the Place of Trial Then Allah tells us that He has made this world a temporary abode, adorned with transient beauty, and He made it a place of trial, not a place of settlement. So He says:

[إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الاٌّرْضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُم أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً ]

(Verily, we have made that which is on earth an adornment for it, in order that We may test which of them are best in deeds.) Abu Maslamah narrated from Abu Nadrah from Abu Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّ الدُّنْيَا حُلْوَةٌ خَضِرَةٌ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ مُسْتَخْلِفُكُمْ فِيهَا فَنَاظِرٌ مَاذَا تَعْمَلُونَ، فَاتَّقُوا الدُّنْيَا، وَاتَّقُوا النِّسَاءَ، فَإِنَّ أَوَّلَ فِتْنَةِ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ كَانَتْ فِي النِّسَاء

(This world is sweet and green, and Allah makes you generations succeeding one another, so He is watching what you will do. Beware of (the beguilements of) this world and beware of women, for the first affliction that Children of Israel suffered from was that of women.) Then Allah tells us that this world will pass away and come to an end, as He says:

[وَإِنَّا لَجَاعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيْهَا صَعِيداً جُرُزاً ]

(And verily, We shall make all that is on it bare, dry soil.) means, `after having adorned it, We will destroy it and make everything on it bare and dry, with no vegetation or any other benefit.' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means everything on it would be wiped out and destroyed. Mujahid said: "a dry and barren plain.'' Qatadah said, "A plain on which there are no trees or vegetation.''

[أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُواْ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا عَجَبًا - إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّىءْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا - فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَى ءَاذَانِهِمْ فِى الْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًا - ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـهُمْ لِنَعْلَمَ أَيُّ الحِزْبَيْنِ أَحْصَى لِمَا لَبِثُواْ أَمَدًا ]

(9. Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) (10. When the young men fled for refuge to Al-Kahf. They said: "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!'') (11. Therefore, We covered up their hearing in Al-Kahf for a number of years.) (12. Then We raised them up, that We might test which of the two parties was best at calculating the time period they tarried.)

6. The Story of the People of Al-Kahf Here Allah tells us about the story of the people of Al-Kahf in brief and general terms, then He explains it in more detail. He says:

[أَمْ حَسِبْتَ]

(Do you think) -- O Muhammad --

[أَنَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُواْ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا عَجَبًا]

(that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) meaning, their case was not something amazing compared to Our power and ability, for the creation of the heavens and earth, the alternation of night and day and the subjugation of the sun, moon and heavenly bodies, and other mighty signs indicate the great power of Allah and show that He is able to do whatever He wills. He is not incapable of doing more amazing things than the story of the people of the Cave. Similarly, Ibn Jurayj reported Mujahid saying about,

[أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُواْ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا عَجَبًا ]

(Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) "Among Our signs are things that are more amazing than this.'' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

[أَمْ حَسِبْتَ أَنَّ أَصْحَـبَ الْكَهْفِ وَالرَّقِيمِ كَانُواْ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا عَجَبًا ]

(Do you think that the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim were a wonder among Our signs) "What I have given to you of knowledge, the Sunnah and the Book is far better than the story of the people of Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq said: "(It means) I have not shown My creatures a proof more amazing than the story of the people of the Al-Kahf and Ar-Raqim.'' iAl-Kahf refers to a cave in a mountain, which is where the young men sought refuge. With regard to the word Ar-Raqim, Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that it is a valley near Aylah. This was also said [in another narration] by `Atiyah Al-`Awfi and Qatadah. Ad-Dahhak said: "As for Al-Kahf, it is a cave in the valley, and Ar-Raqim is the name of the valley.'' Mujahid said, "Ar-Raqim refers to their buildings.'' Others said it refers to the valley in which their cave was. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said about Ar-Raqim: "Ka`b used to say that it was the town.'' Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Ar-Raqim is the mountain in which the cave was.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Ar-Raqim is a tablet of stone on which they wrote the story of the people of the Cave, then they placed it at the entrance to the Cave.''

[إِذْ أَوَى الْفِتْيَةُ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ فَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً وَهَيِّىءْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا ]

((Remember) when the young men fled for refuge to Al-Kahf. They said: (dua 18:10) "Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself, and facilitate for us our affair in the right way!'') Here Allah tells us about those young men who fled from their people for the sake of their religion, fearing persecution. So they fled taking refuge in the cave of a mountain, where they hid from their people. When they entered the cave, they asked Allah to show mercy and kindness towards them,

[رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً]

(Our Lord! Bestow on us mercy from Yourself,) meaning, `give us Your mercy and conceal us from our people.'

[وَهَيِّىءْ لَنَا مِنْ أَمْرِنَا رَشَدًا]

(and facilitate for us our affair in the right way.) means, direct our matter well, i.e., grant us a good end. As was reported in the Hadith:

وَمَا قَضَيْتَ لَنَا مِنْ قَضَاءٍ فَاجْعَلْ عَاقِبَتَهُ رَشَدًا

(Whatever You have decreed for us, make its consequences good).

[فَضَرَبْنَا عَلَى ءَاذَانِهِمْ فِى الْكَهْفِ سِنِينَ عَدَدًا ]

(Therefore, We covered up their hearing in the cave for a number of years.) meaning, `We caused them to sleep when they entered the cave, and they slept for many years.'

[ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـهُمْ]

(Then We raised them up) from that slumber, and one of them went out with his Dirhams (silver coins) to buy them some food, as it will be discussed in more detail below. Allah says:

[ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَـهُمْ لِنَعْلَمَ أَيُّ الحِزْبَيْنِ]

(Then We raised them up, that We might test which of the two parties) meaning, the two parties who disputed about them,

[أَحْصَى لِمَا لَبِثُواْ أَمَدًا]

(was best at calculating the time period that they tarried.) It was said that this refers to how long they stayed in the cave.

[نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ نبَأَهُم بِالْحَقِّ إِنَّهُمْ فِتْيَةٌ ءَامَنُواْ بِرَبِّهِمْ وَزِدْنَـهُمْ هُدًى - وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُواْ فَقَالُواْ رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لَن نَّدْعُوَاْ مِن دُونِهِ إِلـهاً لَّقَدْ قُلْنَا إِذًا شَطَطًا - هَـؤُلاءِ قَوْمُنَا اتَّخَذْواْ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً لَّوْلاَ يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِسُلْطَـنٍ بَيِّنٍ فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا - وَإِذِ اعْتَزَلْتُمُوهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ إَلاَّ اللَّهَ فَأْوُواْ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ يَنْشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحْمَتِهِ وَيُهَيِّىءْ لَكُمْ مِّنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مِّرْفَقًا ]

(13. We narrate unto you their story with truth: Truly, they were young men who believed in their Lord (Allah), and We increased them in guidance.) (14. And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any god other than Him; if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.) (15. These our people have taken for worship gods other than Him. Why do they not bring for them a clear authority And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.) (16. (The young men said to one another:) "And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah, then seek refuge in the cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His mercy and will make easy for you your affair.'')

7. Their Belief in Allah and their Retreat from their People

From here Allah begins to explain the story in detail. He states that they were boys or young men, and that they were more accepting of the truth and more guided than the elders who had become stubbornly set in their ways and clung to the religion of falsehood. For the same reason, most of those who responded to Allah and His Messenger were young people. As for the elders of Quraysh, most of them kept to their religion and only a few of them became Muslims. So Allah tells us that the people of the cave were young men. Mujahid said, "I was informed that some of them wore some kind of earrings, then Allah guided them and inspired them to fear Him, so they recognized His Oneness, and bore witness that there is no god besides Him.''

[وَزِدْنَـهُمْ هُدًى]

(and We increased them in guidance.) From this and other similar Ayat, several scholars, such as Al-Bukhari and others, understood that faith may increase, that it may vary in degrees, and that it may fluctuate. Allah says:

[وَزِدْنَـهُمْ هُدًى]

(and We increased them in guidance.) as He said elsewhere:

[وَالَّذِينَ اهْتَدَوْاْ زَادَهُمْ هُدًى وَءَاتَـهُمْ تَقُوَاهُمْ ]

(While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their Taqwa.) [47:17]

[فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواْ فَزَادَتْهُمْ إِيمَـناً وَهُمْ يَسْتَبْشِرُونَ]

(As for those who believe, it has increased their faith, and they rejoice.) [9:124],

[لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِيمَـناً مَّعَ إِيمَـنِهِمْ]

(...that they may grow more in faith along with their (present) faith.) [48:4] There are other Ayat indicating the same thing. It has been mentioned that they were followers of the religion of Al-Masih `Isa, `Isa bin Maryam, but Allah knows best. It seems that they lived before the time of Christianity altogether, because if they had been Christians, the Jewish rabbis would not have cared about preserving because of their differences. We have mentioned above the report from Ibn `Abbas that the Quraysh sent a message to the Jewish rabbis in Al-Madinah to ask them for things with which they could test the Messenger of Allah , and they told them to ask him about these young men, and about Dhul-Qarnayn (the man who traveled much) and about the Ruh. This indicates that this story was something recorded in the books of the People of the Book, and that it came before Christianity. And Allah knows best.

[وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُواْ فَقَالُواْ رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ]

(And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth,) Here Allah is saying: `We gave them the patience to go against their people and their city, and to leave behind the life of luxury and ease that they had been living.' Several of the earlier and later Tafsir scholars have mentioned that they were sons of the kings and leaders of Byzantium, and that they went out one day to one of the festivals of their people. They used to gather once a year outside the city, and they would worship idols and offer sacrifices to them. They had an arrogant, tyrannical king who was called Decianus, who commanded and encouraged the people to do that. When the people went out to attend this gathering, these young men went out with their fathers and their people, and when they saw their people's actions with clear insight, they realized that the prostrations and sacrifices the people were offering to their idols should only be dedicated to Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth. Each of them started to withdraw from his people and keep aloof from them. The first one of them to move away on his own went and sat in the shade of a tree, then another came and sat with him, then another came and sat with them, then four more followed suit one by one. None of them knew the others, but they were brought together by the One Who instilled faith in their hearts. As it says in the Hadith recorded by Al-Bukhari with an incomplete chain of narrators from `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Messenger of Allah said:

الْأَرْوَاحُ جُنُودٌ مُجَنَّدَةٌ، فَمَا تَعَارَفَ مِنْهَا ائْتَلَفَ وَمَا تَنَاكَرَ مِنْهَا اخْتَلَف

(Souls are like recruited soldiers. Those that recognize one another will come together, and those that do not recognize one another will turn away from each another). Muslim also recorded this in his Sahih from the Hadith of Suhayl from his father from Abu Hurayrah from the Messenger of Allah . People say that similar qualities or characteristics are what bring people together. So each of the young men was trying to conceal what he really believed from the others, out of fear of them, not knowing that they were like him. Then one of them said, "O people, you know by Allah that only one thing is making you leave your people and isolate yourselves from them, so let each one of you say what it is in his case.'' Another said, "As for me, by Allah I saw what my people are doing and I realized that it was false, and that the only One Who deserves to be worshipped Alone with out partner or associate is Allah Who created everything, the heavens, the earth and everything in between.'' Another said, "By Allah, the same thing happened to me.'' The others said the same, and they all agreed and became brothers in faith. They adopted a particular location as a place of worship and began worshipping Allah there, but their people found out about them and told their king about them. The king ordered them to appear before him, and asked them about their beliefs. They told him the truth and called him to Allah, as Allah says about them:

[وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ إِذْ قَامُواْ فَقَالُواْ رَبُّنَا رَبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لَن نَّدْعُوَاْ مِن دُونِهِ إِلـهاً]

(And We made their hearts firm and strong when they stood up and said: "Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, never shall we call upon any god other than Him...'') "Never" (Lan) implies an absolute and eternal negation, meaning, `this will never happen, and if we were to do that it would be false.' So Allah says about them:

[لَّقَدْ قُلْنَا إِذًا شَطَطًا]

(...if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity in disbelief.) meaning, untruth and utter falsehood.

[هَـؤُلاءِ قَوْمُنَا اتَّخَذْواْ مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً لَّوْلاَ يَأْتُونَ عَلَيْهِم بِسُلْطَـنٍ بَيِّنٍ]

(These, our people, have taken for worship gods other than Him (Allah). Why do they not bring for them a clear authority) meaning, why do they not produce some clear evidence and genuine proof for their behavior

[فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِبًا]

(And who does more wrong than he who invents a lie against Allah.) They said: `but by saying that they are lying transgressors.' It was said that when they called their king to believe in Allah, he refused, and warned and threatened them. He commanded them to be stripped of their clothing bearing the adornments of their people, then he gave them some time to think about the situation, hoping that they would return to their former religion. This was a way that Allah showed kindness for them, because during that time they managed to escape from him and flee from persecution for the sake of their religion. This is what is prescribed in the Shari`ah during times of trial and persecution -- a person who fears for his religion should flee from his persecutors, as was reported in the Hadith:

يُوشِكُ أَنْ يَكُونَ خَيْرُ مَالِ أَحَدِكُمْ غَنَمًا يَتْبَعُ بِهَا شَعَفَ الْجِبَالِ وَمَوَاقِعَ القَطْرِ يَفِرُّ بِدِينِهِ مِنَ الْفِتَن

(Soon there will come a time when the best wealth any of you can have will be sheep, which he can follow to the tops of the mountains and places where rain falls, (fleeing) for the sake of his religion from persecution. ) In such cases, it is allowed to seclude oneself from people, but this is not prescribed in any other case, because by such seclusion one loses the benefits of congregational and Friday prayers. These young men were determined to flee from their people, and Allah decreed that for them, as He says about them,

[وَإِذِ اعْتَزَلْتُمُوهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ إَلاَّ اللَّهَ]

(And when you withdraw from them, and that which they worship, except Allah,) meaning, when you depart from them and follow a different religion, opposing their worship of others besides Allah, then separate from them in a physical sense too,

[فَأْوُواْ إِلَى الْكَهْفِ يَنْشُرْ لَكُمْ رَبُّكُم مِّن رَّحْمَتِهِ]

(then seek refuge in the cave; your Lord will open a way for you from His mercy) meaning, He will bestow His mercy upon you, by which He will conceal you from your people.

[وَيُهَيِّىءْ لَكُمْ مِّنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مِّرْفَقًا]

(and will make easy for you your affair.) means, He will give you what you need. So they left and fled to the cave where they sought refuge. Then their people noticed they were missing, and the king looked for them, and it was said when he could not find them that Allah concealed them from him so that he could not find any trace of them or any information about them, as Allah concealed His Prophet Muhammad and his Companion [Abu Bakr] As-Siddiq, when they sought refuge in the cave of Thawr. The Quraysh idolators came in pursuit, but they did not find him even though they passed right by him. When the Messenger of Allah noticed that As-Siddiq was anxious and said, "O Messenger of Allah, if one of them looks down at the place of his feet, he will see us,'' he told him:

يَا أَبَا بَكْرٍ مَا ظَنُّكَ بِاثْنَيْنِ اللهُ ثَالِثُهُمَا؟

(O Abu Bakr, what do you think of two who have Allah as their third) And Allah said:

[إِلاَّ تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِى الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لاَ تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ السُّفْلَى وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِىَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ]

(If you help him not, for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of the two; when they were in the cave, he said to his companion: "Do not grieve, surely, Allah is with us.'' Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon him, and strengthened him with forces which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lower, while the Word of Allah became the higher; and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) [9:40] -The story of this cave (Thawr) is far greater and more wondrous than that of the people of the Cave.

[وَتَرَى الشَّمْسَ إِذَا طَلَعَت تَّزَاوَرُ عَن كَهْفِهِمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَإِذَا غَرَبَت تَّقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَهُمْ فِى فَجْوَةٍ مِّنْهُ ذلِكَ مِنْ ءَايَاتِ اللَّهِ مَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ وَمَن يُضْلِلْ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ وَلِيًّا مُّرْشِدًا ]

(17. And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining to the right from their cave, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the cave. That is from the Ayat of Allah. He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray, for him you will find no guardian to lead him.)

8. The Location of the Cave This indicates that the entrance to the cave faced north, because Allah tells us that when the sun was rising, sunlight entered the cave

[ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ]

(the right), meaning that the shade decreased towards the right, as Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said:

[تَّزَاوَرُ]

(declining) means leaning. Every time the sun rises on the horizon, its rays decline until there is nothing left in such a place when it reaches its zenith. So Allah said,

[وَإِذَا غَرَبَت تَّقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ]

(and when it set, turning away from them to the left,) meaning, it entered their cave from the left of its entrance, which means from the west. This proves what we say, and it is clear to anyone who thinks about the matter and has some knowledge of astronomy and the paths of the sun, moon and stars. If the entrance of the cave faced east, nothing would have entered it when the sun set, and if it faced the direction of the Qiblah (in this case, south), nothing would have entered it at the time of sunrise or sunset, and the shadows would have leaned neither to the right nor the left. If it had faced west, nothing would have entered it at the time of sunrise, until after the sun had passed its zenith, and would have stayed until sunset. This supports what we have said, and to Allah is the praise. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said that "turning away from them'' means that it would shine on them and then leave them. Allah has told us this, and He wants us to understand it and ponder its meaning, but He did not tell us the location of this cave, i.e., in which country on earth it is, because there is no benefit for us in knowing that, and no legislative objective behind it. If there was any spiritual or religious interest that could be served by our knowing that, Allah and His Messenger would have taught us about it, as the Prophet said:

مَا تَرَكْتُ شَيْئًا يُقَرِّبُكُمْ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَيُبَاعِدُكُمْ مِنَ النَّارِ إِلَّا وَقَدْ أَعْلَمْتُكُمْ بِه

(I have not left anything that will bring you closer to Paradise and keep you further away from Hell but I have certainly taught you about it.) So Allah has told us about the features of the cave, but He did not tell us where it is, and He said,

[وَتَرَى الشَّمْسَ إِذَا طَلَعَت تَّزَاوَرُ عَن كَهْفِهِمْ]

(And you might have seen the sun, when it rose, declining from their cave.) Malik narrated from Zayd bin Aslam, "Leaning.''

[ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَإِذَا غَرَبَت تَّقْرِضُهُمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَهُمْ فِى فَجْوَةٍ مِّنْهُ]

(the right, and when it set, turning away from them to the left, while they lay in the midst of the cave.) meaning, the sun entered the cave without touching them, because if it had touched them, it would have burnt their bodies and clothes. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas.

[ذلِكَ مِنْ ءَايَاتِ اللَّهِ]

(That is from the Ayat of Allah), how He guided them to this cave where He kept them alive, and the sun and wind entered the cave preserving their bodies. Allah says,

[ذلِكَ مِنْ ءَايَاتِ اللَّهِ]

(That is from the Ayat of Allah.) Then He says:

[مَن يَهْدِ اللَّهُ فَهُوَ الْمُهْتَدِ]

(He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided;) meaning that He is the One Who guided these young men to true guidance among their people, for the one whom Allah guides is truly guided, and the one whom Allah leaves astray will find no one to guide him.

[وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ اليَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ وَكَلْبُهُمْ بَـسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِالوَصِيدِ لَوِ اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَارًا وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْبًا ]

(18. And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep. And We turned them on their right and on their left sides, and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the Wasid. Had you happened upon them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.)

9. Their Sleep in the Cave

Some of the scholars mentioned that when Allah caused them to sleep, their eyelids did not close, lest disintegration took hold of them. If their eyes remained open to the air, this would be better for the sake of preservation. Allah says:

[وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ]

(And you would have thought them awake, whereas they were asleep.) It was mentioned that when the wolf sleeps, it closes one eye and keeps one eye open, then it switches eyes while asleep.

[وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ اليَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ]

(And We turned them on their right and on their left sides,) Ibn `Abbas said: "If they did not turn over, the earth would have consumed them.''

[وَكَلْبُهُمْ بَـسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِالوَصِيدِ]

(and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the Wasid) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said: "The Wasid means the threshold.'' Ibn `Abbas said: "By the door.'' It was said: "On the ground.'' The correct view is that it means on the threshold, i.e., at the door.

[إِنَّهَا عَلَيْهِم مُّؤْصَدَةٌ ]

(Verily, it shall be closed upon them) [104:8] Their dog lay down at the door, as is the habit of dogs. Ibn Jurayj said, "He was guarding the door for them.'' It was his nature and habit to lie down at their door as if guarding them. He was sitting outside the door, because the angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog, as was reported in As-Sahih, nor do they enter a house in which there is an image, a person in a state of ritual impurity or a disbeliever, as was narrated in the Hasan Hadith. The blessing they enjoyed extended to their dog, so the sleep that overtook them overtook him too. This is the benefit of accompanying good people, and so this dog attained fame and stature. It was said that he was the hunting dog of one of the people which is the more appropriate view, or that he was the dog of the king's cook, who shared their religious views, and brought his dog with him. And Allah knows best. Allah says:

[لَوِ اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَارًا وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْبًا]

(Had you happened upon them, you would certainly have turned back from them in flight, and would certainly have been filled with awe of them.) meaning that Allah made them appear dreadful, so that no one could look at them without being filled with terror, because of the frightening appearance they had been given. This was so that no one would come near them or touch them until the appointed time when their sleep would come to an end as Allah willed, because of the wisdom, clear proof and great mercy involved in that.

[وَكَذلِكَ بَعَثْنَـهُمْ لِيَتَسَآءَلُوا بَيْنَهُمْ قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ كَم لَبِثْتُمْ قَالُواْ لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ قَالُواْ رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ فَابْعَثُواْ أَحَدَكُمْ بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَـذِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَيُّهَآ أَزْكَى طَعَامًا فَلْيَأْتِكُمْ بِرِزْقٍ مِّنْهُ وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ وَلاَ يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًا - إِنَّهُمْ إِن يَظْهَرُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ يَرْجُمُوكُمْ أَوْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِى مِلَّتِهِمْ وَلَن تُفْلِحُواْ إِذًا أَبَدًا ]

(19. Likewise, We woke them that they might question one another. A speaker among them said: "How long have you stayed (here)'' They said: "We have stayed a day or part of a day.'' They said: "Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed (here). So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town, and let him find out which is the Azka food, and bring some of that to you. And let him be careful and let no man know of you.'') (20. "For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you or turn you back to their religion; and in that case you will never be successful.'')

10. Their awakening and sending One of Themselves to buy Food Allah says: `just as We caused them to sleep, We resurrected them with their bodies, hair and skin intact, and nothing lacking in their form and appearance.' This was after three hundred and nine years. This is why they asked each other,

[كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ]

(How long have you stayed (here)) meaning, `how long have you slept'

[قَالُواْ لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ]

(They said: "We have stayed a day or part of a day.'') because they entered the cave at the beginning of the day, and they woke up at the end of the day, which is why they then said,

[أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ قَالُواْ رَبُّكُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثْتُمْ]

("...or a part of a day.'' They said: "Your Lord knows best how long you have stayed...'') meaning, `Allah knows best about your situation.' It seems that they were not sure about how long they had slept, and Allah knows best. Then they turned their attention to more pressing matters, like their need for food and drink, so they said:

[فَابْعَثُواْ أَحَدَكُمْ بِوَرِقِكُمْ]

(So send one of you with this silver coin of yours) They had brought with them some Dirhams (silver coins) from their homes, to buy whatever they might need, and they had given some in charity and kept some, so they said:

[فَابْعَثُواْ أَحَدَكُمْ بِوَرِقِكُمْ هَـذِهِ إِلَى الْمَدِينَةِ]

(So send one of you with this silver coin of yours to the town,) meaning to their city, which they had left. The definite article indicates that they were referring to a known city.

[فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَيُّهَآ أَزْكَى طَعَامًا]

(and let him find out which is the Azka food.) Azka means "purest'', as Allah says elsewhere,

[وَلَوْلاَ فَضْلُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَتُهُ مَا زَكَى مِنكُم مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَبَداً]

(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure [Zaka] from sins) [24:21] and

[قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّى ]

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself [Tazakka] shall achieve success.) [87:14] From the same root also comes the word Zakah, which makes one's wealth good and purifies it.

[وَلْيَتَلَطَّفْ]

(And let him be careful) meaning when he goes out buying food and coming back. They were telling him to conceal himself as much as he could,

[وَلاَ يُشْعِرَنَّ بِكُمْ أَحَدًاإِنَّهُمْ إِن يَظْهَرُواْ عَلَيْكُمْ يَرْجُمُوكُمْ]

(and let no man know of you. For, if they come to know of you, they will stone you) means, `if they find out where you are,'

[يَرْجُمُوكُمْ أَوْ يُعِيدُوكُمْ فِى مِلَّتِهِمْ]

(they will stone you or turn you back to their religion;) They were referring to the followers of Decianus, who they were afraid might find out where they were, and punish them with all kinds of torture until they made them go back to their former religion, or until they died, for if they agreed to go back to their (old) religion, they would never attain success in this world or the Hereafter. So they said:

[وَلَن تُفْلِحُواْ إِذًا أَبَدًا]

(and in that case you will never be successful.)

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا إِذْ يَتَنَـزَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ فَقَالُواْ ابْنُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ بُنْيَـنًا رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ قَالَ الَّذِينَ غَلَبُواْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مَّسْجِدًا ]

(21. And thus We made their case known, that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, they said: "Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,'' (then) those who won their point said: "We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.'')

11. How the People of the City came to know about Them; building a Memorial over the Cave

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]

(And thus We made their case known,) means, `We caused the people to find them.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا]

(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour.) Several scholars of the Salaf mentioned that the people of that time were skeptical about the Resurrection. `Ikrimah said: "There was a group of them who said that the souls would be resurrected but not the bodies, so Allah resurrected the people of the Cave as a sign and proof of resurrection.'' They mentioned that when they wanted to send one of their members out to the city to buy them something to eat, he disguised himself and set out walking by a different route, until he reached the city, which they said was called Daqsus. He thought that it was not long since he left it, but in fact century after century, generation after generation, nation after nation had passed, and the country and its people had changed. He saw no local landmarks that he recognized, and he did not recognize any of the people, elite or commoners. He began to feel confused and said to himself, "Maybe I am crazy or deluded, maybe I am dreaming.'' Then he said, "By Allah, I am nothing of the sort, what I know I saw last night was different from this.'' Then he said, "I had better get out of here.'' Then he went to one of the men selling food, gave him the money he had and asked him to sell him some food. When the man saw the money he did not recognize it or its imprint, so he passed it to his neighbor and they all began to pass it around, saying, "Maybe this man found some treasure.'' They asked him who he was and where he got this money. Had he found a treasure Who was he He said, "I am from this land, I was living here yesterday and Decianus was the ruler.'' They accused him of being crazy and took him to the governor who questioned him about his circumstances, and he told him. He was confused about his situation. When he told them about it, they -- the king and the people of the city -- went with him to the cave, where he told them, "Let me go in first and let my companions know.'' It was said that the people did not know how he entered it, and that the people did not know about their story. It was also said that they did enter the cave and see them, and the king greeted them and embraced them. Apparently he was a Muslim, and his name was Tedosis. They rejoiced at meeting him and spoke with him, then they bid farewell to him and went back to sleep, then Allah caused them to die. And Allah knows best. A

[وَكَذلِكَ أَعْثَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ]

(And thus We made their case known,) meaning, `just as We caused them to sleep then woke them up physically intact, We made their story known to the people of that time.'

[لِيَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَأَنَّ السَّاعَةَ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهَا إِذْ يَتَنَـزَعُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ أَمْرَهُمْ]

(that they might know that the promise of Allah is true, and that there can be no doubt about the Hour. (Remember) when they (the people) disputed among themselves about their case, ) meaning, about Resurrection. Some believed in it and some denied it, so Allah made their discovery of the people of the cave evidence either in their favor or against them.

[فَقَالُواْ ابْنُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ بُنْيَـنًا رَّبُّهُمْ أَعْلَمُ بِهِمْ]

(they said: "Construct a building over them; their Lord knows best about them,'') meaning, seal the door of their cave over them, and leave them as they are.

[قَالَ الَّذِينَ غَلَبُواْ عَلَى أَمْرِهِمْ لَنَتَّخِذَنَّ عَلَيْهِمْ مَّسْجِدًا]

(those who won their point said: "We verily, shall build a place of worship over them.'') Those who said this were the people of power and influence, but were they good people or not There is some debate on this point, because the Prophet said:

لَعَنَ اللهُ الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى اتَّخَذُوا قُبُورَ أَنْبِيَائِهِمْ وَصَالِحِيهِمْ مَسَاجِد

(Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians who took the graves of their Prophets and righteous people as places of worship) Warning against what they did. We have reported about the Commander of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab that when he found the grave of Danyal (Daniel) in Iraq during his period of rule, he gave orders that news of this grave should be withheld from the people, and that the inscription containing mention of battles etc., that they found there should be buried.

[سَيَقُولُونَ ثَلَـثَةٌ رَّابِعُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ وَيَقُولُونَ خَمْسَةٌ سَادِسُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ رَجْماً بِالْغَيْبِ وَيَقُولُونَ سَبْعَةٌ وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ قُل رَّبِّى أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِم مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ فَلاَ تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلاَّ مِرَآءً ظَـهِرًا وَلاَ تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِمْ مِّنْهُمْ أَحَداً ]

(22. They say they were three, the dog being the fourth among them; and they say they were five, the dog being the sixth, guessing at the unseen; and they say they were seven, and the dog being the eighth. Say: "My Lord knows best their number; none knows them but a few.'' So debate not except with the clear proof. And consult not any of them (about the people of the Cave).)

12. Their Number

Allah tells us that people disputed over the number of the people of the Cave. The Ayah mentions three views, proving that there was no fourth suggestion. Allah indicates that the first two opinions are invalid, by saying,

[رَجْماً بِالْغَيْبِ]

(guessing at the unseen), meaning that they spoke without knowledge, like a person who aims at an unknown target -- he is hardly likely to hit it, and if he does, it was not on purpose. Then Allah mentions the third opinion, and does not comment on it, or He affirms it by saying,

[وَثَامِنُهُمْ كَلْبُهُمْ]

(and the dog being the eighth.) indicating that this is correct and this is what happened.

[قُل رَّبِّى أَعْلَمُ بِعِدَّتِهِم]

(Say: "My Lord knows best their number...'') indicating that the best thing to do in matters like this is to refer knowledge to Allah, because there is no need to indulge in discussing such matters without knowledge. If we are given knowledge of a matter, then we may talk about it, otherwise we should refrain.

[مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ]

(none knows them but a few.) of mankind. Qatadah said that Ibn `Abbas said: "I am one of the few mentioned in this Ayah; they were seven. '' Ibn Jurayj also narrated that `Ata' Al-Khurasani narrated from him, "I am one of those referred to in this Ayah,'' and he would say: "Their number was seven.'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said:

[مَّا يَعْلَمُهُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ]

(none knows them but a few.) "I am one of the few, and they were seven.'' The chains of these reports narrated from Ibn `Abbas, which say that they were seven, are Sahih, and this is in accordance with what we have stated above.

[فَلاَ تُمَارِ فِيهِمْ إِلاَّ مِرَآءً ظَـهِرًا]

(So debate not except with the clear proof.) meaning, gently and politely, for there is not a great deal to be gained from knowing about that.

[وَلاَ تَسْتَفْتِ فِيهِمْ مِّنْهُمْ أَحَداً]

(And consult not any of them (about the people of the Cave).) meaning, `They do not have any knowledge about it except what they make up, guessing at the unseen; they have no evidence from an infallible source. But Allah has sent you, O Muhammad, with the truth in which there is no doubt or confusion, which is to be given priority over all previous books and sayings.'

[وَلاَ تَقْولَنَّ لِشَىْءٍ إِنِّى فَاعِلٌ ذلِكَ غَداً - إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ وَقُلْ عَسَى أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّى لاًّقْرَبَ مِنْ هَـذَا رَشَدًا ]

(23. And never say of anything, "I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.'') (24. Except (with the saying), "If Allah wills!" And remember your Lord when you forget and say: "It may be that my Lord guides me to a nearer way of truth than this.'')

13. Saying "If Allah wills" when determining to do Something in the Future

Here Allah, may He be glorified, shows His Messenger the correct etiquette when determining to do something in the future; this should always be referred to the will of Allah, the Knower of the Unseen, Who knows what was and what is yet to be and what is not to be, and how it will be if it is to be. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:

قَالَ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنُ دَاوُدَ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ: لَأَطُوفَنَّ اللَّيْلَةَ عَلَى سَبْعِينَ امْرَأَةً وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ: تِسْعِينَ امْرَأَةً، وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ: مِائَةِ امْرَأَةٍ تَلِدُ كُلُّ امْرَأَةٍ مِنْهُنَّ غُلَامًا يُقَاتِلُ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ، فَقِيلَ لَهُ وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ قَالَ لَهُ الْمَلَكُ: قُلْ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ، فَلَمْ يَقُلْ، فَطَافَ بِهِنَّ فَلَمْ تَلِدْ مِنْهُنَّ إِلَّا امْرَأَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ نِصْفَ إِنْسَانٍ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِصلى الله عليه وسلّم: وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ قَالَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللهُ لَمْ يَحْنَثْ، وَكَانَ دَرَكًا لِحَاجَتِه

وَفِي رِوَايَةٍ:

وَلَقَاتَلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ فُرْسَانًا أَجْمَعُون

(Sulayman bin Dawud (peace be upon them both) said: "Tonight I will go around to seventy women [according to some reports, it was ninety or one hundred women] so that each one of them will give birth to a son who will fight for the sake of Allah.'' It was said to him, [according to one report, the angel said to him] "Say: `If Allah wills'", but he did not say it. He went around to the women but none of them gave birth except for one who gave birth to a half-formed child.) The Messenger of Allah said, (By the One in Whose hand is my soul, had he said, "If Allah wills,'' he would not have broken his oath, and that would have helped him to attain what he wanted. ) According to another report, (They would all have fought as horsemen in the cause of Allah.) At the beginning of this Surah we discussed the reason why this Ayah was revealed: when the Prophet was asked about the story of the people of the Cave, he said, "I will tell you tomorrow.'' Then the revelation was delayed for fifteen days. Since we discussed this at length at the beginning of the Surah, there is no need to repeat it here.

[وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ]

(And remember your Lord when you forget) It was said that this means, if you forget to say "If Allah wills", then say it when you remember. This was the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah and Al-Hasan Al-Basri. Hushaym reported from Al-A`mash from Mujahid that concerning a man who swears an oath, Ibn `Abbas said "He may say `If Allah wills' even if it is a year later.'' Ibn `Abbas used to interpret this Ayah:

[وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ]

(And remember your Lord when you forget) in this way. Al-A`mash was asked, "Did you hear this from Mujahid" He said, "Layth bin Abi Salim told it to me.'' The meaning of Ibn `Abbas' view, that a person may say "If Allah wills'', even if it is a year later, is that if he forgets to say it when he makes the oath or when he speaks, and he remembers it later, even a year later, the Sunnah is that he should say it, so that he will still be following the Sunnah of saying "If Allah wills'', even if that is after breaking his oath. This was also the view of Ibn Jarir, but he stated that this does not make up for breaking the oath or mean that one is no longer obliged to offer expiation. What Ibn Jarir said is correct, and it is more appropriate to understand the words of Ibn Abbas in this way. And Allah knows best.

[وَلاَ تَقْولَنَّ لِشَىْءٍ إِنِّى فَاعِلٌ ذلِكَ غَداً إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ إِذَا نَسِيتَ]

(And never say of anything, "I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.'' Except (with the saying), "If Allah wills!" And remember your Lord when you forget) At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that this meant saying, "If Allah wills.''

[وَقُلْ عَسَى أَن يَهْدِيَنِ رَبِّى لاًّقْرَبَ مِنْ هَـذَا رَشَدًا]

(and say: "It may be that my Lord guides me to a nearer way of truth than this.'') meaning, `if you (O Prophet) are asked about something you know nothing about, ask Allah about it, and turn to Him so that He may guide you to what is right.' And Allah knows best.

[وَلَبِثُواْ فِى كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلاثَ مِئَةٍ سِنِينَ وَازْدَادُواْ تِسْعًا - قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُواْ لَهُ غَيْبُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِىٍّ وَلاَ يُشْرِكُ فِى حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا ]

(25. And they stayed in their cave three hundred years, adding nine.) (26. Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is the unseen of the heavens and the earth.'' How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)! They have no protector other than Him, and He makes none to share in His decision and His rule.)

14. The Length of their Stay in the Cave

Here Allah tells His Messenger the length of time the people of the Cave spent in their cave, from the time when He caused them to sleep until the time when He resurrected them and caused the people of that era to find them. The length of time was three hundred plus nine years in lunar years, which is three hundred years in solar years. The difference between one hundred lunar years and one hundred solar years is three years, which is why after mentioning three hundred, Allah says, `adding nine.'

[قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُواْ]

(Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed...'') `If you are asked about how long they stayed, and you have no knowledge of that and no revelation from Allah about it, then do not say anything. Rather say something like this:

[اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُواْ لَهُ غَيْبُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ]

(Allah knows best how long they stayed. With Him is (the knowledge of) the Unseen of the heavens and the earth.)'' meaning, no one knows about that except Him, and whoever among His creatures He chooses to tell. What we have said here is the view of more than one of the scholars of Tafsir, such as Mujahid and others among the earlier and later generations.

[وَلَبِثُواْ فِى كَهْفِهِمْ ثَلاثَ مِئَةٍ سِنِينَ]

(And they stayed in their cave three hundred years,) Qatadah said, this was the view of the People of the Book, and Allah refuted it by saying:

[قُلِ اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا لَبِثُواْ]

(Say: "Allah knows best how long they stayed...'') meaning, that Allah knows better than what the people say. This was also the view of Mutarraf bin `Abdullah. However, this view is open to debate, because when the People of the Book said that they stayed in the cave for three hundred years, without the extra nine, they were referring to solar years, and if Allah was merely narrating what they had said, He would not have said,

[وَازْدَادُواْ تِسْعًا]

(adding nine.) The apparent meaning of the Ayah is that Allah is stating the facts, not narrating what was said. This is the view of Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him). And Allah knows best.

[أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ]

(How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)!) He sees them and hears them. Ibn Jarir said, "The language used is an eloquent expression of praise.'' The phrase may be understood to mean, how much Allah sees of everything that exists and how much He hears of everything that is to be heard, for nothing is hidden from Him! It was narrated that Qatadah commented on this Ayah:

[أَبْصِرْ بِهِ وَأَسْمِعْ]

(How clearly He sees, and hears (everything)!) "No one hears or sees more than Allah.''

[مَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَلِىٍّ وَلاَ يُشْرِكُ فِى حُكْمِهِ أَحَدًا]

(They have no protector other than Him, and He makes none to share in His decision and His rule.) meaning, He, may He be glorified, is the One Who has the power to create and to command, the One Whose ruling cannot be overturned; He has no adviser, supporter or partner, may He be exalted and hallowed.

[وَاتْلُ مَآ أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِن كِتَـبِ رَبِّكَ لاَ مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـتِهِ وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا - وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ وَلاَ تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلاَ تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا ]

(27. And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad) of your Lord's Book. None can change His Words, and none will you find as refuge other than Him.) (28. And keep yourself (O Muhammad) patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, and who follows his own lusts, and whose affair has been lost.)

15. The Command to recite the Qur'an and to patiently keep Company with the Believers

Commanding His Messenger to recite His Holy Book and convey it to mankind, Allah says,

[لاَ مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـتِهِ]

(None can change His Words,) meaning, no one can alter them, distort them or misinterpret them.

[وَلَن تَجِدَ مِن دُونِهِ مُلْتَحَدًا]

(and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.) It was reported that Mujahid said, "A shelter,'' and that Qatadah said, "A helper or supporter.'' Ibn Jarir said: "Allah is saying, `if you O Muhammad, do not recite what is revealed to you of the Book of your Lord, then you will have no refuge from Allah.''' As Allah says:

[يَـأَيُّهَا الرَّسُولُ بَلِّغْ مَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيْكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ وَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلْ فَمَا بَلَّغْتَ رِسَالَتَهُ وَاللَّهُ يَعْصِمُكَ مِنَ النَّاسِ]

(O Messenger! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord. And if you do not, then you have not conveyed His Message. Allah will protect you from mankind.)[5:67]

[إِنَّ الَّذِى فَرَضَ عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لَرَآدُّكَ إِلَى مَعَادٍ]

(Verily, He Who has given you the Qur'an, will surely bring you back to the place of return.) [28:85] meaning, `He will call you to account for the duty of conveying the Message which He entrusted you with. '

[وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ]

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face;) meaning, sit with those who remember Allah, who say "La Ilaha Illallah'', who praise Him, glorify Him, declare His greatness and call on Him, morning and evening, all the servants of Allah, whether rich or poor, strong or weak. It was said that this was revealed about the nobles of Quraysh when they asked the Prophet to sit with them on his own, and not to bring his weak Companions with him, such as Bilal, `Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab and Ibn Mas`ud. They wanted him to sit with them on his own, but Allah forbade him from doing that, and said,

[وَلاَ تَطْرُدِ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِىِّ]

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Allah commanded him to patiently content himself with sitting with those people (the weak believers), and said:

[وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُم بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِىِّ]

(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon...) Imam Muslim recorded in his Sahih that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas who said: "There was a group of six of us with the Prophet . The idolators said, `Tell these people to leave so they will not offend us.' There was myself, Ibn Mas`ud, a man from Hudayl, Bilal and two other men whose names I have forgotten. Allah's Messenger thought to himself about whatever Allah willed he should think about, then Allah revealed:

[وَلاَ تَطْرُدِ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِىِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ]

(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and afternoon.) Only Muslim reported this; excluding Al-Bukhari.

[وَلاَ تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world;) Ibn `Abbas said, `(this means) do not favor others over them, meaning do not seek the people of nobility and wealth instead of them.'

[وَلاَ تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا]

(and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance) means, those who are distracted by this world from being committed to the religion and from worshipping their Lord.

[وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا]

(and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.) means, his actions and deeds are a foolish waste of time. Do not obey him or admire his way or envy what he has. As Allah says elsewhere:

[وَلاَ تَمُدَّنَّ عَيْنَيْكَ إِلَى مَا مَتَّعْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَجاً مِّنْهُمْ زَهْرَةَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا لِنَفْتِنَهُمْ فِيهِ وَرِزْقُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى ]

(And strain not your eyes in longing for the things We have given for enjoyment to various groups of them, the splendor of the life of this world, that We may test them thereby. But the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.) [20:131]

[وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُواْ يُغَاثُواْ بِمَآءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِى الْوجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَآءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا ]

(29. And say: "The truth is from your Lord.'' Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the wrongdoers, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them. And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces. Terrible is the drink, and an evil Murtafaq!)

16. The Truth is from Allah, and the Punishment of Those Who do not believe in it

Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad : "Say to the people, `What I have brought to you from your Lord is the truth, in which there is no confusion or doubt.'''

[فَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ]

(Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve.) This is a type of threat and stern warning, after which Allah says,

[إِنَّآ أَعْتَدْنَا]

(Verily, We have prepared), meaning made ready,

[لِّلظَّـلِمِينَ]

(for the wrongdoers,) meaning those who disbelieve in Allah, His Messenger and His Book,

[نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا]

(a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.) Ibn Jurayj said that Ibn `Abbas said,

[أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا]

(a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.) "A wall of fire.''

[وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُواْ يُغَاثُواْ بِمَآءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِى الْوجُوهَ]

(And if they ask for drink, they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that will scald their faces.) Ibn `Abbas said; "Al-Muhl is thick water which is similar to the sediment in oil.'' Mujahid said, "It is like blood and pus.'' `Ikrimah said, "It is the thing that is heated to the ultimate temperature.'' Others said: "It is everything that is melted.'' Qatadah said, "Ibn Mas`ud melted some gold in a grove, and when it became liquid and foam rose to the top, he said, this is the thing that is most like Al-Muhl.'' Ad-Dahhak said: "The water of Hell is black, and it itself is black and its people are black.'' There is nothing contradictory in these comments, for Al-Muhl includes all of these unpleasant characteristics, it is black, evil-smelling, thick and hot, as Allah said,

[يَشْوِى الْوجُوهَ]

([it] will scald their faces.) meaning because of its heat. When the disbeliever wants to drink it and brings it close to his face, it will scald it so that the skin of his face falls off into it. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "When the people of Hell get hungry, they will ask for relief from it, and they will be given the tree of Zaqqum from which they will eat. The tree will tear off the skin of their faces, and if anyone who knew them were to pass by, he would recognize the skin of their faces in the tree. Then they will feel thirsty, so they will ask for drink, and they will be granted water like Al-Muhl, that is what has been heated to the ultimate temperature. When it is brought near their mouths, the flesh of their faces from which the skin has been torn off will be baked.'' After describing this drink in these horrifying qualities, Allah says:

[بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ]

(Terrible is the drink,) meaning, how awful this drink is. Similarly, He says in another Ayah:

[وَسُقُواْ مَآءً حَمِيماً فَقَطَّعَ أَمْعَآءَهُمْ]

(and be given to drink boiling water so that it cuts up their bowels.) [47:15]

[تُسْقَى مِنْ عَيْنٍ ءَانِيَةٍ ]

(They will be given to drink from a boiling spring.) [88:5]

[وَبَيْنَ حَمِيمٍ ءَانٍ]

(They will go between it (Hell) and the fierce boiling water.) [55:44]

[وَسَآءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا]

(and an evil Murtafaq!) means, how evil a place is the Fire to dwell and rest and gather. As Allah says elsewhere:

[إِنَّهَا سَآءَتْ مُسْتَقَرّاً وَمُقَاماً ]

(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.) [25:66]

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ إِنَّا لاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلاً - أُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الأَنْهَـرُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَيَلْبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضْرًا مِّن سُنْدُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الاٌّرَآئِكِ نِعْمَ الثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتْ مُرْتَفَقاً ]

(30. Verily, as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, certainly We shall not make the reward of anyone to be lost who does his (righteous) deeds in the most perfect manner.) (31. These! For them will be Jannatu `Adn; wherein rivers flow beneath them; therein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of Sundus and Istabraq. They will be Muttaki'in therein on Ara'ik. How good is the reward, and what an excellent Murtafaq!)

