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Asking for Miracles and Swearing to Believe if They Come

Allah states that the idolators swore their strongest oaths by Allah,

﴿ لَٮِٕن جَآءَتۡہُمۡ ءَايَةٌ۬

(that if there came to them a sign...) a miracle or phenomenon,

﴿ لَّيُؤۡمِنُنَّ بِہَا‌ۚ

(they would surely believe therein.) affirming its truth,

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّمَا ٱلۡأَيَـٰتُ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ

(Say: "Signs are but with Allah.'') (6:109) meaning: Say, O Muhammad - to those who ask you for signs out of defiance, disbelief and rebellion, not out of the desire for guidance and knowledge - "The matter of sending signs is for Allah. If He wills, He sends them to you, and if He wills, He ignores your request.'' Allah said next,

﴿ وَمَا يُشۡعِرُكُمۡ أَنَّهَآ إِذَا جَآءَتۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(And what will make you perceive that (even) if it came, they will not believe) It was said that `you' in `make you perceive' refers to the idolators, according to Mujahid. In this case, the Ayah would mean, what makes you -- you idolators -- perceive that you are truthful in the vows that you swore Therefore, in this recitation, the Ayah means, the idolators will still not believe if the sign that they asked for came. It was also said that `you' in, `what will make you perceive', refers to the believers, meaning, what will make you perceive, O believers, that the idolators will still not believe if the signs come. Allah also said,

﴿ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَلَّا تَسۡجُدَ إِذۡ أَمَرۡتُكَ‌ۖ

("What prevented you (O Iblis) that you did not prostrate, when I commanded you'') (7:12) and,

﴿ وَحَرَٲمٌ عَلَىٰ قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهَآ أَنَّهُمۡ لَا يَرۡجِعُونَ

(And a ban is laid on every town (population) which We have destroyed that they shall not return (to this world again).) (21:95) These Ayat mean: `What made you, O Iblis, refrain from prostrating, although I commanded you to do so, and, in the second Ayah, that village shall not return to this world again. In the Ayah above (6:109), the meaning thus becomes: What makes you perceive, O believers, who wish eagerly for the disbelievers to believe, that if the Ayat came to them they would believe Allah said next,

﴿ وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفۡـِٔدَتَہُمۡ وَأَبۡصَـٰرَهُمۡ كَمَا لَمۡ يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬

(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away, as they refused to believe therein for the first time,) Al-`Awfi said that Ibn `Abbas said about this Ayah, "When the idolators rejected what Allah sent down, their hearts did not settle on any one thing and they turned away from every matter (of benefit).'' Mujahid said that Allah's statement,

﴿ وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفۡـِٔدَتَہُمۡ وَأَبۡصَـٰرَهُمۡ

(and We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away,) means, We prevent them from the faith, and even if every sign came to them, they will not believe, just as We prevented them from faith the first time. Similar was said by `Ikrimah and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. `Ali bin Abi Talhah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Allah mentions what the servants will say before they say it and what they will do before they do it. Allah said;

﴿ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثۡلُ خَبِيرٍ۬

(And none can inform you like Him Who is the All-Knower.) (35:14) and,

﴿ أَن تَقُولَ نَفۡسٌ۬ يَـٰحَسۡرَتَىٰ عَلَىٰ مَا فَرَّطتُ فِى جَنۢبِ ٱللَّهِ

(Lest a person should say, "Alas, my grief that I was undutiful to Allah.'') (39:56) until,

﴿ لَوۡ أَنَّ لِى ڪَرَّةً۬ فَأَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ

("If only I had another chance, then I should indeed be among the doers of good.'') (39:58). So Allah, glory be to Him, states that if they were sent back to life, they would not accept the guidance,

﴿ وَلَوۡ رُدُّواْ لَعَادُواْ لِمَا نُہُواْ عَنۡهُ وَإِنَّہُمۡ لَكَـٰذِبُونَ

(But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) (6:28) Allah said,

﴿ وَنُقَلِّبُ أَفۡـِٔدَتَہُمۡ وَأَبۡصَـٰرَهُمۡ كَمَا لَمۡ يُؤۡمِنُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬

(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time,) meaning: `If they were sent back to this life, they would be prevented from embracing the guidance, just as We prevented them from it the first time, when they were in the life of this world.'' Allah said,

﴿ وَنَذَرُهُمۡ

(and We shall leave them...) and abandon them,

﴿ فِى طُغۡيَـٰنِهِمۡ

(in their trespass...) meaning, disbelief, according to Ibn `Abbas and As-Suddi. Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and Qatadah said that `their trespass' means, `their misguidance'.

