;
Only Allah Knows the Unseen

Allah said next,

﴿ وَعِندَهُ ۥ مَفَاتِحُ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ لَا يَعۡلَمُهَآ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۚ

(And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He.) Al-Bukhari recorded that Salim bin `Abdullah said that his father said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَفَاتِيحُ الْغَيْبِ خَمْسٌ لَا يَعْلَمُهُنَّ إِلَّا الله »

(The keys of the Unseen are five and none except Allah knows them:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عِندَهُ ۥ عِلۡمُ ٱلسَّاعَةِ وَيُنَزِّلُ ٱلۡغَيۡثَ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ‌ۖ وَمَا تَدۡرِى نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّاذَا تَڪۡسِبُ غَدً۬ا‌ۖ وَمَا تَدۡرِى نَفۡسُۢ بِأَىِّ أَرۡضٍ۬ تَمُوتُ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرُۢ

(Verily, Allah! With Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware) (31:34). Allah's statement,

﴿ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا فِى ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ‌ۚ

(And He knows whatever there is on the land and in the sea;) means, Allah's honored knowledge encompasses everything, including the creatures living in the sea and on land, and none of it, not even the weight of an atom on earth or in heaven, ever escapes His knowledge. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا تَسۡقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلَّا يَعۡلَمُهَا

(not a leaf falls, but He knows it.) means, He knows the movements of everything including inanimate things. Therefore, what about His knowledge of the living creatures, especially, those whom the Divine laws have been imposed upon such as mankind and the Jinns In another Ayah, Allah said;

﴿ يَعۡلَمُ خَآٮِٕنَةَ ٱلۡأَعۡيُنِ وَمَا تُخۡفِى ٱلصُّدُورُ

(Allah knows the fraud of the eyes, and all that the breasts conceal.) (40:19)

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَتَوَفَّٮٰڪُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا جَرَحۡتُم بِٱلنَّہَارِ ثُمَّ يَبۡعَثُڪُمۡ فِيهِ لِيُقۡضَىٰٓ أَجَلٌ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى‌ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ وَهُوَ ٱلۡقَاهِرُ فَوۡقَ عِبَادِهِۦ‌ۖ وَيُرۡسِلُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَفَظَةً حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ تَوَفَّتۡهُ رُسُلُنَا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ ثُمَّ رُدُّوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَوۡلَٮٰهُمُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ أَلَا لَهُ ٱلۡحُكۡمُ وَهُوَ أَسۡرَعُ ٱلۡحَـٰسِبِينَ

(60. It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day, then he raises (wakes) you up again, that a term appointed be fulfilled, then (in the end), unto Him will be your return. Then He will inform you of what you used to do.) (61. He is the Qahir over His servants, and He sends guardians over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.) (62. Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgment and He is the swiftest in taking account.)

The Servants are in Allah's Hands Before and After Death

Allah states that He brings death to His servants in their sleep at night, for sleep is minor death. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ إِذۡ قَالَ ٱللَّهُ يَـٰعِيسَىٰٓ إِنِّى مُتَوَفِّيكَ وَرَافِعُكَ إِلَىَّ

(And (remember) when Allah said: "O `Isa! I will take you and raise you to Myself...'') (3:55), and,

﴿ ٱللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى ٱلۡأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوۡتِهَا وَٱلَّتِى لَمۡ تَمُتۡ فِى مَنَامِهَا‌ۖ فَيُمۡسِكُ ٱلَّتِى قَضَىٰ عَلَيۡہَا ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَيُرۡسِلُ ٱلۡأُخۡرَىٰٓ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّى‌ۚ

(It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed.) (39:42), ,thus mentioning both minor and major death. Allah says,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَتَوَفَّٮٰڪُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا جَرَحۡتُم بِٱلنَّہَارِ

(It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day,) meaning, He knows the deeds and actions that you perform during the day. This Ayah demonstrates Allah's perfect knowledge of His creation, by day and night, and in their movements and idleness. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ سَوَآءٌ۬ مِّنكُم مَّنۡ أَسَرَّ ٱلۡقَوۡلَ وَمَن جَهَرَ بِهِۦ وَمَنۡ هُوَ مُسۡتَخۡفِۭ بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَسَارِبُۢ بِٱلنَّہَارِ