17. The Reward of those Who believe and do Righteous Deeds

When Allah mentions the state of those who are doomed, He follows that by mentioning the blessed who believed in Allah and believed what His Messengers brought, those who did the righteous deeds that they commanded them to do. They will have Jannatu `Adn. `Adn means lasting.

[تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الاٌّنْهَـرُ]

(wherein rivers flow beneath them,) means, from beneath its rooms and dwellings. Fir`awn said:

[وَهَـذِهِ الاٌّنْهَـرُ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِى]

(and these rivers flowing beneath me...) [43:51]

[يُحَلَّوْنَ]

(they will be adorned) means, with jewelry.

[فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ]

(with bracelets of gold,) Allah says elsewhere:

[وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ]

(and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk) [22:23]. This is explained in more detail here, where Allah says:

[وَيَلْبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضْرًا مِّن سُنْدُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ]

(and they will wear green garments of Sundus and Istabraq.) Sundus refers to a fine garment, like a shirt and the like, and Istabraq is thick and shiny velvet.

[مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الاٌّرَائِكِ]

(They will be Muttaki'in therein on Ara'ik.) The word Muttaki'in implies lying down, or it was said that it means sitting with one's legs crossed, which is closer to the meaning here. In a Sahih Hadith, the Prophet said:

أَمَّا أَنَا فَلَا آكُلُ مُتَّكِئًا

(As for me, I do not eat sitting with legs crossed (Muttaki'an)). Ara'ik is the plural of Arikah, which is a bed under a canopy. And Allah knows best.

[نِعْمَ الثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتْ مُرْتَفَقاً]

(How good is the reward, and what an excellent place of rest (Murtafaq)!) means, how blessed is Paradise as a reward for their good deeds. And what an excellent Murtafaq means, and how good a place to dwell and rest and stay. Previously, Allah had said of Hell,

[بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَآءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا]

(Terrible is the drink, and an evil place of rest (Murtafaq)!) [18:29]. In a similar way, He contrasts the two (Paradise and Hell) in Surat Al-Furqan, where He says:

[إِنَّهَا سَآءَتْ مُسْتَقَرّاً وَمُقَاماً ]

(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) [25:66]. Then He mentions the qualities of the believers, then says:

[أُوْلَـئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَـماً - خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا حَسُنَتْ مُسْتَقَرّاً وَمُقَاماً ]

(Those will be rewarded with the highest place because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect. Abiding therein excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) [25:75-76]

[وَاضْرِبْ لهُمْ مَّثَلاً رَّجُلَيْنِ جَعَلْنَا لاًّحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيْنِ مِنْ أَعْنَـبٍ وَحَفَفْنَاهُمَا بِنَخْلٍ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمَا زَرْعًا - كِلْتَا الْجَنَّتَيْنِ آتَتْ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمْ تَظْلِمِ مِّنْهُ شَيْئًا وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَـلَهُمَا نَهَراً - وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ فَقَالَ لَصَـحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَنَاْ أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالاً وَأَعَزُّ نَفَراً - وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـذِهِ أَبَداً - وَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّى لأَجِدَنَّ خَيْراً مِّنْهَا مُنْقَلَباً ]

(32. And put forward to them the example of two men: unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields).) (33. Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce, and failed not in the least therein, and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of both.) (34. And he had Thamar, and he said to his companion in the course of discussion: "I am greater than you in wealth and have a mightier entourage.'') (35. And he went into his garden while having been unjust to himself. He said: "I do not think that this will ever perish.'') (36. "And I do not think the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I surely, shall find better than this when I return to Him.'')

18. The Example of the Rich Idolators and the Poor Muslims

After mentioning the idolators who were too arrogant to sit with the poor and weak among Muslims, showing off before them with their wealth and noble lineage, Allah then gives a parable for them of two men, one of whom Allah gave two gardens of grapes, surrounded with palm trees and cultivated with crops throughout. All of the trees and plants were abundantly fruitful, providing readily accessible, good quality produce. Allah says:

[كِلْتَا الْجَنَّتَيْنِ آتَتْ أُكُلَهَا]

(Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce,) meaning, produced its fruits,

[وَلَمْ تَظْلِمِ مِّنْهُ شَيْئًا]

(and failed not in the least therein,) meaning, nothing at all was diminishing.

[وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَـلَهُمَا نَهَراً]

(and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of both.) means, rivers were flowing through them here and there.

[وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ]

(And he had Thamar,) It was said that what was meant here was wealth, and it was said that what was meant were fruits, which is the more apparent meaning here. This is also supported by the alternative recitation, Thumr, which is the plural of Thamrah (fruit) just as Khushb is the plural of Khashab (wood). Others recite it as Thamar.

[فَقَالَ]

(and he said) the owner of the two gardens

[لَصَـحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ]

(to his companion in the course of discussion) means, while he was disputing with him and boasting to him and showing off,

[أَنَاْ أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالاً وَأَعَزُّ نَفَراً]

(I am greater than you in wealth and have a mightier entourage.) meaning, `I have more servants, attendants and children.' Qatadah said, "This, by Allah, is the wish of the immoral to have a lot of wealth and a large entourage. R

[وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ]

(And he went into his garden having been unjust to himself.) meaning, in his disbelief, rebellion, arrogance and denial of the Hereafter.

[قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـذِهِ أَبَداً]

(He said: "I do not think this will ever perish.'') Thus he was allowing himself to be deceived because of the plants, fruits and trees that he saw, and the rivers flowing through the different parts of his gardens. He thought that it could never come to an end or cease or be destroyed. This was because of his lack of understanding and the weakness of his faith in Allah, and because he was enamored with this world and its adornments, and because he disbelieved in the Hereafter. So he said:

[وَمَآ أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً]

("And I do not think the Hour will ever come...'') meaning, will ever happen

[وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّى لأَجِدَنَّ خَيْراً مِّنْهَا مُنْقَلَباً]

(and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him.) meaning, `if there is a Hereafter and a return to Allah, then I will have a better share than this with my Lord, for if it were not that I am dear to Him, He would not have given me all this.' As Allah says elsewhere:

[وَلَئِن رُّجِّعْتُ إِلَى رَبِّى إِنَّ لِى عِندَهُ لَلْحُسْنَى]

(But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him.) [41:50]

[أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً ]

(Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children [if I will be alive again).'')[19:77] He took it for granted that Allah would give him this, without any sound evidence for that. The reason why this Ayah was revea- led was because of Al-`As bin Wa'il, as we will explain in the appropriate place, if Allah wills. In Allah we put our trust.

[قَالَ لَهُ صَـحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَـوِرُهُ أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِى خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلاً - لَّكِنَّ هُوَ اللَّهُ رَبِّى وَلاَ أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّى أَحَدًا - وَلَوْلا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَآءَ اللَّهُ لاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَاْ أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالاً وَوَلَدًا - فعسَى رَبِّى أَن يُؤْتِيَنِ خَيْرًا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ وَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهَا حُسْبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ فَتُصْبِحَ صَعِيدًا زَلَقًا - أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَآؤُهَا غَوْرًا فَلَن تَسْتَطِيعَ لَهُ طَلَبًا ]

(37. His companion said to him during his discussion: "Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust, then out of Nutfah, then fashioned you into a man'') (38. "But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord, and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord.'') (39. "It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden: `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!' If you see me less than you in wealth, and children,'') (40. "It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, and will send on it Husban from the sky, then it will be as a barren slippery earth.'') (41. "Or the water thereof becomes Ghawran so that you will never be able to seek it.'')

19. The Response of the Poor Believer

Allah tells us how the rich man's believing companion replied to him, warning and rebuking him for his disbelief in Allah and allowing himself to be deceived.

[أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِى خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ]

(Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust...) This is a denunciation, pointing out the seriousness of his rejection of his Lord Who created and formed man out of dust -- that is, refering to Adam -- then made his offspring from despised liquid, as Allah says:

[كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَتًا فَأَحْيَـكُمْ]

(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life) [2:28] meaning, how can you reject your Lord and His clear signs to you, which every one recognizes in himself, for there is no one among His creatures who does not know that he was nothing, then he came to be, and his existence is not due to himself or any other creature. He knows that his existence is due to his Creator, beside Whom there is no other god, the Creator of all things. So the believer said:

[لَّكِنَّ هُوَ اللَّهُ رَبِّى]

(But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord,) meaning, `I do not say what you say; rather I acknowledge the Oneness and Lordship of Allah,'

[وَلاَ أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّى أَحَدًا]

(and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord. ) meaning, He is Allah, the One Who is to be worshipped Alone, with no partner or associate. Then he said:

[وَلَوْلا إِذْ دَخَلْتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلْتَ مَا شَآءَ اللَّهُ لاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَاْ أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالاً وَوَلَدًا ]

(It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!' If you see me less than you in wealth, and children.) Here he was urging and encouraging him to say that, as if he was saying, "When you entered your garden and looked at it and liked it, why would'nt you praise Allah for the blessings He gave you and the wealth and children that He has given to you and not to others Why did you not say `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!''' One of the Salaf said, "Whoever is delighted with something in his circumstances or his wealth or his children, let him say, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!''' This is based on this Ayah. It was reported in the Sahih from Abu Musa that the Messenger of Allah said:

أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى كَنْزٍ مِنْ كُنُوزِ الْجَنَّةِ؟ لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِالله

(Shall I not tell you about some of the treasure of Paradise La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah (There is no power or might but with Allah).)

[فعسَى رَبِّى أَن يُؤْتِيَنِ خَيْرًا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ]

(It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, ) in the Hereafter

[وَيُرْسِلَ عَلَيْهَا]

(and will send on it) on your garden in this world, which you think will never come to an end or cease to be,

[حُسْبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ]

(Husban from the sky,) Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said -- and Malik narrated that Az-Zuhri said -- a punishment from heaven. The apparent meaning is that it is a mighty rain which would disrupt his garden and uproot its plants and trees. As he said:

[فَتُصْبِحَ صَعِيدًا زَلَقًا]

(then it will be as a barren slippery earth.) meaning, smooth mud in which one cannot get a foothold. Ibn `Abbas said, "Like land without vegetation, where nothing grows.''

[أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَآؤُهَا غَوْرًا]

(Or the water thereof becomes Ghawran) means, it disappears into the earth, which is the opposite of flowing water that seeks the surface of the earth. So Gha'ir is to go lower. as Allah says:

[قُلْ أَرَءَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَصْبَحَ مَآؤُكُمْ غَوْراً فَمَن يَأْتِيكُمْ بِمَآءٍ مَّعِينٍ ]

(Say: "Tell me! If your water were Ghawran, who then can supply you with flowing water'') [67: 30] meaning, water that flows in all directions. And here Allah says:

[أَوْ يُصْبِحَ مَآؤُهَا غَوْرًا فَلَن تَسْتَطِيعَ لَهُ طَلَبًا ]

(Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it.) Ghawr is from the same root as Gha'ir and has a similar meaning, but is more intensive.

[وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِ فَأَصْبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى مَآ أَنْفَقَ فِيهَا وَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَيَقُولُ يلَيْتَنِى لَمْ أُشْرِكْ بِرَبِّى أَحَدًا - وَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُ فِئَةٌ يَنصُرُونَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنْتَصِراً - هُنَالِكَ الْوَلَـيَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ هُوَ خَيْرٌ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ عُقْبًا ]

(42. So his fruits were encircled (with ruin). And began Yuqallibu his hands over what he had spent upon it, while it was all destroyed on its trellises, and he could only say: "Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!") (43. And he had no group of men to help him against Allah, nor could he defend (or save) himself.) (44. There (on the Day of Resurrection), Al-Walayah will be for Allah (Alone), the True God. He (Allah) is the best for reward and the best for the final end.)

20. The Evil Results of Kufr

Allah says:

[وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِ]

(So his fruits were encircled), meaning his wealth, or according to the other opinion, his crops. What is meant is that what this disbeliever was afraid of and what the believer had terrified him actually had happened. A storm struck his garden, a garden which he had erroneously thought would last forever, distracting him from thoughts of Allah, may He be glorified.

[فَأَصْبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيْهِ عَلَى مَآ أَنْفَقَ فِيهَا]

(And he began Yuqallibu his hands over what he had spent upon it,) Qatadah said: "He was clasping his hands together in a gesture of regret and grief for the wealth he had lost.''

[وَيَقُولُ يلَيْتَنِى لَمْ أُشْرِكْ بِرَبِّى أَحَدًاوَلَمْ تَكُن لَّهُ فِئَةٌ]

(and he could only say: "Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!" And he had no group of men) meaning a clan or children, as he had vainly boasted,

[يَنصُرُونَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنْتَصِراًهُنَالِكَ الْوَلَـيَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ]

(to help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself. There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) Here there are differences in recitation. Some of the reciters pause at the word there,

[وَمَا كَانَ مُنْتَصِراًهُنَالِكَ]

(nor could he defend himself there. ), i.e., at that time, when Allah sends the punishment upon him, there will be no one to save him. Then they start the next phrase with Al-Walayah;

[الْوَلَـيَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ]

(Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) Some of them pause at the phrase

[وَمَا كَانَ مُنْتَصِراً]

(nor could he defend himself) and start the next phrase;

[هُنَالِكَ الْوَلَـيَةُ لِلَّهِ الْحَقِّ]

(There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.) There is a further difference in the recitation of the word Al-Walayah. Some read it as Al-Walayah, which gives the meaning that all allegiance will be to Allah, i.e., on that Day everyone, believer or disbeliever, will return to Allah, for allegiance and submission to Him when the punishment comes to pass. This is like the Ayah:

[فَلَمَّا رَأَوْاْ بَأْسَنَا قَالُواْ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ وَكَـفَرْنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشْرِكِينَ ]

(So when they saw Our punishment, they said: "We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as partners.'') [40:84] and Allah says concerning the Fir`awn;

[وَجَاوَزْنَا بِبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ الْبَحْرَ فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغْيًا وَعَدْوًا حَتَّى إِذَآ أَدْرَكَهُ الْغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلِـهَ إِلاَّ الَّذِى ءَامَنَتْ بِهِ بَنواْ إِسْرَءِيلَ وَأَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ - ءَالَنَ وَقَدْ عَصَيْتَ قَبْلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الْمُفْسِدِينَ ]

(Till when drowning overtook him, he said: "I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims.'' Now! While you refused to believe before and you were one of the mischief-makers.) [10:90-91] Some others read it as Al-Wilayah, meaning that on that Day the rule will belong to Allah, the True God. Some read Haqqu (True) refering to Al-Wilayah, as in the Ayah;

[الْمُلْكُ يَوْمَئِذٍ الْحَقُّ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَكَانَ يَوْماً عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ عَسِيراً ]

(The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty), belonging to the Most Gracious (Allah), and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers) [25:26]. Others it read Haqqi referring to Allah, may He be glorified, as in the Ayah:

[ثُمَّ رُدُّواْ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَوْلَـهُمُ الْحَقِّ]

(Then they are returned to Allah, their True Protector.) [6:62] So Allah says:

[هُوَ خَيْرٌ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ عُقْبًا]

(He (Allah) is the best to reward and the best for the final end.) for deeds that were done for the sake of Allah, their reward is good and their consequences are all good.

[وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنْزَلْنَـهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الاٌّرْضِ فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًا تَذْرُوهُ الرِّياحُ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّقْتَدِرًا - الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَالْبَـقِيَاتُ الصَّـلِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلاً ]

(45. And mention the parable of the worldly life: it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is able to do everything.) (46. Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for reward and better for hope.)

21. The Parable of the Worldly Life

Allah says:

[وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم]

(And mention) O Muhammad, to the people,

[مَثَلُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(the parable of the worldly life), its transient nature and how it will eventually cease and come to an end.

[كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الاٌّرْضِ]

(it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it,) It mingles with the seeds that are in the earth, so they grow and become good, producing bright, fresh flowers, then after that,

[فَأَصْبَحَ هَشِيمًا]

(it becomes dry and broken pieces,) withered up,

[تَذْرُوهُ الرِّياحُ]

(which the winds scatter.) tossing them about right and left.

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى كُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّقْتَدِرًا]

(And Allah is able to do everything) He has the power to do this and that. In the Qur'an Allah often gives parables like this of the life of this world, as He says in Surah Yunus,

[إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلْنَاهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فَاخْتَلَطَ بِهِ نَبَاتُ الاٌّرْضِ مِمَّا يَأْكُلُ النَّاسُ وَالاٌّنْعَـمُ]

(The parable of the worldly life is but that of water which We send down from the sky so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat. ..) [10:24] and in Surat Az-Zumar:

[أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَسَلَكَهُ يَنَابِيعَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ ثُمَّ يُخْرِجُ بِهِ زَرْعاً مُّخْتَلِفاً أَلْوَانُهُ]

s(See you not that Allah sends down water from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, then out from it comes crops of different colors.) [39:21] and in Surat Al-Hadid:

[اعْلَمُواْ أَنَّمَا الْحَيَوةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِى الاٌّمْوَلِ وَالاٌّوْلْـدِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ]

(Know that the life of this world is only play and amusement, pomp and mutual boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children. (It is) like the parable of vegetation after rain, thereof the growth is pleasing to the tiller...) [57:20] and in the Sahih Hadith:

الدُّنْيَا حُلْوَةٌ خَضِرَة

(This world is sweet and green.)

22. Between Wealth and Good Deeds

[الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world.) This is like the Ayah:

[زُيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ حُبُّ الشَّهَوَتِ مِنَ النِّسَآءِ وَالْبَنِينَ وَالْقَنَـطِيرِ الْمُقَنطَرَةِ مِنَ الذَّهَبِ]

(Beautified for men is the love of things they covet; women, children, vaulted hoards of gold...) [3:14]. Allah says:

[إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ ]

(Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas Allah! With Him is a great reward (Paradise).) [64:15] turning towards Allah and worshipping Him is better for you than keeping busy with them, and accumulating wealth for them and going to extremes in feeling pity and compassion for them. Allah says:

[وَالْبَـقِيَاتُ الصَّـلِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلاً]

(But the good righteous deeds that last, are better with your Lord for reward and better for hope.) Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others among the Salaf said that the good righteous deeds that last are the five daily prayers. `Ata' bin Abi Rabah and Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas, "The good righteous deeds that last are `Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah)', `Al-Hamdu Lillah (praise be to Allah)', `La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah)', and `Allahu Akbar (Allah is Most Great).'" The Commander of the faithful, `Uthman bin `Affan was questioned, "Which are the good righteous deeds that last'' He replied, "They are: `La ilaha illallah, Subhan Allah, Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allahu Akbar and La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah hil-`Aliyil-`Azim (there is no strength and no power except with Allah the Exalted, the Almighty).''' This was recorded by Imam Ahmad. Imam Ahmad also recorded from a freed slave of the Messenger of Allah that he said:

بَخٍ بَخٍ لِخَمْسٍ مَا أَثْقَلَهُنَّ فِي الْمِيزَانِ: لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَاللهُ أَكْبَرُ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللهِ، وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ، وَالْوَلَدُ الصَّالِحُ يُتَوَفَّى فَيَحْتَسِبُهُ وَالِدُهُ وَقَالَ: بَخٍ بَخٍ لِخَمْسٍ مَنْ لَقِيَ اللهَ مُسْتَيْقِنًا بِهِنَّ دَخَلَ الْجَنَّةَ: يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ، وَبِالْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ، وَبِالْبَعْثِ بَعْدَ الْمَوْتِ، وَبِالْحِسَاب

(Well done! Well done for five things! (How heavy they will weigh in the balance! "La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, and Al-Hamdu Lillah,'' and a righteous son who dies and his parents seek the reward of Allah.) And he said: (Well done! Well done for five things! Whoever meets Allah believing in them, he will enter Paradise; if he believes in Allah, the Last Day, Paradise and Hell, resurrection after death, and the Reckoning).

[وَالْبَـقِيَاتُ الصَّـلِحَاتُ]

(the good righteous deeds that last, ) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This is the celebration of the remembrance of Allah, saying `La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Subhan Allah, Al-Hamdu Lillah, Tabarak Allah, La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah, Astaghfirallah, Sallallahu `ala Rasul-Allah', and fasting, prayer, Hajj, Sadaqah (charity), freeing slaves, Jihad, maintaining ties of kinship, and all other good deeds. These are the righteous good deeds that last, which will remain in Paradise for those who do them for as long as heaven and earth remain.'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas: "They are good words.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "They are all righteous deeds.'' This was also the view chosen by Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him.

[" وَيَوْمَ نُسَيِّرُ الْجِبَالَ وَتَرَى الاٌّرْضَ بَارِزَةً وَحَشَرْنَـهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَداً - وَعُرِضُواْ عَلَى رَبِّكَ صَفَا لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا كَمَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ بَلْ زَعَمْتُمْ أَلَّن نَّجْعَلَ لَكُمْ مَّوْعِدًا - وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَـبُ فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يوَيْلَتَنَا مَا لِهَـذَا الْكِتَـبِ لاَ يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلاَ كَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ أَحْصَاهَا وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرًا وَلاَ يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا ]

(47. And (remember) the Day We shall cause the mountains to pass away, and you will see the earth as a levelled plain, and We shall gather them so that We will leave not one of them behind. ) (48. And they will be set before your Lord, aligned. (He will say:) "Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time. Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us).'') (49. And the Book will be produced, and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is therein. They will say: "Woe to us! What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a large thing, but has recorded it with numbers!'' And they will find all that they did, present, and your Lord treats no one with injustice.)

23. The Major Terrors of the Hour

Allah tells us of the terrors of the Day of Resurrection, and the awesome things that will come to pass, as He says elsewhere:

[يَوْمَ تَمُورُ السَّمَآءُ مَوْراً - وَتَسِيرُ الْجِبَالُ سَيْراً ]

(On the Day when the heaven will shake with a dreadful shaking, And the mountains pass moving away.) [52:9-10] meaning, they will move from their places and will vanish. As Allah says:

[وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِىَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ]

(And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds.) [27:88]

[وَتَكُونُ الْجِبَالُ كَالْعِهْنِ الْمَنفُوشِ ]

(And the mountains will be like carded wool.) [101:5]

[وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْجِبَالِ فَقُلْ يَنسِفُهَا رَبِّى نَسْفاً - فَيَذَرُهَا قَاعاً صَفْصَفاً - لاَّ تَرَى فِيهَا عِوَجاً وَلا أَمْتاً ]

(And they ask you about the mountains, say: "My Lord will pulverize them scattering [their dust]. To leave them as a barren plain. You will not see in it crookness or curve.) [20:105-107] Allah tells us that He will cause the mountains to vanish and be levelled, and the earth will be left as a smooth plain, a level surface with nothing crooked or curved therein, no valleys or mountains. So Allah says:

[وَتَرَى الاٌّرْضَ بَارِزَةً]

(and you will see the earth as a levelled plain, ) meaning clear and open, with no features that anyone may recognize and nothing for anyone to hide behind. All creatures will be visible to their Lord, and not one of them will be hidden from Him. Mujahid and Qatadah said,

[وَتَرَى الاٌّرْضَ بَارِزَةً]

(and you will see the earth as a levelled plain,) "No one will be hidden or absent.'' Qatadah said, "There will be no buildings and no trees.''

[وَحَشَرْنَـهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَداً]

(and we shall gather them, so that We will not leave one of them behind.) means, `We shall gather them all, the first of them and the last of them, and We shall not leave anyone behind, young or old.' As Allah says:

[قُلْ إِنَّ الاٌّوَّلِينَ وَالاٌّخِرِينَ - لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَى مِيقَـتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ]

(Say: "(yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for an appointed meeting of a known Day.) [56:49,50]

[ذلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّجْمُوعٌ لَّهُ النَّاسُ وَذَلِكَ يَوْمٌ مَّشْهُودٌ]

(That is a Day whereon mankind will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all will be present) [11:103].

[وَعُرِضُواْ عَلَى رَبِّكَ صَفَا]

(And they will be set before your Lord, aligned.) This may mean that all of creation will stand before Allah in one row, as Allah says:

[يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الرُّوحُ وَالْمَلَـئِكَةُ صَفّاً لاَّ يَتَكَلَّمُونَ إِلاَّ مَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَقَالَ صَوَاباً ]

(The Day that Ar-Ruh (Jibril) and the angels will stand aligned, they will not speak except him whom the Most Gracious (Allah) allows, and he will speak what is right) [78:38]; or it may mean that they will stand in rows, as Allah says:

[وَجَآءَ رَبُّكَ وَالْمَلَكُ صَفّاً صَفّاً ]

(And your Lord comes with the angels in rows.) [89:22]

[لَّقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا كَمَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ]

(Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time.) This is a rebuke to those who denied the Hereafter, a reprimand before all creation. This is why Allah says to them:

[بَلْ زَعَمْتُمْ أَلَّن نَّجْعَلَ لَكُمْ مَّوْعِدًا]

(Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us).), meaning, you did not think that this would happen to you or that it would come to pass.

[وَوُضِعَ الْكِتَـبُ]

(And the Book will be produced,) the Book of deeds, which contains a record of everything, major or minor, significant or insignificant, great or small.

[فَتَرَى الْمُجْرِمِينَ مُشْفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ]

(and you will see the criminals, fearful of that which is therein.) of their evil deeds and reprehensible actions.

[وَيَقُولُونَ يوَيْلَتَنَا]

(They will say, "Woe to us!'') expressing words of regret for having wasted their lives.

[مَا لِهَـذَا الْكِتَـبِ لاَ يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً وَلاَ كَبِيرَةً إِلاَّ أَحْصَاهَا]

(What sort of Book is this that leaves neither a small thing nor a large thing, but has recorded it with numbers!) it has left no sin, major or minor, and no action, no matter how small, but it has recorded it with the utmost precision and accuracy.

[وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرًا]

(And they will find all that they did, present,) everything, both good and evil, as Allah says,

[يَوْمَ تَجِدُ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ مَّا عَمِلَتْ مِنْ خَيْرٍ مُّحْضَرًا]

(On the Day when every person will be confronted with all the good he has done) [3:30]. Allah says:

[يُنَبَّأُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذِ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ ]

(On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind.) [75:13] And Allah says:

[يَوْمَ تُبْلَى السَّرَآئِرُ ]

(The Day when all the secrets will be exposed. ) [86:9] meaning, everything that is hidden in people's hearts will become known. Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas that the Prophet said,

لِكُلِّ غَادِرٍ لِوَاءٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُعْرَفُ بِه

(Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection, by which he will be known.) It was also narrated in the Two Sahihs, where one narration says,

يُرْفَعُ لِكُلِّ غَادِرٍ لِوَاءٌ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عِنْدَ اسْتِهِ بِقَدْرِ غَدْرَتِهِ، يُقَالُ: هَذِهِ غَدْرَةُ فُلَانِ بْنِ فُلَان

(On the Day of Resurrection, for every traitor a banner will be erected by his backside, and it will be said, "This is the betrayer of so-and-so the son of so-and-so.'')

[وَلاَ يَظْلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدًا]

(and your Lord treats no one with injustice.) means, He will judge between His creatures for all of their deeds, and He will not treat any of His creatures with injustice. He will overlook and forgive and have mercy, and He will punish whomever He wills by His power, wisdom and justice. He will fill Hell with the disbelievers and those who have been disobedient. Then He will rescue the disobedient, and leave the disbelievers there for eternity. He is the Judge Who never wrongs or oppresses. Allah says:

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَظْلِمُ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفْهَا]

(Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it.) [4:40]

[وَنَضَعُ الْمَوَزِينَ الْقِسْطَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَلاَ تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌ شَيْئاً]

(And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything.) Until His saying;

[حَـسِبِينَ]

(to take account) [21:47] And there are many similar Ayat. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Muhammad bin `Aqil heard Jabir bin `Abdullah say, "I was told about a Hadith which a man heard from the Prophet , so I bought a camel and put my saddle on it, then I traveled on it for a month until I came to Ash-Sham, where `Abdullah bin Unays was. I said to the doorkeeper, `Tell him that Jabir is at the door.' He said, `Jabir bin `Abdullah' I said, `Yes.' So he came out, still putting his garment on, and embraced me, and I embraced him, and said: `I heard a Hadith narrated by you, that you heard from the Messenger of Allah about reciprocal punishments. I was afraid that you or I would die before I could hear it.' He said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah say:

يَحْشُرُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ النَّاسَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَوْ قَالَ: الْعِبَادَ عُرَاةً غُرْلًا بُهْمًا

(Allah will gather the people -- or His servants -- on the Day of Resurrection, naked, uncircumcised and Buhman.) I asked, `What is Buhman' He said,

لَيْسَ مَعَهُمْ شَيْءٌ، ثُمَّ يُنَادِيهِمْ بِصَوْتٍ يَسْمَعُهُ مَنْ بَعُدَ كَمَا يَسْمَعُهُ مَنْ قَرُبَ: أَنَا الْمَلِكُ، أَنَا الدَّيَّانُ لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ النَّارَ وَلَهُ عِنْدَ أَحَدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَقٌّ حَتَّى أُقِصَّهُ مِنْهُ، وَلَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ أَنْ يَدْخُلَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَهُ عِنْدَ رَجُلٍ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَقٌّ حَتَّى أُقِصَّهُ مِنْهُ حَتَّى اللَّطْمَة

(They will have nothing with them. Then a voice will call out to them that will be heard by those far away just as easily as it will be heard by those near: "I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. None of the people of Hell should enter Hell if he is owed something by one of the people of Paradise, until I have settled the matter, and none of the people of Paradise should enter Paradise if he is owed something by one of the people of Hell, until I settle the matter -- even if it is only the case of a slap.'') We said, `How will that be, when we have come before Allah barefooted, naked, uncircumcised and having nothing with us' He said,

بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَات

(By [merit for] good deeds, and [recompense] for evil deeds.) Shu`bah narrated from Al-`Awwam bin Muzahim from Abu `Uthman from `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّ الْجَمَّاءَ لَتَقْتَصُّ مِنَ الْقَرْنَاءِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة

(The animal who lost a horn will settle the score with the one that has horns on the Day of Resurrection.) It was recorded by `Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad, and there are corroborating narrations through other routes.

[وَإِذَا قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآِدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمْ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ بِئْسَ لِلظَّـلِمِينَ بَدَلاً ]

(50. And (remember) when We said to the angels: "Prostrate yourselves unto Adam.'' So they prostrated themselves, except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn; he disobeyed the command of his Lord. Will you then take him and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me while they are enemies to you What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers.)

24. The Story of Adam and Iblis

Allah points out to the Children of Adam the enmity of Iblis towards them and their father before them, and rebukes those who follow him and go against their Creator and Master. It is He who created them from nothing and sustains and nourishes them by His kindness, yet they still took Iblis as their friend and declared their enmity towards Allah. So Allah says:

[وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ]

(And (remember) when We said to the angels), meaning all the angels, as was mentioned in the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah.

[اسْجُدُواْ لاًّدَمَ]

(Prostrate yourselves unto Adam) a prostration of respect and honour, as Allah says:

[وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِنِّى خَـلِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَـلٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ - فَإِذَا سَوَّيْتُهُ وَنَفَخْتُ فِيهِ مِن رُّوحِى فَقَعُواْ لَهُ سَـجِدِينَ ]

(And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels, "I am going to create a human (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.) [15:28-29]

[فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ الْجِنِّ]

(So they prostrated themselves except Iblis. He was one of the Jinn;) meaning, his original nature betrayed him. He had been created from smokeless fire, whereas the angels had been created from light, as is stated in Sahih Muslim where it is reported that `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that the Messenger of Allah said:

خُلِقَتِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ مِنْ نُورٍ، وَخُلِقَ إِبْلِيسُ مِنْ مَارِجٍ مِنْ نَارٍ، وَخُلِقَ آدَمُ مِمَّا وُصِفَ لَكُم

(The angels were created from light, Iblis was created from smokeless fire, and Adam was created from that which has been described to you.) When matters are crucial, every vessel leaks that which it contains and is betrayed by its true nature. Iblis used to do what the angels did and resembled them in their devotion and worship, so he was included when they were addressed, but he disobeyed and went against what he was told to do. So Allah points out here that he was one of the Jinn, i.e., he was created from fire, as He says elsewhere:

[أَنَاْ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهُ خَلَقْتَنِي مِن نَّارٍ وَخَلَقْتَهُ مِن طِينٍ]

(I am better than he. You created me from fire, and You created him from clay.)[38:76] Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Iblis was not one of the angels, not even for a second. He was the origin of the Jinn just as Adam, upon him be peace, was the origin of mankind.'' This was narrated by Ibn Jarir with a Sahih chain.

[فَفَسَقَ عَنْ أَمْرِ رَبِّهِ]

(he disobeyed the command of his Lord. ) meaning by stepping beyond the bounds of obedience to Allah. Fisq (disobeying) implies going out or stepping beyond. When the date emerges from its flower, the verb used in Arabic is Fasaqat; the same verb is used to describe a mouse coming out of its hole when it comes out to do damage. Then Allah says, rebuking those who follow and obey Iblis:

[أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ أَوْلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى]

(Will you then take him and his offspring as protectors and helpers rather than Me) meaning, instead of Me. This is why Allah says:

[بِئْسَ لِلظَّـلِمِينَ بَدَلاً]

(What an evil is the exchange for the wrongdoers.) This is like the Ayah in Surah Ya Sin where, after mentioning the Resurrection and its terrors, and the ultimate end of the blessed and the doomed, Allah then says:

[وَامْتَازُواْ الْيَوْمَ أَيُّهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ ]

((It will be said): "And O you the criminals! Get you apart this Day (from the believers).) until;

[أَفَلَمْ تَكُونُواْ تَعْقِلُونَ]

(Did you not then understand) [36:59-62]

[مَّآ أَشْهَدتُّهُمْ خَلْقَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ خَلْقَ أَنفُسِهِمْ وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ الْمُضِلِّينَ عَضُداً ]

(51. They did not witness the creation of the heavens and the earth nor their own creation, nor did I take those who mislead as `Adudan.)

25. The gods of the Idolators did not witness the Creation of anything, not even Themselves

Allah says: `These whom you take as helpers instead of Me are creatures just like you. They do not possess anything and did not witness the creation of heaven and earth, because they did not exist at that time.' Allah says, `I am the One Who independently and exclusively creates and controls all things, and I have no partner, associate or advisor in that.' As Allah says:

[قُلِ ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ لاَ يَمْلِكُونَ مِثُقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَلاَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا لَهُمْ فِيهِمَا مِن شِرْكٍ وَمَا لَهُ مِنْهُمْ مِّن ظَهِيرٍ وَلاَ تَنفَعُ الشَّفَـعَةُ عِندَهُ إِلاَّ لِمَنْ أَذِنَ لَهُ]

(Say: "Call upon those you claim besides Allah, they possess not even a speck of dust in the heavens or on the earth, nor have they any share in either, nor is there for Him any assistant among them. Intercession with Him profits not except for him whom He permits.) [34:22-23] Similarly Allah says here:

[وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ الْمُضِلِّينَ عَضُداً]

(nor did I take those who mislead as `Adudan.) Malik said: "Assistants.''

[وَيَوْمَ يَقُولُ نَادُواْ شُرَكَآئِىَ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمْ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّوْبِقاً - وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا ]

(52. And (remember) the Day He will say: "Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you claimed.'' Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put Mawbiq between them.) (53. And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from it.)

26. Their Partners are not able to respond and the Criminals are brought to the Fire

Allah tells us how He will address the idolators on the Day of Resurrection before all of creation, rebuking and scolding them,

[نَادُواْ شُرَكَآئِىَ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ]

(Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you claimed.) meaning, in the world. Call them today to save you from the situation you are in! Allah says:

[وَلَقَدْ جِئْتُمُونَا فُرَادَى كَمَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَتَرَكْتُمْ مَّا خَوَّلْنَـكُمْ وَرَاءَ ظُهُورِكُمْ وَمَا نَرَى مَعَكُمْ شُفَعَآءَكُمُ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُمْ أَنَّهُمْ فِيكُمْ شُرَكَآءُ لَقَد تَّقَطَّعَ بَيْنَكُمْ وَضَلَّ عَنكُم مَّا كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ ]

(And truly, you have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time. You have left what you were given behind your backs and We do see not with you your intercessors whom you claimed were your partners. Now all relations between you and them have been cut off, and all that you used to claim has vanished from you.) [6:94]

[فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمْ]

(Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them.) As Allah says:

[وَقِيلَ ادْعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمْ]

(And it will be said (to them): "Call upon those partners of yours,'' then they will call upon them, but they will not answer them.) [28: 64] And the Ayah:

[وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ]

(And who is more astray than one who calls others besides Allah, such as will not answer him) [46:5] Until the end of the two Ayat;

[وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً ]

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً ]

(And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they may grant them honor. Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.) [19:81-82]

[وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّوْبِقاً]

(and We shall put Mawbiq between them.) Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and others said: "Destruction.'' The meaning is that Allah is stating that these idolators will have no way of reaching the gods they claimed in this world. He will separate them in the Hereafter and neither party will have any means of reaching the other. There will be devastation, great horrors and other terrible things in between them. `Abdullah bin `Amr understood the pronoun in the phrase "between them" to refer to the believers and the disbelievers, meaning that the people of guidance and the people of misguidance will be separated. This then is like the Ayat:

[وَيَوْمَ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَتَفَرَّقُونَ ]

(And on the Day when the Hour will be established -- that Day shall (all men) be separated. ) [30:14]

[يَوْمَئِذٍ يَصَّدَّعُونَ]

(On that Day men shall be divided.) [30:43],

[وَامْتَازُواْ الْيَوْمَ أَيُّهَا الْمُجْرِمُونَ ]

((It will be said), "And O you the criminals! Get you apart this Day (from the believers).) [36:59]

[وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُهُمْ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ نَقُولُ لِلَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ مَكَانَكُمْ أَنتُمْ وَشُرَكَآؤُكُمْ فَزَيَّلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ]

(And on the Day when We shall gather them all together, then We shall say to those who joined partners, "Stop in your place! You and your partners.'' Then We shall separate between them...) until,

[وَضَلَّ عَنْهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ]

(And what they invented will vanish from them.) [10:28-30]

[وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا ]

(And the criminals shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are to fall therein. And they will find no way of escape from it.) meaning when they see Hell with their own eyes, since it is being dragged forth by seventy thousand reins, each pulled by seventy thousand angels. When,

[وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ]

(the criminals shall see the Fire), they will realize that they cannot escape being thrown into it, and that will only intesify their anxiety and distress, because the anticipation and fear of punishment is in itself a real punishment.

[وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا]

(And they will find no way of escape from it.) means, they will have no way of fleeing, it will be inevitable.

[وَلَقَدْ صَرَّفْنَا فِى هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانِ لِلنَّاسِ مِن كُلِّ مَثَلٍ وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ أَكْثَرَ شَىءٍ جَدَلاً ]

(54. And indeed We have given every kind of example in this Qur'an for mankind. But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.)

27. Examples put forth in the Qur'an

Allah says, `In this Qur'an, We have explained to mankind and given clear details of matters so that they will not stray from the truth or be misled from the path of guidance. Despite this explanation, man is very quarrelsome and opposes truth with falsehood,' except for those whom Allah guides to the path of salvation. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said that the Messenger of Allah came to visit him and Fatimah, the daughter of Allah's Messenger at night, and said,

أَلَا تُصَلِّيَانِ؟

(Are you not going to pray) I said, "O Messenger of Allah, our souls are in the Hand of Allah. If He wills to wake us, He will wake us.'' When I said that, he went away without returning. Then I heard him as he was walking away, slapping his thigh and saying,

[وَكَانَ الإِنْسَـنُ أَكْثَرَ شَىءٍ جَدَلاً]

(But, man is ever more quarrelsome than anything.)'' It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs.

[وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى وَيَسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ سُنَّةُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ قُبُلاً - وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَيُجَـدِلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِالْبَـطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُواْ بِهِ الْحَقَّ وَاتَّخَذُواْ ءايَاتِى وَمَا أُنْذِرُواْ هُزُواً ]

(55. And nothing prevents men from believing, while the guidance has come to them, and from asking forgiveness of their Lord, except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them, or the torment be brought to them face to face.) (56. And We send not the Messengers except as bearers of good news and warners. But those who disbelieve, argue with falsehood, in order to refute the truth thereby. And they take My Ayat and that which they are warned for jest!)

28. The Rebellion of the Disbelievers

Allah tells us about the rebellion of the disbelievers in ancient times and in more recent times, and how they rejected the obvious truth even when they witnessed clear signs and proofs. Nothing stopped them from following the truth except their demand to witness with their own eyes the punishment which they were being warned about. As some of them said to their Prophet:

[فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفاً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ ]

(So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!) [26:187], Others said:

[ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابِ اللَّهِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ]

(Bring Allah's torment upon us if you are one of the truthful.) [29:29] The Quraysh said:

[اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ]

(O Allah! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring upon us a painful torment.) [8:32]

[وَقَالُواْ يأَيُّهَا الَّذِى نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ إِنَّكَ لَمَجْنُونٌ - لَّوْ مَا تَأْتِينَا بِالْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ ]

(And they say: "O you to whom the Reminder has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man! Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful'') [15:6-7]. There are other Ayat refering to the same thing. Then Allah says:

[إِلاَّ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ سُنَّةُ الاٌّوَّلِينَ]

(except that the ways of the ancients be repeated with them,) meaning, their overwhelming punishment, destroying every last one of them.

[أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ قُبُلاً]

(or the torment be brought to them face to face.) they see it with their own eyes, being directly confronted with it. Then Allah says:

[وَمَا نُرْسِلُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ]

(And We send not the Messengers except as bearers of good news and warners.) before the punishment they give good news to those who believe in them and follow them, and warnings to those who reject them and oppose them. Then Allah tells us about the disbelievers who argue:

[بِالْبَـطِلِ لِيُدْحِضُواْ بِهِ الْحَقَّ]

(with falsehood, in order to refute the truth thereby.) they try to weaken the truth that the Messengers brought, but they cannot achieve that.

[وَاتَّخَذُواْ ءايَاتِى وَمَا أُنْذِرُواْ هُزُواً]

(And they take My Ayat and that which they are warned for jest!) they take the proof, evidence and miracles sent with the Messengers to warn them, and make them fear the punishment;

[هُزُواً]

(as a jest and mockery) and they make fun of them, which is the worst type of disbelief.

[وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَايِـتِ رَبِّهِ فَأَعْرَضَ عَنْهَا وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْراً وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَى فَلَنْ يَهْتَدُواْ إِذاً أَبَداً - وَرَبُّكَ الْغَفُورُ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ لَوْ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا كَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ الْعَذَابَ بَل لَّهُم مَّوْعِدٌ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِ مَوْئِلاً ]

[وَتِلْكَ الْقُرَى أَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُواْ وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِم مَّوْعِدًا ]

(57. And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat (signs) of his Lord, but turns away from them, forgetting what his hands have sent forth. Truly, We have set over their hearts Akinnah, lest they should understand this (the Qur'an), and in their ears, deafness. And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.) (58. And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of mercy. Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment. But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.) (59. And these towns, We destroyed them when they did wrong. And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.)

29. The Worst People are Those Who turn away after being reminded

Allah says, `Who among My creatures does more wrong than one who is reminded of the signs of Allah then turns away from them,' i.e., ignores them and does not listen or pay attention to them.

[وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ]

(forgetting what his hands have sent forth.) means, bad deeds and evil actions.

[إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ]

(Truly, We have set over their hearts) means, the hearts of these people,

[أَكِنَّةً]

(Akinnah) means, coverings.

[أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ]

(lest they should understand this,) means, so that they will not understand this Qur'an and its clear Message

[وَفِى ءَاذَانِهِمْ وَقْرًا]

(and in their ears, deafness.) means that they will be deaf in an abstract way, to guidance.

[وَإِن تَدْعُهُمْ إِلَى الْهُدَى فَلَنْ يَهْتَدُواْ إِذاً أَبَداً]

(And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.)

[وَرَبُّكَ الْغَفُورُ ذُو الرَّحْمَةِ]

(And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of mercy.) means, `your Lord, O Muhammad, is forgiving and has great mercy.'