﴿ يَعۡمَهُونَ

(to wander blindly) or playfully, according to Al-A`mash. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ar-Rabi`, Abu Malik and others commented, "to wander in their disbelief.''

﴿ وَلَوۡ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلۡنَآ إِلَيۡہِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ وَحَشَرۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قُبُلاً۬ مَّا كَانُواْ لِيُؤۡمِنُوٓاْ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَهُمۡ يَجۡهَلُونَ

(111. And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together all things before them, they would not have believed, unless Allah willed, but most of them behave ignorantly.) Allah says: `Had We accepted what the disbelievers asked for,' that is -- those who swore their strongest oaths by Allah that if a miracle came to them they would believe in it -- `had We sent down angels, ' to convey to them Allah's Message, in order to support the truth of the Messengers, as they asked, when they said,

﴿ أَوۡ تَأۡتِىَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةِ قَبِيلاً

(or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face.) (17:92)

﴿ قَالُواْ لَن نُّؤۡمِنَ حَتَّىٰ نُؤۡتَىٰ مِثۡلَ مَآ أُوتِىَ رُسُلُ ٱللَّهِ‌ۘ

(They said: "We shall not believe until we receive the like of that which the Messengers of Allah had received.'') (6:124) and,

﴿ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَرۡجُونَ لِقَآءَنَا لَوۡلَآ أُنزِلَ عَلَيۡنَا ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةُ أَوۡ نَرَىٰ رَبَّنَا‌ۗ لَقَدِ ٱسۡتَكۡبَرُواْ فِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمۡ وَعَتَوۡ عُتُوًّ۬ا كَبِيرً۬ا

(And those who expect not a meeting with Us said: "Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord" Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.) (25:21) Allah said,

﴿ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ

(and the dead had spoken unto them,) This is, to inform them of the truth of what the Messengers brought them;

﴿ وَحَشَرۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قُبُلاً۬

(and We had gathered together all things before them,) before their eyes, as `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas. This is the view of Qatadah and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. This Ayah means, if all nations were gathered before them, one after the other, and each one testifies to the truth of what the Messengers came with,

﴿ مَّا كَانُواْ لِيُؤۡمِنُوٓاْ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ

(they would not have believed, unless Allah willed,) for guidance is with Allah not with them. Certainly, Allah guides whom He wills and misguides whom He wills, and He does what He wills,

﴿ لَا يُسۡـَٔلُ عَمَّا يَفۡعَلُ وَهُمۡ يُسۡـَٔلُونَ

(He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned.) (21:23), This is due to His knowledge, wisdom, power, supreme authority and irresistibility. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ڪَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ وَلَوۡ جَآءَتۡہُمۡ ڪُلُّ ءَايَةٍ حَتَّىٰ يَرَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلۡأَلِيمَ

(Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) (10:96-97)

﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ يُوحِى بَعۡضُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ زُخۡرُفَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ غُرُورً۬ا‌ۚ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ‌ۖ فَذَرۡهُمۡ وَمَا يَفۡتَرُونَ وَلِتَصۡغَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَفۡـِٔدَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ وَلِيَرۡضَوۡهُ وَلِيَقۡتَرِفُواْ مَا هُم مُّقۡتَرِفُونَ

(112. And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies -- Shayatin among mankind and Jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion. If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it; so leave them alone with their fabrications.) (113. And Tasgha to it that the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter may incline to such (deceit), and that they may remain pleased with it, and that they may commit what they are committing.)