(It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceal his speech or declare it openly, whether he be hid by night or go forth freely by day.) (13:10), and

﴿ وَمِن رَّحۡمَتِهِۦ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلَّيۡلَ وَٱلنَّهَارَ لِتَسۡكُنُواْ فِيهِ

(It is out of His mercy that He made night and day, so that you may rest therein), by night,

﴿ وَلِتَبۡتَغُواْ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ

(and that you may seek of His bounty) by day. Allah said,

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا ٱلَّيۡلَ لِبَاسً۬ا وَجَعَلۡنَا ٱلنَّہَارَ مَعَاشً۬ا

(And (We) have made the night as a covering. And (We) have made the day for livelihood.) (78:10-11). Allah said here,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يَتَوَفَّٮٰڪُم بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَيَعۡلَمُ مَا جَرَحۡتُم بِٱلنَّہَارِ

(It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day,) (6:60), Then said,

﴿ ثُمَّ يَبۡعَثُڪُمۡ فِيهِ

(then he raises (wakes) you up again,) by day, according to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi. Allah's statement,

﴿ لِيُقۡضَىٰٓ أَجَلٌ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى‌ۖ

(that a term appointed be fulfilled) refers to the life span of every person,

﴿ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ مَرۡجِعُكُمۡ

(then (in the end), unto Him will be your return.) on the Day of Resurrection,

﴿ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُكُم بِمَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ

(Then He will inform you of what you used to do.) He will reward you, good for good, and evil for evil. Allah's statement,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلۡقَاهِرُ فَوۡقَ عِبَادِهِۦ‌ۖ

(He is the Qahir over His servants.) The Qahir means, the one who controls everything, all are subservient to His supreme grace, greatness and majesty,

﴿ وَيُرۡسِلُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَفَظَةً

(and He sends guardians over you,) angels who guard mankind. In another Ayah, Allah said;

﴿ لَهُ ۥ مُعَقِّبَـٰتٌ۬ مِّنۢ بَيۡنِ يَدَيۡهِ وَمِنۡ خَلۡفِهِۦ يَحۡفَظُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۗ

(For each (person), there are angels in succession, before and behind him. They guard him by the command of Allah.) (13:11), watching his deeds and recording them. Allah said,

﴿ وَإِنَّ عَلَيۡكُمۡ لَحَـٰفِظِينَ

(But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you.) (82:10), and,

﴿ إِذۡ يَتَلَقَّى ٱلۡمُتَلَقِّيَانِ عَنِ ٱلۡيَمِينِ وَعَنِ ٱلشِّمَالِ قَعِيدٌ۬ مَّا يَلۡفِظُ مِن قَوۡلٍ إِلَّا لَدَيۡهِ رَقِيبٌ عَتِيدٌ۬

((Remember!) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive, one sitting on the right and one on the left. Not a word does he utter, but there is a watcher by him, ready.) (50:17-18). Allah's statement,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءَ أَحَدَكُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ

(until when death approaches one of you...) refers to, when one's life span comes to an end and he is dying,

﴿ تَوَفَّتۡهُ رُسُلُنَا

(Our messengers take his soul...) meaning, there are angels who are responsible for this job. Ibn `Abbas and several others said that the Angel of Death has angels who pull the soul from its body and when it reaches the throat, the Angel of Death captures it. Allah said;

﴿ وَهُمۡ لَا يُفَرِّطُونَ

(and they never neglect their duty.) They guard the soul of the dead person and take it to wherever Allah wills, to `Illiyyin if he was among the righteous, and to Sijjin if he was among the wicked (disbelievers, sinners, etc.), we seek refuge with Allah from this end. Allah said next,

﴿ ثُمَّ رُدُّوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ مَوۡلَٮٰهُمُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ

(Then they are returned to Allah, their Master, the Just Lord.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Prophet said,