[لَوْ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا كَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ الْعَذَابَ]

(Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment.) This is like the Ayah:

[وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ]

(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth.) [35:45]

[وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ لِّلنَّاسِ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَشَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ]

(But verily, your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind in spite of their wrongdoing. And verily, your Lord is (also) severe in punishment) [13:6]. And there are many Ayat which say the same thing. Then Allah tells us that He is patient, He conceals faults and forgives sins. He may guide some of them from wrongdoing to true guidance, and whoever continues in his evil ways, then there will come to him a Day when infants will turn grey and every pregnant female will shed her load. He says:

[بَل لَّهُم مَّوْعِدٌ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِ مَوْئِلاً]

(But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.) meaning, they will find no way out.

[وَتِلْكَ الْقُرَى أَهْلَكْنَـهُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُواْ]

(And these towns, We destroyed them when they did wrong.) This refers to earlier nations in times past; `We destroyed them because of their stubborn disbelief.'

[وَجَعَلْنَا لِمَهْلِكِهِم مَّوْعِدًا]

(And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.) `We appointed for them a set time limit, not to be increased or decreased. The same applies to you, O ido- lators, so beware or what happened to them will happen to you too, for you have rejected the noblest Messenger and greatest Prophet, and you are not dearer to Us than them, so fear My punishment and wrath.'

[وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَـهُ لا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّى أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِىَ حُقُباً - فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِى الْبَحْرِ سَرَباً - فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَـهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـذَا نَصَباً - قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَآ إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنْسَانِيهُ إِلاَّ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِى الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا - قَالَ ذَلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ فَارْتَدَّا عَلَى ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصًا - فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا ]

(60. And (remember) when Musa said to his boy-servant: "I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or a Huqub passes.'') (61. But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) (62. So when they passed further on, Musa said to his boy-servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered Nasaban in this, our journey.'') (63. He said: "Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!'') (64. [Musa] said: "That is what we have been seeking.'' So they went back retracing their footsteps.) (65. Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.)

30. The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr

The reason for Musa's conversation with the boy-servant, Yusha` bin Nun, was that he had been told about one of the servants of Allah at the junction of the two seas, who had knowledge which Musa had not been granted, so he wanted to travel to meet him. So he said to that boy-servant of his:

[لا أَبْرَحُ]

(I will not give up) meaning, I will keep on traveling,

[حَتَّى أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ]

(until I reach the junction of the two seas) meaning, the place where the two seas met.

[أَوْ أَمْضِىَ حُقُباً]

(or a Huqub passes.) meaning, even if I have to travel for a very long time. Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "Some of the scholars of the Arabic language said that Huqub means a year in the dialect of [the tribe of] Qays,'' then he narrated that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "Huqub means eighty years.'' Mujahid said, "Seventy years.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that it means a lifetime. Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said likewise.

[فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا]

(But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish,) He had been commanded to carry a salted fish with him, and it had been said to him, when you lose the fish, that will be a sign that you have reached the right place. So they set out and traveled until they reached the junction of the two seas, where there was a spring called `Ayn Al-Hayat (the Spring of Life). They went to sleep there, and the fish felt the drops of that water, so it came back to life. It was in a vessel with Yusha`, upon him be peace, and it jumped out of the vessel towards the sea. Yusha` woke up and the fish fell into the water and started to swim through the water, leaving a track or channel behind it. Allah said:

[فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِى الْبَحْرِ سَرَباً]

(and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) meaning, like going through a tunnel on land. Ibn Jurayj said, "Ibn `Abbas said, `It left a trace as if it were a rock.'"

[فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا]

(So when they had passed further on,) means, past the place where they had forgotten the fish. Forgetfulness is attributed to them both even though it was actually Yusha` who forgot. This is like the Ayah:

[يَخْرُجُ مِنْهُمَا الُّلؤْلُؤُ وَالمَرْجَانُ ]

(Out of them both come out pearl and coral.) [55:22], although they come from the salt water, according to one of the two opinions. When they had passed one stage beyond the place where they had forgotten the fish,

[قَالَ لِفَتَـهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـذَا]

([Musa] said to his boy-servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered in this, our journey) meaning, their journey beyond the place where they should have stopped.

[نَصَباً]

(Nasaban) means, exhaustion.

[قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَآ إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنْسَانِيهُ إِلاَّ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ]

(He said: "Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it...'') Then he said,

[وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ]

(It took its course), meaning its path,

[فِى الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًاقَالَ ذَلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ]

("...into the sea in a strange (way)!'' [Musa] said: "That is what we have been seeking.'') meaning, this is what we have been looking for.

[فَارْتَدَّا]

(So they went back )

[عَلَى ءَاثَارِهِمَا]

(their footsteps.)

[فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا ]

(Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.) This was Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, as is indicated by the authentic Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah . Al-Bukhari recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "I said to Ibn `Abbas: `Nawf Al-Bikali claims that Musa, the companion of Al-Khidr was not the Musa of the Children of Israel.' Ibn `Abbas said, `The enemy of Allah has told a lie.' Ubayy bin Ka`b narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

إِنَّ مُوسَى قَامَ خَطِيبًا فِي بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فَسُئِلَ: أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَعْلَمُ؟ قَالَ: أَنَا، فَعَتَبَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ إِذْ لَمْ يَرُدَّ الْعِلْمَ إِلَيْهِ، فَأَوْحَى اللهُ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ لِي عَبْدًا بِمَجْمَعِ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْكَ. قَالَ مُوسَى: يَا رَبِّ وَكَيْفَ لِي بِهِ؟ قَالَ: تَأْخُذُ مَعَكَ حُوتًا فَتَجْعَلَهُ بِمِكْتَلٍ، فَحَيْثُمَا فَقَدْتَ الْحُوتَ فَهُوَ ثَمَّ، فَأَخَذَ حُوتًا فَجَعَلَهُ بِمِكْتَلٍ، ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ وَانْطَلَقَ مَعَهُ فَتَاهُ يُوشَعُ بْنُ نُونٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَيَا الصَّخْرَةَ وَضَعَا رُءُوْسَهُمَا فَنَامَا، وَاضْطَرَبَ الْحُوتُ فِي الْمِكْتَلِ، فَخَرَجَ مِنْهُ فَسَقَطَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ سَرَبًا، وَأَمْسَكَ اللهُ عَنِ الْحُوتِ جِرْيَةَ الْمَاءِ، فَصَارَ عَلَيْهِ مِثْلَ الطَّاقِ، فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْقَظَ، نَسِيَ صَاحِبُهُ أَنْ يُخْبِرَهُ بِالْحُوتِ، فَانْطَلَقَا بَقِيَّةَ يَوْمِهِمَا وَلَيْلَتَهُمَا حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَاهُ:

[ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـذَا نَصَباً]

(Musa got up to deliver a speech before the Children of Israel and he was asked, "Who is the most learned person among the people'' Musa replied, "I am.'' Allah rebuked him because he did not refer the knowledge to Allah. So Allah revealed to him: "At the junction of the two seas there is a servant of Ours who is more learned than you.'' Musa asked, "O my Lord, how can I meet him'' Allah said, "Take a fish and put it in a vessel and then set out, and where you lose the fish, you will find him.'' So Musa took a fish, put it in a vessel and set out, along with his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, peace be upon him, till they reached a rock (on which) they both lay down their heads and slept. The fish moved vigorously in the vessel and got out of it and fell into the sea and there it took its way through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water on both sides of the way created by the fish, and so that way was like a tunnel. When Musa got up, his companion forgot to tell him about the fish, and so they carried on their journey during the rest of the day and the whole night. The next morning Musa said to his boy-servant, ("Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.'') وَلَمْ يَجِدْ مُوسَى النَّصَبَ حَتَّى جَاوَزَ الْمَكَانَ الَّذِي أَمَرَهُ اللهُ بِهِ، قَالَ لَهُ فَتَاهُ:

[أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَآ إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنْسَانِيهُ إِلاَّ الشَّيْطَـنُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِى الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا]

قاَل: فَكَانَ لِلْحُوتِ سَرَبًا، وَلِمُوسَى وَفَتَاهُ عَجَبًا، فَقَالَ:

[ذَلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ فَارْتَدَّا عَلَى ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصًا]

قَالَ: فَرَجَعَا يَقُصَّانِ أَثَرَهُمَا حَتَّى انْتَهَيَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ، فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ مُسَجًّى بِثَوْبٍ، فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِ موسَى فَقَالَ الْخَضِرُ: وَأَنَّى بِأَرْضِكَ السَّلَامُ.فَقَالَ: أَنَا مُوسَى. فَقَالَ: مُوسَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَتَيْتُكَ لِتُعَلِّمَنِي مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا

[قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً ]

يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي عَلَى عِلْمٍ مِنْ علْمِ اللهِ عَلَّمَنِيهِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُ أَنْتَ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى عَلْمٍ مِنْ عِلْمِ اللهِ عَلَّمَكَهُ اللهُ لَا أَعْلَمُهُ. Musa did not get tired till he had passed the place that Allah had ordered him to look for. His boy-servant then said to him, ("Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange way.'') There was a tunnel for the fish and Musa and his boy-servant were amazed. Musa said, ("That is what we have been seeking.'' So they went back retracing their footsteps.'') So they went back retracing their steps until they reached the rock. There they found a man covered with a garment. Musa greeted him. Al-Khidr said, "Is there such a greeting in your land'' Musa said, "I am Musa.'' He said, "Are you the Musa of the Children of Israel'' Musa said, "Yes,'' and added, "I have come to you so that you may teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught.'' Al-Khidr said, ("You will not be able to have patience with me.) O Musa! I have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon me but you do not know it; and you too, have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon you, but I do not know it.'' فَقَالَ مُوسَى:

[سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلاَ أَعْصِى لَكَ أمْراً]

قَالَ لَهُ الْخَضِرُ:

[فَإِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلاَ تَسْأَلْنى عَن شَىءٍ حَتَّى أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْراً]

فَانْطَلَقَا يَمْشِيَانِ عَلَى سَاحِلِ الْبَحْرِ فَمَرَّتْ سَفِيَنةٌ، فَكَلَّمُوهُمْ أَنْ يَحْمِلُوهُمْ، فَعَرَفُوا الْخَضِرَ فَحَمَلُوهُمْ بِغَيْرِ نَوْلٍ، فَلَمَّا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ لَمْ يَفْجَأْ إِلَّا وَالْخَضِرُ قَدْ قَلَعَ لَوْحًا مِنْ أَلْوَاحِ السَّفِينَةِ بِالْقَدُّومِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى: قَدْ حَمَلُونَا بِغَيْرِ نَوْلٍ، فَعَمَدْتَ إِلَى سَفِينَتِهِمْ فَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا؟ لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا

[قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً - قَالَ لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلاَ تُرْهِقْنِى مِنْ أَمْرِى عُسْراً ]

Musa said, ("If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.'') Al-Khidr said to him, ("Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.'') So they set out walking along the shore, until a boat passed by and they asked the crew to let them go on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr and allowed them to go on board free of charge. When they went on board, suddenly Musa saw that Al-Khidr had pulled out one of the planks of the ship with an adz. Musa said to him, "These people gave us a free ride, yet you have broken their boat so that its people will drown! Verily, you have done a terrible thing! ("Al-Khidr said, "Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me'') (Musa said, "Call me not to account for what I forgot and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you). '')) The Messenger of Allah said, فَكَانَتِ الْأُولَى مِنْ مُوسَى نِسْيَانًا، قَالَ: وَجَاءَ عُصْفُورٌ فَوَقَعَ عَلَى حَرْفِ السَّفِينَةِ، فَنَقَرَ فِي الْبَحْرِ نَقْرَةً أَوْ نَقْرَتَيْنِ فَقَالَ لَهُ الْخَضِرُ: مَا عِلْمِي وَعِلْمُكَ فِي عِلْمِ اللهِ إِلَّا مِثْلُ مَا نَقَصَ هَذَا الْعُصْفُورُ مِنْ هَذَا الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ خَرَجَا مِنَ السَّفِينَةِ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمَا يَمْشِيَانِ عَلَى السَّاحِلِ إِذْ أَبْصَرَ الْخَضِرُ غُلَامًا يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الْغِلْمَانِ، فَأَخَذَ الْخَضِرُ رَأْسَهُ فَاقْتَلَعَهُ بِيَدِهِ فَقَتَلَهُ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى:

[فَانْطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلاَمًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئاً نُّكْراً - قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً ]

(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise. Then a bird came and sat on the edge of the boat, dipping its beak once or twice in the sea. Al-Khidr said to Musa, "My knowledge and your knowledge, in comparison to Allah's knowledge, is like what this bird has taken out of the sea.'' Then they both disembarked from the boat, and while they were walking on the shore, Al-Khidr saw a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy's head and pulled it off with his hands, killing him. Musa said to him, ("Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none! Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!'' He said, "Did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me'') قَالَ: وَهَذِهِ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْأُولَى/

[قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَاراً يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ]

أَيْ مَائِلًا،فَقَالَ الْخَضِرُ بِيَدِهِ

[فَأَقَامَهُ]

فَقَالَ مُوسَى: قَوْمٌ أَتَيْنَاهُمْ فَلَمْ يُطْعِمُونَا وَلَمْ يُضَيِّفُونَا

[فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَاراً يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لاَتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً - قَالَ هَـذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنِكَ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً ]

[The narrator] said, "The second blame was stronger than the first one''. (Musa said, "If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company; you have received an excuse from me.'' Then they both proceeded until they came to the people of a town. They asked them for food but they refused to entertain them. (Then) they found there a wall on the point of falling down.) (Al-Khidr) set it up straight with his own hands. Musa said, "We came to these people, but they neither fed us nor received us as guests. (If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!'' (Al-Khidr) said: "This is the parting between you and I. I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to be patient.'') The Messenger of Allah said:

وَدِدْنَا أَنَّ مُوسَى كَانَ صَبَرَ حَتَّى يَقُصَّ اللهُ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ خَبَرِهِمَا

(We wish that Musa was patient so that Allah would have told us more about both of them.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Ibn `Abbas used to recite [Ayah no. 79] (وَكَانَ أَمَامَهُمْ مَلِكٌ يَاْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ صَالَحَةٍ غَضْبًا) (There was a king before them who seized every good-conditioned ship by force) and [Ayah no 80] (وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ كَافِرًا وَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ) (As for the boy, he was a disbeliever and his parents were believers.) Then (in another narration) Al-Bukhari recorded a similar account which says: فَخَرَجَ مُوسَى وَمَعَهُ فَتَاهُ يُوشَعُ بْنُ نُونٍ وَمَعَهُمَا الْحُوتُ، حَتَّى انْتَهَيَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ، فَنَزَلَا عِنْدَهَا، قَالَ: فَوَضَعَ مُوسَى رَأْسَهُ فَنَامَ، قَالَ: وَفِي أَصْلِ الصَّخْرَةِ عَيْنٌ يُقَالُ لَهَا الْحَيَاةُ لَا يُصِيبُ مِنْ مَائِهَا شَيْءٌ إِلَّا حَيِيَ فَأَصَابَ الْحُوتَ مِنْ مَاءِ تِلْكَ الْعَيْنِ، فَتَحَرَّكَ وَانْسَلَّ مِنَ الْمِكْتَلِ فَدَخَلَ الْبَحْرَ، فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْقَظَ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَاهُ:

[ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا]

(...then Musa set out and with him was his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, and they had the fish with them. When they reached the rock, they camped there, and Musa lay down his head and slept. At the base of the rock there was a spring called Al-Hayat; its water never touched a thing but it brought it to life. Some of its water touched the fish, so it began to move and jumped out of the vessel and into the sea. When he woke up, Musa said to his boy-servant: (Bring us our morning meal.)) Then he quoted the rest of the Hadith. Then a bird came and perched on the edge of the ship, and dipped its beak in the sea, and Al-Khidr said to Musa, "My knowledge and your knowledge and the knowledge of all of creation, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is like what this bird has taken from the sea.'' Then he mentioned the rest of the report.

[قَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَى أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْداً - قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً - وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلَى مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ خُبْراً ]

[قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلاَ أَعْصِى لَكَ أمْراً - قَالَ فَإِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلاَ تَسْأَلْنى عَن شَىءٍ حَتَّى أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْراً ]

(66. Musa said to him: "May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught (by Allah)'') (67. He said: "Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!'') (68. "And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not'') (69. Musa said: "If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.'') (70. He said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention of it to you.'')

31. Musa meeting with Al-Khidr and accompanying Him

Allah tells us what Musa said to that learned man, who was Al-Khidr. He was one to whom Allah had given knowledge that He had not given to Musa, just as He had given Musa knowledge that He had not given to Al-Khidr.

[قَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ]

(Musa said to him: "May I follow you...'') This is a question phrased in gentle terms, with no sense of force or coercion. This is the manner in which the seeker of knowledge should address the scholar.

[اتَّبَعَكَ]

(I follow you) means, I accompany you and spend time with you.

[عَلَى أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْداً]

(so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught) meaning, teach me something from that which Allah has taught you so that I may be guided by it and learn something beneficial and do righteous deeds. At this point,

[قَالَ]

(He said) meaning, Al-Khidr said to Musa,

[إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً]

(Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!) meaning, `You will not be able to accompany with me when you see me doing things that go against your law, because I have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught you, and you have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught me. Each of us has responsibilities before Allah that the other does not share, and you will not be able to stay with me,'

[وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلَى مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ خُبْراً ]

(And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not) `For I know that you will denounce me justifiably, but I have knowledge of Allah's wisdom and the hidden interests which I can see but you cannot.'

[قَالَ]

(He said) meaning, Musa said:

[سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا]

(If Allah wills, you will find me patient,) with whatever I see of your affairs,

[وَلاَ أَعْصِى لَكَ أمْراً]

(and I will not disobey you in aught.) means, `I will not go against you in anything.' At that point, Al-Khidr, upon him be peace, set a condition:

[قَالَ فَإِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلاَ تَسْأَلْنى عَن شَىءٍ]

(Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything) do not initiate any discussion of the matter,

[حَتَّى أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْراً]

(till I myself mention of it to you. ) meaning, `until I initiate the discussion, before you ask me about it.'

[فَانْطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا رَكِبَا فِى السَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا - قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً - قَالَ لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلاَ تُرْهِقْنِى مِنْ أَمْرِى عُسْراً ]

(71. So they both proceeded, till, when they boarded the boat, he (Khidr) damaged it. Musa said: "Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.'') (72. He said: "Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me'') (73. He said: "Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).'')

32. Damaging the Boat

Allah tells us that Musa and his companion Al-Khidr set out having come to an agreement and reached an understanding. Al-Khidr had made the condition that Musa should not ask him about anything he found distasteful until he himself initiated the discussion and offered an explanation. So they went on board the ship, as described in the Hadith quoted above -- the crew recognized Al-Khidr and let them ride on board free of charge, as an honor to Al-Khidr. When the boat took them out to sea and they were far from the shore, Al-Khidr got up and damaged the boat, pulling out one of its planks and then patching it up again. Musa, peace be upon him, could not restrain himself from denouncing him, so he said:

[أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا]

(Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown) The grammatical structure of the sentence in Arabic implies that this was the consequence, not the purpose, of his action.

[لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا]

(Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.) About `Imr', Mujahid said: "An evil thing.'' Qatadah said, "An astounding thing.'' At this point, reminding him of the previously-agreed condition, Al-Khidr said:

[أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً]

(Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me) meaning, `this thing that I did deliberately is one of the things I told you not to denounce me for, because you do not know the full story, and there is a reason and purpose for it that you do not know about.'

[قَالَ]

(He said), meaning, Musa said:

[لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلاَ تُرْهِقْنِى مِنْ أَمْرِى عُسْراً]

(Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).) meaning, `do not be harsh with me.' Hence it says in the Hadith quoted above from the Messenger of Allah :

كَانَتِ الْأُولَى مِنْ مُوسَى نِسْيَانًا

(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise.)

[فَانْطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلاَمًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئاً نُّكْراً - قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً - قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً ]

(74. Then they both proceeded till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him. Musa said: "Have you killed an innocent person without Nafs Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!'') (75. He said: "Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me'') (76. He said: "If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.'')

33. The Story of killing the Boy

[فَانطَلَقَا]

(Then they both proceeded,) means, after the first incident,

[حَتَّى إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلاَمًا فَقَتَلَهُ]

(till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him.) It has been stated previously that this boy was playing with other boys in one of the towns, and that Al-Khidr deliberately singled him out. He was the finest and most handsome of them all, and Al-Khidr killed him. When Musa, peace be upon him, saw that he denounced him even more fervently than in the first case, and said hastily:

[أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً]

(Have you killed an innocent person) meaning, a young person who had not yet committed any sin or done anything wrong, yet you killed him

[بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ]

(without Nafs) with no reason for killing him.

[لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئاً نُّكْراً]

(Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!) meaning, something that is clearly evil.

[قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْراً ]

(He said: "Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me'') Once again, Al-Khidr reiterates the condition set in the first place, so Musa says to him:

[إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا]

(If I ask you anything after this,) meaning, `if I object to anything else you do after this,'

[فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً]

(keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.) `you have accepted my apology twice.' Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn `Abbas that Ubayy bin Ka`b said: "Whenever the Prophet mentioned anyone, he would pray for himself first. One day he said:

رَحْمَةُ اللهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى مُوسَى لَوْ لَبِثَ مَعَ صَاحِبِهِ لَأَبْصَرَ الْعَجَبَ، وَلَكِنَّهُ قَالَ:

[إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلاَ تُصَاحِبْنِى قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْراً]

(May the mercy of Allah be upon us and upon Musa. If he had stayed with his companion he would have seen wonders, but he said, (`If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.'))''

[فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَاراً يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لاَتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً - قَالَ هَـذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنِكَ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً ]

(77. Then they both proceeded till when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he set it up straight. (Musa) said: "If you had wished, surely you could have taken wages for it!'') (78. He said: "This is the parting between you and I, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were not able to be patient.'')

34. The Story of repairing the Wall Allah tells us that

[فَانطَلَقَا]

(they both proceeded) after the first two instances,

[حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ]

(till when they came to the people of a town,) Ibn Jarir narrated from Ibn Sirin that this was Al-Aylah. According to the Hadith;

حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَيَا أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ لِئَامًا

(When they came there, the people of the town were mean.) i.e., miserly

[اسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَاراً يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ]

(they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight.) means, he fixed it so it was standing upright properly. We have already seen in the Hadith quoted above that he set it up with his own hands, supporting it until it was standing straight again, which is something extraordinary. At this point Musa said to him:

[لَوْ شِئْتَ لاَتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْراً]

(If you had wished, surely you could have taken wages for it!) meaning, because they did not entertain us as guests, you should not have worked for them for free.

[قَالَ هَـذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنِكَ]

(He said: "This is the parting between you and I) meaning, because you said after the boy was killed that if you asked me anything after that, you would not accompany me any further. So this is the parting of the ways between me and you.

[سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ]

(I will tell you the interpretation) meaning explanation,

[مَا لَمْ تَسْطِـع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً]

(of (those) things over which you were not able to be patient.)

[أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَـكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِى الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْباً ]

(79. "As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king behind them who seized every boat by force.'')

35. Interpretations of why the Ship was damaged

This is an explanation of what Musa found so hard to understand, and the appearence of which he condemed. Allah showed Al-Khidr the hidden reasons, so he said, "I damaged the ship to make it faulty, because they used to pass by a king who was one of the oppressors, who

[يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ]

(seized every boat), i.e., every good, sound boat

[غَصْباً]

(by force.) `So I wanted to prevent him from taking this boat by making it appear faulty, so that its poor owners who had nothing else could benefit from it.' It was also said that they were orphans.

[وَأَمَّا الْغُلَـمُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً - فَأَرَدْنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْراً مِّنْهُ زَكَـوةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْماً ]

(80. "And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared he would oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.'') (81. "So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy.'')

36. Interpretation of why the Boy was killed

Ibn `Abbas narrated from Ubayy bin Ka`b that the Prophet said:

الْغُلَامُ الَّذِي قَتَلَهُ الْخَضِرُ طُبِعَ يَوْمَ طُبِعَ كَافِرًا

(The boy Al-Khidr killed was destined to be a disbeliever from the day he was created.) It was recorded by Ibn Jarir from Ibn `Abbas. He said:

[فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَـناً وَكُفْراً]

(his parents were believers, and we feared he would oppress them by rebellion and disbelief) Their love for him might make them follow him in disbelief. Qatadah said, "His parents rejoiced when he was born and grieved for him when he was killed. If he had stayed alive, he would have been the cause of their doom. So let a man be content with the decree of Allah, for the decree of Allah for the believer, if he dislikes it, is better for him than if He were to decree something that he likes for him.'' An authentic Hadith says;

لَا يَقْضِي اللهُ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ مِنْ قَضَاءٍ إِلَّا كَانَ خَيْرًا لَه

(Allah does not decree anything for the believer except it is good for him.) And Allah says:

[وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ]

(and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you.) [2:216].

[فَأَرَدْنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْراً مِّنْهُ زَكَـوةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْماً ]

(So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy. ) A child who was better than this one, a child for whom they would feel more compassion. This was the view of Ibn Jurayj.

[وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـلِحاً فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِى ذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِـع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً ]

(82. "And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not be patient.)

37. Interpretation of why the Wall was repaired for no Charge

In this Ayah there is a proof that the word Qaryah (village) may be used to refer to a city (Madinah), because Allah first says,

[حَتَّى إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ]

(till when they came to the people of a town (Qaryah)) [18:77], but here He says:

[فَكَانَ لِغُلَـمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ]

(it belonged to two orphan boys in the town (Al-Madinah);) This is like the Ayat:

[وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ هِىَ أَشَدُّ قُوَّةً مِّن قَرْيَتِكَ الَّتِى أَخْرَجَتْكَ]

(And many a town (Qaryah), stronger than your town which has driven you out We have destroyed) [47:13] and;

[وَقَالُواْ لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ ]

(And they say: "Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Al-Qaryatayn)'')[43:31] meaning Makkah and At-Ta'if. The meaning of the Ayah [18:82] is: "I repaired this wall because it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and underneath it was some treasure belonging to them.'' `Ikrimah, Qatadah and others said, "Underneath it there was some wealth that was buried for them.'' This meaning is apparent from the context of the Ayah, and is the view chosen by Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him).

[وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـلِحاً]

(their father was a righteous man,) indicates that a righteous person's offspring will be taken care of, and that the blessing of his worship will extend to them in this world and in the Hereafter. This will occur through his intercession for them, as well as their status being raised to the highest levels of Paradise, so that he may find joy in them. This was stated in the Qur'an and reported in the Sunnah. Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas: "They were taken care of because their father was a righteous man, although it is not stated that they themselves were righteous.''

[فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا]

(your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure) Here will is attributed to Allah, the Exalted, because no one else is able to bring them to the age of full strength and puberty except Allah. In contrast, He said about the boy:

[فَأَرَدْنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْراً مِّنْهُ زَكَـوةً]

(So we intended that their Lord should exchange him for them for one better in righteousness) and concerning the ship:

[فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا]

(So I wished to make a defective damage in it,) And Allah knows best.

38. Was Al-Khidr a Prophet

[رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِى]

(as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord.) Meaning, `These three things that I did, come from the mercy of Allah for those we have mentioned, the crew of the ship, the parents of the boy and the two sons of the righteous man; I was only commanded to do these things that were enjoined upon me.' This is proof and evidence in support of those who say that Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, was a Prophet, along with the Ayah which we have already quoted:

[فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا ]

(Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.) [18:65]

39. Why he was called Al-Khidr

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet said concerning Al-Khidr؛

إِنَّمَا سُمِّيَ خَضِرًا لِأَنَّهُ جَلَسَ عَلَى فَرْوَةٍ بَيْضَاءَ، فَإِذَا هِيَ تَهْتَزُّ مِنْ تَحْتِهِ خَضْرَاء

(He was called Al-Khidr because he sat on a barren Farwah that turned white, then it turned green (Khadra') beneath him.) Imam Ahmad also recorded this from `Abdur-Razzaq. It was also recorded in Sahih Al-Bukhari from Hammam from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّمَا سُمِّي الْخَضِرَ لِأَنَّهُ جَلَسَ عَلَى فَرْوَةٍ، فَإِذَا هِيَ تَهْتَزُّ مِنْ تَحْتِهِ خَضْرَاء

(He was called Al-Khidr because he sat on a barren Farwah and it turned green (Khadra') beneath him.) The meaning of Farwah here is a patch of withered vegetation. This was the view of `Abdur-Razzaq. It was also said that it means the face of the earth.

[ذَلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِـع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً]

(That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not be patient.) meaning, `this is the explanation of the things which you could not put up with or be patient with until I took the initiative of explaining them to you.' When he explained them and made them clear and solved the confusion, he used a milder form of the verb,

[تَسْطِـع]

(you could) When the matter was still confusing and very difficult, a more intensive form was used,

[سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْراً]

(I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to be patient with) [18:78]. The intensity of the verbal form used reflects the intensity of the confusion felt. This is like the Ayah:

[فَمَا اسْطَـعُواْ أَن يَظْهَرُوهُ]

(So they (Ya`juj and Ma`juj) were not able to scale it) [18:97] which means ascending to its highest point,

[وَمَا اسْتَطَـعُواْ لَهُ نَقْبًا]

(nor are they able to dig through it) [18:97] which is more difficult than the former. The intensity of the verbal form used reflects the difficulty of the action, which has to do with the subtleties of meaning. And Allah knows best. If one were to ask, what happened to the boy-servant of Musa who appears at the beginning of the story but then is not mentioned The answer is that the objective of the story is what happened between Musa and Al-Khidr. Musa's boy-servant was with him, following him. It is clearly mentioned in the Sahih Hadiths referred to above that he was Yusha` bin Nun, who was the one who became the leader of the Children of Israel after Musa, peace be upon him.

[وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَن ذِى الْقَرْنَيْنِ قُلْ سَأَتْلُواْ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْهُ ذِكْراً - إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَآتَيْنَـهُ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ سَبَباً ]

(83. And they ask you about Dhul-Qarnayn. Say: "I shall recite to you something of his story.'') (84. Verily, We established him in the earth, and We gave him the means of everything.)

40. The Story of Dhul-Qarnayn Allah says to His Prophet ,

[وَيَسْـَلُونَكَ]

(And they ask you) O Muhammad ,

[عَن ذِى الْقَرْنَيْنِ]

(about Dhul-Qarnayn.) i.e., about his story. We have already mentioned how the disbelievers of Makkah sent word to the People of the Book and asked them for some information with which they could test the Prophet . They (the People of the Book) said, `Ask him about a man who traveled extensively throughout the earth, and about some young men who nobody knows what they did, and about the Ruh (the soul),' then Surat Al-Kahf was revealed. Dhul-Qarnayn had great Power

[إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُ فِى الاٌّرْضِ]

(Verily, We established him in the earth,) means, `We have given him great power, so that he had all that kings could have of might, armies, war equipment and siege machinery.' So he had dominion over the east and the west, all countries and their kings submitted to him, and all the nations, Arab and non-Arab, served him. Some of them said he was called Dhul-Qarnayn (the one with two horns) because he reached the two "Horns" of the sun, east and west, where it rises and where it sets.

[وَآتَيْنَـهُ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ سَبَباً]

(and We gave him the means of everything.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and others said, "This means knowledge.'' Qatadah also said,

[وَآتَيْنَـهُ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ سَبَباً]

(and We gave him the means of everything.) "The different parts and features of the earth.'' Concerning Bilqis, Allah said,

[وَأُوتِيَتْ مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ]

(she has been given all things) [27:23], meaning all things that monarchs like her are given. Thus too was Dhul-Qarnayn: Allah gave him the means of all things, meaning the means and power to conquer all areas, regions and countries, to defeat enemies, suppress the kings of the earth and humiliate the people of Shirk. He was given all that a man like him would need. And Allah knows best.

[فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَباً - حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِى عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوْماً قُلْنَا يذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمْ حُسْناً - قَالَ أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ فَسَوْفَ نُعَذِّبُهُ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَى رَبِّهِ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَاباً نُّكْراً - وَأَمَّا مَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلَهُ جَزَآءً الْحُسْنَى وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِنَا يُسْراً ]

(85. So he followed a way.) (86. Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun, he found it setting in a spring of Hami'ah. And he found near it a people. We said: "O Dhul-Qarnayn! Either you punish them or treat them with kindness.'') (87. He said: "As for him who does wrong, we shall punish him, and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with a terrible torment (Hell).'') (88. "But as for him who believes and works righteousness, he shall have the best reward, and we shall speak unto him mild words.'')

41. His traveling and reaching the Place where the Sun sets (the West)

[فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَباً ]

(So he followed a way.) Ibn `Abbas said that he followed different routes to achieve what he wanted.

[فَأَتْبَعَ سَبَباً ]

(So he followed a way.) Mujahid said that he followed different routes, east and west. According to one report narrated from Mujahid, he said:

[سَبَباً]

(a way) means, "A route through the land.'' Qatadah said, "It means he followed the routes and landmarks of the earth.''

[حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغْرِبَ الشَّمْسِ]

(Until, when he reached the setting place of the sun,) means, he followed a route until he reached the furthest point that could be reached in the direction of the sun's setting, which is the west of the earth. As for the idea of his reaching the place in the sky where the sun sets, this is something impossible, and the tales told by storytellers that he traveled so far to the west that the sun set behind him are not true at all. Most of these stories come from the myths of the People of the Book and the fabrications and lies of their heretics.

[وَجَدَهَا تَغْرُبُ فِى عَيْنٍ حَمِئَةٍ]

(he found it setting in a spring of Hami'ah) meaning, he saw the sun as if it were setting in the ocean. This is something which everyone who goes to the coast can see: it looks as if the sun is setting into the sea but in fact it never leaves its path in which it is fixed. Hami'ah is, according to one of the two views, derived from the word Hama'ah, which means mud. This is like the Ayah:

[إِنِّى خَـلِقٌ بَشَرًا مِّن صَلْصَـلٍ مِّنْ حَمَإٍ مَّسْنُونٍ]

("I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried clay of altered Hama'h (mud)) [15:28], which means smooth mud, as we have discussed above.

[وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوْماً]

(And he found near it a people.) meaning a nation. They mentioned that they were a great nation from among the sons of Adam.

[قُلْنَا يذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيهِمْ حُسْناً]

(We (Allah) said (by inspiration): "O Dhul-Qarnayn! Either you punish them or treat them with kindness'') means, Allah gave him power over them and gave him the choice: if he wanted to, he could kill the men and take the women and children captive, or if he wanted to, he could set them free, with or without a ransom. His justice and faith became apparent in the ruling he pronounced:

[أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ]

(As for him who does wrong,) meaning who persists in his Kufr and in associating others in worship with his Lord,

[فَسَوْفَ نُعَذِّبُهُ]

(we shall punish him,) Qatadah said, i.e., by killing him.

[ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَى رَبِّهِ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ عَذَاباً نُّكْراً]

(and then he will be brought back unto his Lord, Who will punish him with a terrible torment.) meaning a severe, far-reaching and painful punishment. This implies a confirmation of the Hereafter and the reward and punishment.

[وَأَمَّا مَنْ آمَنَ]

(But as for him who believes), meaning `who follows us in our call to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate,'

[فَلَهُ جَزَآءً الْحُسْنَى]

(he shall have the best reward,) meaning in the Hereafter, with Allah.

[وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُ مِنْ أَمْرِنَا يُسْراً]

(and we (Dhul-Qarnayn) shall speak unto him mild words.) Mujahid said, `(words of) kindness.'

[ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَباً - حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطْلِعَ الشَّمْسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطْلُعُ عَلَى قَوْمٍ لَّمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُمْ مِّن دُونِهَا سِتْراً - كَذَلِكَ وَقَدْ أَحَطْنَا بِمَا لَدَيْهِ خُبْراً ]

(89. Then he followed (another) way,) (90. Until, when he came to the rising place of the sun, he found it rising on a people for whom We (Allah) had provided no shelter against the sun.) (91. So (it was)! And We knew all about him (Dhul-Qarnayn).)

42. His Journey East

Allah tells us that Dhul-Qarnayn then traveled from the west of the earth towards the east. Every time he passed a nation, he subjugated the people and called them to Allah. If they obeyed him, all well and good, otherwise he would humiliate them and take their wealth and possessions. From every nation he took what his armies needed to fight the next nation. When he reached the place where the sun rises, as Allah says,

[وَجَدَهَا تَطْلُعُ عَلَى قَوْمٍ]

(he found it rising on a people) meaning a nation,

[لَّمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُمْ مِّن دُونِهَا سِتْراً]

(for whom We (Allah) had provided no shelter against the sun.) meaning, they had no buildings or trees to cover them and shade them from the heat of the sun. Qatadah said, "It was mentioned to us that they were in a land where nothing grew, so when the sun rose they would go into tunnels until it had passed its zenith, then they would come out to go about their daily lives and earn themselves a living.''

[كَذَلِكَ وَقَدْ أَحَطْنَا بِمَا لَدَيْهِ خُبْراً ]

(So (it was)! And We knew all about him.) Mujahid and As-Suddi said, "This means that Allah knew everything about him and his army, and nothing was hidden from Him, even though they came from so many different nations and lands. For,

[لاَ يَخْفَى عَلَيْهِ شَىْءٌ فِي الاٌّرْضِ وَلاَ فِى السَّمَآءِ]

(Truly, nothing is hidden from Allah, in the earth or in the heaven.)[3:5]''

[ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَباً حَتَّى إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيْنَ السَّدَّيْنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوْماً لاَّ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلاً قَالُواْ يذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجاً عَلَى أَن تَجْعَلَ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَهُمْ سَدًّا قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّى فِيهِ رَبِّى خَيْرٌ فَأَعِينُونِى بِقُوَّةٍ أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًا ءَاتُونِى زُبَرَ الْحَدِيدِ حَتَّى إِذَا سَاوَى بَيْنَ الصَّدَفَيْنِ قَالَ انفُخُواْ حَتَّى إِذَا جَعَلَهُ نَاراً قَالَ آتُونِى أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْراً ]

(92. Then he followed (another) way,) (93. Until, when he reached between two mountains, he found before them a people who scarcely understood a word.) (94. They said: "O Dhul-Qarnayn! Verily, Ya'juj and Ma'juj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute in order that you might erect a barrier between us and them'') (95. He said: "That in which my Lord had established me is better. So help me with strength, I will erect between you and them a barrier.'') (96. "Give me Zubar of iron;'' then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs, he said: "Blow;'' then when he had made them (red as) fire, he said: "Bring me Qitran to pour over them.'')

43. His Journey to the Land of Ya'juj and Ma'juj, and building the Barrier

Allah says of Dhul-Qarnayn:

[ثُمَّ أَتْبَعَ سَبَباً ]

(Then he followed (another) way) meaning, he traveled from the east of the earth until he reached a place between the two mountains which were next to one another with a valley in between, from which Ya'juj and Ma'juj (God and Magog) will emerge into the land of the Turks and spread mischief there, destroying crops and people. Ya'juj and Ma'juj are among the progeny of Adam, peace be upon him, as was recorded in the Two Sahihs;

إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى يَقُولُ: يَا آدَمُ فَيَقُولُ: لَبَّيْكَ وَسَعْدَيْكَ فَيَقُولُ: ابْعَثْ بَعْثَ النَّارِ، فَيَقُولُ: وَمَا بَعْثُ النَّارِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: مِنْ كُلِّ أَلْفٍ تِسْعُمِائَةٍ وَتِسْعَةٌ وَتِسْعُونَ إِلَى النَّارِ وَوَاحِدٌ إِلَى الْجَنَّةِ، فَحِينَئِذٍ يَشِيبُ الصَّغِيرُ وَتَضَعُ كُلُّ ذَاتِ حَمْلٍ حَمْلَهَا. فَقَالَ: إِنَّ فِيكُمْ أُمَّتيْنِ مَا كَانَتَا فِي شَيْءٍ إِلَّا كَثَّرَتَاهُ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوج

"Allah said: "O Adam.'' Adam said, "Here I am at Your service.'' Allah said, "Send forth the group of Hellfire.'' Adam said, "What is the group of Hellfire" Allah said: "Out of every thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine will go to Hell and one will go to Paradise.'' At that time young men will turn grey and every pregnant female will drop her load. Among you are two nations who never come to anything but they overwhelm it with their huge numbers. (They are) Ya'juj and Ma'juj.''

[وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوْماً لاَّ يَكَادُونَ يَفْقَهُونَ قَوْلاً]

(he found before them a people who scarcely understood a word. ) he could not understand their speech, because they were so isolated from other people.

[قَالُواْ يذَا الْقَرْنَيْنِ إِنَّ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مُفْسِدُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَهَلْ نَجْعَلُ لَكَ خَرْجاً]

(They said: "O Dhul-Qarnayn! Verily, Ya'juj and Ma'juj are doing great mischief in the land. Shall we then pay you a tribute'') Ibn Jurayj reported from `Ata' from Ibn `Abbas that this meant a great reward, i.e., they wanted to collect money among themselves to give to him so that he would create a barrier between them and Ya'juj and Ma'juj. Dhul-Qarnayn said with kindness, righteousness and good intentions,

[مَا مَكَّنِّى فِيهِ رَبِّى خَيْرٌ]

(That in which my Lord had established me is better (than your tribute).) meaning, the power and authority that Allah has given me is better for me than what you have collected. This is like when Sulayman (Solomon), peace be upon him, said:

[أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ فَمَآ ءَاتَـنِى اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّآ ءَاتَـكُمْ]

(Will you help me in wealth What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you!) [27:36] Similarly, Dhul-Qarnayn said: `What I have is better than what you want to give me, but help me with strength,' i.e., with your labor and construction equipment,

[أَجْعَلْ بَيْنَكُمْ وَبَيْنَهُمْ رَدْمًاءَاتُونِى زُبَرَ الْحَدِيدِ]

(I will erect between you and them a barrier. Give me Zubar of iron,) Zubar is the plural of Zubrah, which means pieces or chunks of something. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah. These pieces were like bricks or blocks, and it was said that each block weighed one Damascene Qintar or more.

[حَتَّى إِذَا سَاوَى بَيْنَ الصَّدَفَيْنِ]

(then, when he had filled up the gap between the two mountain-cliffs,) means, he put the blocks on top of one another, starting at the bottom, until he reached the tops of the mountains, filling the width and height of the gap. The scholars differed about the precise width and height.

[قَالَ انفُخُواْ]

(he said: "Blow;'') means, he lit a fire until the whole thing was burning hot.

[قَالَ آتُونِى أُفْرِغْ عَلَيْهِ قِطْراً]

(he said: "Bring me Qitran to pour over them.'') Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and As-Suddi said it was copper. Some of them added that it was molten. This is similar to the Ayah:

[وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ]

(And We caused a fount of Qitran to flow for him) [34:12]. So it resembled a striped cloak. Then Allah said:

[فَمَا اسْطَـعُواْ أَن يَظْهَرُوهُ وَمَا اسْتَطَـعُواْ لَهُ نَقْبًا - قَالَ هَـذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّى فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى جَعَلَهُ دَكَّآءَ وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى حَقّاً - وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَمُوجُ فِى بَعْضٍ وَنُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ فَجَمَعْنَـهُمْ جَمْعاً ]

e(97. So they could not scale it or dig through it.) (98. He said: "This is a mercy from my Lord, but when the promise of my Lord comes, He shall Dakka' it down to the ground. And the promise of my Lord is ever true.) (99. And on that Day, We shall leave some of them to surge like waves on one another; and the Trumpet will be blown, and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together.)

44. The Barrier restrains Them, but It will be breached when the Hour draws nigh

Allah tells us that Ya'juj and Ma'juj could not climb over the barrier or penetrate its lower portion. Varying forms of the verb are used here in the Arabic text to reflect the difficulty of the action referred to.

[فَمَا اسْطَـعُواْ أَن يَظْهَرُوهُ وَمَا اسْتَطَـعُواْ لَهُ نَقْبًا ]

(So they (Ya'juj and Ma'juj) could not scale it or dig through it.) This indicates that they could not penetrate it or dig through it. Imam Ahmad recorded that Zaynab bint Jahsh, the wife of the Prophet said, "The Prophet woke from sleep, and he was red in the face. He said,

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَيْلٌ لِلْعَرَبِ مِنْ شَرَ قَدِ اقْتَرَبَ فُتِحَ الْيَوْمَ مِنْ رَدْمِ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ مِثْلُ هَذَا

(La ilaha illallah! Woe to the Arabs from the evil that has approached (them). Today a hole has been opened in the barrier of Ya'juj and Ma'juj like this.) and he made a circle with his index finger and thumb. I [Zaynab] said, `O Messenger of Allah, will we be destroyed even though there will be righteous people among us' He said:

نَعَمْ إِذَا كَثُرَ الْخَبَث

(Yes, if evil increases.)'' This is a Sahih Hadith, both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded it.

[قَالَ هَـذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّى]

((Dhul-Qarnayn) said: "This is a mercy from my Lord...'') meaning, after it was built by Dhul-Qarnayn.