Every Prophet Has Enemies

Allah says, just as We made enemies for you, O Muhammad, who will oppose and rebel against you and become your adversaries, We also made enemies for every Prophet who came before you. Therefore, do not be saddened by this fact. Allah said in other Ayat:

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ كُذِّبَتۡ رُسُلٌ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ فَصَبَرُواْ عَلَىٰ مَا كُذِّبُواْ وَأُوذُواْ

(Verily, Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt...) (6:34), and,

﴿ مَّا يُقَالُ لَكَ إِلَّا مَا قَدۡ قِيلَ لِلرُّسُلِ مِن قَبۡلِكَ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغۡفِرَةٍ۬ وَذُو عِقَابٍ أَلِيمٍ۬

(Nothing is said to you except what was said to the Messengers before you. Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness, and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment.) (41:43) and,

﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ‌ۗ

(Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.) (25:31). Waraqah bin Nawfal said to Allah's Messenger , "None came with what you came with but he was the subject of enmity.'' Allah's statement,

﴿ شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ

(Shayatin among mankind...) refers to,

﴿ عَدُوًّ۬ا

(enemies. ..) meaning, the Prophets have enemies among the devils of mankind and the devils of the Jinns. The word, Shaytan, describes one who is dissimilar to his kind due to his or her wickedness. Indeed, only the Shayatin, may Allah humiliate and curse them, from among mankind and the Jinns oppose the Messengers. `Abdur-Razzaq said that Ma`mar narrated that Qatadah commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ

(Shayatin (devils) among mankind and Jinn...) "There are devils among the Jinns and devils among mankind who inspire each other.'' Allah's statement,

﴿ يُوحِى بَعۡضُهُمۡ إِلَىٰ بَعۡضٍ۬ زُخۡرُفَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ غُرُورً۬ا‌ۚ

(inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion.) means, they inspire each other with beautified, adorned speech that deceives the ignorant who hear it,

﴿ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ‌ۖ

(If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it;) for all this occurs by Allah's decree, will and decision, that every Prophet had enemies from these devils,

﴿ فَذَرۡهُمۡ وَمَا يَفۡتَرُونَ

(so leave them alone with their fabrications.) and lies. This Ayah orders patience in the face of the harm of the wicked and to trust in Allah against their enmity, for, "Allah shall suffice for you (O Muhammad) and aid you against them.'' Allah's statement,

﴿ وَلِتَصۡغَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ

(And Tasgha to it.) means, according to Ibn `Abbas, "incline to it.''

﴿ أَفۡـِٔدَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱلۡأَخِرَةِ

(the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter...) their hearts, mind and hearing. As-Suddi said that this Ayah refers to the hearts of the disbelievers.

﴿ وَلِيَرۡضَوۡهُ

(And that they may remain pleased with it.) they like and adore it. Only those who disbelieve in the Hereafter accept this evil speech, being enemies of the Prophets, etc., just as Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ فَإِنَّكُمۡ وَمَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مَآ أَنتُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ بِفَـٰتِنِينَ إِلَّا مَنۡ هُوَ صَالِ ٱلۡجَحِيمِ

(So, verily, you (pagans) and those whom you worship (idols). Cannot lead astray. Except those who are predestined to burn in Hell!) (37:161-163) and,

﴿ إِنَّكُمۡ لَفِى قَوۡلٍ۬ مُّخۡتَلِفٍ۬ يُؤۡفَكُ عَنۡهُ مَنۡ أُفِكَ

(Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside.) (51:8-9) Allah said;

﴿ وَلِيَقۡتَرِفُواْ مَا هُم مُّقۡتَرِفُونَ

(And that they may commit what they are committing.) meaning, "let them earn whatever they will earn'', according to `Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported this from Ibn `Abbas. As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd also commented, "Let them do whatever they will do.''

﴿ أَفَغَيۡرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبۡتَغِى حَكَمً۬ا وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ إِلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مُفَصَّلاً۬‌ۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ يَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ۥ مُنَزَّلٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۖ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدۡقً۬ا وَعَدۡلاً۬‌ۚ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ‌ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(114. ﴿Say: "Shall I seek a judge other than Allah while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book, explained in detail." Those unto whom We gave the Scripture know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth. So be not you of those who doubt.) (115. And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His Words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.) Allah tells His Prophet to say to these polytheists who worship others besides Allah,