« إِنَّ الْمَيِّتَ تَحْضُرُهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ فَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ الصَّالِحُ، قَالُوا: اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الطَّيِّبَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ، اخْرُجِي حَمِيدَةً، وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ، وَرَبَ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ، فَلَا تَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ، ثُمَّ يُعْرَجَ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، فَيَسْتَفْتَحُ لَهَا فَيُقَالُ مَنْ هَذَا؟ فَيُقَالُ: فُلَانٌ، فَيُقَالَ: مَرْحبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الطَّيِّبَةِ، كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ، ادْخُلِي حَمِيدَةً وَأَبْشِرِي بِرَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبٍّ غَيْرِ غَضْبَانَ، فَلَا تَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى يُنْتَهَى بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الَّتِي فِيهَا اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ، وَإِذَا كَانَ الرَّجُلُ السَّوْءُ، قَالُوا: اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْخَبِيثَةُ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ، اخْرُجِي ذَمِيمَةً وَأَبْشِري بِحَمِيمٍ وَغَسَّاقٍ، وَآخَرَ مِنْ شَكْلِهِ أَزْوَاج، فَلَا تَزَالُ يُقَالُ لَهَا ذَلِكَ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ، ثُمَّ يُعْرَجَ بِهَا إِلَى السَّمَاءِ، فَيُسْتَفْتَحُ لَهًا فَيُقَالُ: مَنْ هَذَا؟ فَيُقَالُ: فُلَانٌ، فَيُقَالُ: لَا مَرْحَبًا بِالنَّفْسِ الْخَبِيثَةِ كَانَتْ فِي الْجَسَدِ الْخَبِيثِ، ارْجِعِي ذَمِيمَةً، فَإِنَّهُ لَا يُفْتَحُ لَكَ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، فَتُرْسَلُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ تَصِيرُ إِلَى الْقَبْرِ، فَيُجْلَسُ الرَّجُلُ الصَّالِحُ، فَيُقَالُ لَهُ مِثْلُ مَا قِيلَ فِي الْحَدِيثِ الأَوَّلِ، وَيُجْلَسُ الرَّجُلُ السَّوْءُ فَيُقَالُ لَهُ مِثْلُ مَا قِيلَ فِي الْحَدِيثِ الثَّانِي »

(The angels attend the dying person. If he is a righteous person, the angels will say, `O pure soul from a pure body! Come out with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.' The angels will keep saying this until the soul leaves its body, and they will then raise it up to heaven and will ask that the door be opened for the soul and it will be asked, `Who is this' It will be said, `(The soul of) so-and-so.' It will be said, `Welcome, to the pure soul that inhabited the pure body. Enter with honor and receive the good news of rest, satisfaction and a Lord Who is not angry.' This statement will be repeated until the soul reaches the heaven above which there is Allah. If the dying person is evil, the angels will say, `Get out (of your body), O wicked soul from a wicked body! Get out in disgrace and receive the news of boiling fluid, a fluid dark, murky, intensely cold and other (torments) of similar kind - all together - to match them.' This statement will be said repeatedly until the evil soul leaves its body. The soul will be raised up to heaven and a request will be made that the door be opened for it. It will be asked, `Who is this' It will be said, `(The soul of) so and so.' It will be said, `No welcome to the wicked soul from the wicked body. Return with disgrace, for the doors of heaven will not be opened for you.' So it will be thrown from heaven until it returns to the grave. So the righteous person sits and similar is said to him as before. And the evil person sits and similar is said to him as before.) It is also possible that the meaning of,

﴿ ثُمَّ رُدُّوٓاْ

(Then they are returned...) refers to the return of all creation to Allah on the Day of Resurrection, when He will subject them to His just decision. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ وَٱلۡأَخِرِينَ لَمَجۡمُوعُونَ إِلَىٰ مِيقَـٰتِ يَوۡمٍ۬ مَّعۡلُومٍ۬

(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) and,

﴿ وَحَشَرۡنَـٰهُمۡ فَلَمۡ نُغَادِرۡ مِنۡہُمۡ أَحَدً۬ا

(And We shall gather them all together so as to leave not one of them behind...) (18:47) until,

﴿ وَلَا يَظۡلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدً۬ا

(And your Lord treats no one with injustice.) (18:49) Allah said here,

﴿ مَوۡلَٮٰهُمُ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ أَلَا لَهُ ٱلۡحُكۡمُ وَهُوَ أَسۡرَعُ ٱلۡحَـٰسِبِينَ