[قَالَ هَـذَا رَحْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّى]

(He said: This is a mercy from my Lord) for the people, when he placed a barrier between them and Ya'juj and Ma'juj, to stop them from spreading evil and corruption on earth.

[فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى]

(but when the promise of my Lord comes) means, when the true promise comes

[جَعَلَهُ دَكَّآءَ]

(He shall Dakka' it down to the ground.) means, will make it flat. The Arabs use Dakka' to describe a female camel whose back is flat and has no hump. And Allah says:

[فَلَمَّا تَجَلَّى رَبُّهُ لِلْجَبَلِ جَعَلَهُ دَكًّا]

(So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it Dakkan) [7:143] meaning, level to the ground.

[وَكَانَ وَعْدُ رَبِّى حَقّاً]

(And the promise of my Lord is ever true.) means, it will come to pass without a doubt.

[وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ]

(We shall leave some of them) meaning mankind, on that day, the day when the barrier will be breached and these people (Ya'juj and Ma'juj) will come out surging over mankind to destroy their wealth and property.

[وَتَرَكْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ يَمُوجُ فِى بَعْضٍ]

(We shall leave some of them to surge like waves on one another;) As-Suddi said: "That is when they emerge upon the people.'' All of this will happen before the Day of Resurrection and after the Dajjal, as we will explain when discussing the Ayat:

[حَتَّى إِذَا فُتِحَتْ يَأْجُوجُ وَمَأْجُوجُ وَهُمْ مِّن كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنسِلُونَ وَاقْتَرَبَ الْوَعْدُ الْحَقُّ]

(Until, when Ya'juj and Ma'juj are let loose, and they swoop down from every Hadab. And the true promise shall draw near...) [21:96-97]

[وَنُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ]

(and As-Sur will be blown.) As-Sur, as explained in the Hadith, is a horn that is blown into. The one who will blow into it is (the angel) Israfil, peace be upon him, as has been explained in the Hadith quoted at length above, and there are many Hadiths on this topic. According to a Hadith narrated from `Atiyah from Ibn `Abbas and Abu Sa`id, and attributed to the Prophet ,

كَيْفَ أَنْعَمُ وَصَاحِبُ الْقَرْنِ قَدِ الْتَقَمَ الْقَرْنَ وَحَنَى جَبْهَتَهُ وَاسْتَمَعَ مَتَى يُؤْمَرُ؟

(How can I relax when the one with the Horn has put the Horn in his mouth and has knelt down, listening out for the command to be given to him) They said, "What should we say" He said:

قُولُوا: حَسْبُنَا اللهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ عَلَى اللهِ تَوَكَّلْنَا

(Say: "Allah is Sufficient for us and the best Disposer of affairs, in Allah have we put our trust.'')

[فَجَمَعْنَـهُمْ جَمْعاً]

(and We shall collect them (the creatures) all together.) means, `We shall bring them all together for Reckoning.'

[قُلْ إِنَّ الاٌّوَّلِينَ وَالاٌّخِرِينَ - لَمَجْمُوعُونَ إِلَى مِيقَـتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ ]

(Say: "(Yes) verily, those of old, and those of later times. All will surely be gathered together for appointed meeting of a known Day.) [56:49-50]

[وَحَشَرْنَـهُمْ فَلَمْ نُغَادِرْ مِنْهُمْ أَحَداً]

(and we shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind.) [18:47]

[وَعَرَضْنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوْمَئِذٍ لِّلْكَـفِرِينَ عَرْضاً - الَّذِينَ كَانَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِى غِطَآءٍ عَن ذِكْرِى وَكَانُواْ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَمْعاً - أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ عِبَادِى مِن دُونِى أَوْلِيَآءَ إِنَّآ أَعْتَدْنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلْكَـفِرِينَ نُزُلاً ]

(100. And on that Day We shall present Hell to the disbelievers, plain to view.) (101. (To) those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder, and they could not bear to hear (it).) (102. Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My servants as Awliya' [protectors] besides Me Verily, We have prepared Hell as an entertainment for the disbelievers.)

45. Hell will be displayed before the Disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection

Allah tells us what He will do to the disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection. He will show Hell to them, meaning He will bring it forth for them to see its punishment and torment before they enter it. This will intensify their distress and grief. In Sahih Muslim it is recorded that Ibn Mas`ud said, "The Messenger of Allah said,

يُؤْتَى بِجَهَنَّمَ تُقَادُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ بِسَبْعِينَ أَلْفَ زِمَامٍ، مَعَ كُلِّ زِمَامٍ سَبْعُونَ أَلْفَ مَلَك

(Hell will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection, pulled by means of seventy thousand reins, each of which will be held by seventy thousand angels.) Then Allah says of them:

[الَّذِينَ كَانَتْ أَعْيُنُهُمْ فِى غِطَآءٍ عَن ذِكْرِى]

((To) those whose eyes had been under a covering from My Reminder,) meaning, they neglected it, turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to it, refusing to accept guidance and follow the truth. As Allah says:

[وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ ]

(And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him.) [43:36] And here Allah says:

[وَكَانُواْ لاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَمْعاً]

(and they could not bear to hear (it). ) meaning, they did not understand the commands and prohibitions of Allah. Then He says:

[أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ عِبَادِى مِن دُونِى أَوْلِيَآءَ]

(Do then those who disbelieved think that they can take My servants as Awliya' [protectors] besides Me) meaning, do they think that this is right for them and that it is going to benefit them

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً ]

(Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them) [19:82]. Allah says that He has prepared Hell as their abode on the Day of Resurrection.

[قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالاٌّخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَـلاً - الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا - أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ فَحَبِطَتْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَزْناً - ذَلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُواْ وَاتَّخَذُواْ ءَايَـتِى وَرُسُلِى هُزُواً ]

(103. Say: "Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds'') (104. "Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.'') (105. "They are those who deny the Ayat of their Lord and the meeting with Him. So their works are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them.'') (106. "That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved and took My Ayat and My Messengers for jest.'')

46. The Greatest Losers in respect of (Their) Deeds

Al-Bukhari recorded from `Amr that Mus`ab who said: "I asked my father -- meaning Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas -- about Allah's saying,

[قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالاٌّخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَـلاً ]

(Say: "Shall We tell you the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds'') `Are they the Haruriyyah' He said, `No, they are the Jews and Christians. As for the Jews, they disbelieved in Muhammad , and as for the Christians, they disbelieved in Paradise and said that there is no food or drink there, and the Haruriyyah are those who break Allah's covenant after ratifying it.' Sa`d used to call them Al-Fasiqin (the corrupt). `Ali bin Abi Talib, Ad-Dahhak and others said: "They are the Haruriyyah,'' so this means, that according to `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, this Ayah includes the Haruriyyah just as it includes the Jews, the Christians and others. This does not mean that the Ayah was revealed concerning any of these groups in particular; it is more general than that, because the Ayah was revealed in Makkah, before the Qur'an addressed the Jews and Christians, and before the Khawarij existed at all. So the Ayah is general and refers to everyone who worships Allah in a way that is not acceptable, thinking that he is right in doing that and that his deeds will be accepted, but he is mistaken and his deeds will be rejected, as Allah says:

[وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَـشِعَةٌ - عَامِلَةٌ نَّاصِبَةٌ - تَصْلَى نَاراً حَامِيَةً ]

(Some faces, that Day will be humiliated. Laboring, weary. They will enter in the hot blazing Fire.) [88:2-4]

[وَقَدِمْنَآ إِلَى مَا عَمِلُواْ مِنْ عَمَلٍ فَجَعَلْنَاهُ هَبَآءً مَّنثُوراً ]

(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) [25:23]

[وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَعْمَـلُهُمْ كَسَرَابٍ بِقِيعَةٍ يَحْسَبُهُ الظَّمْآنُ مَآءً حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَهُ لَمْ يَجِدْهُ شَيْئاً]

(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing) [24:39] And in this Ayah Allah says:

[قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم]

(Say: "Shall We tell you...'') meaning, `Shall We inform you;'

[بِالاٌّخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَـلاً]

(the greatest losers in respect of (their) deeds) Then Allah explains who they are, and says:

[الَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعْيُهُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا]

(Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life) meaning, they did deeds that do not count, deeds that are not in accordance with the prescribed way that is acceptable to Allah.

[وَهُمْ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ يُحْسِنُونَ صُنْعًا]

(while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds.) means, they thought that there was some basis for their deeds and that they were accepted and loved.

[أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّهِمْ وَلِقَائِهِ]

(They are those who deny the Ayat of their Lord and the meeting with Him.) they denied the signs of Allah in this world, the proofs that He has established of His Oneness and of the truth of His Messengers, and they denied the Hereafter.

[فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَزْناً]

(and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them.) means, `We will not make their Balance heavy because it is empty of any goodness.' Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّهُ لَيَأْتِي الرَّجُلُ الْعَظِيمُ السَّمِينُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يَزِنُ عِنْدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَةٍ وَقَالَ: اقْرَءُوا إِنْ شِئْتُمْ:

[فَلاَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَزْناً]

(A huge fat man will come forward on the Day of Resurrection and he will weigh no more than the wing of a gnat to Allah. Recite, if you wish:) (and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them) It was also recorded by Muslim.

[ذَلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُواْ]

(That shall be their recompense, Hell; because they disbelieved) means, `We will punish them with that because of their disbelief and because they took the signs and Messengers of Allah as a joke, mocking them and disbelieving them in the worst way.'

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ كَانَتْ لَهُمْ جَنَّـتُ الْفِرْدَوْسِ نُزُلاً - خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا لاَ يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلاً ]

(107. "Verily, those who believe and do righteous deeds, shall have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws for their entertainment.'') (108. "Wherein they shall dwell (forever). No desire will they have for removal therefrom.'')

47. The Reward of the Righteous Believers

Allah tells us about His blessed servants, those who believed in Allah and His Messengers and accepted as truth what the Messengers brought. He tells us that they will have the Gardens of Al-Firdaws (Paradise). Abu Umamah said, "Al-Firdaws is the center of Paradise.'' Qatadah said, "Al-Firdaws is a hill in Paradise, at its center, the best of it.'' This was also narrated from Samurah and attributed to the Prophet ,

الْفِرْدَوْسُ رَبْوَةُ الْجَنَّةِ أَوْسَطُهَا وَأَحْسَنُهَا

(Al-Firdaws is a hill in Paradise, at its center, the best of it.) A similar report was narrated from Qatadah from Anas bin Malik, and attributed to the Prophet . All of the preceding reports were narrated by Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him. The following is in the Sahih,

إِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ الْجَنَّةَ، فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ فَإِنَّهُ أَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَأَوْسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّة

(If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask Him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise.)

[نُزُلاً]

(entertainment) means offered to them as hospitality.

[خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ]

(Wherein they shall dwell (forever).) means, they will stay there and never leave.

[لاَ يَبْغُونَ عَنْهَا حِوَلاً]

(No desire will they have for removal therefrom. ) means, they will never choose or want anything else. This Ayah tells us how much they love and desire it, even though one might imagine that a person who is to stay in one place forever would get tired and bored of it. But Allah tells us that despite this eternal stay, they will never choose to change or move from where they are.

[قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَاداً لِّكَلِمَـتِ رَبِّى لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَـتُ رَبِّى وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَداً ]

(109. Say: "If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if We brought like it for its aid.'')

48. The Words of the Lord can never be finished

Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, if the water of the sea were ink for a pen to write down the words, wisdom and signs of Allah, the sea would run dry before it all could be written down.

[وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ]

(even if We brought like it) means, another sea, then another, and so on, additional seas to be used for writing. The Words of Allah would still never run out. As Allah says:

[وَلَوْ أَنَّمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ مِن شَجَرَةٍ أَقْلاَمٌ وَالْبَحْرُ يَمُدُّهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ سَبْعَةُ أَبْحُرٍ مَّا نَفِدَتْ كَلِمَـتُ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ]

(And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea (were ink), with seven seas behind it to increase it, yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted. Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) [31:27] Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said, "The parable of the knowledge of all of mankind, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is that of a drop of water in comparison to all of the oceans.'' Allah revealed that:

[قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَاداً لِّكَلِمَـتِ رَبِّى لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَـتُ رَبِّى]

(Say: "If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished,) Allah says that even if those oceans were ink for the Words of Allah, and all the trees were pens, the pens would be broken and the water of the sea would run dry, and the Words of Allah would remain, for nothing can outlast them. For no one can comprehend the greatness of Allah or praise Him as He deserves to be praised, except the One Who praises Himself. Our Lord is as He says He is and He is beyond what we can say. The blessings of this world, the beginning and end of it, in comparison to the blessings of the Hereafter, are like a mustard seed compared to the entire world.

[قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـهُكُمْ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدَا ]

(110. Say: "I am only a man like you. It has been revealed to me that your God is One God. So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.'')

49. Muhammad is a Human Being and a Messenger, and the God is One

Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad ,

[قُلْ]

(Say) to these idolators who reject your message to them,

[إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ]

(`I am only a man like you.) Whoever claims that I am lying, let him bring something like this that I have brought. For I did not know the Unseen, the matters of the past which you asked me about and I told you about, the story of the people of the Cave and of Dhul-Qarnayn, stories which are true -- I did not know any of this except for what Allah made known to me. And I tell you,

[إِنَّمَآ إِلَـهُكُمُ]

(that your God), Who calls you to worship Him,

[إِلَـهٌ وَحِدٌ]

(is One God), with no partner or associate.'

[فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِ]

(So whoever hopes for the meeting with his Lord,) i.e., hopes for a good reward and recompense,

[فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلاً صَـلِحاً]

(let him work righteousness) meaning, in accordance with the prescribed laws of Allah,

[وَلاَ يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدَا]

(and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.) This is what is meant by seeking the pleasure of Allah alone with no associate or partner. These are the two basic features of acceptable deeds: their intent is for the sake of Allah alone, and are done in accordance with the way of the Messenger of Allah . Imam Ahmad recorded that Mahmud bin Labid said that the Messenger of Allah said:

إِنَّ أَخْوَفَ مَا أَخَافَ عَلَيْكُمُ الشِّرْكُ الْأَصْغَر

(What I fear the most for you is the small Shirk.) "They said: What is the small Shirk, O Messenger of Allah'' He said,

الرِّيَاءُ، يَقُولُ اللهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِذَا جَزَىَ النَّاسَ بِأَعْمَالِهِمْ: اذْهَبُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ كُنْتُمْ تُرَاءُونَ فِي الدُّنْيَا، فَانْظُرُوا هَلْ تَجِدُونَ عِنْدَهُمْ جَزَاءً؟

(Showing off (Ar-Riya'). Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection, when the people are rewarded or punished for their deeds, "Go to the one for whom you were showing off in the world and see if you will find any reward with him.'') Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id bin Abi Fadalah Al-Ansari, who was one of the Companions, said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah say,

إِذَا جَمَعَ اللهُ الْأَوَّلِينَ وَالْآخِرِينَ لِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لِيَوْمٍ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ نَادَى مُنَادٍ: مَنْ كَانَ أَشْرَكَ فِي عَمَلٍ عَمِلَهُ للهِ أَحَدًا فَلْيَطْلُبْ ثَوَابَهُ مِنْ عِنْدِ غَيْرِ اللهِ،فَإِنَّ اللهَ أَغْنَى الشُّرَكَاءِ عَنِ الشِّرْك

(Allah will gather the first and the last on the Day of Resurrection, the Day concerning which there is no doubt. A voice will call out, "Whoever used to associate anyone with Allah in the deeds which he did, let him seek his reward from someone other than Allah, for Allah is the least in need of any partner or associate.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Kahf. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists.


The Tafsir of Surah Maryam (Maria) (Chapter 19)
Top Index

Which was revealed in Makkah

1. Which was revealed in Makkah
2. The Story of Zakariyya and His Supplication for a Son The discussion about the separate letters has already preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah.
3. The acceptance of His Supplication
4. His amazement after the acceptance of His Supplication
5. The Sign of the Pregnancy
6. The Birth of the Boy and His Characteristics
7. The Story of Maryam and Al-Masih (`Isa)
8. The Conception and the Birth
9. What was said to Her after the Birth Some reciters read the Ayah as, (مَنْتَحتَها)
10. Maryam with Al-Masih before the People, Their Rejection of Her and His Reply to Them
11. `Isa is the Servant of Allah and not His Son
12. `Isa commanded the Worship of Allah Alone, then the People differed after Him
13. The Disbeliever's warning of the Day of Distress
14. Ibrahim's Admonition of His Father
15. The Reply of Ibrahim's Father
16. The Reply of Allah's Friend (Khalil)
17. Allah gave Ibrahim Ishaq and Ya`qub
18. Mentioning Musa and Harun
19. Mentioning Isma`il
20. Mentioning Idris
21. These Prophets are the Chosen Ones
22. They were succeeded by Wicked People and Good People
23. The Description of the Gardens of the Truthful and Those Who repent
24. The Angels do not descend, except by Allah's Command
25. Man's Amazement about Life after Death and the Refutation against this Amazement
26. Everyone will be brought to Hell, then the Righteous will be saved
27. The Disbelievers boast over Their good Fortune in the World
28. The Rebellious Person is given Respite but He is not forgotten
29. Increasing Guidance of Those Who are guided
30. Refuting the Disbelievers Who claim that They will be given Wealth and Children in the Hereafter
31. The Idols of the Polytheists will deny Their Worship
32. The Power of the Devils over the Disbelievers
33. The Condition of the Righteous and the Criminals on the Day of Resurrection
34. The Stern Rejection of attributing a Son to Allah
35. Allah places Love of the Righteous People in the Hearts
36. The Qur'an descended to give Glad Tidings and to warn


1. Which was revealed in Makkah

Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded a Hadith of Umm Salamah in his Sirah, and Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded from Ibn Mas`ud, the story of the Hijrah (migration) to Ethiopia from Makkah. The narration mentions that Ja`far bin Abi Talib recited the first part of this Surah to An-Najashi and his companions.

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]

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

[كهيعص - ذِكْرُ رَحْمَتِ رَبِّكَ عَبْدَهُ زَكَرِيَّآ - إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَآءً خَفِيّاً - قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّى وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْباً وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بِدُعَآئِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيّاً - وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِىَ مِن وَرَآئِى وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِى عَاقِرًا فَهَبْ لِى مِن لَّدُنْكَ وَلِيّاً - يَرِثُنِى وَيَرِثُ مِنْ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيّاً ]

(1. Kaf Ha Ya `Ain Sad.) (2. A reminder of the mercy of your Lord to His servant Zakariyya.) (3. When he called his Lord [with] a call in secret.) (4. He said: "My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble, and gray hair has Ashta`al on my head, and I have never been unblessed in my invocation to You, O my Lord!'') (5. "And verily, I fear Mawali after me, and my wife is barren. So give me from Yourself an heir.'') (6. "Who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity of Ya`qub. And make him, my Lord, one with whom You are well-pleased!'')

2. The Story of Zakariyya and His Supplication for a Son The discussion about the separate letters has already preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Baqarah.

Concerning Allah's statement,

[ذِكْرُ رَحْمَتِ رَبِّكَ]

(A reminder of the mercy of your Lord) This means that this is a reminder of Allah's mercy upon His servant Zakariyya. Yahya bin Ya`mar recited it, (ذَكَّرَ رَحْمَةَ رَبكَ عبدَه زكريا) "He has reminded of your Lord's mercy to His servant Zakariyya.'' The word Zakariyya in the Ayah has been recited with elongation and also shortened. Both recitations are well-known. He was a great Prophet from the Prophets of the Children of Israel. In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is recorded [that the Prophet said about Zakariyya] that He was a carpenter who used to eat from what he earned with his own hand through carpentry. Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَآءً خَفِيّاً ]

(When he called his Lord [with] a call in secret.) He only made his supplication secretly because it is more beloved to Allah. This is similar to what Qatadah said concerning this Ayah,

[إِذْ نَادَى رَبَّهُ نِدَآءً خَفِيّاً ]

(When he called out his Lord [with] a call in secret. ) "Verily, Allah knows the pious heart and he hears the hidden voice.''

[قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّى وَهَنَ الْعَظْمُ مِنِّى]

(He said: "My Lord! Indeed my bones have grown feeble...'') meaning, "I have become weak and feeble in strength.''

[وَاشْتَعَلَ الرَّأْسُ شَيْباً]

(and gray hair has Ashta`al on my head,) means the gray hair has burned into the black hair. The intent is to inform of weakness and old age, and its external and internal traces. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَلَمْ أَكُنْ بِدُعَآئِكَ رَبِّ شَقِيّاً]

(and I have never been unblessed in my invocation to You, O my Lord!) This means, "I have not experienced from You except that You would respond to my supplication and that You would never refuse me in whatever I ask of You.'' Concerning His statement,

[وَإِنِّي خِفْتُ الْمَوَالِىَ مِن وَرَآئِى]

(And verily, I fear Mawali after me,) Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi, all said, "In saying the word Mawali, he (Zakariyya) meant his succeeding relatives.'' The reason for his fear was that he was afraid that the generation that would succeed him would be a wicked generation. Thus, he asked Allah for a son who would be a Prophet after him, who would guide them with his prophethood and that which was revealed to him. In response to this I would like to point out that he was not afraid of them inheriting his wealth. For a Prophet is too great in status, and too lofty in esteem to become remorseful over his wealth in this fashion. A Prophet would not disdain to leave his wealth to his successive relatives, and thus ask to have a son who would receive his inheritance instead of them. This is one angle of argument. The second argument is that Allah did not mention that he (Zakariyya) was wealthy. On the contrary, he was a carpenter who ate from the earnings of his own hand. This type of person usually does not have a mass of wealth. Amassing wealth is not something normal for Prophets, for verily, they are the most abstentious in matters of this worldly life. The third argument is that it is confirmed in the Two Sahihs, in more than one narration, that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا نُورَثُ، مَا تَرَكْنَا فَهُوَ صَدَقَة

(We (the Prophets) do not leave behind inheritance (of wealth). Whatever we leave behind, then it is charity.) In a narration recorded by At-Tirmidhi with an authentic chain of narrations, he said,

نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ لَا نُورَث

(We, Prophets do not leave behind inheritance (of wealth).) Therefore, the meaning in these Hadiths restricts the meaning of Zakariyya's statement,

[فَهَبْ لِى مِن لَّدُنْكَ وَلِيّاًيَرِثُنِى]

(So give me from yourself an heir. Who shall inherit me,) inheritance of prophethood. For this reason Allah said,

[وَيَرِثُ مِنْ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ]

(and inherit (also) the posterity of Ya`qub.) This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَـنُ دَاوُودَ]

(And Sulayman inherited from Dawud.)[27:16] This means that he inherited prophethood from him. If this had meant wealth, he would not have been singled with it among his other brothers. There also would have been no important benefit in mentioning it if it was referring to wealth. It is already well-known and established in all of the previous laws and divinely revealed creeds, that the son inherits the wealth of his father. Therefore, if this was not referring to a specific type of inheritance, then Allah would not have mentioned it. All of this is supported and affirmed by what is in the authentic Hadith:

نَحْنُ مَعَاشِرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ لَا نُورَثُ، مَا تَرَكْنَا فَهُوَ صَدَقَة

(We Prophets do not leave behind any inheritance (of wealth). Whatever we leave behind, then it is charity.) Mujahid said concerning his statement,

[يَرِثُنِى وَيَرِثُ مِنْ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ]

(Who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity of Ya'qub.) [19:6] "His inheritance was knowledge, and Zakariyya was one of the descendants of Ya`qub." Hushaym said, "Isma'il bin Abi Khalid informed us that Abu Salih commented about the Ayah:

[يَرِثُنِى وَيَرِثُ مِنْ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ]

(who shall inherit me, and inherit (also) the posterity of Ya`qub.) "He would be a Prophet like his forefathers were Prophets.'' Allah's statement,

[وَاجْعَلْهُ رَبِّ رَضِيّاً]

(and make him, my Lord, one with whom You are well-pleased!) means "Make him pleasing to You (Allah) and your creation. Love him and make him beloved to your creatures, in both his religion and his character.''

[يزَكَرِيَّآ إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَـمٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَى لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيّاً ]

(7. (Allah said:) "O Zakariyya! Verily, We give you the good news of a son, whose name will be Yahya. We have given that name to none before (him).'')

3. The acceptance of His Supplication

This statement implies what is not mentioned, that his supplication was answered. It was said to him,

[يزَكَرِيَّآ إِنَّا نُبَشِّرُكَ بِغُلَـمٍ اسْمُهُ يَحْيَى]

((Allah said:) "O Zakariyya! Verily, We give you the glad tidings of a son, whose name will be Yahya...'') Similarly Allah, the Exalted, said;

[هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِى مِن لَّدُنْكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَآءِ - فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّى فِى الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَـى مُصَدِّقاً بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِّنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ]

(At that time Zakariyya invoked his Lord, saying: "O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.'' Then the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in the Mihrab, (saying): "Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya, confirming (believing in) the word from Allah, noble, keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet, from among the righteous.'')[3:38-39] Allah said,

[لَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ سَمِيّاً]

(We have given that name to none before (him).) Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Zayd said, "This means that no one had this name before him.'' Ibn Jarir preferred this interpretation, may Allah have mercy upon him.

[قَالَ رَبِّ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِى غُلَـمٌ وَكَانَتِ امْرَأَتِى عَاقِراً وَقَدْ بَلَغْتُ مِنَ الْكِبَرِ عِتِيّاً - قَالَ كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَىَّ هَيِّنٌ وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئاً ]

(8. He said: "My Lord! How can I have a son, when my wife is barren, and I have reached the extreme old age.'') (9. He said: "Thus your Lord says: `It is easy for Me. Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing!''')[19:8-9]

4. His amazement after the acceptance of His Supplication

Zakariyya was amazed when his supplication was answered and he was given the good news of a son. He became extremely overjoyed and asked how this child would be born to him, and in what manner he would come. This was particularly amazing because his wife was an old woman who was barren and had not given birth to any children in her entire life. Even Zakariyya himself had become old and advanced in years, his bones had become feeble and thin, and he had no potent semen or vigor for sexual intercourse. The Answer of the Angel

[قَالَ]

(He said:) That is, the angel, in his response to Zakariyya and his was amazement.

[كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَىَّ هَيِّنٌ]

("Thus says your Lord: `It is easy for Me...''') Meaning the birth of the son will be from you and from this wife of yours and not from any other (woman).

[هَيِّنٌ]

(easy) Meaning, it is simple and easy for Allah to do. Then he (the angel) mentioned to him that which is more amazing than what he was asking about. The angel said that the Lord said,

[وَقَدْ خَلَقْتُكَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ تَكُ شَيْئاً]

(Certainly I have created you before, when you had been nothing!) This is similar to Allah's statement,

[هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَّذْكُوراً ]

(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) [76:1]

[قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِى ءَايَةً قَالَ ءَايَتُكَ أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً - فَخَرَجَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ أَن سَبِّحُواْ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً ]

(10. He [Zakariyya] said: "My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.'' He said: "Your sign is that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.'') (11. Then he came out to his people from the Mihrab and he indicated to them by signs to glorify [Allah] in the morning and in the afternoon.)

5. The Sign of the Pregnancy

Allah, the Exalted, informed about Zakariyya that he said,

[قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّى ءَايَةً]

(He (Zakariyya) said: "My Lord! Appoint for me a sign.'') "Give me a sign and a proof of the existence of that which You have promised me, so that my soul will be at rest and my heart will be at ease with Your promise.'' Similarly Ibrahim said,

[رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن قَالَ بَلَى وَلَـكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى]

(My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead. He (Allah) said: "Do you not believe'' He said: "Yes (I believe), but to put my heart at ease.'')[2:260] Then Allah says,

[قَالَ ءَايَتُكَ]

(He said: "Your sign is...'') meaning, "Your sign will be...''

[أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً]

(that you shall not speak unto mankind for three nights, though having no bodily defect.) Meaning, `your tongue will be prevented from speaking for three nights while you are healthy and fit, without any sickness or illness.' Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Wahb, As-Suddi, Qatadah and others said, "His tongue was arrested without any sickness or illness.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "He used to recite and glorify Allah, but he was not able to speak to his people except by gestures. '' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[ثَلَـثَ لَيَالٍ سَوِيّاً]

(three nights, though having no bodily defect.) "The nights were consecutive.'' However, the first statement that is reported from him and the majority is more correct. This Ayah is similar to what Allah, the Exalted, said in Surah Al `Imran,

[قَالَ رَبِّ اجْعَل لِّى ءَايَةً قَالَ ءَايَتُكَ أَلاَّ تُكَلِّمَ النَّاسَ ثَلَـثَةَ أَيَّامٍ إِلاَّ رَمْزًا وَاذْكُر رَّبَّكَ كَثِيرًا وَسَبِّحْ بِالْعَشِىِّ وَالإِبْكَـرِ ]

(He said: "O my Lord! Make a sign for me.'' (Allah) said "Your sign is that you shall not speak to mankind for three days except with signals. And remember your Lord much, and glorify (Him) in the afternoon and in the morning.)[3:41] This is a proof that he did not speak to his people for these three nights and their days as well.

[إِلاَّ رَمْزًا]

(except with signals.) Meaning, with bodily gestures, this is why Allah says in this noble Ayah,

[فَخَرَجَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ مِنَ الْمِحْرَابِ]

(Then he came out to his people from the Mihrab) referring to the place where he was given the good news of the child.

[فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ]

(he indicated to them by signs) Meaning he made a gesture to them that was subtle and swift.

[أَن سَبِّحُواْ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً]

(to glorify [Allah] in the morning and in the afternoon.) That they should be agreeable to what he was commanded to do during these three days, to increase in his deeds and gratitude to Allah for what He had given him. Mujahid said,

[فَأَوْحَى إِلَيْهِمْ]

(he indicated to them by signs) "He made a gesture.'' Wahb and Qatadah said the same.

[ييَحْيَى خُذِ الْكِتَـبَ بِقُوَّةٍ وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيّاً - وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا وَزَكَوةً وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا - وَبَرًّا بِوَلِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّاراً عَصِيّاً - وَسَلَـمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَياً ]

(12. (It was said to his son): "O Yahya! Hold fast to the Scripture.'' And We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) (13. And Hananan from Us, and Zakatan, and he was pious,) (14. And dutiful to his parents, and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) (15. And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!)

6. The Birth of the Boy and His Characteristics

This also implies what is not mentioned, that this promised boy was born and he was Yahya. There is also the implication that Allah taught him the Book, the Tawrah which they used to study among themselves. The Prophets who were sent to the Jews used to rule according to the Tawrah, as did the scholars and rabbis among them. He was still young in age when Allah gave him this knowledge. This is the reason that Allah mentioned it. Because of how Allah favored him and his parents, He says,

[ييَحْيَى خُذِ الْكِتَـبَ بِقُوَّةٍ]

(O Yahya! Hold fast to the Scripture [the Tawrah].) Means, "Learn the Book with strength.'' In other words, learn it well, with zeal and studious effort.

[وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيّاً]

(And We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) This means he was given understanding, knowledge, fortitude, diligence and zeal for good and the pursuit of good. He was blessed with these characteristics even though he was young. Allah said,

[وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا]

(And (made him) Hananan from Us,) [19:13] Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا]

(And Hananan from Us, ) "This means mercy from Us.'' `Ikrimah, Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak all said the same. Ad-Dahhak added, "Mercy that no one would be able to give except Us.'' Qatadah added, "With it, Allah had mercy upon Zakariyya.'' Mujahid said,

[وَحَنَانًا مِّن لَّدُنَّا]

(And Hananan from Us,) "This was gentleness from His Lord upon him.'' The apparent meaning is that Allah's statement Hananan (affection, compassion) is directly related to His statement,

[وَآتَيْنَاهُ الْحُكْمَ صَبِيّاً]

(and We gave him wisdom while yet a child.) meaning, "We gave him wisdom, compassion and purity.'' This means that he was a compassionate man, who was righteous. Hanan means the love for affection and tenderness (towards others). Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَزَكَوةً]

(and Zakatan,) This is related to His statement,

[وَحَنَانًا]

(And Hananan) The word Zakah means purity from filth, wickedness and sins. Qatadah said, "The word Zakah means the righteous deed.'' Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Jurayj both said, "The righteous deed is the pure (Zakah) deed.'' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[وَزَكَوةً]

(and Zakatan,) "This means that he was a blessing.''

[وَكَانَ تَقِيًّا]

(and he was pious.)[19:13] meaning that he was pure and had no inclination to do sins. Allah said;

[وَبَرًّا بِوَلِدَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّاراً عَصِيّاً ]

(And dutiful to his parents, and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) After Allah mentioned Yahya's obedience to his Lord and that Allah created him full of mercy, purity and piety, He attached to it his obedience to his parents and his good treatment of them. Allah mentioned that he refrained from disobeying them in speech, actions, commands and prohibitions. Due to this Allah says,

[وَلَمْ يَكُن جَبَّاراً عَصِيّاً]

(and he was not arrogant or disobedient.) Then, after mentioning these beautiful characteristics, Allah mentions his reward for this,

[وَسَلَـمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَياً ]

(And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!) This means that he had security and safety in these three circumstances. Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, "The loneliest that a man will ever feel is in three situations. The first situation is on the day that he is born, when he sees himself coming out of what he was in. The second situation is on the day that he dies, when he sees people that he will not see anymore. The third situation is on the day when he is resurrected, when he sees himself in the great gathering. Allah has exclusively honored Yahya, the son of Zakariyya, by granting him peace in these situations. Allah says,

[وَسَلَـمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَياً ]

(And Salam (peace) be on him the day he was born, and the day he dies, and the day he will be raised up to life (again)!) This narration was reported by Ibn Jarir, from Ahmad bin Mansur Al-Marwazi, from Sadaqah bin Al-Fadl, from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah.

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ مَرْيَمَ إِذِ انتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَاناً شَرْقِياً - فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِم حِجَاباً فَأَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهَآ رُوحَنَا فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَراً سَوِيّاً - قَالَتْ إِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيّاً - قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لاًّهَبَ لَكِ غُلَـماً زَكِيّاً - قَالَتْ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِى غُلَـمٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِى بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيّاً - قَالَ كَذلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَىَّ هَيِّنٌ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا وَكَانَ أَمْراً مَّقْضِيّاً ]

(16. And mention in the Book, Maryam, when she withdrew in seclusion from her family to place facing east.) (17. She placed a screen before them; then We sent to her Our Ruh, and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.) (18. She said: "Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious (Allah) from you, if you do fear Allah.'') (19. (The angel) said: "I am only a messenger from your Lord, (to announce) to you the gift of a righteous son.'') (20. She said: "How can I have a son when no man has touched me, nor am I Baghiyya'') (21. He said: "Thus says your Lord: `That is easy for Me (Allah). And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind and a mercy from Us (Allah), and it is a matter (already) decreed (by Allah).''')

7. The Story of Maryam and Al-Masih (`Isa)

After Allah, the Exalted, mentioned the story of Zakariyya, and that He blessed him with a righteous, purified and blessed child even in his old age while his wife was barren, He then mentions the story of Maryam. Allah informs of His granting her a child named `Isa without a father being involved (in her pregnancy). Between these two stories there is an appropriate and similar relationship. Due to their closeness in meaning, Allah mentioned them here together, as well as in Surahs Al `Imran and Al-Anbiya'. Allah has mentioned these stories to show His servants His ability, the might of His authority and that He has power over all things. Allah says,

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ مَرْيَمَ]

(And mention in the Book, Maryam,) She was Maryam bint `Imran from the family lineage of Dawud. She was from a good and wholesome family of the Children of Israel. Allah mentioned the story of her mother's pregnancy with her in Surah Al `Imran, and that she (Maryam's mother) dedicated her freely for the service of Allah. This meant that she dedicated the child (Maryam) to the service of the Masjid of the Sacred House (in Jerusalem). Thus, they (Zakariyya, Maryam's mother and Maryam) were similar in that aspect.

[فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ وَأَنبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنًا]

(So her Lord (Allah) accepted her with goodly acceptance. He made her grow in a good manner.)[3:37] Thus, Maryam was raised among the Children of Israel in an honorable way. She was one of the female worshippers, well-known for her remarkable acts of worship, devotion and perseverance. She lived under the care of her brother-in-law, Zakariyya, who was a Prophet of the Children of Israel at that time. He was a great man among them, whom they would refer to in their religious matters. Zakariyya saw astonishing miracles occur from her that amazed him.

[كُلَّمَا دَخَلَ عَلَيْهَا زَكَرِيَّا الْمِحْرَابَ وَجَدَ عِندَهَا رِزْقًا قَالَ يمَرْيَمُ أَنَّى لَكِ هَـذَا قَالَتْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ اللَّهِ إنَّ اللَّهَ يَرْزُقُ مَن يَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ]

(Every time Zakaiyya entered the Mihrab to (visit) her, he found her supplied with sustenance. He said: "O Maryam! From where have you got this'' She said, "This is from Allah.'' Verily, Allah provides to whom He wills, without limit.) [3:37] It has been mentioned that he would find her with winter fruit during the summer and summer fruit during the winter. This has already been explained in Surah Al `Imran. Then, when Allah wanted to grant her His servant and Messenger, `Isa, one of the five Great Messengers.

[انتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَاناً شَرْقِياً]

(she withdrew in seclusion from her family to place facing east.) [19:16] This means that she withdrew from them and secluded herself from them. She went to the eastern side of the Sacred Masjid (in Jerusalem). It is reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Verily, I am the most knowledgeable of Allah's creation of why the Christians took the east as the direction of devotional worship. They did because of Allah's statement,

[انتَبَذَتْ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا مَكَاناً شَرْقِياً]

(When she withdrew in seclusion from her family to a place facing east.) Therefore, they took the birthplace of `Isa as their direction of worship.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَاتَّخَذَتْ مِن دُونِهِم حِجَاباً]

(She placed a screen before them;) This means that she hid herself from them and concealed herself. Then, Allah sent Jibril to her.

[فَتَمَثَّلَ لَهَا بَشَراً سَوِيّاً]

(and he appeared before her in the form of a man in all respects.) [19:17] This means that he came to her in the form of a perfect and complete man. Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj, Wahb bin Munabbih and As-Suddi all commented on Allah's statement,

[فَأَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهَآ رُوحَنَا]

(then We sent to her Our Ruh,) "It means Jibril.''

[قَالَتْ إِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيّاً ]

(She said: "Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you do fear Allah.'') This means that when the angel (Jibril) appeared to her in the form of a man, while she was in a place secluded by herself with a partition between her and her people, she was afraid of him and thought that he wanted to rape her. Therefore, she said,

[إِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيّاً]

(Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you do fear Allah.) She meant, "If you fear Allah,'' as a means of reminding him of Allah. This is what is legislated in defense against (evil), so that it may be repulsed with ease. Therefore, the first thing she did was try to make him fear Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. Ibn Jarir reported from `Asim that Abu Wa'il said when mentioning the story of Maryam, "She knew that the pious person would refrain (from committing evil) when she said,

[إِنِّى أَعُوذُ بِالرَّحْمَـنِ مِنكَ إِن كُنتَ تَقِيّاًقَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ]

("Verily, I seek refuge with the Most Gracious from you, if you do fear Allah.'' He said: "I am only a messenger from your Lord...'') This means that the angel said to her in response, and in order to remove the fear that she felt within herself, "I am not what you think, but I am the messenger of your Lord.'' By this he meant, "Allah has sent me to you.'' It is said that when she mentioned the (Name of the) Most Beneficent (Ar-Rahman), Jibril fell apart and returned to his true form (as an angel). He responded, (إِنَّمَآ أَنَاْ رَسُولُ رَبِّكِ لِيَهَب لَكِ غُلَـمًا زَكِيًّا) `I am only a messenger from your Lord, to provide to you the gift of a righteous son.'

[قَالَتْ أَنَّى يَكُونُ لِى غُلَـمٌ]

(She said: "How can I have a son...'') This means that Maryam was amazed at this. She said, "How can I have a son'' She said this to mean, "In what way would a son be born to me when I do not have a husband and I do not commit any wicked acts (i.e. fornication)'' For this reason she said,

[وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِى بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيّاً]

(when no man has touched me, nor am I Baghiyya) The Baghiyy is a female fornicator. For this reason, a Hadith has been reported prohibiting the money earned from Baghiyy.

[قَالَ كَذَلِكَ قَالَ رَبُّكَ هُوَ عَلَىَّ هَيِّنٌ]

(He said: "Thus said your Lord: `That is easy for Me (Allah)...'') This means that the angel said to her in response to her question, "Verily, Allah has said that a boy will be born from you even though you do not have a husband and you have not committed any lewdness. Verily, He is Most Able to do whatever He wills.'' Due to this, he (Jibril) conveyed Allah's Words,

[وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ ءَايَةً لِّلْنَّاسِ]

(And (We wish) to appoint him as a sign to mankind) This means a proof and a sign for mankind of the power of their Maker and Creator, Who diversified them in their creation. He created their father, Adam, without a male (father) or female (mother). Then, He created Hawwa' (Adam's spouse) from a male (father) without a female (mother). Then, He created the rest of their progeny from male and female, except `Isa. He caused `Isa to be born from a female without a male. Thus, Allah completed the four types of creation (of the human being), which proves the perfection of His power and the magnificence of His authority. There is no god worthy of worship except Him and there is no true Lord other than Him. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا]

(and a mercy from Us,) This means, "We will make this boy a mercy from Allah and a Prophet from among the Prophets. He will call to the worship of Allah and monotheistic belief in Him. This is as Allah, the Exalted, said in another Ayah,

[إِذْ قَالَتِ الْمَلَـئِكَةُ يمَرْيَمُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكِ بِكَلِمَةٍ مِّنْهُ اسْمُهُ الْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَجِيهًا فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ وَمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ - وَيُكَلِّمُ النَّاسَ فِى الْمَهْدِ وَكَهْلاً وَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ ]

((Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam! Verily, Allah gives you the good news of a Word from Him, his name will be Al-Masih, `Isa, the son of Maryam, held in honor in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah. And he will speak to the people, in the cradle and in manhood, and he will be one of the righteous.) [3:45-46] This means that he will call to the worship of his Lord in his cradle and while and adult. Concerning His statement,

[وَكَانَ أَمْراً مَّقْضِيّاً]

(and it is a matter (already) decreed (by Allah).) This is the completion of Jibril's dialogue with Maryam. He informed her that this matter was preordained by Allah's power and will. Muhammad bin Ishaq said,

[وَكَانَ أَمْراً مَّقْضِيّاً]

(and it is a matter (already) decreed (by Allah).) "This means that Allah determined to do this, so there is no avoiding it.''

[فَحَمَلَتْهُ فَانْتَبَذَتْ بِهِ مَكَاناً قَصِيّاً - فَأَجَآءَهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَى جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ قَالَتْ يلَيْتَنِى مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَـذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْياً مَّنسِيّاً ]

(22. So she conceived him, and she withdrew with him to a remote place.) (23. And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm. She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!'')

8. The Conception and the Birth

Allah, the Exalted, informs about Maryam that when Jibril had spoken to her about what Allah said, she accepted the decree of Allah. Many scholars of the predecessors (Salaf) have mentioned that at this point the angel (who was Jibril) blew into the opening of the garment that she was wearing. Then the breath descended until it entered into her vagina and she conceived the child by the leave of Allah. Muhammad bin Ishaq said, "When she conceived him and filled her water jug (at a well), she returned (to her people). After this, her menstrual bleeding ceased and she experienced what the pregnant woman experiences of sickness, hunger, change of color and there was even a change in the manner of her speech. After this, no people came to visit any house like they did the house of Zakariyya. The word spread among the Children of Israel and the people were saying, `Verily, her partner (in fornication) was Yusuf, because there was no one else in the temple with her except him.' So she hid herself from the people and placed a veil between herself and them. No one saw her and she did not see anyone else.'' Allah said;

[فَأَجَآءَهَا الْمَخَاضُ إِلَى جِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ]

(And the pains of childbirth drove her to the trunk of a date palm.) This means that her pains of labor compelled her to go to the trunk of a date-palm tree that was at the place where she had secluded herself. The scholars differed over its location. As-Suddi said, "Her place of seclusion was to the east and that was where she would pray at the Sacred House of Jerusalem.'' Wahb bin Munabbih said, "She ran away and when she reached an area between Ash-Sham and Egypt, she was overcome by labor pains.'' In another narration from Wahb, he said, "This took place eight miles from the Sacred House of Jerusalem in a village that was known as Bayt Al-Lahm (Bethlehem).'' I say, there are Hadiths about the Isra' (Night Journey of the Prophet ) that are reported by An-Nasa'i on the authority of Anas, and Al-Bayhaqi on the authority of Shadad bin Aws, that say that this took place at Bait Al-Lahm. Allah knows best. This is what is well known that the people all relate from each other. The Christians have no doubt held that the place of this occurrence was Bethlehem and this is what all the people relate. It has been related in a Hadith also, if the Hadith is authentic. Allah says, informing about her,

[قَالَتْ يلَيْتَنِى مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَـذَا وَكُنتُ نَسْياً مَّنسِيّاً]

(She said: "Would that I had died before this, and had been forgotten and out of sight!'') In this is an evidence of the permissibility to wish for death when a calamity strikes. She knew that she was going to be tested with the birth, the people would not assist her, and they would not believe her story. After she was known as a devout worshipper among them, they now thought that she had become a fornicating whore. She said,

[يلَيْتَنِى مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَـذَا]

(Would that I had died before this,) She said this to mean before this situation.