﴿ أَفَغَيۡرَ ٱللَّهِ أَبۡتَغِى حَكَمً۬ا

(Shall I seek a judge other than Allah...) between you and I,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنزَلَ إِلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مُفَصَّلاً۬‌ۚ

(while it is He Who has sent down unto you the Book, explained...) in detail,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ

(and those unto whom We gave the Scripture) the Jews and the Christians,

﴿ يَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ۥ مُنَزَّلٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۖ

(know that it is revealed from your Lord in truth.) because the previous Prophets have conveyed the good news of you coming to them. Allah's statement,

﴿ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ

(So be not you of those who doubt.) is similar to His other statement,

﴿ فَإِن كُنتَ فِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّمَّآ أَنزَلۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ فَسۡـَٔلِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَقۡرَءُونَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِكَ‌ۚ لَقَدۡ جَآءَكَ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ فَلَا تَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡمُمۡتَرِينَ

(So if you are in doubt concerning that which We have revealed unto you, then ask those who are reading the Book before you. Verily, the truth has come to you from your Lord. So be not of those who doubt (it).) (10:94) The conditional `if' in this Ayah does not mean that `doubt' will ever occur to the Prophet. Allah said,

﴿ وَتَمَّتۡ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدۡقً۬ا وَعَدۡلاً۬‌ۚ

(And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice.) Qatadah commented, "In truth concerning what He stated and in justice concerning what He decided.'' Surely, whatever Allah says is the truth and He is Most Just in what He commands. All of Allah's statements are true, there is no doubt or cause for speculation about this fact, and all His commandments are pure justice, besides which there is no justice. All that He forbade is evil, for He only forbids what brings about evil consequences. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ يَأۡمُرُهُم بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَيَنۡہَٮٰهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنڪَرِ

(He commands them with good; and forbids them from evil...) (7:157) until the end of the Ayah.

﴿ لَّا مُبَدِّلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ‌ۚ

(None can change His Words.) meaning, none can avert Allah's judgment whether in this life or the Hereafter,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ

(And He is the All-Hearer,) Hearing, His servants' statements,

﴿ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(The All-Knower.) of their activities and lack of activity, Who awards each according to their deeds.

﴿ وَإِن تُطِعۡ أَڪۡثَرَ مَن فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَإِنۡ هُمۡ إِلَّا يَخۡرُصُونَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ مَن يَضِلُّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ‌ۖ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ

(116. And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.) (117. Verily, your Lord! It is He Who knows best who strays from His way, and He knows best the rightly guided.)

Most People are Misguided

Allah states that most of the people of the earth, are misguided. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ ضَلَّ قَبۡلَهُمۡ أَڪۡثَرُ ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ

(And indeed most of the men of old went astray before them.) (37:71) and,

﴿ وَمَآ أَڪۡثَرُ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُؤۡمِنِينَ

(And most of mankind will not believe even if you eagerly desire it.) (12:103) They are misguided, yet they have doubts about their way, and they rely on wishful thinking and delusions.

﴿ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا ٱلظَّنَّ وَإِنۡ هُمۡ إِلَّا يَخۡرُصُونَ

(They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.) Thus, they fulfill Allah's decree and decision concerning them,

﴿ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ مَن يَضِلُّ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦ‌ۖ

(It is He Who knows best who strays from His way.) and facilitates that for him,

﴿ وَهُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُهۡتَدِينَ

(And He knows best the rightly guided.) He facilitates that for them, all of them are facilitated for what He created them.

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡهِ إِن كُنتُم بِـَٔايَـٰتِهِۦ مُؤۡمِنِينَ
﴿ وَمَا لَكُمۡ أَلَّا تَأۡڪُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ ٱسۡمُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡهِ وَقَدۡ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ إِلَّا مَا ٱضۡطُرِرۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ‌ۗ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرً۬ا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهۡوَآٮِٕهِم بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ‌ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعۡلَمُ بِٱلۡمُعۡتَدِينَ

(118. So eat of that on which Allah's Name has been mentioned, if you are believers in His Ayat.) (119. And why should you not eat of that on which Allah's Name has been mentioned, while He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, except under compulsion of necessity And surely, many do lead astray by their own desires through lack of knowledge. Certainly your Lord knows best the transgressors.)