(their Master, the Just Lord. Surely, His is the judgement and He is the swiftest in taking account.) (6:62)

﴿ قُلۡ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم مِّن ظُلُمَـٰتِ ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ تَدۡعُونَهُ ۥ تَضَرُّعً۬ا وَخُفۡيَةً۬ لَّٮِٕنۡ أَنجَٮٰنَا مِنۡ هَـٰذِهِۦ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ يُنَجِّيكُم مِّنۡہَا وَمِن كُلِّ كَرۡبٍ۬ ثُمَّ أَنتُمۡ تُشۡرِكُونَ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡقَادِرُ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا مِّن فَوۡقِكُمۡ أَوۡ مِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِكُمۡ أَوۡ يَلۡبِسَكُمۡ شِيَعً۬ا وَيُذِيقَ بَعۡضَكُم بَأۡسَ بَعۡضٍ‌ۗ ٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَفۡقَهُونَ

(63. Say: "Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret (saying): `If He (Allah) only saves us from these (dangers), we shall truly be grateful.'') (64. Say: "Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.'') (65. Say: "He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.'' See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.)

Allah's Compassion and Generosity, and His Power and Torment

Allah mentions how He favors His servants, saving them during times of need, in the darkness of land and at sea, such as when storms strike. In such cases, they call on Allah alone, without partners, in supplication. In other Ayat, Allah said,

﴿ وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدۡعُونَ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ‌ۖ

(And when harm strikes you at sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him.) (17:67),

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُسَيِّرُكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ‌ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا كُنتُمۡ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ وَجَرَيۡنَ بِہِم بِرِيحٍ۬ طَيِّبَةٍ۬ وَفَرِحُواْ بِہَا جَآءَتۡہَا رِيحٌ عَاصِفٌ۬ وَجَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡجُ مِن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ۬ وَظَنُّوٓاْ أَنَّہُمۡ أُحِيطَ بِهِمۡ‌ۙ دَعَوُاْ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصِينَ لَهُ ٱلدِّينَ لَٮِٕنۡ أَنجَيۡتَنَا مِنۡ هَـٰذِهِۦ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ

(He it is Who enables you to travel through the land and the sea, till when you are in the ships and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they rejoice, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein, they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him alone, saying: "If You deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful''.) (10:22), and,

﴿ أَمَّن يَهۡدِيڪُمۡ فِى ظُلُمَـٰتِ ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ وَمَن يُرۡسِلُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ بُشۡرَۢا بَيۡنَ يَدَىۡ رَحۡمَتِهِۦۤ‌ۗ أَءِلَـٰهٌ۬ مَّعَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ تَعَـٰلَى ٱللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشۡرِڪُونَ

(Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy Is there any god with Allah High Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners (with Him)!) (27:63). Allah said in this honorable Ayah,

﴿ قُلۡ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم مِّن ظُلُمَـٰتِ ٱلۡبَرِّ وَٱلۡبَحۡرِ تَدۡعُونَهُ ۥ تَضَرُّعً۬ا وَخُفۡيَةً۬

(Say: "Who rescues you from the dark recesses of the land and the sea, when you call upon Him begging and in secret.'') i.e., in public and secret,

﴿ لَّٮِٕنۡ أَنجَٮٰنَا

((Saying): `If He (Allah) only saves us...) from this distress,

﴿ لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ

(we shall truly be grateful.) thereafter. Allah said,

﴿ قُلِ ٱللَّهُ يُنَجِّيكُم مِّنۡہَا وَمِن كُلِّ كَرۡبٍ۬ ثُمَّ أَنتُمۡ تُشۡرِكُونَ

(Say: "Allah rescues you from these (dangers) and from all distress, and yet you commit Shirk.'') meaning, yet you call other gods besides Him in times of comfort. Allah said;

﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡقَادِرُ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا مِّن فَوۡقِكُمۡ أَوۡ مِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِكُمۡ

(Say: "He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet,'') He said this after His statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ أَنتُمۡ تُشۡرِكُونَ