[وَكُنتُ نَسْياً مَّنسِيّاً]

(and I had been forgotten and out of sight!) This means, "I wish I had not been created and I was nothing.'' This was mentioned by Ibn `Abbas. Qatadah said,

[وَكُنتُ نَسْياً مَّنسِيّاً]

(and I had been forgotten and out of sight!) "This means something unknown, forgotten and no one knew who I was.''

[فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَآ أَلاَّ تَحْزَنِى قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيّاً - وَهُزِّى إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَـقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَباً جَنِيّاً - فَكُلِى وَاشْرَبِى وَقَرِّى عَيْناً فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ البَشَرِ أَحَداً فَقُولِى إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ صَوْماً فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيّاً ]

(24. Then he cried unto her from below her, saying: "Grieve not: your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.'') (25. "And shake the trunk of date palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you.'') (26. "So eat and drink and rejoice. And if you see any human being, say: `Verily, I have vowed a fast for the Most Gracious so I shall not speak to any human being today.,'')

9. What was said to Her after the Birth Some reciters read the Ayah as, (مَنْ تَحتَها)

(Who was below her) Meaning the one who was below her called to her. Others recited it as,

[مِن تَحْتِهَآ]

(from below her) With the meaning of a preposition (from) instead of a pronoun (who). The scholars of Tafsir have differed over the interpretation of who was calling out. Al-`Awfi and others reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

[فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَآ]

(Then cried unto her from below her,) "This is referring to Jibrilbecause `Isa did not speak until she brought him to her people.'' Similarly, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, `Amr bin Maymun, As-Suddi and Qatadah all said, "Verily, this is referring to the angel Jibril.'' This means that he (Jibril) called out to her from the bottom of the valley. Mujahid said,

[فَنَادَاهَا مِن تَحْتِهَآ]

(Then cried unto her from below her,) "This is referring to `Isa bin Maryam.'' Likewise, `Abdur-Razzaq reported from Ma`mar that Qatadah said that Al-Hasan said, "This is referring to her son (`Isa).'' This is also one of the two opinions reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr -- that it was her son, `Isa, speaking. Sa`id said, "Have you not heard Allah saying,

[فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ]

(Then she pointed to him.) Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir preferred this opinion in his Tafsir. Allah said,

[أَلاَّ تَحْزَنِى]

(Grieve not:) He called to her saying, "Do not grieve.''

[قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيّاً]

(your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.) Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Shu`bah reported from Abu Ishaq that Al-Bara' bin `Azib said, s

[قَدْ جَعَلَ رَبُّكِ تَحْتَكِ سَرِيّاً]

(your Lord has provided a Sariy under you.) "This means a small stream.'' Likewise, `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sariy means a river.'' `Amr bin Maymun held the same view, as he said, "It means a river for her to drink from.'' Mujahid said, "It means river in the Syrian language.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Sariy is a small flowing river.'' Others said that Sariy refers to `Isa. This was said by Al-Hasan, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Muhammad bin `Abbad bin Ja`far, and it is one of the two opinions reported from Qatadah. It is also the view of `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. However, the first view seems to be the most obvious meaning. For this reason, Allah said after it,

[وَهُزِّى إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ]

(And shake the trunk of date palm towards you,) meaning, "Grab the trunk of the date-palm tree and shake it towards yourself.'' Therefore, Allah blessed her by giving her food and drink. Then He said,

[تُسَـقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَباً جَنِيّاًفَكُلِى وَاشْرَبِى وَقَرِّى عَيْناً]

(It will let fall fresh ripe dates upon you. So eat and drink and rejoice.) Meaning to be happy. This is why `Amr bin Maymun said, "Nothing is better for the woman confined in childbed than dried dates and fresh dates.'' Then he recited this noble Ayah. Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ البَشَرِ أَحَداً]

(And if you see any human being,) This means any person that you see,

[فَقُولِى إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ صَوْماً فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيّاً]

(Say: `Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious (Allah) so I shall not speak to any human being today.') Meaning, by signaling with gestures, not a statement by speech. This is so that she does not negate her oath itself,

[فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيّاً]

(so I shall not speak to any human being today. ) Anas bin Malik commented on,

[إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ صَوْماً]

(I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious) He said; "A vow of silence.'' Likewise said Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak. The meaning here is that in their Law, when fasting, it was forbidden for them to eat and speak. As-Suddi, Qatadah and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd have all stated this view. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said, "When `Isa said to Maryam,

[أَلاَّ تَحْزَنِى]

(Grieve not) She said, `How can I not grieve when you are with me and I have no husband nor am I an owned slave woman What excuse do I have with the people Woe unto me, if I had only died before this, and had been a thing forgotten and unknown.' Then, `Isa said to her, `I will suffice you with a statement,

[فَإِمَّا تَرَيِنَّ مِنَ البَشَرِ أَحَداً فَقُولِى إِنِّى نَذَرْتُ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ صَوْماً فَلَنْ أُكَلِّمَ الْيَوْمَ إِنسِيّاً]

(And if you see any human being, say: `Verily, I have vowed a fast unto the Most Gracious so I shall not speak to any human being this day.')' All of this is from the speech of `Isa to his mother.'' Wahb said the same as well.

[فَأَتَتْ بِهِ قَوْمَهَا تَحْمِلُهُ قَالُواْ يمَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئاً فَرِيّاً - يأُخْتَ هَـرُونَ مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيّاً - فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُواْ كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِى الْمَهْدِ صَبِيّاً - قَالَ إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً - وَجَعَلَنِى مُبَارَكاً أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ وَأَوْصَانِى بِالصَّلَوةِ وَالزَّكَوةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً - وَبَرّاً بِوَالِدَتِى وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِى جَبَّاراً شَقِيّاً - وَالسَّلَـمُ عَلَىَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدْتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيّاً ]

(27. Then she brought him to her people, carrying him. They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariy.'') (28. "O sister of Harun! Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.'') (29. Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle'') (30. He said: "Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet;'') (31. "And He has made me blessed wherever I be, and has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.'') (32. "And to be dutiful to my mother, and made me not arrogant, unblessed.'') (33. "And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!'')

10. Maryam with Al-Masih before the People, Their Rejection of Her and His Reply to Them

Allah, the Exalted, informs of Maryam's situation when she was commanded to fast that day and not to speak to any human being. For verily, her affair would be taken care of and her proof would be established. Thus, she accepted the command of Allah and she readily received His decree. She took her child and brought him to her people, carrying him. When they saw her like this they made a big deal about her situation and they sternly protested against of it, and

[قَالُواْ يمَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئاً فَرِيّاً]

(They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a thing Fariy.'') Fariy means a mighty thing. This was said by Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and others. Ibn Abi Hatim reported from Nawf Al-Bikali that he said, "Her people went out searching for her, she was from a family that was blessed with prophethood and nobility. However, they could not find any trace of her. They came across a cow herder and they asked him, `Have you seen a girl whose description is such and such' He replied, `No, but tonight I saw my cows doing something that I've never seen them do before.' They asked, `What did you see' He said, `Tonight I saw them prostrating in the direction of that valley.''' `Abdullah bin Ziyad said (adding to the narration), "I memorized from Sayyar that he (the cattle herder) said, `I saw a radiant light.' '' So they went towards the direction that he told him, and Maryam was coming towards them from that direction. When she saw them she sat down and she was holding her child in her lap. They came towards her until they were standing over her.

[قَالُواْ يمَرْيَمُ لَقَدْ جِئْتِ شَيْئاً فَرِيّاً]

(They said: "O Mary! Indeed you have brought a mighty thing (Fariy).'') This means it was a mighty thing that she had brought.

[يأُخْتَ هَـرُونَ]

(O sister of Harun!) This means, "O one resembling Harun (Aaron) in worship.''

[مَا كَانَ أَبُوكِ امْرَأَ سَوْءٍ وَمَا كَانَتْ أُمُّكِ بَغِيّاً]

(Your father was not a man who used to commit adultery, nor your mother was an unchaste woman.) They meant, "You are from a good, pure family, well-known for its righteousness, worship and abstinence from worldy indulgence. How could you do such a thing'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah and As-Suddi both said, "It was said to her,

[يأُخْتَ هَـرُونَ]

(O sister of Harun!) referring to the brother of Musa, because she was of his descendants. This is similar to the saying, `O brother of Tamim,' to one who is from the Tamimi tribe, and `O brother of Mudar,' to one who is from the Mudari tribe. It has also been said that she was related to a righteous man among them whose name was Harun and she was comparable to him in her abstinence and worship. Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ قَالُواْ كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِى الْمَهْدِ صَبِيّاً ]

(Then she pointed to him. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle'') This is what took place while they were in doubt about her situation, condeming her circumstances, saying what they wanted to say. At that time they were slandering her and falsely accusing her of a horrendous act. On that day she was fasting and keeping silent. Therefore, she referred all speech to him (the child) and she directed them to his address and speech to them. They scoffed at her because they thought that she was mocking at them and playing with them. They said,

[كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِى الْمَهْدِ صَبِيّاً]

(How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle) Maymun bin Mahran said,

[فَأَشَارَتْ إِلَيْهِ]

(Then she pointed to him.) "She indicated, `Speak to him.' They then said, `After she has come to us with this calamity, she now commands us to speak to one who is a child in the cradle!''' As-Suddi said, "When she pointed to him they became angry and said, `Her mocking us, to the extent of commanding us to speak to this child, is worse to us than her fornication.' ''

[قَالُواْ كَيْفَ نُكَلِّمُ مَن كَانَ فِى الْمَهْدِ صَبِيّاً]

(They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle'') This means, "How can someone speak who is in his cradle, in the state of infancy and a child'' `Isa said,

[إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ]

(Verily, I am a servant of Allah,) The first thing that he said was a declaration of the lofty honor of his Lord and His being free of having a child. Also, he affirmed that he himself was a worshipper of his Lord. Allah said,

[ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً]

(He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.) This was a declaration of innocence for his mother from the immorality that was attributed to her. Nawf Al-Bikali said, "When they said what they said to his mother, he (`Isa) was nursing from her breast. At their statement he released the breast from his mouth and reclined on his left saying,

[إِنِّى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ ءَاتَانِىَ الْكِتَـبَ وَجَعَلَنِى نَبِيّاً]

(Verily, I am a servant of Allah, He has given me the Scripture and made me a Prophet.) And he continued speaking until he said,

[مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً]

(as long as I live.)'' Concerning his statement,

[وَجَعَلَنِى مُبَارَكاً أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ]

(And He has made me blessed wherever I be,) Mujahid, `Amr bin Qays and Ath-Thawri all said that this means, "And He made me a teacher of goodness.'' In another narration from Mujahid, he said, "A person of great benefit.'' Ibn Jarir reported from Wuhayb bin Al-Ward, a freed slave of the Bani Makhzum tribe, that he said, "A scholar met another scholar who had more knowledge than himself. So he said to him, `May Allah have mercy upon you, what acts of mine should I perform openly' The other replied, `Commanding good and forbidding evil, for verily, it is the religion of Allah, which He sent His Prophets with to His servants.' The scholars have indeed agreed upon the statement of Allah,

[وَجَعَلَنِى مُبَارَكاً أَيْنَ مَا كُنتُ]

(And He has made me blessed wherever I be,) Then it was said, `What was his blessing' He (Wuhayb) replied, `Commanding good and forbidding evil wherever he was.' '' His saying,

[وَأَوْصَانِى بِالصَّلَوةِ وَالزَّكَوةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً]

(and He has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.) This is similar to the statement of Allah to Muhammad ,

[وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ ]

(And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).) [15:99] `Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Qasim reported from Malik bin Anas that he commented on Allah's statement,

[وَأَوْصَانِى بِالصَّلَوةِ وَالزَّكَوةِ مَا دُمْتُ حَيّاً]

(and He has enjoined on me [Awsani] Salah and Zakah, as long as I live.) He said, "Allah informed him of what would be of his affair until his death. This is the firmest evidence against the people who deny Allah's preordained decree.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَبَرّاً بِوَالِدَتِى]

(And to be dutiful to my mother.) This means, "He (Allah) has commanded me to treat my mother well.'' He mentioned this after mentioning obedience to his Lord, Allah. This is because Allah often combines the command to worship Him with obedience to the parents. This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّـهُ وَبِالْوَلِدَيْنِ إِحْسَـناً]

(And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him and that you be dutiful to your parents.) [17:23] And He, the Exalted, said,

[أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِى وَلِوَلِدَيْكَ إِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ]

(Give thanks to Me and to your parents. Unto Me is the final destination.) [31:14] Concerning his statement,

[وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْنِى جَبَّاراً شَقِيّاً]

(and He made me not arrogant, unblessed.) This means, "He (Allah) has not made me too proud or arrogant to worship Him, obey Him and be dutiful to my mother, and thus be unblessed.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَالسَّلَـمُ عَلَىَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدْتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيّاً ]

(And Salam (peace) be upon me the day I was born, and the day I die, and the day I shall be raised alive!) This is his affirmation that `he is a worshipper of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, and that he is a creature created by Allah. He (`Isa) will live, die and be resurrected, just like the other creatures that Allah has created. However, he will have peace in these situations, which are the most difficult situations for Allah's creatures.' May Allah's peace and blessings be upon him.

[ذلِكَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِى فِيهِ يَمْتُرُونَ - مَا كَانَ للَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ سُبْحَـنَهُ إِذَا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ - وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ - فَاخْتَلَفَ الاٌّحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ فَوْيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشْهِدِ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ]

(34. Such is `Isa, son of Maryam. Qawlal-Haqq [it is a statement of truth] about which they doubt (or dispute).) (35. It befits not (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He. When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: "Be!'' -- and it is.) (36. [`Isa said]: "And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the straight path.'') (37. Then the sects differed, so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.)

11. `Isa is the Servant of Allah and not His Son

Allah, the Exalted, says to His Messenger Muhammad , `This is the story which We have related to you about `Isa,' upon him be peace.

[قَوْلَ الْحَقِّ الَّذِى فِيهِ يَمْتُرُونَ]

((It is) a statement of truth about which they doubt.) lThis means that the people of falsehood and the people of truth are in disagreement, of those who believe in him and those who disbelieve believe in him. For this reason most of the reciters recited this Ayah with Qawlul-Haqq (statement of truth) as the subject, referring to `Isa himself. `Asim and `Abdullah bin `Amir both recited it Qawlal-Haqq (statement of truth) referring to the story in its entirety that the people differed about. It is reported from Ibn Mas`ud that he recited it as Qalal-Haqqa, which means that he (`Isa) said the truth. The recitation of the Ayah with the Qawlul-Haqq being the subject referring to `Isa, is the most apparent meaning grammatically. It has support for it in the statement of Allah [after the story of `Isa],

[الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُنْ مِّن الْمُمْتَرِينَ ]

((This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.) [3:60] When Allah mentioned that He created him as a servant and a Prophet, He extolled Himself, the Most Holy, by saying,

[مَا كَانَ للَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ سُبْحَـنَهُ]

(It befits not (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glorified be He.) Means glory be unto Him, He is far exalted above that which these ignorant, wrongdoing, transgressing people say about Him.

[إِذَا قَضَى أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ]

(When He decrees a thing, He only says to it: "Be!'' -- and it is.) Whenever He wants something, He merely commands it and it happens as He wills. This is as Allah says,

[إِنَّ مَثَلَ عِيسَى عِندَ اللَّهِ كَمَثَلِ ءَادَمَ خَلَقَهُ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ قَالَ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ - الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلاَ تَكُنْ مِّن الْمُمْتَرِينَ ]

(Verily, the likeness of `Isa before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him: "Be'' -- and he was. (This is) the truth from your Lord, so be not of those who doubt.) [3:59-60]

12. `Isa commanded the Worship of Allah Alone, then the People differed after Him

Allah said;

[وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ ]

(And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the straight path.) Among those things which `Isa said to his people while he was in his cradle is that Allah was his Lord and their Lord, and he commanded them to worship Him alone. He said,

[فَاعْبُدُوهُ هَـذَا صِرَطٌ مُّسْتَقِيمٌ]

(So worship Him. That is the straight path.) Meaning, "That which I have come to you with from Allah is the straight path.'' This means that the path is correct; whoever follows it will be rightly guided and whoever opposes it will deviate and go astray. Allah's statement,

[فَاخْتَلَفَ الاٌّحْزَابُ مِن بَيْنِهِمْ]

(Then the sects differed,) means that the opinions of the People of the Book differed concerning `Isa even after the explanation of his affair and the clarification of his situation. They disagreed about his being the servant of Allah, His Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam and a spirit from Himself. So a group of them -- who were the majority of the Jews (may Allah's curses be upon them) -- determined that he was a child of fornication and that his speaking in his cradle was merely sorcery. Another group said that it was Allah Who was speaking (not `Isa). Others said that he (`Isa) was the son of Allah. Some said that he was the third part of a divine trinity with Allah. Yet, others said that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger. This latter view is the statement of truth, which Allah guided the believers to. A report similar with this meaning has been reported from `Amr bin Maymun, Ibn Jurayj, Qatadah and others from the Salaf (predecessors) and the Khalaf (later generations). Allah said,

[فَوْيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشْهِدِ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ]

(so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.) This is a threat and severe warning for those who lie about Allah, invent falsehood and claim that He (Allah) has a son. However, Allah has given them respite until the Day of Resurrection, and He has delayed their term out of gentleness and confident reliance upon His divine decree overcoming them. Verily, Allah does not hasten the affair of those who disobey Him. This has been related in a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs,

إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه

(Verily, Allah gives respite to the wrongdoer until He seizes him and he will not be able to escape Him.) Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

[وَكَذلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ ]

(Such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful, (and) severe.) [11:102] In the Two Sahihs it is also reported that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذىً سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ، إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم

(No one is more patient with something harmful that he hears than Allah. Verily, they attribute to Him a son, while He is the One Who provides them sustenance and good health.) Allah says,

[وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَمْلَيْتُ لَهَا وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهَا وَإِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ ]

(And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then I punished it. And to me is the (final) return (of all).) [22:48] Allah, the Exalted, also says,

[وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَـفِلاً عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّـلِمُونَ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمْ لِيَوْمٍ تَشْخَصُ فِيهِ الأَبْصَـرُ ]

(Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.)[14:42] This is the reason that Allah says here,

[فَوْيْلٌ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشْهِدِ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ]

(So woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.) referring to the Day of Resurrection. It has been related in an authentic Hadith that is agreed upon (in Al-Bukhari and Muslim), on the authority of `Ubadah bin As-Samit who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ شَهِدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُاللهِ وَرَسُولُهُ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ، وَأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارَ حَقٌّ، أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ الْعَمَل

(Whoever testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that `Isa was Allah's servant and Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam, and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are both real, then Allah will admit him into Paradise regardless of whatever he did.)

[أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا لَـكِنِ الظَّـلِمُونَ الْيَوْمَ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ ]

[وَأَنْذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْحَسْرَةِ إِذْ قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ وَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَرِثُ الاٌّرْضَ وَمَنْ عَلَيْهَا وَإِلَيْنَا يُرْجَعُونَ ]

(38. How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us! But the wrongdoers today are in plain error.) (39. And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.) (40. Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.)

13. The Disbeliever's warning of the Day of Distress

Allah, the Exalted, says informing about the disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection that they will be made to have the clearest hearing and sight. This is as Allah says,

[وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواْ رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَآ أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا]

(And if you only could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.'') [32:12] They will say that when it will not benefit them, nor will it be of any use to them. If they had used these senses properly before seeing the torment, then it would have brought them some benefit and saved them from the Allah's punishment. This is why Allah says,

[أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ]

(How clearly will they (disbelievers) see and hear,) This means that no one will hear and see better than they will.

[يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا]

(the day when they will appear before Us.) The Day of Resurrection.

[لَـكِنِ الظَّـلِمُونَ الْيَوْمَ]

(But the wrongdoers today are...) now, in the life of this world,

[فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ]

(...in plain error.) They do not hear, see or think. When they are requested to follow guidance, they are not guided and they succumb to those things that do not benefit them. Then, Allah says,

[وَأَنْذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْحَسْرَةِ]

(And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets,) warn the creation of the Day of Distress,

[إِذْ قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ]

(when the case has been decided,) when the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will be sorted out, and everyone will reach his final abode which he was destined to remain in forever.

[وَهُمْ]

(while (now) they are) today, in the present life of this world,

[فِى غَفْلَةٍ]

(in a state of carelessness.) with the warning of the Day of grief and regret, they are heedless.

[وَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ]

(and they believe not.) meaning they do not believe that it is true. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا دَخَلَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ الْجَنَّةَ وَأَهْلُ النَّارِ النَّارَ، يُجَاءُ بِالْمَوْتِ كَأَنَّهُ كَبْشٌ أَمْلَحُ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ، فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ هَلْ تَعْرِفُونَ هَذَا، قَالَ: فَيَشْرَئِبُّونَ وَيَنْظُرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ:نَعَمْ هَذَا الْمَوْتُ قَالَ: فَيُقَالُ: يَاأَهْلَ النَّارِ، هَلْ تَعْرِفُونَ هَذَا؟ قَالَ: فَيَشْرَئِبُّونَ وَيَنْظُرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ هَذَا الْمَوْتُ قَالَ: فَيُؤْمَرُ بِهِ فَيُذْبَحُ، قَالَ: وَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ، خُلُودٌ وَلَا مَوْتَ، وَيَا أَهْلَ النَّارِ، خُلُودٌ وَلَا مَوْت

(When the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of the Hellfire enter the Hellfire, death will be brought in the form of a handsome ram and it will be placed between Paradise and the Hellfire. Then, it will be said, "O people of Paradise, do you know what this is'' Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, "Yes, this is death.'' Then, it will be said, "O people of the Hellfire, do you know what this is'' Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, "Yes, this is death.'' Then, the order will be given for it to be slaughtered and it will be said, "O people of Paradise, eternity and no more death, O people of Hellfire, eternity and no more death.'') Then the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

[وَأَنْذِرْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْحَسْرَةِ إِذْ قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ وَهُمْ فِى غَفْلَةٍ وَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ ]

(And warn them of the Day of grief and regret, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.) Then, the Messenger of Allah made a gesture with his hand and said,

أَهْلُ الدُّنْيَا فِي غَفْلَةِ الدُّنْيَا

(The people of this life are in the state of heedlessness of this life.) Thus recorded Imam Ahmad and it was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs with wording similar to this. It is reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud that he mentioned a story in which he said, "There is not a soul except that it will see a residence in Paradise and a residence in the Hellfire, and this will be the Day of distress. So the people of the Hellfire will see the residence that Allah prepared for them if they had believed. Then, it will be said to them, `If you had believed and worked righteous deeds, you would have had this, which you see in Paradise.' Then, they will be overcome with distress and grief. Likewise, the people of Paradise will see the residence that is in the Hellfire and it will be said to them, `If Allah had not bestowed His favor upon you (this would have been your place).' '' Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَرِثُ الاٌّرْضَ وَمَنْ عَلَيْهَا وَإِلَيْنَا يُرْجَعُونَ ]

(Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.) Allah is informing that He is the Creator, the Owner and the Controller of all matters. All of the creation will be destroyed and only He, the Most High and Most Holy, will remain. There is no one who can claim absolute ownership and control of affairs besides Him. He is the Inheritor of all His creation. He is the Eternal, Who will remain after they are gone and He is the Judge of their affairs. Therefore, no soul will be done any injustice, nor wronged even the weight of a mosquito or an atom. Ibn Abi Hatim recor- ded that Hazm bin Abi Hazm Al-Quta`i said, "`Umar bin `Abdul-Aziz wrote to `Abdul-Hamid bin `Abdur-Rahman, who was the governor of Kufah: `Thus, to proceed: Verily, Allah prescribed death for His creatures when He created them and He determined their final destination. He said in that which He revealed in His truthful Book, which He guarded with His knowledge and made His angels testify to its preservation, that He will inherit the earth and all who are on it, and they will all be returned to Him.'''

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِبْرَهِيمَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقاً نَّبِيّاً - إِذْ قَالَ لاًّبِيهِ يأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعْبُدُ مَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ وَلاَ يَبْصِرُ وَلاَ يُغْنِى عَنكَ شَيْئاً - يأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدْ جَآءَنِى مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِكَ فَاتَّبِعْنِى أَهْدِكَ صِرَاطاً سَوِيّاً - يأَبَتِ لاَ تَعْبُدِ الشَّيْطَـنَ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ عَصِيّاً - يأَبَتِ إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَـنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيْطَـنِ وَلِيّاً ]

(41. And mention in the Book, Ibrahim. Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet.) (42. When he said to his father: "O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything'') (43. "O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.'') (44. "O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.'') (45. "O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan.'')

14. Ibrahim's Admonition of His Father

Allah, the Exalted, tells His Prophet, Muhammad ,

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِبْرَهِيمَ]

(And mention in the Book, Ibrahim.) "Recite this to your people who are worshipping idols and mention to them what happened with Ibrahim, the intimate Friend (Khalil) of the Most Beneficent. These idol worshippers (Arabs) are his descendants and they claim to follow his religion. Inform them that he was a truthful Prophet. Tell them about what took place with his father and how he forbade him from worshipping idols.'' Ibrahim said,

[يأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعْبُدُ مَا لاَ يَسْمَعُ وَلاَ يَبْصِرُ وَلاَ يُغْنِى عَنكَ شَيْئاً]

(O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything) Meaning that these idols will not benefit you, nor can they protect you from any harm.

[يأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدْ جَآءَنِى مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِكَ]

(O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you.) This means, "Even though I am from your loins and you see me as inferior to you because I am your son, know that I have received knowledge from Allah that you do not know and it has not reached you.''

[فَاتَّبِعْنِى أَهْدِكَ صِرَاطاً سَوِيّاً]

(So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.) meaning, "a straight path that will carry you to the desired objective and save you from that which is dreaded (Hell).''

[يأَبَتِ لاَ تَعْبُدِ الشَّيْطَـنَ]

(O my father! Worship not Shaytan.) This is means, "Do not obey him by worshipping these idols. He invites to this (idolatry) and he is pleased with it.'' This is as Allah says,

[أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يبَنِى ءَادَمَ أَن لاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ الشَّيطَـنَ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ]

(Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.) [36:60] Allah also says,

[إِن يَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ إِنَـثاً وَإِن يَدْعُونَ إِلاَّ شَيْطَـناً مَّرِيداً ]

(They invoke nothing but females [idols] besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel!) [4:117] Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَـنِ عَصِيّاً]

(Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.) This means obstinate and too arrogant to obey his Lord. Therefore, Allah expelled him and made him an outcast. Therefore, "do not follow him or you will become like him. ''

[يأَبَتِ إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمَـنِ]

(O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you,) "because of your associating partners with Allah and your disobedience in what I am commanding you with.''

[فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيْطَـنِ وَلِيّاً]

(so that you become a companion of Shaytan.) This means, "there will be no one who will protect you, or help you, or assist you, except Iblis. However, neither he, nor anyone else, has any power over the outcome of matters. Following him will only cause you to be surrounded by the torment (of Allah).'' This is as Allah says,

[تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِّن قَبْلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَـِّنُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّهُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ]

(By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you, but Shaytan made their deeds fair seeming to them. So he is their helper today (in this world), and theirs will be a painful torment.) [16:63]

[قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ آلِهَتِى يإِبْرَهِيمُ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لأَرْجُمَنَّكَ وَاهْجُرْنِى مَلِيّاً - قَالَ سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكَ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِى حَفِيّاً - وَأَعْتَزِلُكُمْ وَمَا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَأَدْعُو رَبِّى عَسَى أَلاَّ أَكُونَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّى شَقِيًّا ]

(46. He (the father) said: "Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will La'arjumannak. So get away from me Maliyan.'') (47. Ibrahim said: "Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Hafiyyan.) (48. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord, and I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord.'')

15. The Reply of Ibrahim's Father

Allah, the Exalted, informs of the reply of Ibrahim's father to his son, Ibrahim, in reference to what he was calling him to. He said,

[أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ آلِهَتِى يإِبْرَهِيمُ]

(Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim) This means, "If you do not want to worship them (the idols) and you are not pleased with them, then at least stop cursing, abusing, and reviling them. For verily, if you do not cease, I will punish you, curse you and revile you.'' This is the meaning of his statement;

[لأَرْجُمَنَّكَ]

(La'arjumannaka.) Ibn `Abbas, As-Suddi, Ibn Jurayj, Ad-Dahhak and others said this. Concerning His statement,

[وَاهْجُرْنِى مَلِيّاً]

(So get away from me Maliyan.) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Mujahid bin Ishaq all said, "Maliyan means forever.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "For a long time.'' As-Suddi said,

[وَاهْجُرْنِى مَلِيّاً]

(So get away from me safely Maliyan. ) "This means forever.'' Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi both reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[وَاهْجُرْنِى مَلِيّاً]

(So get away from me safely Maliyan.) "This means to go away in peace and safety before you are afflicted with a punishment from me.'' Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyah Al-Jadali, Malik and others said the same. This is also the view preferred by Ibn Jarir.

16. The Reply of Allah's Friend (Khalil)

With this, Ibrahim said to his father,

[سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكَ]

(Peace be on you!) This is as Allah said concerning the description of the believers,

[وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ الجَـهِلُونَ قَالُواْ سَلاَماً]

(and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they say, "Salaman [peace].'') [25:63] Allah also says,

[وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ اللَّغْوَ أَعْرَضُواْ عَنْهُ وَقَالُواْ لَنَآ أَعْمَـلُنَا وَلَكُمْ أَعْمَـلُكُمْ سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُمْ لاَ نَبْتَغِى الْجَـهِلِينَ ]

(And when they hear Al-Laghw (false speech), they withdraw from it and say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.'') [28:55] The meaning of Ibrahim's statement to his father,

[سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكَ]

(Peace be on you!) "You will not receive any insult or harm from me.'' This is due to the respect and honor of fatherhood.

[سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّي]

(I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you.) meaning "But, I will ask Allah to guide you and forgive you for your sin.''

[إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِى حَفِيّاً]

(Verily, He is unto me Hafiyya.) Ibn `Abbas and others said that Hafiyyan means, "Kind.'' Meaning, "since He guided me to worship Him and direct my religious devotion to Him alone.'' As-Suddi said, "Al-Hafi is One Who is concerned with his (Ibrahim's) affair.'' Thus, Ibrahim sought forgiveness for his father for a very long time, even after he migrated to Ash-Sham. He continued to seek forgiveness for him even after building the Sacred Masjid (in Makkah) and after the birth of his two sons, Isma`il and Ishaq. This can be seen in his statement,

[رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَالِدَىَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ ]

(Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.) (dua 14:41) From this tradition, during the beginning stages of Islam, the Muslims used to seek forgiveness for their relatives and their family members who were polytheists. They did this following the way of Ibrahim, the Khalil (Friend) of Allah, until Allah revealed,

[قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِى إِبْرَهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُواْ لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَءآؤاْ مِّنْكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ]

(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah.'') [60:4] Until Allah's statement,

[إِلاَّ قَوْلَ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ لاّسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَآ أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ]

(Except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.'') [60:4] meaning, except for this statement, so do not follow it. Then Allah explains that Ibrahim abandoned this statement and retracted it. Allah, the Exalted, says,

[مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَن يَسْتَغْفِرُواْ لِلْمُشْرِكِينَ]

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolators.) [9:113] Until Allah's statement,

[وَمَا كَانَ اسْتِغْفَارُ إِبْرَهِيمَ لاًّبِيهِ إِلاَّ عَن مَّوْعِدَةٍ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ أَنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ لِلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنْهُ إِنَّ إِبْرَهِيمَ لأَوَّاهٌ حَلِيمٌ ]

(And Ibrahim's invoking for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah, forbearing.) [9:114] Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَأَعْتَزِلُكُمْ وَمَا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَأَدْعُو رَبِّى]

(And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord,) This means, "And I worship my Lord alone, associating no partners with Him.''

[عَسَى أَلاَّ أَكُونَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّى شَقِيًّا]

(I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord. ) The word `Asa (I hope) here means that which will necessarily occur and not that which is hoped for from the impossible. For verily, he (Ibrahim) is the leader of the Prophets other than Muhammad .

[فَلَمَّا اعْتَزَلَهُمْ وَمَا يَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَكُلاًّ جَعَلْنَا نَبِيّاً - وَوَهَبْنَا لَهْمْ مِّن رَّحْمَتِنَا وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ لِسَانَ صِدْقٍ عَلِيّاً ]

(49. So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him Ishaq and Ya`qub, and each one of them We made a Prophet.) (50. And We gave them of Our mercy, and We granted them Sidqin `Aliyyan on the tongues.)

17. Allah gave Ibrahim Ishaq and Ya`qub

Allah, the Exalted, says that when the Friend of Allah (Ibrahim) withdrew from his father and his people for the sake of Allah, Allah gave him in exchange those who were better than them. He gave him Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya`qub (Jacob), meaning his son, Ishaq, and Ishaq's son, Ya`qub. This is as Allah said in another Ayah,

[وَيَعْقُوبَ نَافِلَةً]

(and Ya`qub, a grandson.) [21:72] Also, Allah says,

[وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسْحَـقَ يَعْقُوبَ]

(and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) [11:71] There is no difference of opinion about Ishaq being the father of Ya`qub. This is what is recorded in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Baqarah.

[أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَآءَ إِذْ حَضَرَ يَعْقُوبَ الْمَوْتُ إِذْ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن بَعْدِى قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ إِلَـهَكَ وَإِلَـهَ آبَآئِكَ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَإِسْحَـقَ]

(Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub When he said unto his sons, "What will you worship after me" They said, "We shall worship your God the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Isma`il and Ishaq.'')[2:133] Allah only mentioned Ishaq and Ya`qub here to show that He made Prophets from among his descendants and successors in order to give him relief and happiness in his life. This is why Allah says,

[وَكُلاًّ جَعَلْنَا نَبِيّاً]

(and each one of them We made a Prophet.) [19:49] If Ya`qub had not become a Prophet in the lifetime of Ibrahim, then Allah would not have limited the promise of prophethood to him, but He would have mentioned his son Yusuf as well. For verily, Yusuf was also a Prophet, just as the Messenger of Allah said in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, when he was asked who was the best of people. He said,

يُوسُفُ نَبِيُّ اللهِ ابْنُ يَعْقُوبَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِسْحَاقَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلِ الله

(The Prophet of Allah, Yusuf, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ya`qub, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ishaq, the son of the Friend of Allah Ibrahim.) In another wording of this Hadith, he said,

إِنَّ الْكَرِيمَ ابْنَ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ يُوسُفَ بْنَ يَعْقُوبَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيم

(Verily, the noble one is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one. That is Yusuf, the son of Ya`qub, the son of Ishaq, the son of Ibrahim.) Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَوَهَبْنَا لَهْمْ مِّن رَّحْمَتِنَا وَجَعَلْنَا لَهُمْ لِسَانَ صِدْقٍ عَلِيّاً ]

(And We gave them of Our mercy, and We granted Sidqin `Aliyyan on the tongues. ) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sidqin `Aliyyan means the good praise.'' As-Suddi and Malik bin Anas said the same thing. Ibn Jarir said, "Allah only said `Aliyyan (loftiness, exalted) because all of the religions commend them and mention them with praises, may Allah's peace and blessing be upon them all.''

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ مُوسَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلِصاً وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً - وَنَـدَيْنَـهُ مِن جَانِبِ الطُّورِ الاٌّيْمَنِ وَقَرَّبْنَاهُ نَجِيّاً - وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـرُونَ نَبِيّاً ]

(51. And mention in the Book, Musa. Verily, he was Mukhlasan and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) (52. And We called him from the right side of the Mount (Tur), and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him.) (53. And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.)

18. Mentioning Musa and Harun

After Allah had mentioned Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah, and commended him, he next mentioned Al-Kalim (the one spoken to by Allah directly). Allah said,

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ مُوسَى إِنَّهُ كَانَ مُخْلِصاً]

(And mention in the Book, Musa. Verily, he was Mukhlasan) Ath-Thawri reported from `Abdul-Aziz bin Rafi`, from Abu Lubabah that he said, "The Disciples (of `Isa) said, `O Spirit of Allah, inform us about the one who is Mukhlis (purely devoted) to Allah.' He said, `That is one who does a deed solely for Allah and he does not like for the people to praise him.''' Others recited the word as Mukhlas, which means that he was chosen. This is as Allah says,

[إِنْى اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ]

(Verily, I have chosen you above men.) [7:144] Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً]

(and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) Allah combined these two descriptions for him. For verily, he was one of the greatest Messengers and one of the five Messengers of Strong Will. They are Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, `Isa and Muhammad. May the blessings of Allah be upon them and all of the Prophets. Allah said,

[وَنَـدَيْنَـهُ مِن جَانِبِ الطُّورِ]

(And We called him from the side of the Tur.) means Mount

[الاٌّيْمَـنَ]

(right) It was on the right side of Musa when he went seeking a burning wood from that fire. He saw its glow in the distance, so he set out towards it and found it on the right side of the mountain from his direction, at the edge of the valley that he was in. This is when Allah, the Exalted, spoke to him and called out to him. Allah summoned him to come near and He conversed Ayah with him. Concerning His statement,

[وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـرُونَ نَبِيّاً ]

(And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.) This means, "We responded to his request and his plea on behalf of his brother and We made him a Prophet as well.'' This is as Allah says in another Ayah,

[وَأَخِى هَـرُونُ هُوَ أَفْصَحُ مِنِّى لِسَاناً فَأَرْسِلْهِ مَعِىَ رِدْءاً يُصَدِّقُنِى إِنِّى أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ ]

(And my brother Harun he is more eloquent in speech than me: so send him with me as a helper to confirm me.Verily, I fear that they will belie me.) [28:34] Also, Allah said,

[قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى]

((Allah said: ) "You are granted your request, O Musa.'') [20:36] He also said,

[وَيَضِيقُ صَدْرِى وَلاَ يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِى فَأَرْسِلْ إِلَى هَـرُونَ - وَلَهُمْ عَلَىَّ ذَنبٌ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقْتُلُونِ ]

(So send for Harun. And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.) [26:13-14] Because of this, some of the Salaf (predecessors) said, "No one in this life pleaded on behalf of someone else more than Musa pleaded for his brother to be a Prophet.'' Allah, the Exalted said,

[وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ مِن رَّحْمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـرُونَ نَبِيّاً ]

(And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.)

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِسْمَـعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَـدِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً - وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّـلَوةِ وَالزَّكَـوةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيّاً ]

(54. And mention in the Book, Isma`il. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) (55. And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.)

19. Mentioning Isma`il

Here Allah has commended Isma`il, the son of Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah. He (Isma`il) is the father of all of the Arabs of the Hijaz because he was true to what he promised. Ibn Jurayj said, "He did not make any promise to his Lord, except that he fulfilled it.'' He never obligated himself to do any act of worship with a vow, except that he fulfilled it and carried it out, giving it its full due. Some said,

[صَـدِقَ الْوَعْدِ]

((he was) true to what he promised.) "This was said about him because he said to his father,

[سَتَجِدُنِى إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّـبِرِينَ]

(If Allah wills you will find me of the patient.) [37:102] So he was truthful in that.'' Being true to one's promise is one of the praiseworthy characteristics, just as breaking one's promise is of the detested characteristics. Allah, the Exalted, says,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لاَ تَفْعَلُونَ - كَبُرَ مَقْتاً عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا لاَ تَفْعَلُونَ ]

(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.) [61:2-3] The Messenger of Allah said,

آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإِذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإِذَا ائْتُمِنَ خَان

(The sign of the hypocrite is three things. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he is entrusted with something, he is disloyal to his trust.) Thus, if these are the characteristics of the hypocrites, then behaving contrary to these is a characteristic of the true believer. For this reason, Allah commended His servant and Messenger Isma`il, for he was true to his promise. Likewise, the Messenger of Allah was true to his promise. He did not promise anyone anything, except that he fulfilled his promise to that person. He also commended Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rabi`, the husband of his daughter Zaynab, by saying,

حَدَّثَنِي فَصَدَقَنِي، وَوَعَدَنِي فَوَفَى لِي

(He spoke to me and he told me the truth, and he promised me and he fulfilled his promise to me.) When the Prophet died, the Khalifah (his successor), Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said, "Whoever received any promise from the Messenger of Allah or was owed any debt by him, then let him come to me and I will fulfill it on his behalf.'' So Jabir bin `Abdullah came and related that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَوْ قَدْ جَاءَ مَالُ الْبَحْرَينِ أَعْطَيْتُكَ هَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا

(If the wealth of Bahrain comes (to me), then I would give you such and such and such.) This meant that he would fill his hands with wealth. Therefore, when the wealth of Bahrain came (to them), Abu Bakr commanded Jabir to come and fill his hands from that wealth. Then, he commanded him to do so again, until he collected five hundred Dirhams. Then, Abu Bakr gave him its double along with it.(i.e. one thousand extra Dirhams). Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَكَانَ رَسُولاً نَّبِيّاً]

(and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) In this is a proof of Isma`il's favored status over his brother, Ishaq. Ishaq was only described as being a Prophet, but Isma`il was described with both prophethood and messengership. It is confirmed in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ اللهَ اصْطَفَى مِنْ وَلَدِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِسْمَاعِيل

(Verily, Allah chose Isma`il from the sons of Ibrahim...) Then, Imam Muslim mentions the rest of the Hadith in its entirety. However, this statement proves the correctness of what we have said. Allah said,

[وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّـلَوةِ وَالزَّكَـوةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيّاً ]

(And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.) This is also a beautiful form of praise, a commendable quality, and and upright characteristic. He was commanded in this way because of his persistence in obedience of his Lord, and enjoining his family to do so. This is as Allah said to His Messenger ,

[وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلوةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا]

(And enjoin the Salah on your family, and be patient with them.) [20:132] Also, Allah, the Exalted, said,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَاراً وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَـئِكَةٌ غِلاَظٌ شِدَادٌ لاَّ يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ ]

(O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.) [66:6] This means to command them to do good, forbid them from evil and do not neglect them. If you do so, and they obey your command, the Fire (of Hell) will not devour them on the Day of Resurrection. It has been reported in a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

رَحِمَ اللهُ رَجُلًا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّى وَأَيْقَظَ امْرَأَتَهُ، فَإِنْ أَبَتْ نَضَحَ فِي وَجْهِهَا الْمَاءَ. رَحِمَ اللهُ امْرَأَةً قَامَتْ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّتْ وَأَيْقَظَتْ زَوْجَهَا، فَإِنْ أَبَى نَضَحَتْ فِي وَجْهِهِ الْمَاء

(May Allah have mercy upon a man who gets up at night to pray and he wakes his wife. If she refuses to get up, he sprinkles water in her face. May Allah have mercy upon a woman who gets up at night to pray and she wakes her husband. If he refuses to get up, she sprinkles water in his face.) This Hadith was recorded by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.

[وَاذْكُرْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ إِدْرِيسَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقاً نَّبِيَّاً - وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَاناً عَلِيّاً ]

(56. And mention in the Book, Idris. Verily, he was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet.) (57. And We raised him to a high station.)

20. Mentioning Idris

Allah complimented Idris for being a truthful Prophet and He mentioned that he raised him to a high station. It has previously been mentioned that in the Sahih it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah passed by Idris on the night of the Isra (Night Journey) and he (Idris) was in the fourth heaven. Sufyan reported from Mansur that Mujahid said,

[وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَاناً عَلِيّاً ]

(And We raised him to a high station.) "This means the fourth heaven.'' Al-Hasan and others said concer- ning Allah's statement,

[وَرَفَعْنَاهُ مَكَاناً عَلِيّاً ]

(And We raised him to a high station.) "This means Paradise.''

[أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءادَمَ وَمِمَّنْ حَمَلْنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْرَءِيلَ وَمِمَّنْ هَدَيْنَا وَاجْتَبَيْنَآ إِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ ءايَـتُ الرَّحْمَـنِ خَرُّواْ سُجَّداً وَبُكِيّاً ]

(58. Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh, and of the offspring of Ibrahim and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Ayat of the Most Gracious were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.)

21. These Prophets are the Chosen Ones

Allah, the Exalted, says that these Prophets (were favored), but this does not mean only these Prophets who were mentioned in this Surah. Rather, it is referring to all of those who were Prophets. Allah merely changes the implication of the discussion from specific individuals to the entire group of Prophets.

[الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّيْنَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءادَمَ]

(they unto whom Allah bestowed His grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam.) As-Suddi and Ibn Jarir both said, "That which is meant by the offspring of Adam is Idris, and what is meant by the offspring of those `whom We carried with Nuh' is Ibrahim, and what is meant by the offspring of Ibrahim is Ishaq, Ya`qub and Isma`il, and what is meant by the offspring of Isra`il is Musa, Harun, Zakariyya, Yayha and `Isa bin Maryam.'' Ibn Jarir said, "And that is the distinction of their genealogies, even though Adam gathers all of them (as their original father). This is because among them is he who was not a descendant of those who were on the ship with Nuh, and he that is Idris. For verily, he was the grandfather of Nuh.'' I say that this is the most apparent meaning, which concludes that Idris is amongst the pillars of Nuh's ancestral lineage. The view that this Ayah refers to the ancestral lineage of the Prophets, is the fact that it is similar to Allah's statement in Surah Al-An`am,

[وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَآ ءَاتَيْنَـهَآ إِبْرَهِيمَ عَلَى قَوْمِهِ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَـتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ - وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ كُلاًّ هَدَيْنَا وَنُوحاً هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَـنَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَى وَهَـرُونَ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ - وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَى وَعِيسَى وَإِلْيَاسَ كُلٌّ مِّنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ - وَإِسْمَـعِيلَ وَالْيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطاً وَكُلاًّ فَضَّلْنَا عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ - وَمِنْ ءابَائِهِمْ وَذُرِّيَّـتِهِمْ وَإِخْوَنِهِمْ وَاجْتَبَيْنَـهُمْ وَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ]

(And that was our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Ishaq and Ya`qub, each of them We guided; and before him We guided Nuh, and among his progeny Dawud, Sulayman, Ayyub, Yusuf, Musa and Harun. Thus do We reward the doers of good. And Zakariyya, and Yahya, and `Isa and Ilyas, each one of them was of the righteous. And Isma`il and Al-Yasa` and Yunus and Lut and each one of them We preferred above the `Alamin. And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethern, We chose them, and We guided them to the straight path.)[6:83-87] Until Allah's statement,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ]

(They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.) [6: 90] Allah, the Exalted, says,

[مِنْهُم مَّن قَصَصْنَا عَلَيْكَ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن لَّمْ نَقْصُصْ عَلَيْكَ]

(Of some of them We have related to you their story. And of some We have not related to you their story.) [40:78] In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is reported from Mujahid that he asked Ibn `Abbas, "Is there a prostration in Surah Sad'' Ibn `Abbas replied, "Yes.'' Then he recited,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ]

(They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.) [6:90] Ibn `Abbas then said, "So your Prophet is one of those who have been commanded to follow them. And he is of those who should be followed.'' -- referring to Dawud. Allah, the Exalted, said in this noble Ayah,

[إِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ ءايَـتُ الرَّحْمَـنِ خَرُّواْ سُجَّداً وَبُكِيّاً]

(When the Ayah of the Most Gracious were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.) This means that when they heard the Words of Allah, mentioning His proofs and evidences, they prostrated to their Lord in humility, humbleness, praise and thanks for the great favors they were blessed with. The word Bukiyan at the end of the Ayah means those who are crying, and it is the plural of Baki. Due to this the scholars agree that it is legislated to prostrate upon reading this Ayah, in following them and adhering to their manner of worship.

[فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَـوةَ وَاتَّبَعُواْ الشَّهَوَتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً - إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ شَيْئاً ]

(59. Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah and have followed lusts. So they will meet Ghaiy.) (60. Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.)

22. They were succeeded by Wicked People and Good People

After Allah mentioned the party of blessed ones -- the Prophets and those who followed them by maintainig the limits set by Allah and His commandments, fulfilling what Allah ordered and avoiding His prohibitions -- then He mentions,

(خَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ) (there has succeeded them a posterity.) This means later generations.

[أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَـوةَ]

(who have lost Salah) Losing their prayers is when they do not consider the prayers obligatory. Therefore they lose, because the prayer is the pillar and foundation of the religion. It is the best of the servants' deeds. Thus, these people will occupy themselves with worldly desires and delights, and they will be pleased with the life of this world. They will be tranquil and at ease in the worldly appetites. Therefore, these people will meet with Ghaiy, which means loss on the Day of Resurrection. Al-Awza`i reported from Musa bin Sulayman, who reported from Al-Qasim bin Mukhaymirah that he said concerning Allah's statement,

[فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَـوةَ]

(Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah) "This means that they will not keep up with the proper times of the prayer, because if it meant complete abandonment of the prayer, this would be disbelief.'' It is also reported that it was said to Ibn Mas`ud, "Allah often mentions the prayer in the Qur'an. He says,

[الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَن صَلَـتِهِمْ سَاهُونَ ]

(Those who neglect their Salah.) [107:5] And He says,

[عَلَى صَلاَتِهِمْ دَآئِمُونَ]

(Those who remain constant in their Salah.) [70:23] And He says,

[عَلَى صَلاَتِهِمْ يُحَافِظُونَ]

(Who guard their Salah.)'' [23:9] Then, Ibn Mas`ud said, "This means at its designated times.'' The people said, "We thought that this was referring to the abandonment of the prayer.'' He replied, "That would be disbelief.'' Masruq said, "No one who guards the five daily prayers will be written among the heedless. In their neglect is destruction. Their neglect is delaying them past their fixed times.'' Al-Awza`i reported from Ibrahim bin Zayd that Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz recited the Ayah,

[فَخَلَفَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُواْ الصَّلَـوةَ وَاتَّبَعُواْ الشَّهَوَتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً ]

(Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah and have followed lusts. So they will meet Ghayy.) Then, he said, "Their loss was not their abandonment of the prayers, but it was by not offering them during their proper and prescribed times.'' Allah said,

[فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً]

(So they will meet Ghayy. ) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

[فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً]

(So they will meet Ghayy.) "This means loss.'' Qatadah said, "This means evil.'' Sufyan Ath-Thawri, Shu`bah and Muhammad bin Ishaq all reported from Abu Ishaq As-Sabi`i, who reported from Abu `Ubaydah, who reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud that he said,

[فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً]

(So they will meet Ghayy.) "This is a valley in the Hellfire which is very deep and its food is filthy.'' Al-A`mash reported from Ziyad, who reported from Abu `Iyad, who commented Allah's statement,

[فَسَوْفَ يَلْقُونَ غَيّاً]

(So they will meet Ghayy.) He said, "This is a valley in Hell made of puss and blood.'' Allah said,

[إِلاَّ مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً]

(Except those who repent and believe and work righteousness.) This means, "Except those who recant from giving up the prayers and following the desires, for verily, Allah will accept their repentance, give them a good end and make them of those who inherit the Garden of Delight (Paradise). '' For this reason Allah says,

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ يَدْخُلُونَ الْجَنَّةَ وَلاَ يُظْلَمُونَ شَيْئاً]

(Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.) This is because repentance wipes away that which was before it. In another Hadith, the Prophet said,

التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ كَمَنْ لَاذَنْبَ لَه

(The one who repents from sin is like he who has no sin.) Because of this, those who repent will not lose anything from the (good) deeds that they did. They will not be held accountable for what they did before their repentance, thus causing a decrease in their reward for deeds that they do after their repentance. That is because whatever they did before repenting is lost, forgotten and not taken to account. This is an honor from the Most Generous and a kindness from the Most Gentle. This is an exception that is made for these people, similar to Allah's statement in Surah Al-Furqan,

[وَالَّذِينَ لاَ يَدْعُونَ مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَـهَا ءَاخَرَ وَلاَ يَقْتُلُونَ النَّفْسَ الَّتِى حَرَّمَ اللَّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ]

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause...) until Allah's statement,

[وَكَانَ اللَّهُ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً]

(and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) [25:68-70]

[جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ الَّتِى وَعَدَ الرَّحْمَـنُ عِبَادَهُ بِالْغَيْبِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَأْتِيّاً - لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً إِلاَّ سَلَـماً وَلَهُمْ رِزْقُهُمْ فِيهَا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً - تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيّاً ]

(61. (They will enter) `Adn Gardens which the Most Gracious has promised to His servants in the unseen. Verily, His promise must come to pass.) (62. They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only Salam. And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) (63. Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who had Taqwa.)

23. The Description of the Gardens of the Truthful and Those Who repent

Allah, the Exalted, says that the Gardens (of Paradise), which the penitent will enter, will be Gardens of `Adn, meaning, eternity. These are Gardens that the Most Beneficent promises His servants in the unseen. This means that these Gardens are from the unseen things that they believe in, even though they have never witnessed them. They believe in the unseen out of their strong conviction and the strength of their faith. Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِنَّهُ كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَأْتِيّاً]

(Verily, His promise must come to pass.) This affirms the fact that this will occur, and that it is a settled matter. Allah does not break His promise, nor does He change it. This is similar to His statement,

[كَانَ وَعْدُهُ مَفْعُولاً]

(His promise is certainly to be accomplished.) [73:18] This means that His promise will be and there is no avoiding it. Allah's statement here,

[مَأْتِيّاً]

(must come to pass.) This means that it will come to His servants who are striving towards it and they will reach it. There are those commentators who said,

[مَأْتِيّاً]

(must come to pass.) "This means it is coming, because everything that comes to you, you also come to it. This is as the Arabs say, `Fifty years came to me, and I came to fifty years.' They both mean the same thing (I'm fifty years old).'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[لاَّ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً]

(They shall not hear therein any Laghw.) This means that in these gardens of Paradise there is no ignorant, wasteful and useless speech, like there is in this life. He said,

[إِلاَّ سَلَـماً]

(...but only Salam.) This is an indifferent exception, similar to Allah's statement,

[لاَ يَسْمَعُونَ فِيهَا لَغْواً وَلاَ تَأْثِيماً - إِلاَّ قِيلاً سَلَـماً سَلَـماً ]

(No Laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: Salam! Salam!) [56:25-26] Concerning His statement,

[وَلَهُمْ رِزْقُهُمْ فِيهَا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً]

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) This means, in what is similar to mornings and evenings. This does not mean that there is a night and a day (in Paradise), but they will be living in times that alternate. They will know its lighted times from its lights and illumination. This is as Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَوَّلُ زُمْرَةٍ تَلِجُ الْجَنَّةَ صُوَرُهُمْ عَلَى صُورَةِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ لَا يَبْصُقُونَ فِيهَا،وَلَا يَتَمَخَّطُونَ فِيهَا. وَلَايَتَغَوَّطُونَ، آنِيَتُهُمْ وَأَمْشَاطُهُمُ الذَّهَبُ وَالْفِضَّةُ وَمَجَامِرُهُمُ الْأَلُوَّةُ، وَرَشْحُهُمُ الْمِسْكُ وَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ زَوْجَتَانِ، يُرَى مُخُّ سَاقِهَا مِنْ وَرَاءِ اللَّحْمِ مِنَ الْحُسْنِ، لَا اخْتِلَافَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَا تَبَاغُضَ، قُلُوبُهُمْ عَلَى قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ، يُسَبِّحُونَ اللهَ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا

(The first group to enter into Paradise will have forms like the form of the moon on a night when it is full. They will not spit, nor will they blow their noses therein. They also will not defecate. Their containers and combs will be made of gold and silver and their censers will be of aloeswood. Their sweat will be the fragrance of musk and each of them will have two wives. The marrow of their shins will be visible from beneath the skin due to their beauty. They will not have any disputes between them, or any hatred. Their hearts will be united like the heart of one man. They will glorify Allah in the morning and evening.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim both recorded this narration in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad also recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الشُّهَدَاءُ عَلَى بَارِقِ نَهْرٍ بِبَابِ الْجَنَّةِ فِي قُبَّةٍ خَضْرَاءَ، يَخْرُجُ عَلَيْهِمْ رِزْقُهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا

(The martyrs will be upon the banks of a river by the gates of Paradise. Over them will be a green dome. Their sustenance will be brought out to them from Paradise, morning and evening.) Ahmad is the only one who collected this narration. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[وَلَهُمْ رِزْقُهُمْ فِيهَا بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيّاً]

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) "This means the amount of time equal to night and day.'' Allah said,

[تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيّاً ]

(Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who had Taqwa.) This means, `This Paradise that We have described with these magnificent attributes, it is that which We will cause are pious servants to inherit.' They are those who obey Allah in happiness and times of hardship. They are those who suppress their anger and they pardon people's offenses. This is as Allah says at the beginning of Surah Al-Mu'minun,

[قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ - الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلاَتِهِمْ خَـشِعُونَ ]

(Successful indeed are the believers. Those who are humble in their Salah.) [23:1-2] Until His saying,

[أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْوَرِثُونَ - الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ ]

(These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws. In it they shall dwell forever.) [23:10-11]

[وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلاَّ بِأَمْرِ رَبِّكَ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا وَمَا خَلْفَنَا وَمَا بَيْنَ ذلِكَ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيّاً - رَّبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيّاً ]

(64. And we descend not except by the command of your Lord. To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two; and your Lord is never forgetful.) (65. Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him and abide patiently in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him)

24. The Angels do not descend, except by Allah's Command

Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said to Jibril,

مَا يَمْنَعُكَ أَنْ تَزُورَنَا أَكْثَرَ مِمَّا تَزُورُنَا؟

(What prevents you from visiting us more than you do) Then this Ayah was revealed,

[وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلاَّ بِأَمْرِ رَبِّكَ]

(And we descend not except by the command of your Lord.) Al-Bukhari was alone in recording it and he related it with the Tafsir of this Ayah. Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Jibril was kept from visiting the Messenger of Allah , so he was disturbed and grieved because of this. Then, Jibril came to him and said, `O Muhammad,

[وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلاَّ بِأَمْرِ رَبِّكَ]

(And we descend not except by the command of your Lord.)''' Allah said,

[لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا وَمَا خَلْفَنَا]

(To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us,) It has been said that the meaning of "what is before us'' refers to that which is in this life and "what is behind us'' refers to the Hereafter.

[وَمَا بَيْنَ ذلِكَ]

(and what is between those two;) This means what is between two blows of the Sur. This is the opinion of Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah and Mujahid. This was also stated by Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah in one narration from them. As-Suddi and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas held this opinion as well. It has also been said,

[مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا]

(what is before us) means the future matters of the Hereafter.

[وَمَا خَلْفَنَا]

(what is behind us,) means what has taken place in this life,

[وَمَا بَيْنَ ذلِكَ]

(what is between those two;) means what happens between this life and the Hereafter. A statement like this explanation has been reported from Ibn `Abbas, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and Ath-Thawri. Ibn Jarir also preferred this latter interpretation. And Allah knows best. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيّاً]

(and your Lord is never forgetful.) Mujahid said, "This means that your Lord has not forgotten you.'' Allah said,

[رَّبُّ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا]

(Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them,) He created all of that, He is the Disposer of its affairs, He is the Legi- slator over it and He is in absolute control of it, having no one to oppose His decisions.

[فَاعْبُدْهُ وَاصْطَبِرْ لِعِبَادَتِهِ هَلْ تَعْلَمُ لَهُ سَمِيّاً]

(so worship Him and abide patiently in his worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said that this means, "Do you know any comparison or some- thing similar to the Lord'' Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, Ibn Jurayj and others all said the same. `Ikrimah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "There is no one named Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent) other than Him, Blessed and Exalted is He. Most Holy is His Name.''

[وَيَقُولُ الإِنْسَـنُ أَإِذَا مَا مِتُّ لَسَوْفَ أُخْرَجُ حَيّاً - أَوَلاَ يَذْكُرُ إلإِنْسَـنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ يَكُ شَيْئاً - فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَحْشُرَنَّهُمْ وَالشَّيَـطِينَ ثُمَّ لَنُحْضِرَنَّهُمْ حَوْلَ جَهَنَّمَ جِثِيّاً ]

[ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ أَيُّهُمْ أَشَدُّ عَلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ عِتِيّاً - ثُمَّ لَنَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِالَّذِينَ هُمْ أَوْلَى بِهَا صِلِيّاً ]

(66. And man says: "When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive'') (67. Does not man remember that We created him before, while he was nothing) (68. So by your Lord, surely We shall gather them together, and (also) the Shayatin, then We shall bring them round Hell, Jithyya.) (69. Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) (70. Then, verily, We know best those who are most worthy of being burnt therein.)

25. Man's Amazement about Life after Death and the Refutation against this Amazement

Allah, the Exalted, informs that mankind is amazed that he could be returned to life after death and he thinks that this is something farfetched. As Allah says,

[وَإِن تَعْجَبْ فَعَجَبٌ قَوْلُهُمْ أَءِذَا كُنَّا تُرَابًا أَءِنَّا لَفِى خَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ]

(And if you wonder, then wondrous is their saying: "When we are dust, shall we indeed then be (raised) in a new creation'')[13:5] Allah also says,

[أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الإِنسَـنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَـهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌ مٌّبِينٌ - وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً وَنَسِىَ خَلْقَهُ قَالَ مَن يُحىِ الْعِظَـمَ وَهِىَ رَمِيمٌ - قُلْ يُحْيِيهَا الَّذِى أَنشَأَهَآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلْقٍ عَلِيمٌ ]

(Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust'' Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!'')[36:77-79] And Allah says here in this Surah,

[وَيَقُولُ الإِنْسَـنُ أَإِذَا مَا مِتُّ لَسَوْفَ أُخْرَجُ حَيّاً - أَوَلاَ يَذْكُرُ إلإِنْسَـنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَاهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَمْ يَكُ شَيْئاً ]

(And man says: "When I am dead, shall I then be raised up alive'' Does not man remember that We created him before, while he was nothing) Allah uses the beginning of creation as a proof for its repetition. This means that He, the Exalted, created the human being while he was nothing. So can he not repeat this creation after the human had actually become something Similalry Allah says;

[وَهُوَ الَّذِى يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَهُوَ أَهْوَنُ عَلَيْهِ]

(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.) [30:27] In the Sahih it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى: كَذَّبَنِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ أَنْ يُكَذِّبَنِي، وَآذَانِي ابْنُ آدَمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ أَنْ يُؤْذِيَنِي، أَمَّا تَكْذِيبُهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ لَنْ يُعِيدَنِي كَمَا بَدَأَنِي، وَلَيْسَ أَوَّلُ الْخَلْقِ بِأَهْوَنَ عَلَيَّ مِنْ آخِرِهِ، وَأَمَّا أَذَاهُ إِيَّايَ فَقَوْلُهُ إِنَّ لِي وَلَدًا وَأَنَا الْأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَد

(Allah, the Exalted said, "The son of Adam denies Me and he has no right to deny Me. The son of Adam harms Me and he has no right to harm Me. His denial of Me is his statement that I will never repeat His creation like I created him the first time. Yet, the second creation is not more difficult upon Me than the first. His harming Me is his statement that I have a son. Yet, I am One Alone, the Self-Sufficient Whom all creatures need. He Who does not beget children, nor was He born and there is none coequal or comparable unto Him.'') Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَوَرَبِّكَ لَنَحْشُرَنَّهُمْ وَالشَّيَـطِينَ]

(So by your Lord, surely We shall gather them together, and the Shayatin,) The Lord, Blessed be He the Most High, swears by His Noble Self that He will definitely gather all of those who worshipped other than Allah and their devils as well.

[ثُمَّ لَنُحْضِرَنَّهُمْ حَوْلَ جَهَنَّمَ جِثِيّاً]

(then We shall bring them round Hell, Jithiyya.) Al-`Awfi related that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means sitting and it is similar to His statement,

[وَتَرَى كُلَّ أُمَّةٍ جَاثِيَةً]

(And you will see each nation Jathiyah.)'' [45:28] As-Suddi commented on the word Jithiyya, "It means standing.'' It has been reported from Murrah that Ibn Mas`ud said the same. Concerning Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ]

(Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect) This means from every nation. This is what Mujahid said.

[أَيُّهُمْ أَشَدُّ عَلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ عِتِيّاً]

(all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) Ath-Thawri reported from `Ali bin Al-Aqmar, from Abu Al-Ahwas, from Ibn Mas`ud that he said, "The first of them will be bound to the last of them until their number is complete. Then, they will be brought all together. Then, Allah will begin with the greatest of them in crime and continue in succession. That is Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ لَنَنزِعَنَّ مِن كُلِّ شِيعَةٍ أَيُّهُمْ أَشَدُّ عَلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ عِتِيّاً ]

(Then indeed We shall drag out from every sect all those who were worst in obstinate rebellion against the Most Gracious.) This is similar to Allah's statement,

[حَتَّى إِذَا ادَّارَكُواْ فِيهَا جَمِيعًا قَالَتْ أُخْرَاهُمْ لاٍّولَـهُمْ رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلاءِ أَضَلُّونَا فَـَاتِهِمْ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا مِّنَ النَّارِ]

(Until they will be gathered all together in the Fire. The last of them will say to the first of them: "Our Lord! These misled us, so give them a double torment of the Fire.'') Until His saying,

[بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَكْسِبُونَ]

(For what you used to earn.) [7:38-39] The first of them will say to the last of them: "Your were not better than us, so taste the torment for what you used to earn.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ لَنَحْنُ أَعْلَمُ بِالَّذِينَ هُمْ أَوْلَى بِهَا صِلِيّاً ]

(Then, verily, We know best those who are most worthy of being burnt therein.) Then, at this point Allah attaches one piece of information to another. The meaning here is that Allah best knows which of His creatures deserve to be burned in the fire of Hell and remain there forever and who deserves to have his punishment doubled. This is as He says in the Ayah that was previously mentioned,

[قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ]

(He will say: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.'') [7:38]

[وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلاَّ وَارِدُهَا كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْماً مَّقْضِيّاً - ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّنَذَرُ الظَّـلِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيّاً ]

(71. There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell); this is with your Lord, a decree which must be accomplished.) (72. Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers in it, Jithiyya.)

26. Everyone will be brought to Hell, then the Righteous will be saved

Ibn Jarir reported from `Abdullah that he said concerning Allah's statement,

[وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلاَّ وَارِدُهَا]

(There is not one of you but will pass over it.) "The bridge over Hell is like the sharp edge of a sword. The first group to cross it will pass like a flash of lightning. The second group will pass like the wind. The third group will pass like the fastest horse. The fourth group will pass like the fastest cow. Then, the rest will pass while the angels will be saying, `O Allah save them, save them.' '' This narration has supporting narrations similar to it from the Prophet in the Two Sahihs and other collections as well. These narrations have been related by Anas, Abu Sa`id, Abu Hurayrah, Jabir and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. Ahmad also recorded that Umm Mubashshar, the wife of Zayd bin Harithah, said, "The Messenger of Allah was in the house of Hafsah when he said,

لَا يَدْخُلُ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ شَهِدَ بَدْرًا وَالْحُدَيْبِيَّة

(No one who was present at the battles of Badr and Hudaybiyyah (of the Muslims) will enter into the Hellfire.) Then, Hafsah said, "Doesn't Allah say,

[وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلاَّ وَارِدُهَا]

(There is not one of you but will pass over it (Hell);) The Messenger of Allah replied by reciting,

[ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ]

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa.) In the Two Sahihs there is a Hadith reported from Az-Zuhri, from Sa`id from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا يَمُوتُ لِأَحَدٍ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ثَلَاثَةٌ مِنَ الْوَلَدِ تَمَسُّهُ النَّارُ إِلَّا تَحِلَّةَ الْقَسَم

(No one of the Muslims who has had three children, who all died, will be touched by the Hellfire, except for an oath that must be fulfilled.) `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on Allah's statement,

[وَإِن مِّنكُمْ إِلاَّ وَارِدُهَا]

(There is not one of you but will pass over it;) "The passing of the Muslims (over the Hellfire) means their passing over a bridge that is over it. But the passing of the idolators over the Hellfire refers to their admission to the Fire.'' As-Suddi reported from Murrah, from Ibn Mas`ud, that he said concerning Allah's statement,

[كَانَ عَلَى رَبِّكَ حَتْماً مَّقْضِيّاً]

(this is with your Lord; a Hatman decree.) "An oath that must be fulfilled.'' Mujahid said, "Hatman means preordainment.'' Ibn Jurayj said the same. Concerning Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ]

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. ) When all of the creatures passed over the Hellfire, and those disbelievers and the disobedient people who are destined to fall into it because of their disobedience, Allah will save the believers and the righteous people from it because of their deeds. Therefore, their passing over the bridge and their speed will be based upon their deeds that they did in this life. Then, the believers who performed major sins will be allowed intercession. The angels, the Prophets and the believers will all intercede. Thus, a large number of the sinners will be allowed to come out of Hell. The fire will have devoured much of their bodies, except the places of prostration on their faces. Their removal from the Hellfire will be due to the faith in their hearts. The first to come out will be he who has the weight of a Dinar of faith in his heart. Then, whoever has the next least amount after him. Then, whoever is next to that after him, and so forth. This will continue until the one who has the tiniest hint of faith in his heart, equal to the weight of an atom. Then, Allah will take out of the Fire whoever said "La ilaha illallah,'' even one day of his entire life, even if he never performed any good deed. After this, no one will remain in the Hellfire, except those it is obligatory upon to remain in the Hellfire forever. This has been reported in many authentic Hadiths from the Messenger of Allah . This is why Allah says,

[ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّنَذَرُ الظَّـلِمِينَ فِيهَا جِثِيّاً ]

(Then We shall save those who had Taqwa. And We shall leave the wrongdoers in it, Jithyya.)

[وَإِذَا تُتْلَى عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتُنَا بِيِّنَـتٍ قَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَىُّ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ خَيْرٌ مَّقَاماً وَأَحْسَنُ نَدِيّاً - وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْنٍ هُمْ أَحْسَنُ أَثَاثاً وَرِءْياً ]

(73. And when Our clear Ayat are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: "Which of the two groups has the best dwellings and the finest Nadiyyan'') (74. And how many a generation have We destroyed before them, who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance)

27. The Disbelievers boast over Their good Fortune in the World

Allah, the Exalted, informs that when the clear, evident Ayat of Allah are recited to the disbelievers, they reject them and turn away. They say about those who believe, while boasting to them and arguing that their false religion is correct,

[خَيْرٌ مَّقَاماً وَأَحْسَنُ نَدِيّاً]

(best dwellings and the finest Nadiyyan.) This means the best houses, with the loftiest levels and the finest Nadiyyan, which are meeting rooms for men to gather and discuss matters. Thus, this means that their meeting rooms are full of more people who come to attend. In this they were saying, "How can we be upon falsehood while we are in this manner of successful living'' These people were actually those who were concealed in the house of Al-Arqam bin Abi Al-Arqam and its likes from the other houses. This is as Allah says about them,

[وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوْ كَانَ خَيْراً مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيْهِ]

(And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and the poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'') [46:11] Nuh's people said,

[أَنُؤْمِنُ لَكَ وَاتَّبَعَكَ الاٌّرْذَلُونَ]

("Shall we believe in you, when the weakest (of the people) follow you'') [26:111] And Allah says,

[وَكَذلِكَ فَتَنَّا بَعْضَهُمْ بِبَعْضٍ لِّيَقُولواْ أَهَـؤُلاءِ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّن بَيْنِنَآ أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِأَعْلَمَ بِالشَّـكِرِينَ ]

(Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) whom Allah has favored among us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) [6:53] This is why Allah refuted their doubts:

[وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْنٍ]

(And how many a generations have We destroyed before them) This means, "How many nations and generations did We destroy of those who denied (this message) due to their disbelief''

[هُمْ أَحْسَنُ أَثَاثاً وَرِءْياً]

(who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance) This means that they were better than these present people in wealth, possessions, looks and appearance. Al-A`mash reported from Abu Zibyan, who reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning the Ayah,

[خَيْرٌ مَّقَاماً وَأَحْسَنُ نَدِيّاً]

(best dwellings and finest Nadiyyan.) "Position [Maqam] means home, Nadi means place of gathering, wealth refers to material possessions and outward appearance is how they look physically.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Position [Maqam] means dwelling, Nadi means place of gathering and the blessing and happiness that they were living in. This is as Allah says about the people of Fir`awn when He destroyed them and related the story of their situation in the Qur'an,

[كَمْ تَرَكُواْ مِن جَنَّـتٍ وَعُيُونٍ - وَزُرُوعٍ وَمَقَامٍ كَرِيمٍ ]

(How many gardens and springs that they [Fir`awn's people] left behind, and green crops and honored places [Maqam].) [44:25-26] Therefore, position [Maqam] refers to their dwellings and splendid bounties, and Nadi is the places of gathering and meeting where they used to congregate. Allah said while relating the story to His Messenger of what happened with the people of Lut,

[وَتَأْتُونَ فِى نَادِيكُمُ الْمُنْكَرَ]

(And practice Al-Munkar (evil deeds) in your meeting places [Nadiyakum].) [29:29] The Arabs call a place of gathering a Nadi.''

[قُلْ مَن كَانَ فِى الضَّلَـلَةِ فَلْيَمْدُدْ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـنُ مَدّاً حَتَّى إِذَا رَأَوْاْ مَا يُوعَدُونَ إِمَّا العَذَابَ وَإِمَّا السَّاعَةَ فَسَيَعْلَمُونَ مَنْ هُوَ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَأَضْعَفُ جُنداً ]

(75. Say: whoever is in error, the Most Gracious will extend [circumstances] for him, until, when they see that which they were promised, either the torment or the Hour, they will come to know who is worst in position, and who is weaker in forces.)

28. The Rebellious Person is given Respite but He is not forgotten

Allah, the Exalted, says,

[قُلْ]

(Say) This means, "O Muhammad, say to these people who are associating partners with their Lord, while claiming to follow the truth, that they are really following falsehood.''

[مَن كَانَ فِى الضَّلَـلَةِ]

(whoever is in error) This means, `be they from us or from you.'

[فَلْيَمْدُدْ لَهُ الرَّحْمَـنُ مَدّاً]

(the Most Gracious will extend [circumstances] for him.) This means that the Most Beneficent will give him respite in that which he is in, until he meets his Lord and his appointed time will have arrived.

[حَتَّى إِذَا رَأَوْاْ مَا يُوعَدُونَ إِمَّا العَذَابَ]

(until, when they see that which they were promised, either the torment) that will strike him,

[وَإِمَّا السَّاعَةَ]

(or the Hour) that will come suddenly,

[فَسَيَعْلَمُونَ]

(they will come to know) at that time,

[مَنْ هُوَ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَأَضْعَفُ جُنداً]

(who is worst in position, and who is weaker in forces.) This is in refutation of thier argument about their nice dwellings and splendid places of gathering. This is a challenge against the idolators who claim that they were following guidance in what they were doing. This is similar to the challenge that Allah mentions about the Jews when He says,

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ إِن زَعمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ لِلَّهِ مِن دُونِ النَّاسِ فَتَمَنَّوُاْ الْمَوْتَ إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ]

(O you Jews! If you pretend that you are friends of Allah, to the exclusion of (all) other people, then long for death if you are truthful.) [62:6] Meaning, `Supplicate for death to come to those who are following falsehood among us if you truly claim to be upon the truth. If you are true, then this supplication will not harm you.' But they refused to do so. An extensive discussion of this has already preceded in Surat Al-Baqarah, and to Allah is the praise. Likewise, Allah mentioned the challenge that was given to the Christians in Surah Al `Imran, when they were persistent in their disbelief and continued in their transgression. They refused to give up their exaggerating claim that `Isa was the son of Allah. Therefore, Allah mentioned His arguments and proofs against the worship of `Isa, and that he was merely a creature like Adam. After this, Allah said,

[فَمَنْ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَآءَكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَآءَنَا وَأَبْنَآءَكُمْ وَنِسَآءَنَا وَنِسَآءَكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَتُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الْكَـذِبِينَ ]

(Then whoever disputes with you about him after (all this) knowledge that has come to you, say: "Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves - then we pray and invoke (sincerely) the curse of Allah upon those who lie.'') [3:61] However, they (the Christians) also retreated from this challenge.

[وَيَزِيدُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ اهْتَدَواْ هُدًى وَالْبَـِّقِيَـتُ الصَّـلِحَـتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَاباً وَخَيْرٌ مَّرَدّاً ]

(76. And Allah increases in guidance those who walk aright. And the righteous good deeds that last are better with your Lord for reward and better for resort.)

29. Increasing Guidance of Those Who are guided

After Allah mentions the extended time and respite that is allowed to those who are in misguidance, increasing them in misguidance, He informs of the increase in guidance of those who are rightly guided. Similarly He says,

[وَإِذَا مَآ أُنزِلَتْ سُورَةٌ فَمِنْهُمْ مَّن يَقُولُ أَيُّكُمْ زَادَتْهُ هَـذِهِ إِيمَـناً]

(And whenever there comes down a Surah, some of them say: "Which of you has had his faith increased by it'') [9:124] And the following Ayah also shows this. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَالْبَـقِيَاتُ الصَّـلِحَاتُ]

(And the righteous good deeds that last) Its explanation has already preceded in Surat Al-Kahf, along with a lengthy discussion concerning it and the related Hadiths.

[خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا]

((they) are better with your Lord for reward.) meaning the recompense and reward.

[وَخَيْرٌ مَّرَدّاً]

(and better for resort.) meaning in the final outcome, the result for its doer.

[أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً - أَطَّلَعَ الْغَيْبَ أَمِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً - كَلاَّ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا يَقُولُ وَنَمُدُّ لَهُ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ مَدّاً - وَنَرِثُهُ مَا يَقُولُ وَيَأْتِينَا فَرْداً ]

(77. Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children [if I live again].'') (78. Has he known the Unseen or has he taken a covenant from the Most Gracious) (79. Nay, We shall record what he says, and We shall increase his torment;) (80. And We shall inherit from him all that he speaks of, and he shall come to Us alone.)

30. Refuting the Disbelievers Who claim that They will be given Wealth and Children in the Hereafter

Imam Ahmad reported from Khabbab bin Al-Aratt that he said, "I was a blacksmith and Al-" 256؛لs bin Wa'il owed me a debt. So I went to him to collect my debt from him. He said to me, `No, by Allah, I will not pay my debt to you until you disbelieve in Muhammad.' I replied to him, `No, by Allah, I will not disbelieve in Muhammad until you die and are resurrected again.' He then said to me, `Verily, if I die and am resurrected, and you come to me, I will also have abundance of wealth and children and I will repay you then.' Then, Allah revealed these Ayat,

[أَفَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً ]

(Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children.'') until,

[وَيَأْتِينَا فَرْداً]

(and he shall come to Us alone.) This was also recorded by the two compilers of the Sahihs and other collections as well. In the wording of Al-Bukhari it states that Khabbab said, "I used to be a blacksmith in Makkah and I made a sword for Al-" 256؛لs bin Wa'il. So I went to him to collect my pay from him...'' then he mentioned the rest of the Hadith and he said,

[أَمِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً]

(or has he taken a covenant from the Most Gracious) "This means an agreement. '' Concerning Allah's statement,

[أَطَّلَعَ الْغَيْبَ]

(Has he known the Unseen) This is a rejection of the person who says,

[لأوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً]

(I shall certainly be given wealth and children.) Meaning, on the Day of Resurrection. In other words, "Does he know what he will have in the Hereafter, to such an extent that he can swear to it''

[أَمِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً]

(or has he taken a covenant from the Most Gracious) Or has he received a promise from Allah that he will be given these things It has already been stated that in Sahih Al-Bukhari it is mentioned that covenant means an agreement. Concerning Allah's statement,

[كَلاَّ]

(Nay,) This is a participle that opposes what came before it and gives emphasis to what follows it.

[سَنَكْتُبُ مَا يَقُولُ]

(We shall record what he says,) what he is seeking, and his idea that he has given himself about what he hopes for, and his disbelief in Allah the Most Great.

[وَنَمُدُّ لَهُ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ مَدّاً]

(We shall increase his torment. ) This is referring to what will happen in the abode of the Hereafter, because of his saying his disbelief in Allah in this life.

[وَنَرِثُهُ مَا يَقُولُ]

(And We shall inherit from him all that he speaks of,) His wealth and children. It means, "We will take all of this from him, in opposition to his claim that he will be given more wealth and children in the Hereafter than he had in this life.'' To the contrary, in the Hereafter that which he had in this life will be taken from him. This is why Allah says,

[وَيَأْتِينَا فَرْداً]

(And he shall come to Us alone.) without wealth or children.

[وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً ]

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً ]

[أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا الشَّيَـطِينَ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمْ أَزّاً - فَلاَ تَعْجَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّمَا نَعُدُّ لَهُمْ عَدّاً ]

(81. And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory.) (82. Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and will become their adversaries.) (83. See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil. ) (84. So make no haste against them; We only count out to them a (limited) number.)

31. The Idols of the Polytheists will deny Their Worship

Allah, the Exalted, informs about the disbelievers who associate partners with their Lord, that they have taken gods besides Allah, so that these gods may be a source of honor and might for them. They think that these gods give them power and make them victorious. Then, Allah mentions that the matter is not as they claim, and it will not be as they hope. He says,

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ]

(Nay, but they will deny their worship of them,) on the Day of Judgement.

[وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً]

(and will become their adversaries.) This means that they will be foes in a state other than what they think about these gods. This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ - وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ ]

(And who is more astray than one who calls upon, besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) [46:5-6] As-Suddi said,

[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ]

(Nay, but they will deny their worship of them,) "This means their worshipping of the idols. '' Allah said,

[وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً]

(and will become their adversaries) contrary to what they hoped for from these gods. As-Suddi said,

[وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً]

(and will become their adversaries.) "They will be in severe opposition and argument.'' Ad-Dahhak said,

[وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً]

(and will become their adversaries.) "This means enemies.''

32. The Power of the Devils over the Disbelievers

Concerning Allah's statement,

[أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرْسَلْنَا الشَّيَـطِينَ عَلَى الْكَـفِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمْ أَزّاً ]

(See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "They will lead them astray with temptation.'' Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said, "They will incite them against Muhammad and his Companions.'' Qatadah said, "They will harass them and disturb them until they disobey Allah.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said, "This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ ]

(And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious, We appoint for him a Shaytan to be a companion for him.)'' [43:36] Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَلاَ تَعْجَلْ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّمَا نَعُدُّ لَهُمْ عَدّاً ]

(So make no haste against them; We only count out to them a (limited) number.) This means, "Do not be hasty with the punishment that is going to befall them, O Muhammad.''

[إِنَّمَا نَعُدُّ لَهُمْ عَدّاً]

(We only count out to them a number. ) This means, "We are only delaying them for a fixed appointment whose time is numbered. They are destined for that and there is no escaping the torment of Allah and His exemplary punishment.'' Allah says,

[وَلاَ تَحْسَبَنَّ اللَّهَ غَـفِلاً عَمَّا يَعْمَلُ الظَّـلِمُونَ]

(And consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do.) [14:42] And He says,

[فَمَهِّلِ الْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْهِلْهُمْ رُوَيْداً ]

(So give a respite to the disbelievers; deal gently with them for a while.) [86:17] And Allah says,

[إِنَّمَا نُمْلِى لَهُمْ لِيَزْدَادُواْ إِثْمَاً]

(We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness.) [3:178]

[نُمَتِّعُهُمْ قَلِيلاً ثُمَّ نَضْطَرُّهُمْ إِلَى عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ ]

(We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment.) [31:24]

[قُلْ تَمَتَّعُواْ فَإِنَّ مَصِيرَكُمْ إِلَى النَّارِ]

(Say: "Enjoy! But certainly, your destination is the (Hell) Fire.'') [14:30] As-Suddi said,

[إِنَّمَا نَعُدُّ لَهُمْ عَدّاً]

(We only count out to them a (limited) number. ) means years, months, days and hours.''

[يَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ الْمُتَّقِينَ إِلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ وَفْداً ]

[وَنَسُوقُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً ]

[لاَّ يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفَـعَةَ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً ]

(85. The Day We shall gather those with Taqwa unto the Most Gracious (Allah), like a delegation.) (86. And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state.) (87. None shall have the power of intercession, but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Gracious (Allah).)

33. The Condition of the Righteous and the Criminals on the Day of Resurrection

Allah, the Exalted, informs about His righteous friends, who feared Him in the life of this world. They followed His Messengers and believed in what the Messengers told them. They obeyed them in what they commanded them and abstained from that which they prohibited. Allah explains that He will gather these people on the Day of Resurrection like a delegation that has come to Him. A Wafd (delegation) is a group that arrives while riding and from it comes the word Wufud (arriving). They will come riding upon noble steeds of light from the riding animals of the Hereafter. They will arrive before the Best Receiver of delegations at the abode of His honor and pleasure. In reference to the criminals, who denied the Messengers and opposed them, they will be driven violently to the Hellfire. Allah says,

[وِرْداً]

(In a thirsty state.) This means parched and thirsting for drink. This was stated by `Ata', Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and many others. Here it will be said,

[أَىُّ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ خَيْرٌ مَّقَاماً وَأَحْسَنُ نَدِيّاً]

(Which of the two groups is best in Maqam (position) and the finest Nadiyyan (meeting place).)[19:73] Ibn Abi Hatim reported from `Amr bin Qays Al-Mula'i, who reported from Ibn Marzuq that he said,

[يَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ الْمُتَّقِينَ إِلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ وَفْداً ]

(The Day We shall gather those with Taqwa unto the Most Gracious, like a delegation.) "When the believer comes forth from his grave, he will meet the most handsome form he has ever seen and it will have the nicest fragrance. He will say, `Who are you' The being will reply, `You do not know me' The believer will say, `No, but Allah has made you sweet smelling with a handsome face.' The being will say, `I am your righteous deeds. This is how you use to beautify and apply fragrance to your deeds in the worldly life. I was riding upon you in the entire length of your worldly life, so will you not ride upon me now' So the believer will therefore mount the creature. This is the meaning of Allah's statement,

[يَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ الْمُتَّقِينَ إِلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ وَفْداً ]

(The Day We shall gather those with Taqwa unto the Most Gracious, like a delegation.)'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[يَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ الْمُتَّقِينَ إِلَى الرَّحْمَـنِ وَفْداً ]

(The Day We shall gather those with Taqwa unto the Most Gracious, like a delegation.) "Riding.'' His saying,

[وَنَسُوقُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً ]

(And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state.) This means parched and thirsty.

[لاَّ يَمْلِكُونَ الشَّفَـعَةَ]

(None shall have the power of intercession,) There will be no one who can intercede for them like the believers who intercede for each other. Allah says about them,

[فَمَا لَنَا مِن شَـفِعِينَ - وَلاَ صَدِيقٍ حَمِيمٍ ]

(Now we have no intercessors, nor a close friend.) [26:100-101] Allah said,

[إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً]

(but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Gracious.) This is a separate exclusion, which means, "But those who have taken a covenant with the Most Beneficent.'' This covenant is the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and upholding of its rights and implications. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ عِندَ الرَّحْمَـنِ عَهْداً]

(but such a one as has received permission (or promise) from the Most Gracious.) "The promise is the testimony that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, that the person accepts that all power and strength belong to Allah and he only places his hope with Allah alone.''

[وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً - لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ شَيْئاً إِدّاً - تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً - أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً - وَمَا يَنبَغِى لِلرَّحْمَـنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً - إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ آتِى الرَّحْمَـنِ عَبْداً - لَّقَدْ أَحْصَـهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً - وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً ]

(88. And they say: "The Most Gracious (Allah) has begotten a son.'') (89. Indeed you have brought forth (said) a thing Idda.) (90. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains Hadda.) (91. That they ascribe a son to the Most Gracious.) (92. But it is not suitable for the Most Gracious that He should beget a son.) (93. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious as a slave.) (94. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting.) (95. And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.)

34. The Stern Rejection of attributing a Son to Allah

After Allah affirms in this noble Surah that `Isa was a worshipper and servant of Allah and He mentioned his birth from Maryam without a father, He then begins refuting those who claim that He has a son. Holy is He and far Exalted is He above such description. Allah says,

[وَقَالُواْ اتَّخَذَ الرَّحْمَـنُ وَلَداً لَقَدْ جِئْتُمْ]

(And they say: "The Most Gracious has begotten a son.'' Indeed you have brought forth) This means, "In this statement of yours.''

[شَيْئاً إِدّاً]

(a thing Idda.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah and Malik all said, "Terrible.'' It has been said that it is pronounced Iddan, Addan, and Addan with elongation on the first vowel. All three of these pronunciations are known, but the most popular is the first. Allah said;

[تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً - أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً ]

(Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains Hadda, that they ascribe a son to the Most Gracious.) that is, out of their high esteem for Allah, when they hear this statement of wickedness coming from the Children of Adam. The reason for this is that these are creatures of Allah and they are established upon His Tawhid and the fact that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He has no partners, no peer, no child, no mate and no coequal. Rather, He is the One, Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures are in need of. Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah's statement,

[تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً - أَن دَعَوْا لِلرَّحْمَـنِ وَلَداً ]

(Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains Hadda, that they ascribe a son to the Most Gracious.) "Verily, the heavens, the earth, the mountains and all creatures -- except for humans and Jinns -- are frightened by the associating of partners with Allah. Creation will almost cease existing before the association of partners with Allah, due to His Greatness. Just as the idolator does not benefit by his good deeds because of associating partners with Allah, we hope that Allah would forgive the sins of those who believed in His absolute Oneness by worshipping Him alone. The Messenger of Allah said,

لَقِّنُوا مَوْتَاكُمْ شَهَادَةَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، فَمَنْ قَالَهَا عِنْدَ مَوْتِهِ وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّة

(Encourage your dying people to testify to La ilaha illallah, for whoever says it at the time of their death, they will definitely enter into Paradise.) The people said, "O Messenger of Allah, what about he who says it while in good health'' He replied,

تِلْكَ أَوْجَبُ وَأَوْجَب

(This will necessitate his entrance into Paradise even more.) Then he said,

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ جِيءَ بِالسَّموَاتِ وَالْأَرَضِينَ، وَمَا فِيهِنَّ وَمَا بَيْنَهُنَّ وَمَا تَحْتَهُنَّ، فَوُضِعْنَ فِي كِفَّةِ الْمِيزَانِ،وَوُضِعَتْ شَهَادَةُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ فِي الْكِفَّةِ الْأُخْرى لَرَجَحَتْ بِهِن

(I swear by He Whom my soul is in His Hand, if the heavens and the earths, and all that is in them, between them and under them, were brought and placed in a balance of a scale, and the testimony of La ilaha illallah was placed on the other side of the scale, the testimony would outweigh all of it.) This was recorded by Ibn Jarir and it is supported by the Hadith related to the story of the card. And Allah knows best. Ad-Dahhak said,

[تَكَادُ السَّمَـوَتُ يَتَفَطَّرْنَ مِنْهُ]

(Whereby the heavens are almost torn,) "This means to be split apart into pieces due to the fear of the magnificence of Allah.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said,

[وَتَنشَقُّ الاٌّرْضُ]

(and the earth is split asunder,) "This is due to its anger on behalf of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime.''

[وَتَخِرُّ الْجِبَالُ هَدّاً]

(and the mountains Hadda.) Ibn `Abbas said, "This means to be torn down.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "Haddan means some of it is broken by other parts of it in succession.'' Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Musa that he said that the Messenger of Allah said,

لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذىً سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ إِنَّهُ يُشْرَكُ بِهِ وَيُجْعَلُ لَهُ وَلَدٌ، وَهُوَ يُعَافِيهِمْ وَيَدْفَعُ عَنْهُمْ وَيَرْزُقُهُم

(There is no one more patient than Allah concerning something harmful that he hears. For verily, partners are associated with Him and a son is ascribed to Him, while He is the One Who gives them good health, protects them and sustains them.) This narration is also recorded in the Two Sahihs. In one wording of it he said,

إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم

(...that they attribute a son to Him, while He is the One Who sustains them and gives them good health.) Allah said;

[وَمَا يَنبَغِى لِلرَّحْمَـنِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ وَلَداً ]

(But it is not suitable for the Most Gracious that He should beget a son.) Meaning that it is not befitting of Him, nor is it appropriate for His lofty majesty and greatness. There is no coequal for Him in His creation, because all creatures are His slaves. This is why He says,

[إِن كُلُّ مَن فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِلاَّ آتِى الرَّحْمَـنِ عَبْداً - لَّقَدْ أَحْصَـهُمْ وَعَدَّهُمْ عَدّاً ]

(There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Gracious as a slave. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting.) He knows their number from the time He created them, until the Day of Resurrection, male and female, both the small and the large of them.

[وَكُلُّهُمْ ءَاتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَرْداً ]

(And everyone of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.) This means that there will be no helper for him and no one to save him, except Allah alone, Who has no partners. He judges His creatures as He wills and He is the Most Just, Who does not do even an atom's weight of injustice. He will not wrong anyone.

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَـنُ وُدّاً - فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَـهُ بِلَسَانِكَ لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ وَتُنْذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً - وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْنٍ هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْهُمْ مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَوْ تَسْمَعُ لَهُمْ رِكْزاً ]

(96. Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Gracious will bestow love for them.) (97. So, We have made this easy in your own tongue, only that you may give glad tidings to those who have Taqwa, and warn with it the people that are Ludda.) (98. And how many a generation before them have We destroyed! Can you find a single one of them or hear even a whisper of them)

35. Allah places Love of the Righteous People in the Hearts

Allah, the Exalted, informs about His believing servants, who work righteous deeds -- deeds that He is pleased with because they are in accordance with the legislation of Muhammad -- that He plants love for them in the hearts of His righteous servants. This is something that is absolutely necessary and there is no avoiding it. This has been reported in authentic Hadiths of the Messenger of Allah in various different ways. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

إِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا أَحَبَّ عَبْدًا دَعَا جِبْرِيلَ، فَقَالَ: يَا جِبْرِيلُ، إِنِّي أُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبَّهُ قَالَ: فَيُحِبُّهُ جِبْرِيلُ، قَالَ: ثُمَّ يُنَادِي فِي أَهْلِ السَّمَاءِ: إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبُّوهُ، قَالَ: فَيُحِبُّهُ أَهْلُ السَّمَاءِ، ثُمَّ يُوضَعُ لَهُ الْقَبُولُ فِي الْأَرْضِ، وَإِنَّ اللهَ إِذَا أَبْغَضَ عَبْدًا دَعَا جِبْرِيلَ فَقَالَ: يَا جِبْرِيلُ إِنِّي أُبْغِضُ فُلَانًا فَأَبْغِضْهُ، قَالَ: فَيُبْغِضُهُ جِبْرِيلُ، ثُمَّ يُنَادِي فِي أَهْلِ السَّمَاءِ: إِنَّ اللهَ يُبْغِضُ فُلَانًا فَأَبْغِضُوهُ، قَالَ: فَيُبْغِضُهُ أَهْلُ السَّمَاءِ، ثُمَّ يُوضَعُ لَهُ الْبَغْضَاءُ فِي الْأَرْض

(Verily, whenever Allah loves a servant of His, He calls Jibril and says, "O Jibril, verily I love so-and-so, so love him.'' Thus, Jibril will love him. Then, he (Jibril) will call out to the dwellers of the heavens, "Verily, Allah loves so-and-so, so you too must love him.'' Then the dwellers of the heavens love him and he will be given acceptance in the earth. Whenever Allah hates a servant of His, He calls Jibril and says, "O Jibril, verily I hate so-and-so, so hate him.'' Thus, Jibril will hate him. Then, he (Jibril) will call out amongst the dwellers of the heavens, "Verily, Allah hates so-and-so, so you too must hate him.'' Then the dwellers of the heavens hate him and hatred for him will be placed in the earth.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported narrations similar to this. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

إِذَا أَحَبَّ اللهُ عَبْدًا نَادَى جِبْرِيلَ: إِنِّي قَدْ أَحْبَبْتُ فُلَانًا فَأَحِبَّهُ، فَيُنَادِي فِي السَّمَاءِ، ثُمَّ يُنْزِلُ لَهُ الْمَحَبَّةَ فِي أَهْلِ الْأَرْضِ، فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُ اللهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ:

[إِنَّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَـنُ وُدّاً ]

(Whenever Allah loves a servant of His, He calls Jibril (saying), "Verily, I love so-and-so, so love him.'' Then, Jibril calls out into the heavens and love for him descends among the people of the earth. That is the meaning of the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Sublime: (Verily, those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Gracious will bestow love for them.)) [19:96] This was also reported by Muslim and At-Tirmidhi and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.''

36. The Qur'an descended to give Glad Tidings and to warn

Allah said;

[فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَـهُ]

(So, We have made this easy) meaning the Qur'an.

[بِلَسَانِكَ]

(in your own tongue,) This is an address to Prophet Muhammad and it means that the Qur'an is in the pure, complete and eloquent Arabic language.

[لِتُبَشِّرَ بِهِ الْمُتَّقِينَ]

(that you may give glad tidings to those who have Taqwa,) those who respond to Allah and believe in His Messenger ,

[وَتُنْذِرَ بِهِ قَوْماً لُّدّاً]

(and warn with it the people who are Ludda.) meaning, the people who have deviated away from the truth and are inclined towards falsehood. His saying,

[وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُمْ مِّن قَرْنٍ]

(And how many a generation before them have We destroyed!) means from the nations that disbelieved in the signs of Allah and rejected His Messengers.

[هَلْ تُحِسُّ مِنْهُمْ مِّنْ أَحَدٍ أَوْ تَسْمَعُ لَهُمْ رِكْزاً]

(Can you find a single one of them or hear even a whisper of them) Meaning, `have you seen any of them or even heard a whisper from them.' Ibn `Abbas, Abu Al-`Aliyah, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ad-Dahhak and Ibn Zayd all said, "This means any sound.'' Al-Hasan and Qatadah both said that this means, "Do you see with your eye, or hear any sound'' This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Maryam. All praises and thanks are due to Allah. Following this will be the Tafsir of Surah Ta Ha, Allah willing and all praise is due to Allah.


The Tafsir of Surah Tha-Ha (Chapter 20)
Top Index

Which was revealed at Makkah

1. Which was revealed at Makkah
2. The Qur'an is a Reminder and a Revelation from Allah
3. A Discussion of the Message of Musa
4. The First Revelation to Musa
5. The Stick of Musa turned into a Snake
6. The Hand of Musa turning White without any Disease
7. Allah commanded Musa to go to Fir`awn to convey the Message Allah said
8. The Supplication of Musa
9. Glad Tidings of the acceptance of Musa's Supplication and the Reminder of the Previous Blessings
10. Choosing Musa to go to Fir`awn and to be Soft and Gentle in His Invitation
11. Musa's fear of Fir`awn and Allah's strengthening Him
12. Musa admonishes Fir`awn
13. The Conversation between Musa and Fir`awn
14. The Completion of Musa's Reply to Fir`awn
15. Musa showed Fir`awn all of the Signs but He did not believe Concerning Allah's statement
16. Fir`awn describes Musa's Proofs as being Magic and Their Agreement to hold a Contest
17. The Meeting of the Two Parties, Musa's Propagation of the Message and the Magicians
18. The Competition, Musa's Victory, and the Magician's Faith
19. The Number of Magicians
20. Fir`awn's turning against the Magicians, His threatening Them and Their Reply
21. The Magicians admonish Fir`awn
22. The Children of Israel leave Egypt
23. A Reminder for the Children of Israel of
24. Musa goes to the Appointment with Allah and the Children of Israel succumb to worship the Calf
25. Harun prohibits them from worship of Calf and the Persistence of the Children of Israel in doing so
26. What happened between Musa and Harun after Musa returned
27. How As-Samiri made the Calf
28. The Punishment of As-Samiri and the burning of the Calf Thereupon
29. The Entire Qur'an is the Remembrance of Allah and mentioning the Punishment of Those Who turn away from It
30. The Blowing of the Sur and the Day of Resurrection
31. The destruction of the Mountains, and the Earth becomes a Smooth Plain
32. The People will rush towards the Voice of the Caller
33. The Intercession and the Recompense
34. The Qur'an was revealed so that the People would have Taqwa and reflect
35. The Command to the Prophet to listen to the Qur'an when it is revealed without making haste to recite it
36. The Story of Adam and Iblis
37. The Descent of Adam to the Earth and the Promise of Good for the Guided and Evil for the Transgressors
38. Severe Torment for Him Who transgresses beyond bounds
39. Many Nations were destroyed and in Them is a Lesson
40. The Command to be patient and perform the Five daily Prayers
41. Do not look at the Enjoyment of the Wealthy, be patient in the worship of Allah
42. The Request of the Polytheists for Proofs while the Qur'an is itself a Proof


1. Which was revealed at Makkah

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ ]

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

[طه - مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى - إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى - تَنزِيلاً مِّمَّنْ خَلَق الاٌّرْضَ وَالسَّمَـوَتِ الْعُلَى - الرَّحْمَـنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى - لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِي الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى - وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى - اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنَى ]

(1. Ta Ha.) (2. We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) (3. But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah).) (4. A revelation from Him Who created the earth and high heavens.) (5. The Most Gracious Istawa the Throne.) (6. To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil.) (7. And if you speak aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) (8. Allah! There is no God but Him! To Him belong the Best Names.)

2. The Qur'an is a Reminder and a Revelation from Allah

We have already discussed the separated letters at the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah, so there is no need to repeat its discussion here. Allah says,

[مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى ]

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) Juwaybir reported that Ad-Dahhak said, "When Allah sent the Qur'an down to His Messenger , he and his Companions adh- ered to it. Thus, the idolators of the Quraysh said, `This Qur'an was only reve- aled to Muhammad to cause him distress.' Therefore, Allah revealed,

[طه - مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى - إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى ]

(Ta Ha. We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress, but only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah).) The matter is not like the people of falsehood claim. Rather, whomever Allah gives knowledge to, it is because Allah wants him to have an abundance of good. This like what is confirmed in the Two Sahihs on the authority of Ibn Mas`ud, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ يُرِدِ اللهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُفَقِّهْهُ فِي الدِّين

(Whomever Allah wants good for, then He gives him the understanding of the religion. ) Mujahid commented on Allah's statement,

[مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى ]

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) "This is like His statement,

[مَا تَيَسَّرَ مِنْهُ وَأَقِيمُواْ]

(So recite as much of the Qur'an as may be easy (for you).) [73:20] For, the people used to hang ropes at their chests (to hang on to when tired) in the prayer.'' Qatadah said,

[مَآ أَنَزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ لِتَشْقَى ]

(We have not sent down the Qur'an unto you to cause you distress,) "No, by Allah, He did not make it a thing of distress. Rather, He made it a mercy, a light and a guide to Paradise.'' Allah said,

[إِلاَّ تَذْكِرَةً لِّمَن يَخْشَى ]

(But only as a Reminder to those who fear (Allah).) Allah revealed His Book and sent His Messenger as a mercy for His servants, so that the person who reflects may be reminded. Thus, a man will benefit from what he hears of the Book of Allah, it is a remembrance in which Allah revealed what He permits and prohibits. His saying,

[تَنزِيلاً مِّمَّنْ خَلَق الاٌّرْضَ وَالسَّمَـوَتِ الْعُلَى ]

(A Revelation from Him (Allah) Who has created the earth and high heavens. ) means, `This Qur'an, which has come to you, O Muhammad, is a revelation from your Lord. He is the Lord of everything and its King. He is Most Able to do whatever He wills. He created the earth with its low depths and dense regions. He created the lofty heavens with their high altitudes and subtleties.' It has been reported in a Hadith, which At-Tirmidhi and others graded as authentic, that the density of each sky of the heavens is the distance of five hundred years travel and the distance between it and the next heaven is also five hundred years. Concerning Allah's statement,

[الرَّحْمَـنُ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ اسْتَوَى ]

(The Most Gracious Istawa the Throne.) A discussion concerning this has already preceded in Surat Al-A`raf, so there is no need to repeat it here. The safest path to take in understanding this, is the way of the Salaf (predecessors). Their way was to accept that which has been reported concerning this from the Book and the Sunnah without describing it, reinterpreting it, resembling it to creation, rejecting it, or comparing it to attributes of the creatures. Concerning Allah's statement,

[لَهُ مَا فِي السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِي الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى ]

(To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth, and all that is between them, and all that is under the soil.) This means all of this is owned by Him and in His grasp. It is all under His control, will, intent and judgement. He created all of this, He owns it and He is the God of all of it. There is no true God other than He and no Lord other than He. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَمَا تَحْتَ الثَّرَى]

(and all that is under the soil.) Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "This means that which is beneath the seventh earth.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَإِن تَجْهَرْ بِالْقَوْلِ فَإِنَّهُ يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى ]

(And if you speak aloud, then verily, He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) This means that He Who revealed this Qur'an, has also created the high heavens and the earth and He knows that which is secret and what is even more hidden. As Allah says,

[قُلْ أَنزَلَهُ الَّذِى يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً ]

(Say: "It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') [25:6] `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

[يَعْلَمُ السِّرَّ وَأَخْفَى]

(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden.) "The secret is what the son of Adam hides within himself, and

[وَأَخْفَى]

(that which is yet more hidden. ) is the deeds of the son of Adam, which are hidden before he does them. Allah knows all of that. His knowledge encompasses that which has passed and that which is in the future and it is one, complete knowledge. In this regard, all of the creatures are as one soul to Him. That is the meaning of His statement,

[مَّا خَلْقُكُمْ وَلاَ بَعْثُكُمْ إِلاَّ كَنَفْسٍ وَحِدَةٍ]

(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as a single person.) [31:28] Concerning Allah's statement,

[اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَهُ الاٌّسْمَآءُ الْحُسْنَى ]

(Allah! There is no God but Him! To Him belongs the Best Names.) This means, `He Who revealed this Qur'an to you (O Muhammad), He is Allah, there is no God except Him. He is the Owner of the Best Names and the most lofty attributes.'

[وَهَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَى - إِذْ رَأَى نَاراً فَقَالَ لاًّهْلِهِ امْكُثُواْ إِنِّى ءَانَسْتُ نَاراً لَّعَلِّى آتِيكُمْ مِّنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى ]

(9. And has there come to you the story of Musa) (10. When he saw a fire, he said to his family: "Wait! Verily, I have seen a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand therefrom, or find some guidance at the fire.'')

3. A Discussion of the Message of Musa

From this point, Allah begins to mention the story of Musa, how revelation began to come to Him, and Allah's speaking directly to him. This occurred after Musa had completed the time agreed upon between he and his father-in-law that he would herd sheep. He was traveling with his family, and it has been said that he was headed for the land of Egypt, after having been away from it for more than ten years. He had his wife with him and he became lost on the way during a cold, wintery night. Therefore, he settled down, making a camp between some mountain passes and mountains that were covered with snow, sleet, dense clouds, darkness and fog. He began to try to make a fire with a kindling device he had with him, in order to produce some light, as was customary. However, it would not kindle anything and it even stopped giving off sparks. While he was in this condition, he saw a fire from the side of the mountain. It appeared to him to be a fire glowing from the right side of the mountain from where he was. He then announced the good news to his family saying,

[إِنِّى ءَانَسْتُ نَاراً لَّعَلِّى آتِيكُمْ مِّنْهَا بِقَبَسٍ]

(Verily, I have seen a fire; perhaps I can bring you some burning brand) This means a flame from a fire. In another Ayah he said,

[أَوْ جَذْوَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ]

(or a burning firebrand.) [28:29]) This is a coal that has a burning flame.

[لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَصْطَلُونَ]

(that you may warm yourselves. ) [28:29] This proves that it was in fact cold weather at that time. Concerning his statement,

[بِقَبَسٍ]

(some burning brand) This proves that it was dark. In reference to his statement,

[أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى]

(or find some guidance at the fire.) This means someone who can guide me to the road. This proves that he lost the road. This is as Ath-Thawri reported from Abu Sa`id Al-A`war, from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas that he said concerning Allah's statement,

[أَوْ أَجِدُ عَلَى النَّارِ هُدًى]

(or find some guidance at the fire.) "This means someone who will guide me to the road. They were cold and had lost their way. Then, when he (Musa) saw the fire he said, `Either I will find someone who can guide us to the road, or at least I can bring you all some fire that you can kindle with.' ''

[فَلَمَّآ أَتَاهَا نُودِىَ يمُوسَى - إِنِّى أَنَاْ رَبُّكَ فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى - وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَى - إِنَّنِى أَنَا اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلا أَنَاْ فَاعْبُدْنِى وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ لِذِكْرِى - إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ ءَاتِيَةٌ أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا لِتُجْزَى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَى - فَلاَ يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَن لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ فَتَرْدَى ]

(11. And when he came to it (the fire), he was called by name: "O Musa!'') (12. "Verily, I am your Lord! So take off your shoes; you are in the sacred valley, Tuwa.'') (13. "And I have chosen you. So listen to that which will be revealed (to you)'') (14. "Verily, I am Allah! There is no God but Me, so worship Me, and perform Salah for My remembrance.'') (15. "Verily, the Hour is coming -- and I am almost hiding it -- that every person may be rewarded for that which he strives.'') (16. "Therefore, let not the one who believes not therein, but follows his own lusts, divert you therefrom, lest you perish.'')

4. The First Revelation to Musa

Allah, the Exalted, says,

[فَلَمَّآ أَتَاهَا]

(And when he came to it,) This is referring to the fire when he approached it.

[نُودِىَ يمُوسَى]

(He was called by name: "O Musa!'') In another Ayah it says,

[نُودِىَ مِن شَاطِىءِ الْوَادِى الأَيْمَنِ فِى الْبُقْعَةِ الْمُبَارَكَةِ مِنَ الشَّجَرَةِ أَن يمُوسَى إِنِّى أَنَا اللَّهُ]

(He was called from the right side of the valley, in the blessed place, from the tree: "O Musa! Verily, I am Allah.'')[28:30] However, here Allah says,

[إِنِّى أَنَاْ رَبُّكَ]

(Verily, I am your Lord!) meaning, `the One Who is talking to you and addressing you,'

[فَاخْلَعْ نَعْلَيْكَ]

(So take off your shoes;) `Ali bin Abi Talib, Abu Dharr, Abu Ayyub and others of the Salaf said, "They (his sandals) were from the skin of a donkey that was not slaughtered.'' It has also been said that he was only commanded to remove his sandals due to respect for the blessed spot. Concerning Allah's statement,

[طُوًى]

(Tuwa) `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "It is the name of the valley.'' Others have said the same. This is merely mentioned as something to give more explanation to the story. It has also been said that it is a figure of speech, which comes from the command to place his feet down. It has also been said that it means `doubly sacred' and that Tuwa is something that has repetitious blessings. However, the first opinion is most correct. It is similar to Allah's statement,

[إِذْ نَادَاهُ رَبُّهُ بِالْوَادِ الْمُقَدَّسِ طُوًى ]

(When his Lord called him in the sacred valley of Tuwa.) [79:16] Allah's statement,

[وَأَنَا اخْتَرْتُكَ]

(And I have chosen you.) is similar to His statement,

[إِنْى اصْطَفَيْتُكَ عَلَى النَّاسِ بِرِسَـلَـتِي وَبِكَلَـمِي]

(I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you).) [7:144] This means over all human beings of that time. It has also been said that Allah said, "O Musa, do you know why I chose to speak to you directly out of all of the people'' Musa said, "No.'' Allah then said, "Because I have not made anyone humble himself as much as you have humbled yourself. '' Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَاسْتَمِعْ لِمَا يُوحَى]

(So listen to that which will be revealed.) "Now listen to what I say to you and what I reveal to you.''

[إِنَّنِى أَنَا اللَّهُ لا إِلَـهَ إِلا أَنَاْ]

(Verily, I am Allah! There is no God but Me,) This is the first obligation upon all responsible people of age, that they know that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partners. Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَاعْبُدْنِى]

(so worship Me,) This means, "Single Me out alone for worship, and establish My worship without associating anything with Me.''

[وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ لِذِكْرِى]

(and perform Salah for My remembrance.) It has been said that this means, "Pray in order to remember Me.'' It has also been said that it means, "And establish the prayer whenever you remember Me.'' There is a supporting evidence for this second statement in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from Anas, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِذَا رَقَدَ أَحَدُكُمْ عَنِ الصَّلَاةِ أَوْ غَفَلَ عَنْهَا، فَلْيُصَلِّهَا إِذَا ذَكَرَهَا، فَإِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالى قَالَ:

[وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ لِذِكْرِى]

(Whenever one of you sleeps past the prayer, or he forgets to pray, then let him pray when he remembers it. For verily, Allah said, (And perform Salah for My remembrance.)) In the Two Sahihs it is reported from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said,

مَنْ نَامَ عَنْ صَلَاةٍ أَوْ نَسِيَهَا فَكَفَّارَتُهَا أَنْ يُصَلِّيَهَا إِذَا ذَكَرَهَا، لَا كَفَّارَةَةَلهَا إِلَّا ذَلِك

(Whoever slept past the prayer, or forgot it, then his expiation is that he prays it when he remembers it. There is no expiation for it other than that.) Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِنَّ السَّاعَةَ ءَاتِيَةٌ]

(Verily, the Hour is coming) This means that it is established and there is no avoiding it. It will be and it is inevitable. Concerning Allah's statement,

[أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا]

(I am almost hiding it) Ad-Dahhak related from Ibn `Abbas that he used to recite it as, "I almost kept it hidden -- from myself.'' Ibn `Abbas then would say, "Because nothing is ever hidden from Allah's Self.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

[أَكَادُ أُخْفِيهَا]

(I am almost hiding it.) "This means that no one knows its appointed time except Me (Allah).'' Allah also said,

[ثَقُلَتْ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ لاَ تَأْتِيكُمْ إِلاَّ بَغْتَةً]

(Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden.) [7:187] This means that its knowledge weighs heavily upon the dwellers of the heavens and the earth. Concerning Allah's statement,

[لِتُجْزَى كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا تَسْعَى]

(that every person may be rewarded for that which he strives.) "I will establish it and it is inevitable. I will certainly reward every person who does something, according to what he did.''

[فَمَن يَعْمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ خَيْراً يَرَهُ - وَمَن يَعْـمَلْ مِثْقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ شَرّاً يَرَهُ ]

(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom shall see it.) [99:7-8]

[إِنَّمَا تُجْزَوْنَ مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ]

(You are only being requited for what you used to do.) [52:16] Allah said,

[فَلاَ يَصُدَّنَّكَ عَنْهَا مَن لاَّ يُؤْمِنُ بِهَا]

(Therefore, let not divert you the one who believes not therein,) The address here is directed towards all individuals who are responsible (and capable of taking heed to this message). This means, "Do not follow the way of the person who does not believe in the Hour (Day of Judgement) and he only pursues his desires in this worldly life. He disobeys his Lord and only follows his desires. Whoever behaves like these people, then verily he has failed and lost.

[فَتَرْدَى]

(lest you perish.) This means that you will be destroyed and ruined.

[وَمَا يُغْنِى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّى ]

(And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction)) [92:11]

[وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يمُوسَى - قَالَ هِىَ عَصَاىَ أَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيْهَا وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَى غَنَمِى وَلِىَ فِيهَا مَأَرِبُ أُخْرَى ]

[قَالَ أَلْقِهَا يمُوسَى - فَأَلْقَـهَا فَإِذَا هِىَ حَيَّةٌ تَسْعَى - قَالَ خُذْهَا وَلاَ تَخَفْ سَنُعِيدُهَا سِيَرتَهَا الاٍّولَى ]

(17. "And what is that in your right hand, O Musa'') (18. He said: "This is my stick, whereon I lean, and wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep, and wherein I find other uses.'') (19. (Allah) said: "Cast it down, O Musa!'') (20. He cast it down, and behold! It was a snake, moving quickly. ) (21. Allah said: "Grasp it and fear not; We shall return it to its former state.'')

5. The Stick of Musa turned into a Snake

This was a proof from Allah for Musa and a great miracle. This was something that broke through the boundaries of what is considered normal, thus, it was a brilliant evidence that none but Allah could do. It was also a proof that no one could come with the likes of this (from mankind) except a Prophet who was sent (by Allah). Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يمُوسَى ]

(And what is that in your right hand, O Musa) Some of the scholars of Tafsir have said, "He (Allah) only said this to him in order to draw his attention to it.'' It has also been said, "He only said this to him in order to affirm for him what was in his hand. In other words, that which is in your right hand is a stick that you are familiar with. You will see what We are about to do to it now.''

[وَمَا تِلْكَ بِيَمِينِكَ يمُوسَى ]

(And what is that in your right hand, O Musa) This is an interrogative phrase for the purpose of affirmation.

[قَالَ هِىَ عَصَاىَ أَتَوَكَّؤُا عَلَيْهَا]

(He said: "This is my stick, whereon I lean...'') I lean on it while I am walking.

[وَأَهُشُّ بِهَا عَلَى غَنَمِى]

(and wherewith I beat down branches for my sheep,) This means, `I use it to shake the branches of trees so that the leaves will fall for my sheep to eat them. ' `Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Qasim reported from Imam Malik that he said, "[It is] when a man places his staff into a branch and shakes it so that its leaves and fruit will fall without breaking the stick. It is not the same as striking or beating.'' Maymun bin Mahran also said the same. Concerning his statement,

[وَلِىَ فِيهَا مَأَرِبُ أُخْرَى]

(and wherein I find other uses.) This means other benefits, services and needs besides this. Some of the scholars took upon themselves the burden of mentioning many of these obscure uses. Concerning Allah's statement,

[قَالَ أَلْقِهَا يمُوسَى ]

((Allah) said: "Cast it down, O Musa!'') "Throw down this stick that is in your right hand, O Musa.''

[فَأَلْقَـهَا فَإِذَا هِىَ حَيَّةٌ تَسْعَى ]

(He cast it down, and behold! It was a snake, moving quickly.) This means that the stick changed into a huge snake, like a long python, and it moved with rapid movements. It moved as if it were the fastest type of small snake. Yet, it was in the form of the largest snake, while still having the fastest of movements.

[تَسْعَى]

(moving quickly.) moving restlessly. Concerning Allah's statement,

[سَنُعِيدُهَا سِيَرتَهَا الاٍّولَى]

(We shall return it to its former state. ) the form that it was in, as you recognized it before.

[وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَى جَنَاحِكَ تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَآءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ ءَايَةً أُخْرَى - لِنُرِيَكَ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا الْكُبْرَى - اذْهَبْ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى - قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى - وَيَسِّرْ لِى أَمْرِى - وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِى - يَفْقَهُواْ قَوْلِي - وَاجْعَل لِّى وَزِيراً مِّنْ أَهْلِى - هَـرُونَ أَخِى - اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِى - وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِى أَمْرِى - كَىْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيراً - وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيراً - إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيراً ]

(22. "And press your (right) hand to your (left) side: it will come forth white (and shining), without any disease as another sign,'') (23. "That We may show you (some) of Our greater signs.'') (24. "Go to Fir`awn! Verily, he has transgressed.'') (25. He said: "O my Lord! Open for me my chest.'') (26. "And ease my task for me;'') (27. "And loosen the knot from my tongue,'') (28. "That they understand my speech.'') (29. "And appoint for me a helper from my family,'') (30. "Harun, my brother.'') (31. "Increase my strength with him,'') (32. "And let him share my task,'') (33. "That we may glorify You much,'') (34. "And remember You much,'') (35. "Verily, You are ever seeing us.'')

6. The Hand of Musa turning White without any Disease

This is the second sign of Musa. That is Allah has commanded him to place his hand into the opening of his garment, as is clearly stated in another Ayah. It mentioned here merely as a passing reference, saying:

[وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَى جَنَاحِكَ]

(And press your hand to your side:) Allah said in another Ayah,

[وَاضْمُمْ إِلَيْكَ جَنَاحَكَ مِنَ الرَّهْبِ فَذَانِكَ بُرْهَانَـنِ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلَئِهِ]

(And draw your hand close to your side to be free from fear. These are two signs from your Lord to Fir`awn and his chiefs.) [28:32] Mujahid said,

[وَاضْمُمْ يَدَكَ إِلَى جَنَاحِكَ]

(And press your hand to your side:) "This means put your palm under your upper arm.'' When Musa put his hand into the opening of his garment and brought it out, it came out shining as if it were a half moon. Concerning His statement,

[تَخْرُجْ بَيْضَآءَ مِنْ غَيْرِ سُوءٍ]

(it will come forth white, without any disease) This means without any leprosy, ailment, or disfigurement. This was stated by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and others. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "He brought it out, and by Allah, it was as if it were a lamp. From this Musa knew that he had surely met his Lord, the Mighty and Sublime.'' This is why Allah says,

[لِنُرِيَكَ مِنْ ءَايَـتِنَا الْكُبْرَى ]

(That We may show you (some) of Our greater signs.)

7. Allah commanded Musa to go to Fir`awn to convey the Message Allah said,

[اذْهَبْ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى ]

(Go to Fir`awn! Verily, he has transgressed.) This means, "Go to Fir`awn, the king of Egypt, whom you left Egypt fleeing from, and invite him to the worship of Allah alone, Who has no partners. Command him to treat the Children of Israel well and to not torment them. For verily, he has transgressed, oppressed, preferred the worldly life and forgotten the Most High Lord.''

8. The Supplication of Musa

[قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى - وَيَسِّرْ لِى أَمْرِى ]

((Musa) said: "O my Lord! Open for me my chest, and ease my task for me.'') Musa requsted his Lord to expand his chest for his mission. For verily, He was commanding him with a great task and a weighty affair. He was sending him to the mightiest king on the face of the earth at that time. He was the most arrogant and severe of all people in his disbelief, and He had the largest army and the most powerful kingdom. He was the most tyrannical and the most obstinate of rulers. His case was such that he claimed not to know Allah at all, and that he knew of no god for his subjects other than himself. Along with this, Musa lived in his home for a period of time as a child. He stayed in Fir`awn's own room and slept on his bed. Then, after this, he killed one of their people and feared that they would retaliate by killing him in return. Thus, he fled from them and remained an outlaw during this entire time. Then, after all of this, His Lord sent him to them as a warner calling them to worship Allah alone, without associating partners with Him. This is why he said,

[قَالَ رَبِّ اشْرَحْ لِى صَدْرِى - وَيَسِّرْ لِى أَمْرِى ]

(O my Lord! Open for me my chest, and ease my task for me.) This means, "I cannot perform this task if You do not help me, aid me and support me.''

[وَاحْلُلْ عُقْدَةً مِّن لِّسَانِى - يَفْقَهُواْ قَوْلِي ]

(And loosen the knot from my tongue, that they understand my speech.) This is referring to the lisp that he had. This lisp was a result of an incident when he was presented a date and a hot coal stone and he placed the coal on his tongue instead of the date. A detailed explanation of this story is forthcoming in the following chapters. However, he did not ask Allah to remove this affliction all together. Rather, he asked for removal of his stammering so the people would understand what he intended in his speech. He was only asking for what was necessary to deliver his message. If he had asked for the removal of his affliction in its entirety, it would have been cured for him. However, the Prophets do not ask for any more than what is required. Therefore, he was left with the remnants of this accident that took place with his tongue. Allah informed of what Fir`awn said concerning him,

[أَمْ أَنَآ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ هَـذَا الَّذِى هُوَ مَهِينٌ وَلاَ يَكَادُ يُبِينُ ]

(Am I not better than this one who is despicable and can scarcely express himself clearly)[43:52] This means that he is not eloquent in speech. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَاجْعَل لِّى وَزِيراً مِّنْ أَهْلِى - هَـرُونَ أَخِى ]

(And appoint for me a helper from my family, Harun, my brother.) This was also a request from Musa concerning something not pertaining to himself. That was his request for the assistance of his brother, Harun. Ath-Thawri reported from Abu Sa`id, from `Ikrimah, who said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Harun was made a Prophet at the same moment that Musa was made a Prophet.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah went out intending to perform `Umrah and stopped to camp among some bedouins. While she was among them she heard a man say, "Which brother in this life was the most beneficial to his brother'' The people said, "We do not know.'' The man said, "By Allah, I know.'' `A'ishah said, "I said to myself about his swearing, that he should not swear such an oath, singling himself out as knowing what person was of most benefit to his brother.'' The man said, "It is Musa, when he asked for prophethood to be bestowed upon his brother.'' Then `A'ishah said, "By Allah, he has spoken truthfully.'' This is why Allah commended Musa by saying,

[وَكَانَ عِندَ اللَّهِ وَجِيهاً]

(And he was honorable before Allah.)[33:69] Concerning Musa's statement,

[اشْدُدْ بِهِ أَزْرِى ]

(Increase my strength with him.) Mujahid said, "This means to make my back strong.''

[وَأَشْرِكْهُ فِى أَمْرِى ]

(And let him share my task.) make him my consultant in this matter.

[كَىْ نُسَبِّحَكَ كَثِيراً - وَنَذْكُرَكَ كَثِيراً ]

(That we may glorify You much, and remember You much.) Mujahid said, "A servant of Allah is not considered of those who remember Allah much until he remembers Allah while standing, sitting and lying down.'' Concerning his statement,

[إِنَّكَ كُنتَ بِنَا بَصِيراً ]

(Verily, You are ever seeing us.) This means in Your choosing us, giving us the prophethood and sending us to Your enemy, Fir`awn. So unto You is all praise for this.

[قَالَ قَدْ أُوتِيتَ سُؤْلَكَ يمُوسَى - وَلَقَدْ مَنَنَّا عَلَيْكَ مَرَّةً أُخْرَى - إِذْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى أُمِّكَ مَا يُوحَى - أَنِ اقْذِفِيهِ فِى التَّابُوتِ فَاقْذِفِيهِ فِى الْيَمِّ فَلْيُلْقِهِ الْيَمُّ بِالسَّاحِلِ يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّى وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهُ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّى وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَى عَيْنِى إِذْ تَمْشِى أُخْتُكَ فَتَقُولُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى مَن يَكْفُلُهُ فَرَجَعْنَـكَ إِلَى أُمِّكَ كَى تَقَرَّ عَيْنُها وَلاَ تَحْزَنَ وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْساً فَنَجَّيْنَـكَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَفَتَنَّـكَ فُتُوناً]

(36. (Allah) said: "You are granted your request, O Musa!'') (37. "And indeed We conferred a favor on you another time (before).'') (38. "When We inspired your mother with that which We inspired.'') (39. "Saying: `Put him (the child) into the Tabut and put it into the river; then the river shall cast it up on the bank, and there, an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his shall take him.' And I endued you with love from Me, in order that you may be brought up under My Eye.'') (40. "When your sister went and said: `Shall I show you one who will nurse him' So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve. Then you did kill a man, but We saved you from great distress and tried you with a heavy trial.'')

9. Glad Tidings of the acceptance of Musa's Supplication and the Reminder of the Previous Blessings

This is a response from Allah to His Messenger, Musa, for what he requested from His Lord. It also contains a reminder of Allah's previous favors upon him. The first was inspiring his mother when she was breastfeeding him and she feared that Fir`awn and his chiefs would kill him. Musa was born during a year in which they (Fir`awn's people) were killing all of the male children. So she placed him in a case and cast him into the river. The river carried him away and she became grieved and distressed, as Allah mentioned about her when He said,

[وَأَصْبَحَ فُؤَادُ أُمِّ مُوسَى فَارِغاً إِن كَادَتْ لَتُبْدِى بِهِ لَوْلا أَن رَّبَطْنَا عَلَى قَلْبِهَا]

(And the heart of the mother of Musa became empty. She was very near to disclose his (case) had We not strengthened her heart.) [28:10] So the river carried him to the home of Fir`awn.

[فَالْتَقَطَهُ ءَالُ فِرْعَوْنَ لِيَكُونَ لَهُمْ عَدُوّاً وَحَزَناً]

(Then the people of Fir`awn picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of ) grief.) [28:8] Means that this was a destined matter, decreed by Allah. They were killing the male children of the Israelites for fear of Musa's arrival. Therefore, with Allah having the great authority and the most perfect power, He determined that Musa would not be raised except upon Fir`awn's own bed. He would be sustained by Fir`awn's food and drink, while receiving the love of Fir`awn and his wife. This is why Allah said,

[يَأْخُذْهُ عَدُوٌّ لِّى وَعَدُوٌّ لَّهُ وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّى]

(and there, an enemy of Mine and an enemy of his shall take him. And I endued you with love from Me,) This means that I made your enemy love you. Salamah bin Kuhayl said,

[وَأَلْقَيْتُ عَلَيْكَ مَحَبَّةً مِّنِّى]

(And I endued you with love from Me,) "This means, `I made My creatures love you.' ''

[وَلِتُصْنَعَ عَلَى عَيْنِى]

(in order that you may be brought up under My Eye.) Abu `Imran Al-Jawni said, "This means, `You will be raised under Allah's Eye.' '' Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِذْ تَمْشِى أُخْتُكَ فَتَقُولُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى مَن يَكْفُلُهُ فَرَجَعْنَـكَ إِلَى أُمِّكَ كَى تَقَرَّ عَيْنُها]

(When your sister went and said: `Shall I show you one who will nurse him' So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her eyes) When he was accepted into the house of Fir`awn, women were brought in attempts to find someone who might be able to nurse him. But he refused to breast feed from any of them. Allah, the Exalted, says,

[وَحَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَرَاضِعَ مِن قَبْلُ]

(And We had already forbidden (other) foster suckling mothers for him) [28:12] Then, his sister came and said,

[هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى أَهْلِ بَيْتٍ يَكْفُلُونَهُ لَكُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ نَـصِحُونَ]

(Shall I direct you to a household who will rear him for you, and look after him in a good manner) [28:12] She meant, "Shall I guide you to someone who can nurse him for you for a fee'' So she took him and they went with her to his real mother. When her breast was presented to him, he took it and they (Fir`awn's family) were extremely happy for this. Thus, they hired her to nurse him and she achieved great happiness and comfort because of him, in this life and even more so in the Hereafter. Allah, the Exalted, says here,

[فَرَجَعْنَـكَ إِلَى أُمِّكَ كَى تَقَرَّ عَيْنُها وَلاَ تَحْزَنَ]

(So We restored you to your mother, that she might cool her eyes and she should not grieve.) This means that she should not grieve over you.

[وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْساً]

(Then you killed man,) This means that he killed a Coptic person (the people of Egypt, Fir`awn's people).

[فَنَجَّيْنَـكَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ]

(but We saved you from great distress) This is what he was feeling due to Fir`awn's family intending to kill him. So he fled from them until he came to the water of the people of Madyan. This is when the righteous man said to him,

[لاَ تَخَفْ نَجَوْتَ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(Fear you not. You have escaped from the people who are wrongdoers.) [28:25]

[إِذْ تَمْشِى أُخْتُكَ فَتَقُولُ هَلْ أَدُلُّكُمْ عَلَى مَن يَكْفُلُهُ فَرَجَعْنَـكَ إِلَى أُمِّكَ كَى تَقَرَّ عَيْنُها وَلاَ تَحْزَنَ وَقَتَلْتَ نَفْساً فَنَجَّيْنَـكَ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَفَتَنَّـكَ فُتُوناً فَلَبِثْتَ سِنِينَ فِى أَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلَى قَدَرٍ يمُوسَى - وَاصْطَنَعْتُكَ لِنَفْسِى - اذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَأَخُوكَ بِـَايَـتِى وَلاَ تَنِيَا فِى ذِكْرِى - اذْهَبَآ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى - فَقُولاَ لَهُ قَوْلاً لَّيِّناً لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى ]

(40. Then you stayed a number of years with the people of Madyan. Then you came here according to the fixed term which I ordained (for you), O Musa!) (41. And I have chosen you for Myself.) (42. Go you and your brother with My Ayat, and do not, you both, slacken and become weak in My remembrance.) (43. Go both of you to Fir`awn, verily, he has transgressed.) (44. And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah).)

10. Choosing Musa to go to Fir`awn and to be Soft and Gentle in His Invitation

Allah, the Exalted, says in His address to Musa that he had lived among the people of Madyan, avoiding Fir`awn and his chiefs. He worked as a shepherd for his father-in-law until the appointed time for his work ended. Then he met the decree of Allah and His predetermined will, without him having any set appointment. This entire situation was under the control of Allah, Blessed be He, the Most High. He compels His servants and His creatures to whatever end He wills. This is why Allah says,

[ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلَى قَدَرٍ يمُوسَى]

(Then You came here according to the fixed term which I ordained (for you), O Musa!) Mujahid said, "For a set appointment.'' `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ma`mar reported from Qatadah that he said,

[ثُمَّ جِئْتَ عَلَى قَدَرٍ يمُوسَى]

(Then You came here according to the fixed term which I ordained (for you), O Musa!) "For the decree of messengership and prophethood.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَاصْطَنَعْتُكَ لِنَفْسِى ]

(And I have chosen you for Myself.) This means, "I have chosen you and selected you to be a Messenger for Myself. This is as I wish and according to My will.'' Concerning the Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

الْتَقَى آدَمُ وَمُوسَى فَقَالَ مُوسَى: أَنْتَ الَّذِي أَشْقَيْتَ النَّاسَ وَأَخْرَجْتَهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ، فَقَالَ آدَمُ: وَأَنْتَ الَّذِي اصْطَفَاكَ اللهُ بِرِسَالَتِهِ وَاصْطَفَاكَ لِنَفْسِهِ، وَأَنْزَلَ عَلَيْكَ التَّوْرَاةَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: فَوَجَدْتَهُ مَكْتُوبًا عَلَيَّ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَخْلُقَنِي؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، فَحَجَّ آدَمُ مُوسَى

(Adam and Musa met, and Musa said, "You are the one who made things difficult for mankind and you caused them to be evicted from Paradise.'' Adam said, "Are you the one whom Allah chose for His Message, and He selected you for Himself and He revealed the Tawrah to you'' Musa replied, "Yes.'' Then Adam said, "Did you find that it was preordained upon me before He (Allah) created me'' Musa replied, "Yes.'' Therefore, Adam defeated Musa's argument.) Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this narration. Concerning Allah's statement,

[اذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَأَخُوكَ بِـَايَـتِى]

(Go you and your brother with My Ayat,) This means with My proofs, evidences and miracles.

[وَلاَ تَنِيَا فِى ذِكْرِى]

(And do not, you both, slacken and become weak in My remembrance.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "This means do not be slow.'' Mujahid reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means do not be weak.'' The meaning here is that they should not slacken in the remembrance of Allah. Rather, they both should remember Allah during their meeting with Fir`awn so that the remembrance of Allah can be an aid for them against him. The remembrance of Allah would be their strength and their power that would defeat him. Allah's statement;

[اذْهَبَآ إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ إِنَّهُ طَغَى ]

(Go both of you to Fir`awn, Verily, he has transgressed.) means that he has rebelled and become haughty and insolent against Allah and he has disobeyed Him.