(And yet you commit Shirk.) Allah said next,

﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡقَادِرُ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا

(Say: "He has the power to send torment on you..''), after He saves you. Allah said in Surah Subhan (chapter 17),

﴿ رَّبُّكُمُ ٱلَّذِى يُزۡجِى لَڪُمُ ٱلۡفُلۡكَ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ لِتَبۡتَغُواْ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦۤ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ بِكُمۡ رَحِيمً۬ا وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ ٱلضُّرُّ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدۡعُونَ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ‌ۖ فَلَمَّا نَجَّٮٰكُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡبَرِّ أَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ‌ۚ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ كَفُورًا أَفَأَمِنتُمۡ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمۡ جَانِبَ ٱلۡبَرِّ أَوۡ يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ حَاصِبً۬ا ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُواْ لَكُمۡ وَڪِيلاً أَمۡ أَمِنتُمۡ أَن يُعِيدَكُمۡ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخۡرَىٰ فَيُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ قَاصِفً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلرِّيحِ فَيُغۡرِقَكُم بِمَا كَفَرۡتُمۡ‌ۙ ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُواْ لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡنَا بِهِۦ تَبِيعً۬ا

(Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty. Truly! He is Ever Merciful towards you. And when harm strikes you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him. But when He brings you safely to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful. Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a storm of stones Then, you shall find no guardian. Or do you feel secure that He will not send you back a second time to sea, and send against you a hurricane of wind and drown you because of your disbelief, then you will not find any avenger therein against Us) (17:66-69). Al-Bukhari, may Allah grant him His mercy, commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡقَادِرُ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا مِّن فَوۡقِكُمۡ أَوۡ مِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِكُمۡ أَوۡ يَلۡبِسَكُمۡ شِيَعً۬ا وَيُذِيقَ بَعۡضَكُم بَأۡسَ بَعۡضٍ‌ۗ ٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَفۡقَهُونَ

(Say: "He has the power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to Yalbisakum in party strife, and make you taste the violence of one another.'' See how variously We explain the Ayat, so that they may understand.) "Yalbisakum means, `cover you with confusion', So it means to, `divide into parties and sects'. Jabir bin `Abdullah said, `When this Ayah was revealed,

﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱلۡقَادِرُ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يَبۡعَثَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا مِّن فَوۡقِكُمۡ

(Say: "He has power to send torment on you from above'') Allah's Messenger said,

« أَعُوذُ بِوَجْهِك »

(I seek refuge with Your Face.)

﴿ أَوۡ مِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِكُمۡ

(or from under your feet,) he again said,

« أَعُوذُ بِوَجْهِك »

(I seek refuge with Your Face.)

﴿ أَوۡ يَلۡبِسَكُمۡ شِيَعً۬ا وَيُذِيقَ بَعۡضَكُم بَأۡسَ بَعۡضٍ‌ۗ

(or to cover you with confusion in party strife, and make you to taste the violence of one another.) he said,

« هَذهِ أَهْوَنُ أَوْ أَيْسَر »

(This is less burdensome or easier.)''' Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith again in the book of Tawhid (in his Sahih), and An-Nasa'i also recorded it in the book of Tafsir.

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas said, We accompanied the Messenger of Allah and passed by the Masjid of Bani Mu`awiyah. The Prophet went in and offered a two Rak`ah prayer, and we prayed behind him. He supplicated to his Lord for a long time and then said,

« سَأَلْتُ رَبِّي ثَلَاثًا: سَأَلْتُهُ أَنْ لَا يُهْلِكَ أُمَّتِي بِالْغَرَقِ فَأَعْطَانِيهَا، وَسَأَلْتُهُ أَنْ لَا يُهْلِكَ أُمَّتِي بِالسَّنَةِ فَأَعْطَانِيهَا، وَسَأَلْتُهُ أَنْ لَا يَجْعَلَ بَأْسَهُمْ بَيْنَهُمْ فَمَنَعَنِيهَا »

(I asked my Lord for three: I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah (Muslims) by drowning and He gave that to me. I asked Him not to destroy my Ummah by famine and He gave that to me. And I asked Him not to make them taste the violence of one another, but He did not give that to me.) Muslim, but not Al-Bukhari, recorded this Hadith in the book on Fitan (trials) (of his Sahih).