[فَقُولاَ لَهُ قَوْلاً لَّيِّناً لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى ]

(And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah).) This Ayah contains a great lesson. Even though Fir`awn was the most insolent and arrogant of people and Musa was the friend of Allah among His creation at that time, Musa was still commanded to speak to Fir`awn with mildness and softness. Therefore, their invitation to him was with gentle, soft and easy speech that is used by one who is a close friend. This is so that the message may have more effect on the souls, and so it would have deeper and more beneficial results. This is as Allah, the Exalted, says,

[ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَـدِلْهُم بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ]

(Invite (mankind) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better.) [16:125] Concerning Allah's statement,

[لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى]

(perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allah). ) This means that perhaps he will recant from that which he is in of misguidance and destruction,

[أَوْ يَخْشَى]

(or he will fear) meaning that he will become obedient due to fear of Allah. This is as Allah says,

[لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُوراً]

(For such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.) [25:62] Thus, to remember means to recant from that which is dangerous, and fear means to attain obedience.

[قَالاَ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَن يَفْرُطَ عَلَيْنَآ أَوْ أَن يَطْغَى - قَالَ لاَ تَخَافَآ إِنَّنِى مَعَكُمَآ أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَى - فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولاَ إِنَّا رَسُولاَ رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ وَلاَ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْنَـكَ بِـَايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَالسَّلَـمُ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى - إِنَّا قَدْ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْنَآ أَنَّ الْعَذَابَ عَلَى مَن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى ]

(dua 20:45). Both of them said: "Our Lord! Verily, we fear lest he should hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress.'') (46. He (Allah) said: "Fear not, verily, I am with you both, hearing and seeing.'') (47. "So go you both to him, and say: 'Verily, we are both Messengers of your Lord, so let the Children of Israel go with us, and torment them not; indeed, we have come with a sign from your Lord! And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!'') (48. `Truly, it has been revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies, and turns away.`'')

11. Musa's fear of Fir`awn and Allah's strengthening Him

Allah, the Exalted, informs that Musa and Harun pleaded to Allah, expressing their grievance to him:

[إِنَّنَا نَخَافُ أَن يَفْرُطَ عَلَيْنَآ أَوْ أَن يَطْغَى]

(Verily, we fear lest he should hasten to punish us or lest he should transgress.) They meant that Fir`awn might seize them unexpectedly with a punishment, or transgress against them by tormenting them, when they actually did not deserve it. Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said that transgress here means, "To exceed the bounds.''

[قَالَ لاَ تَخَافَآ إِنَّنِى مَعَكُمَآ أَسْمَعُ وَأَرَى ]

(He (Allah) said: "Fear not, verily, I am with you both, hearing and seeing.'') meaning; "Do not fear him (Fir`awn), for verily, I am with you and I hear your speech and his speech as well. I see your place and I see his place as well. Nothing is hidden from Me of your affair. Know that his forehead is in My Hand, and he does not speak, breathe, or use any force, except by My leave and after My command. I am with you by My protection, My help and My support.''

[فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولاَ إِنَّا رَسُولاَ رَبِّكَ]

(So go you both to him, and say: "Verily, we are both Messengers of your Lord...'')

12. Musa admonishes Fir`awn

Concerning his statement,

[قَدْ جِئْنَـكَ بِـَايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ]

(indeed, We have come with a sign from your Lord!) meaning with evidence and a miracle from your Lord.

[وَالسَّلَـمُ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى]

(And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance!) meaning, `peace be upon you if you follow the guidance.' Because of this, when the Messenger of Allah wrote a letter to Heraclius, the emperor of Rome, beginning with,

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ، مِنْ مُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولِ اللهِ إِلَى هِرَقْلَ عَظِيمِ الرُّومِ، سَلَامٌ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدى، أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَإِنِّي أَدْعُوكَ بِدِعَايَةِ الْإِسْلَامِ، فَأَسْلِمْ تَسْلَمْ يُؤْتِكَ اللهُ أَجْرَكَ مَرَّتَيْن

(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. From Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, to Heraclius the emperor of Rome. Peace be upon him who follows the guidance. Thus, to proceed: Verily, I invite you with the invitation of Islam. So accept Islam and you will be safe, and Allah will give you a double reward.) Due to this, Musa and Harun said to Fir`awn,

[فَأْتِيَاهُ فَقُولاَ إِنَّا رَسُولاَ رَبِّكَ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا بَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ وَلاَ تُعَذِّبْهُمْ قَدْ جِئْنَـكَ بِـَايَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ وَالسَّلَـمُ عَلَى مَنِ اتَّبَعَ الْهُدَى - إِنَّا قَدْ أُوحِىَ إِلَيْنَآ أَنَّ الْعَذَابَ عَلَى مَن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى ]

(And peace will be upon him who follows the guidance! Truly, it has been revealed to us that the torment will be for him who denies, and turns away.) In His flawless revelation, Allah has revealed to us that torment is prepared exclusively for those who reject the signs of Allah and turn away from His obedience. As Allah says,

[فَأَمَّا مَن طَغَى - وَءاثَرَ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا - فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِىَ الْمَأْوَى ]

(Then for him who transgressed all bounds, and preferred the life of this world, Verily, his abode will be Hellfire.) [79:37-39] Allah, the Exalted, also says,

[فَأَنذَرْتُكُمْ نَاراً تَلَظَّى - لاَ يَصْلَـهَآ إِلاَّ الاٌّشْقَى - الَّذِى كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى ]

(Therefore I have warned you of a blazing Fire. None shall enter it save the most wretched. Who denies and turns away.) [92:14-16] Allah also says,

[فَلاَ صَدَّقَ وَلاَ صَلَّى - وَلَـكِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى ]

(So he neither believed nor prayed! But on the contrary, he belied and turned away.) [75:31-32] This means that he denied with his heart and turned away by his actions.

[قَالَ فَمَن رَّبُّكُمَا يمُوسَى - قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِى أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى - قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الاٍّولَى - قَالَ عِلْمُهَا عِندَ رَبِّى فِى كِتَـبٍ لاَّ يَضِلُّ رَبِّى وَلاَ يَنسَى ]

(49. Fir`awn said: "Who then, O Musa, is the Lord of you two'') (dua 20:50). [Musa] said: "Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.'') (51. [Fir`awn] said: "What about the generations of old'') (52. [Musa] said: "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord, in a Record. My Lord neither errs nor forgets.''

13. The Conversation between Musa and Fir`awn

Allah, the Exalted, informs about Fir`awn that he said to Musa, in his rejection of the existence of a Supreme Maker and Creator, Who is the God of everything and his own Lord and Owner:

[فَمَن رَّبُّكُمَا يمُوسَى]

(Who then, O Musa, is the Lord of you two) meaning "Who is the one who called you forth and sent you For verily, I do not know him and I have not given you any god other than myself.''

[قَالَ رَبُّنَا الَّذِى أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى ]

((Musa) said: (dua 20:50) "Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.'') `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "He is saying that He created a mate for everything.'' Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, "He made the man a man, and the donkey a donkey and the sheep a sheep.'' Layth bin Abi Sulaym reported from Mujahid that he said, "He gave everything its form.'' Ibn Abi Najih said that Mujahid said, "He fashioned the creation of every moving creature.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said concerning His statement,

[أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى]

((Who) gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.) "He gave each of His creatures what is suitable for its creation.'' Therefore, He did not give man the form of a wild beast, nor did He give wild beasts the form of the dog. Likewise, the dog's form is not like the sheep's. He also gave creature a suitable spouse, and He influenced everything towards that mate. There is no species of creation that is exactly like another species. They are different in their actions, their forms, their sustenance and their mating. Some of the scholars of Tafsir have said that this statement, "He gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright,'' is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَالَّذِى قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى ]

(And Who has measured; and then guided.) [87:3] This means He measured out an ordained amount (of sustenance, actions, etc.) and then guided His creatures to it. He wrote the deeds, the appointed times of death and the provisions. Then, the creatures traverse upon that and they are not able to avoid it, nor are they able to abandon it. In this Ayah Musa is saying that our Lord is the One Who created the creation, measured out its ordainment and compelled the creatures to that which He wanted.

[قَالَ فَمَا بَالُ الْقُرُونِ الاٍّولَى ]

((Fir`awn) said: "What about the generations of old'') The most correct opinion concerning the meaning of this, is that when Musa informed Fir`awn that his Lord Who sent him is the One Who creates, sustains, ordains and guides, Fir`awn began to argue, using the previous generations as a proof. He was referring to those people of old who did not worship Allah. In other words, "If the matter is as you say, then what happened to those people They did not worship your Lord. Instead they worshipped other gods besides Him.'' Musa said to him, in response to this, that if they did not worship Allah, then Allah knows precisely what happened to them and He will give them just recompense for their deeds, as is written in Allah's Book (of decrees). This Book is called Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet) and it is the Book of Deeds.

[لاَّ يَضِلُّ رَبِّى وَلاَ يَنسَى]

(My Lord neither errs nor forgets.) This means that nothing eludes Him and He does not miss anything, whether it is small or great. He does not forget anything and His Most Exalted knowledge is described as encompassing everything. Blessed be He, the Exalted, the Most Holy and free of any imperfections. The knowledge that creatures have has two deficiencies. The first is that it does not completely encompass anything, and the second is that the creature is prone to forget after knowing. Therefore, Allah has declared Himself above such deficiencies.

[الَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ مَهْداً وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلاً وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجاً مِّن نَّبَـتٍ شَتَّى - كُلُواْ وَارْعَوْا أَنْعَـمَكُمْ إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لأيَـتٍ لاٌّوْلِى النُّهَى - مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى - وَلَقَدْ أَرَيْنَـهُ ءَايَـتِنَا كُلَّهَا فَكَذَّبَ وَأَبَى ]

(53. Who has made earth for you like a bed; and has opened ways for you therein, and has sent down water (rain) from the sky. And We have brought forth with it various kinds of vegetation.) (54. Eat and pasture your cattle; verily, in this are Ayat for men of understanding.) (55. Thereof We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again.) (56. And indeed We showed him (Fir`awn) all Our Ayat, but he denied and refused.)

14. The Completion of Musa's Reply to Fir`awn

This is from the completion of Musa's speech concerning the description of His Lord when Fir`awn asked him about Him. He (Musa) said,

[الَّذِى أَعْطَى كُلَّ شَىءٍ خَلْقَهُ ثُمَّ هَدَى]

(He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.) Then, Fir`awn attempted to present some argumentative rebuttal during Musa's reply. Yet, Musa continued by saying, "He is the One Who made the earth as a bed for you.'' Some recited the word as Mihadan and others recited it as Mahdan, which means `a place of rest that you settle down upon.' It also may mean `that which you stand upon, sleep upon or travel upon its back.'

[وَسَلَكَ لَكُمْ فِيهَا سُبُلاً]

(and has opened ways for you therein.) This means, `He made roads for you to walk upon their shoulders.' This is just as He, the Exalted, said,

[وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا فِجَاجاً سُبُلاً لَّعَلَّهُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ]

(And placed therein broad highways for them to pass through, that they may be guided.) [21:31]

[وَأَنزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً فَأَخْرَجْنَا بِهِ أَزْوَاجاً مِّن نَّبَـتٍ شَتَّى]

(and has sent down water from the sky. And We have brought forth with it various kinds of vegetation.) referring to the various species of plants, such as vegetation and fruits. Some are sour, some are sweet, some are bitter and there are other kinds as well.

[كُلُواْ وَارْعَوْا أَنْعَـمَكُمْ]

(Eat and pasture your cattle (therein);) meaning, `something that is food for you and a palatable fruit for you, and something that is for your cattle as fodder for them, both green and dry.'

[إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لأيَـتٍ]

(Verily, in this are Ayat.) This means proofs, signs and evidences.

[لاٌّوْلِى النُّهَى]

(for men of understanding.) meaning those who possess correct and upright intelligence realizing that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and there is no true Lord other than Him.

[مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَـكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَى ]

(Thereof We created you, and into it we shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again.) meaning, `the earth is your beginning. For your father, Adam, was created with dirt from the surface of the earth. You also will be returned to the earth. This means that you will become dirt when you die and decay.' The statement, "And from it We shall bring you out once again,'' means,

[يَوْمَ يَدْعُوكُمْ فَتَسْتَجِيبُونَ بِحَمْدِهِ وَتَظُنُّونَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً ]

(On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!) [17:52] This Ayah is similar to Allah's statement,

[قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ ]

(He said: "Therein you shall live, and therein you shall die, and from it you shall be brought out.'') [7:25]

15. Musa showed Fir`awn all of the Signs but He did not believe Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَلَقَدْ أَرَيْنَـهُ ءَايَـتِنَا كُلَّهَا فَكَذَّبَ وَأَبَى ]

(And indeed We showed him (Fir`awn) all Our Ayat, but he denied and refused.) This means that the proofs, signs and evi- dences were establi- shed against Fir`awn and he saw them with his own eyes, but he still denied and rejec- ted them due to his disbelief, abstinence and transgression. This is as Allah, the Exalted, says,

[وَجَحَدُواْ بِهَا وَاسْتَيْقَنَتْهَآ أَنفُسُهُمْ ظُلْماً وَعُلُوّاً]

(And they belied them wrongfully and arrogantly, though they themselves were convinced thereof.) [27:14]

[قَالَ أَجِئْتَنَا لِتُخْرِجَنَا مِنْ أَرْضِنَا بِسِحْرِكَ يمُوسَى - فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّكَ بِسِحْرٍ مِّثْلِهِ فَاجْعَلْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكَ مَوْعِداً لاَّ نُخْلِفُهُ نَحْنُ وَلاَ أَنتَ مَكَاناً سُوًى - قَالَ مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ وَأَن يُحْشَرَ النَّاسُ ضُحًى ]

(57. He (Fir`awn) said: "Have you come to drive us out of our land with your magic, O Musa'') (58. "Then verily, we can produce magic the like thereof; so appoint a meeting between us and you, which neither we nor you shall fail to keep, in an open place where both shall have a just and equal chance.'') (59. (Musa) said: "Your appointed meeting is the day of the festival, and let the people assemble when the sun has risen (forenoon).'')

16. Fir`awn describes Musa's Proofs as being Magic and Their Agreement to hold a Contest

Allah, the Exalted, informs of what Fir`awn said to Musa when he showed him the great proof. This great sign to Fir`awn was Musa casting down his stick which became a huge snake, and his pulling his hand out from under his arm while it was glowing white without any illness. At this, Fir`awn said, "This is magic that you have brought to us to bewitch us and conquer the people, so that they will follow you. Then you will outnumber us.'' Fir`awn then said, "Your plan will not work. We have magic just like yours, so do not let yourself be deceived by that what you are doing.''

[فَاجْعَلْ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكَ مَوْعِداً]

(so appoint a meeting between us and you,) Meaning, `a day that we can come together to present some of our magic to confront yours. It will be at a specified place and time.' With this, Musa said to them,

[مَوْعِدُكُمْ يَوْمُ الزِّينَةِ]

(Your appointed meeting is the day of festival,) That was the day of their celebration and their New Year's festivity. It was a holiday for them when they took vacation from their work and came together for a large gathering. This day was selected so that all of the people could witness the power of Allah to do whatever He wills. They would see the miracles of the prophets and the futility of magic to contest the supernatural prophetic powers. This is why Musa said,

[وَأَن يُحْشَرَ النَّاسُ]

(and let the people assemble) meaning all of them.

[ضُحًى]

(when the sun has risen (forenoon).) meaning in the morning, just before noon. In this way the contest will be most visible, well lit, apparent and obvious in plain view. This is the way of the Prophets. Their work is always clear and apparent. It is never something hidden, or something for sale. This is why he did not say that the meeting should be at night, but rather, it was to be held during the bright part of the day. Ibn `Abbas said, "The day of their festivity was the day of `Ashura'.'' As-Suddi, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said, "It was the day of their great celebration.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "It was the day of their great bazzar.'' These statements are not contradictory. I say that Allah destroyed Fir`awn and his armies on a day similar to this, just as is confirmed in the Sahih. `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "It was a flat place where all of the people were on the same level, having an equal view of the event. There was nothing there that would obstruct the view so that some people could see what others did not.''

[فَتَوَلَّى فِرْعَوْنُ فَجَمَعَ كَيْدَهُ ثُمَّ أَتَى - قَالَ لَهُمْ مُّوسَى وَيْلَكُمْ لاَ تَفْتَرُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِباً فَيُسْحِتَكُم بِعَذَابٍ وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنِ افْتَرَى - فَتَنَـزَعُواْ أَمْرَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّجْوَى - قَالُواْ إِنْ هَـذَنِ لَسَاحِرَنِ يُرِيدَانِ أَن يُخْرِجَاكُمْ مِّنْ أَرْضِكُمْ بِسِحْرِهِمَا وَيَذْهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ الْمُثْلَى - فَأَجْمِعُواْ كَيْدَكُمْ ثُمَّ ائْتُواْ صَفّاً وَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْيَوْمَ مَنِ اسْتَعْلَى ]

(60. So Fir`awn withdrew, devised his plot and then came back.) (61. Musa said to them: "Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allah, lest He should destroy you completely by a torment. And surely, he who invents a lie (against Allah) will fail miserably.'') (62 Then they debated one with another what they must do, and they kept their talk secret.) (63. They said: "Verily, these are two magicians. Their object is to drive you out from your land with magic, and to take you away from your exemplary way.'') (64. "So devise your plot, and then assemble in line. And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed successful.'')

17. The Meeting of the Two Parties, Musa's Propagation of the Message and the Magicians

Allah, the Exalted informs that when Fir`awn and Musa agreed to an appointed meeting at a specified place and time, Fir`awn began to gather some magicians from the cities of his kingdom. Every person who had any affiliation with magic at that time was summoned, and magic was very widespread and in demand at that time. This is as Allah says,

[وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ ائْتُونِى بِكُلِّ سَـحِرٍ عَلِيمٍ ]

(And Fir`awn said: "Bring me every well-versed sorcerer.'') [10:79] Then, the day came. It was the day when all of the people gathered, which was well-known, being the day of the festival. Fir`awn was there sitting upon his throne surrounded by the elite officials of his kingdom. The subjects were all standing on his right and his left. Then, Musa came forward leaning upon his stick accompanied by his brother Harun. The magicians were standing in front of Fir`awn in rows and he was prodding them, inciting them and encouraging them to do their best on this day. They wanted to please him and he was promising them and inspiring them. They said,

[فَلَمَّا جَآءَ السَّحَرَةُ قَالُواْ لِفِرْعَوْنَ أَإِنَّ لَنَا لاّجْراً إِن كُنَّا نَحْنُ الْغَـلِبِينَ - قَالَ نَعَمْ وَإِنَّكُمْ إِذاً لَّمِنَ الْمُقَرَّبِينَ ]

(Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners He (Fir`awn) said: "Yes, and you shall then verily be of those brought near (to myself).'') [26:41-42]

[قَالَ لَهُمْ مُّوسَى وَيْلَكُمْ لاَ تَفْتَرُواْ عَلَى اللَّهِ كَذِباً]

(Musa said to them: "Woe unto you! Invent not a lie against Allah...'') This means, "Do not make an illusion before the people of something that is not real, making it appear as if it were a creature, when it is not really a creature. If you do this, then you would be lying on Allah.''

[فَيُسْحِتَكُم بِعَذَابٍ]

(lest He (Allah) should destroy you completely by a torment.) This means, `He will destroy you with a destructive punishment that will not spare anything, or anyone.'

[وَقَدْ خَابَ مَنِ افْتَرَىفَتَنَـزَعُواْ أَمْرَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ]

("...And surely, he who invents a lie will fail miserably.'' Then they debated one with another what they must do,) It has been said that this means that they argued among themselves. So one of them said, "This is not the speech of a magician, but it is the speech of a Prophet.'' Another said, "No, he is only a magician.'' There are other opinions that have been mentioned about what they discussed. And Allah knows best. Allah's statement,

[وَأَسَرُّواْ النَّجْوَى]

(and they kept their talk secret.) means, they held secret counsel among themselves about this matter.

[قَالُواْ إِنْ هَـذَنِ لَسَاحِرَنِ]

(They said: "Verily, these are two [Hadhan] magicians...'') This is a way of speaking with some of the Arabs and this Ayah has been recited according to the grammar of their dialect. There are also others who recite it as, (إِنَّ هَذَيْنِ لَسَاحِرَانِ) Which carries the same meaning, "Verily, these are two [Hadhayn] magicians.'' This is the popular style of language in Arabic grammar. The grammarians have extensive discussions in reply to the first recitation and its grammatical explanation, but this is not the place for such a discussion. The main point is that the magicians said among themselves, "You all know that this man and his brother (Musa and Harun) are two knowledgeable magicians who are quite aware of the skill of magic. They want to defeat you and your people today and conquer the people, causing the masses to follow them. They want to fight against Fir`awn and his armies, and they are seeking victory over him. And their ultimate goal is to expel you from your land.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَيَذْهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ الْمُثْلَى]

(and to take you away from your exemplary way.) This means, `they want to expose this way (of yours) openly, which is magic.' For verily, they were considered great because of their magic. They had wealth and sustenance because of this magic. They were actually saying, "If these two (Musa and Harun) are victorious, they will destroy you and expel you from your land. In doing so, they will be the first individuals to do so, and they will be given great power of leadership without you.'' Ibn `Abbas mentioned concerning Allah's statement,

[وَيَذْهَبَا بِطَرِيقَتِكُمُ الْمُثْلَى]

(and to take you away from your exemplary way. ) "This means their kingdom, which they were in, and their livelihood.'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd said, "This superior way means that which they were upon.''

[فَأَجْمِعُواْ كَيْدَكُمْ ثُمَّ ائْتُواْ صَفّاً]

(So devise your plot, and assemble in line.) This means, "All of you come together in one row, and throw that which is in your hands at one time in order to dazzle the eyes (of the people) and defeat this man and his brother.''

[وَقَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْيَوْمَ مَنِ اسْتَعْلَى]

(And whoever overcomes this day will be indeed successful.) meaning "Between you and us. As for us (the magicians), we have been promised to be given an abundance of power and sovereignty. And in reference to him (Musa), He will gain great leadership.''

[قَالُواْ يمُوسَى إِمَّآ أَن تُلْقِىَ وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَلْقَى - قَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُواْ فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَى - فَأَوْجَسَ فِى نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى - قُلْنَا لاَ تَخَفْ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الاٌّعْلَى - وَأَلْقِ مَا فِى يَمِينِكَ تَلْقَفْ مَا صَنَعُواْ إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلاَ يُفْلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَى - فَأُلْقِىَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّداً قَالُواْ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّ هَـرُونَ وَمُوسَى ]

(65. They said: "O Musa! Either you throw first or we be the first to throw'') (66. [Musa] said: "Nay, throw you (first)!'' Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) (67. So Musa conceived fear in himself.) (68. We (Allah) said: "Fear not! Surely, you will have the upper hand.'') (69. "And throw that which is in your right hand! It will swallow up that which they have made. That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.'') (70. So the magicians fell down prostrate. They said: "We believe in the Lord of Harun and Musa.'')

18. The Competition, Musa's Victory, and the Magician's Faith

Allah, the Exalted, informs about the magicians when they met Musa, that they said to Musa,

[إِمَّآ أَن تُلْقِىَ]

("Either you throw first...'') meaning, "you go first.''

[وَإِمَّآ أَن نَّكُونَ أَوَّلَ مَنْ أَلْقَىقَالَ بَلْ أَلْقُواْ]

("...or we be the first to throw'' (Musa) said: "Nay, throw you (first)!'') This means, `you magicians should go first so that we can see what magic you are going to perform and so that the true state of their affair will become obvious to the people.'

[فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَى]

(Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) In another Ayah it says that when they threw,

[وَقَالُواْ بِعِزَّةِ فِرْعَونَ إِنَّا لَنَحْنُ الْغَـلِبُونَ]

(Then said: "By the might of Fir`awn, it is we who will certainly win!'') [26:44] And Allah, the Exalted, says,

[سَحَرُواْ أَعْيُنَ النَّاسِ وَاسْتَرْهَبُوهُمْ وَجَآءُو بِسِحْرٍ عَظِيمٍ]

(They bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them, and they displayed a great magic.) [7:116] Here, He says in this Surah,

[فَإِذَا حِبَالُهُمْ وَعِصِيُّهُمْ يُخَيَّلُ إِلَيْهِ مِن سِحْرِهِمْ أَنَّهَا تَسْعَى]

(Then behold! their ropes and their sticks, by their magic, appeared to him as though they moved fast.) They were a large numbered group and each one of them threw a stick and a rope until the valley became full of snakes piled on top of each other. Concerning Allah's statement,

[فَأَوْجَسَ فِى نَفْسِهِ خِيفَةً مُّوسَى ]

(So Musa conceived fear in himself.) This means that he feared for the people that they would be tested and deceived by their magic before he could even have a chance to throw what was in his right hand. Thus, Allah revealed to him at the right moment, to throw what was in his right hand, which was the stick. When he did so, it swallowed what they had made. It became a huge, monstrous creature with legs, a neck, a head and fangs. It went after these ropes and sticks until none of them remained, except that it was devoured and swallowed by this beast. At the same time, the magicians and all of the people were watching with their own eyes, seeing this amazing event in broad daylight. Thus, the miracle was performed and the evidence was clear. The truth prevailed and the magic was proven to be falsehood. This is why Allah said,

[إِنَّمَا صَنَعُواْ كَيْدُ سَاحِرٍ وَلاَ يُفْلِحُ السَّـحِرُ حَيْثُ أَتَى]

(That which they have made is only a magician's trick, and the magician will never be successful, to whatever amount (of skill) he may attain.) So when the magicians saw the event and witnessed it with their own eyes, while they were knowledgeable of the various tricks and methods in the sciences of magic, they knew with conviction that what Musa had done was not magic or illusionary tricks. They recognized that it was the truth without any doubt. They knew that no one had any power to do this except for One Who says for a thing "Be,'' and it is. Therefore, when this happened, they fell down into prostration to Allah. They said, "We believe in the Lord of all that exists, the Lord of Musa and Harun!'' This is why Ibn `Abbas and `Ubayd bin `Umayr both said, "At the beginning of the day they were magicians and at the end of the day they were outstanding witnesses of faith.'' l

19. The Number of Magicians

Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The magicians were seventy men who were magicians in the morning, but witnesses of faith by the time evening came.'' Ibn Abi Hatim also reported that Al-Awza'i said, "When the magicians fell down in prostration, Paradise was raised up before them until they were looking at it.'' It is reported from Sa`id bin Jubayr that he said concerning Allah's statement,

[فَأُلْقِىَ السَّحَرَةُ سُجَّداً]

(So the magicians fell down prostrate.) "They saw their places (in Paradise) made clear before them while they were in their prostration.'' `Ikrimah and Al-Qasim bin Abi Bizzah both said the same.

[قَالَ ءَامَنتُمْ لَهُ قَبْلَ أَنْ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمْ إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ فَلأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ وَلأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِى جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَآ أَشَدُّ عَذَاباً وَأَبْقَى - قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَى مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ وَالَّذِى فَطَرَنَا فَاقْضِ مَآ أَنتَ قَاضٍ إِنَّمَا تَقْضِى هَـذِهِ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَآ - إِنَّآ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا وَمَآ أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى ]

(71. (Fir`awn) said: "Believe you in him before I give you permission Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic. So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date palms, and you shall surely know which of us can give the severe and more lasting torment. '') (72. They said: "We prefer you not over what have come to us of the clear signs and to Him (Allah) Who created us. So, decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only' decree (regarding) this life of the world.'') (73. "Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us. And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your reward, and more lasting.'')

20. Fir`awn's turning against the Magicians, His threatening Them and Their Reply

Allah, the Exalted, informs of Fir`awn's disbelief, obstinance, transgression and haughtiness against the truth in favor of falsehood. When he saw what he saw of the magnificent miracle and the great sign, and he saw those whose help he sought accept faith in the presence of all of the people, and he was absolutely defeated, he began to behave arrogantly and cast accusations. He resorted to using his esteemed honor and might against the magicians. He warned them and threatened them saying,

[ءَامَنتُمْ لَهُ]

(Believe you in him (Musa)) This means, "Do you have faith in him''

[قَبْلَ أَنْ ءَاذَنَ لَكُمْ]

(before I give you permission) meaning, "I have not commanded you to do so, by which you have rebelled against me.'' Then he said a statement that he, the magicians and all creatures knew was a forgery and an utter lie.

[إِنَّهُ لَكَبِيرُكُمُ الَّذِى عَلَّمَكُمُ السِّحْرَ]

(Verily, he is your chief who has taught you magic.) meaning "You all only took your magic from Musa and you have made an agreement with him against me and my subjects, that you would help him be victorious.'' Allah says in another Ayah,

[إِنَّ هَـذَا لَمَكْرٌ مَّكَرْتُمُوهُ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ لِتُخْرِجُواْ مِنْهَآ أَهْلَهَا فَسَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ]

(Surely, this is a plot which you have plotted in the city to drive out its people, but you shall come to know.) [7:123] Then he began threatening them. He said to them,

[فَلأُقَطِّعَنَّ أَيْدِيَكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ مِّنْ خِلاَفٍ وَلأُصَلِّبَنَّكُمْ فِى جُذُوعِ النَّخْلِ]

(So I will surely cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will surely crucify you on the trunks of date palms,) meaning, "I will certainly make an example of you, I will kill you in a public execution.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "Thus, he was the first person to ever do this (public execution, crucifixion).'' This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَلَتَعْلَمُنَّ أَيُّنَآ أَشَدُّ عَذَاباً وَأَبْقَى]

(And you shall surely know which of us can give the severe and more lasting torment.) This means, "You say that my people and I are astray and that you (magicians), Musa and his people are following correct guidance, but you will come to know who will be punished and remain punished.'' So when he attacked with this and threatened them, their souls eased them because of their belief in Allah, the Mighty and Sublime. They exclaimed,

[قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْثِرَكَ عَلَى مَا جَآءَنَا مِنَ الْبَيِّنَـتِ]

(They said: "We prefer you not over what have come to us of the clear signs...'') meaning, "We do not chose you over the guidance and conviction that we have received. ''

[وَالَّذِى فَطَرَنَا]

(and to Him (Allah) Who created us.) It could be that they were swearing, "By He Who has created us.'' It also could be connected in meaning to the clear signs mentioned before it. In this case it would mean, "We do not prefer you over our Originator and Creator, Who produced us from a beginning that was nothing. He created us from clay (or mud). Therefore, He alone deserves worship and humility and you do not (Fir`awn)!''

[فَاقْضِ مَآ أَنتَ قَاضٍ]

(So decree whatever you desire to decree,) "Do whatever you wish and whatever your hands are able to achieve.''

[إِنَّمَا تَقْضِى هَـذِهِ الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَآ]

(for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.) meaning, "You only have power in this world and it is a world that will come to an end. Verily, we are hoping in the eternal abode.''

[إِنَّآ آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا]

(Verily, we have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults,) "Whatever evils that we did.'' It specifically means, `which we were forced to do of magic, in order to oppose the sign of Allah and the miracle of His Prophet.' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah's statement,

[وَمَآ أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ]

(and the magic to which you compelled us.) "Fir`awn took forty boys from the Children of Israel and commanded that they be taught magic at Al-Farama. He said, `Teach them knowledge that no one in the land knows.''' Ibn `Abbas then said, "They were of those who believed in Musa and they were of those who said,

[آمَنَّا بِرَبِّنَا لِيَغْفِرَ لَنَا خَطَـيَـنَا وَمَآ أَكْرَهْتَنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنَ السِّحْرِ]

(We have believed in our Lord, that He may forgive us our faults, and the magic to which you did compel us.)'' `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said the same. Allah's statement,

[وَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَأَبْقَى]

(And Allah is better as regards reward in comparison to your reward, and more lasting.) means, "He is better for us than you.''

[وَأَبْقَى]

(and more lasting.) More lasting in reward than what you pro- mised us and made us aspire to. It is apparent that Fir`awn (may Allah curse him) was bent upon their punishment, and that what he did to them was a mercy from Allah for them. This is why Ibn `Abbas and others of the Salaf said, "They woke up in that morning as magicians, but they became witnesses of faith by the evening. ''

[إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِماً فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَى - وَمَن يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِناً قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّـلِحَـتِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَـتُ الْعُلَى - جَنَّـتُ عَدْنٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا وَذلِكَ جَزَآءُ مَن تَزَكَّى ]

(74. Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal, then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live.) (75. But whoever comes to Him as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks,) (76. `Adn Gardens, under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever, and such is the reward of those who purify themselves.)

21. The Magicians admonish Fir`awn

The clear intent of this is to be a completion of what the magicians admonished Fir`awn with. They warned him of the vengeance of Allah and His eternal and everlasting punishment. They also encouraged him to seek Allah's eternal and endless reward. They said,

[إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِماً]

(Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal,) This means, whoever meets Allah on the Day of Judgment while being a criminal.

[فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَى]

(then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live.) This is similar to Allah's statement,

[لاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُواْ وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى كُلَّ كَفُورٍ]

(Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die, nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever!) [35:36] Allah also said,

[وَيَتَجَنَّبُهَا الاٌّشْقَى - الَّذِى يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَى - ثُمَّ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَا ]

(But it will be avoided by the wretched, who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die nor live.) [87:11-13]

[وَنَادَوْاْ يمَـلِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ مَّـكِثُونَ ]

(And they will cry: "O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord made an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.'') [43:77] Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

أَمَّا أَهْلُ النَّارِ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَهْلُهَا، فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يَمُوتُونَ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَوْنَ، وَلكِنْ أُنَاسٌ تُصِيبُهُمُ النَّارُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ فَتُمِيتُهُمْ إِمَاتَةً حَتَّى إِذَا صَارُوا فَحْمًا أُذِنَ فِي الشَّفَاعَةِ فَجِيءَ بِهِمْ ضَبَائِرَ ضَبَائِرَ، فَبُثُّوا عَلَى أَنْهَارِ الْجَنَّةِ، فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْهِمْ، فَيَنْبُتُونَ نَبَاتَ الْحِبَّةِ تَكُونُ فِي حَمِيلِ السَّيْل

(The dwellers of Hellfire, who are those who deserve it, they will not die in it, nor will they be living. Rather, they will be a people who will be punished by the Fire due to their sins. It will be gradually killing them and devouring them until they become burnt coals. Then, intercession will be allowed and they will be brought (out of Hell) group by group and they will be spread on the rivers of Paradise. It will then be said, "O people of Paradise, pour (water) over them.'' Then, they will start to grow like the growing of a seed on the muddy banks of a flowing river.) A man among the people said, "It is as if the Messenger of Allah lived in the desert.'' This is how Muslim recorded this narration in his Sahih. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَمَن يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِناً قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّـلِحَـتِ]

(But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds,) whoever meets his Lord on the Day of Judgment as a believer in his heart, then verily, his intentions in his heart will be affirmed to be true by his statements and deeds.

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَـتُ الْعُلَى]

(for such are the high ranks,) Paradise, which has the highest levels, the most tranquil rooms and the nicest homes. Imam Ahmad reported from `Ubadah bin As-Samit that the Prophet said,

الْجَنَّةُ مِائَةُ دَرَجَةٍ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، وَالْفِرْدَوْسُ أَعْلَاهَا دَرَجَةً، وَمِنْهَا تَخْرُجُ الْأَنْهَارُ الْأَرْبَعَةُ، وَالْعَرْشُ فَوْقَهَا، فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْس

(Paradise has one hundred levels and between each level is a distance like the distance between the sky and the earth. Al-Firdaws is the name of the highest of its levels. From it springs the four rivers and the Throne is above it. Therefore, when you ask Allah, then ask Him for Al-Firdaws.) This narration was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi. In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

إِنَّ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ لَيَرَوْنَ مَنْ فَوْقَهُمْ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ لِتَفَاضُلِ مَا بَيْنَهُمْ قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ تِلْكَ مَنَازِلُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَالَ: بَلى، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ رِجَالٌ آمَنُوا بِاللهِ وَصَدَّقُوا الْمُرْسَلِين

(Verily, the people of the `Illiyyin will see those who are above them just as you see the fading star in the horizon of the sky, due to the different status of virtue between them. ) The people said, "O Messenger of Allah, these are the dwellings of the Prophets.'' He replied, (Of course. And I swear by the One Whom my soul is in His Hand, (it is for) men who had faith in Allah and they believed the Messengers.) In the Sunan collections this narration is mentioned with the additional wording,

وَإِنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ لَمِنْهُمْ وَأَنْعَمَا

(And verily Abu Bakr and `Umar are of them and they will be most favored.) His saying,

[جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ]

(Adn Gardens,) meaning established as a residence. It is merely used here in reference to the high ranks mentioned previously.

[تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَارُ خَـالِدِينَ فِيهَا]

(under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever,) meaning that they will abide in it for eternity.

[وَذلِكَ جَزَآءُ مَن تَزَكَّى]

(and such is the reward of those who purify themselves.) One who purifies himself from dirt, filth and associating partners with Allah. This is the person who worships Allah alone, without ascribing partners to Him, and he follows the Messengers in the good they came with all that they claim.

[وَلَقَدْ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى أَنْ أَسْرِ بِعِبَادِى فَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ طَرِيقاً فِى الْبَحْرِ يَبَساً لاَّ تَخَافُ دَرَكاً وَلاَ تَخْشَى - فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ بِجُنُودِهِ فَغَشِيَهُمْ مِّنَ الْيَمِّ مَا غَشِيَهُمْ - وَأَضَلَّ فِرْعَوْنُ قَوْمَهُ وَمَا هَدَى ]

(77. And indeed We revealed to Musa: "Travel by night with My servants and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken nor being afraid.'') (78. Then Fir`awn pursued them with his hosts, but the sea [Al-Yamm] completely overwhelmed them and covered them up.) (79. And Fir`awn led his people astray, and he did not guide them.)

22. The Children of Israel leave Egypt

Allah, the Exalted, informs that He commanded Musa to journey at night with the Children of Israel, when Fir`awn refused to release them and send them with Musa. He was to take them away from Fir`awn's captivity. Allah expounds upon this in Surahs other than this noble Surah. Musa left with the Children of Israel, and when the people of Egypt awoke in the morning they found that not a single one of them remained in Egypt. Fir`awn became extremely furious. He sent callers into all of the cities to gather together his army from all of his lands and provinces. He said to them,

[إِنَّ هَـؤُلاءِ لَشِرْذِمَةٌ قَلِيلُونَ - وَإِنَّهُمْ لَنَا لَغَآئِظُونَ ]

(Verily, these indeed are but a small band. And verily, they have done what has enraged us.) [26:54-55] Then when he gathered his army and organized his troops, he set out after them and they followed them at dawn when the sun began to rise.

[فَلَمَّا تَرَآءَا الْجَمْعَانِ]

(And when the two hosts saw each other) [26:61] This means that each person of the two parties was looking at the other party.

[فَلَمَّا تَرَآءَا الْجَمْعَانِ قَالَ أَصْحَـبُ مُوسَى إِنَّا لَمُدْرَكُونَ - قَالَ كَلاَّ إِنَّ مَعِىَ رَبِّى سَيَهْدِينِ ]

(The companions of Musa said: "We are sure to be overtaken.'' (Musa) said: "Nay, verily, with me is my Lord. He will guide me.'') [26:61-62] Musa stopped with the Children of Israel and the sea was in front of them and Fir`awn was behind them. Then, at that moment, Allah revealed to Musa,

[فَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ طَرِيقاً فِى الْبَحْرِ يَبَساً]

(And strike a dry path for them in the sea.) So Musa struck the sea with his stick and he said, "Split for me, by the leave of Allah.'' Thus, it split, and each separate part of the water became like a huge mountain. Then, Allah sent a wind to the land of the sea and it burned the soil until it became dry like the ground that is on land. For this reason Allah said,

[فَاضْرِبْ لَهُمْ طَرِيقاً فِى الْبَحْرِ يَبَساً لاَّ تَخَافُ دَرَكاً]

(and strike a dry path for them in the sea, fearing neither to be overtaken...) This means being caught by Fir`awn.

[وَلاَ تَخْشَى]

(nor being afraid.) meaning, "Do not be afraid of the sea drowning your people.'' Then, Allah, the Exalted, said,

[فَأَتْبَعَهُمْ فِرْعَوْنُ بِجُنُودِهِ فَغَشِيَهُمْ مِّنَ الْيَمِّ]

(Then Fir`awn pursued them with his hosts, but the sea [Al-Yamm] completely overwhelmed them) Al-Yamm means the sea.

[مَا غَشِيَهُمْ]

(and covered them up. ) meaning, covered them up with a thing that was well-familiar to them in such a situa- tion, as Allah states;

[وَالْمُؤْتَفِكَةَ أَهْوَى - فَغَشَّـهَا مَا غَشَّى ]

(And He destroyed the overthrown cities. So there covered them that which did cover.) [53:53-54] As Fir`awn pursued them into the sea, misled his people and did not lead them to the path of correct guidance, likewise, he will go ahead of his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will lead them in to the Hellfire. And evil indeed is the place to which they are led.

[يبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ قَدْ أَنجَيْنَـكُمْ مِّنْ عَدُوِّكُمْ وَوَاعَدْنَـكُمْ جَانِبَ الطُّورِ الاٌّيْمَنَ وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَنَّ وَالسَّلْوَى ]

[كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَلاَ تَطْغَوْاْ فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِى وَمَن يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِى فَقَدْ هَوَى - وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى ]

(80. O Children of Israel! We delivered you from your enemy, and We made a covenant with you on the right side of the Mount, and We sent down to you manna and quail,) (81. (Saying) eat of the Tayyibat wherewith We have provided you, and commit no transgression or oppression therein, lest My anger should justly descend on you. And he on whom My anger descends, he is indeed perished.) (82. And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous deeds, and then Ihtada.)

23. A Reminder for the Children of Israel of

Allah's Favors upon Them Allah reminds of His tremendous favors upon the Children of Israel and His numerous blessings. He saved them from their enemy, Fir`awn, and He relieved their eyes by drowning him and his hosts all at one time while they watched. Allah said,

[وَأَغْرَقْنَا ءَالَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَأَنتُمْ تَنظُرُونَ]

(And We drowned Fir`awn people while you were looking.) [2:50] Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "When the Messenger of Allah came to Al-Madinah, he found the Jews fasting the day of `Ashura'. Therefore he asked them about it and they said, `This is the day that Allah gave Musa victory over Fir`awn.' Then, the Prophet said,

نَحْنُ أَوْلَى بِمُوسَى فَصُومُوه

(We have more right to Musa (than them), so fast it.) Muslim also recorded this narration in his Sahih. Then, Allah made a covenant with Musa and the Children of Israel on the right side of the Mountain, after the destruction of Fir`awn. This is the Mountain upon which Allah spoke to Musa and He told Musa's people to look at it when they requested to see Allah. It is also the same Mountain upon which Musa was given the Tawrah, while at the same time the Children of Israel began worshipping the (statue of a) calf, as Allah relates in the forth coming Ayat. The manna and quails have previously been discussed in Surah Al-Baqarah and other Surahs. Manna was a sweet substance that descended upon them from the sky and the quail [Salwa] was a type of bird that would fall down to them. They would fill every pot with them as ample provisions until the following day. This was a kindness and a mercy from Allah upon them. It was a manifestation of Allah's good treatment of them. For this reason Allah says,

[كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَـتِ مَا رَزَقْنَـكُمْ وَلاَ تَطْغَوْاْ فِيهِ فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِى]

(Eat of the Tayyibat wherewith We have provided you, and commit no transgression or oppression therein, lest My anger should justly descend on you.) This means, "Eat from this sustenance which I have provided for you, and do not transgress against My sustenance by taking it without necessity or you will be opposing what I have commanded you.''

[فَيَحِلَّ عَلَيْكُمْ غَضَبِى]

(lest My anger should justly descend on you.) This means, "I will become angry with you.''

[وَمَن يَحْلِلْ عَلَيْهِ غَضَبِى فَقَدْ هَوَى]

(And he on whom My anger descends, he is indeed perished.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means that he will indeed be made miserable.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَإِنِّى لَغَفَّارٌ لِّمَن تَابَ وَآمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً]

(And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds,) meaning, "Whoever turns to Me in repentance, then I will accept his repentance regardless of whatever sin he did.'' Allah, the Exalted, even accepts the repentance of the Children of Israel who worshipped the calf. Concerning Allah's statement,

[تَابَ]

(who repents,) This means to turn away from what one was involved in of disbelief, associating partners with Allah, disobedience of Allah or hypocrisy. Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَآمَنَ]

(and believes) This means the person's belief in his heart.

[وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحَاً]

(and does righteous deeds,) his action with his bodily limbs. Concerning Allah's statement,

[ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى]

(and then Ihtada.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means that he then does not doubt.'' Qatadah said,

[ثُمَّ اهْتَدَى]

(and then Ihtada.) "This means he adheres to Islam until he dies.'' We see here that there is a specific order in which these things are presented. This is similar to Allah's saying,

[ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْاْ بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ ]

(Then he became one of those who believed and recommended one another to perseverance and patience and recommended one another to pity and compassion.) [90:17]

[وَمَآ أَعْجَلَكَ عَن قَومِكَ يمُوسَى - قَالَ هُمْ أُوْلاءِ عَ