Another Hadith

Imam Ahmad recorded that Khabbab bin Al-Aratt, who attended the battle of Badr with the Messenger of Allah , said, "I met Allah's Messenger during a night in which he prayed throughout it, until dawn. When the Messenger of Allah ended his prayer, I said, `O Allah's Messenger! This night, you have performed a prayer that I never saw you perform before.' Allah's Messenger said,

« أَجَلْ إِنَّهَا صَلَاةُ رَغَبٍ وَرَهَبٍ، سَأَلْتُ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِيهَا ثَلَاثَ خِصَالٍ، فَأَعْطَانِي اثْنَتَيْنِ وَمَنَعَنِي وَاحِدَةً، سَأَلْتُ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ لَا يُهْلِكْنَا بِمَا أَهْلَكَ بِهِ الْأُمَمَ قَبْلَنَا فَأَعْطَانِيهَا، وَسَأَلْتُ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ لَا يُظْهِرَ عَلَيْنَا عَدُوًّا مِنْ غَيْرِنَا فَأَعْطَانِيهَا، وَسَأَلْتُ رَبِّي عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ لَا يُلْبِسَنَا شِيَعًا فَمَنَعَنِيهَا »

(Yes, it was a prayer of eagerness and fear. During this prayer, I asked my Lord for three things and He gave me two and refused to give me the third. I asked my Lord not to destroy us with what He destroyed the nations before us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to make our enemies prevail above us and He gave me that. I asked my Lord not to cover us with confusion in party strife, but He refused.) An-Nasa'i, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih, and At-Tirmidhi also recorded it. In the book on Fitan, in Al-Jami`, At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih''. Allah's statement,

﴿ أَوۡ يَلۡبِسَكُمۡ شِيَعً۬ا

(or to cover you with confusion in party strife, ) means, He causes you to be in disarray and separate into opposing parties and groups. Al-Walibi (`Ali bin Abi Talhah) reported that Ibn `Abbas said that this Ayah refers to desires. Mujahid and several others said similarly. A Hadith from the Prophet , collected from various chains of narration, states,

« وَسَتَفْتَرِقُ هَذِهِ الأُمَّةُ عَلَى ثَلَاثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ فِرْقَةً، كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلَّا وَاحِدَة »

(And this Ummah (Muslims) will divide into seventy - three groups, all of them in the Fire except one.) Allah said;

﴿ وَيُذِيقَ بَعۡضَكُم بَأۡسَ بَعۡضٍ‌ۗ

(and make you taste the violence of one another.) meaning, some of you will experience torture and murder from one another, according to Ibn `Abbas and others. Allah said next,

﴿ ٱنظُرۡ كَيۡفَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ

(See how variously We explain the Ayat,) by making them clear, plain and duly explained,

﴿ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَفۡقَهُونَ

(So that they may understand.) and comprehend Allah's Ayat, proofs and evidences.

﴿ وَكَذَّبَ بِهِۦ قَوۡمُكَ وَهُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ‌ۚ قُل لَّسۡتُ عَلَيۡكُم بِوَكِيلٍ۬ لِّكُلِّ نَبَإٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقَرٌّ۬‌ۚ وَسَوۡفَ تَعۡلَمُونَ وَإِذَا رَأَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِىٓ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡہُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيۡرِهِۦ‌ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ فَلَا تَقۡعُدۡ بَعۡدَ ٱلذِّڪۡرَىٰ مَعَ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ وَمَا عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنۡ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ وَلَـٰڪِن ذِڪۡرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

(66. But your people have denied it (the Qur'an) though it is the truth. Say: "I am not responsible for your affairs.'') (67. For every news there is a reality and you will come to know.) (68. And when you see those who engage in false conversation about Our verses (of the Qur'an) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaytan causes you to forget, then after the remembrance, sit not you in the company of those people who are the wrongdoers.) (69. There is no responsibility for them upon those who have Taqwa, but (their duty) is to remind them, that they may (attain) Taqwa.)