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The Prohibition of causing Mischief in the Land

Allah said next,

﴿ وَلَا تُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بَعۡدَ إِصۡلَـٰحِهَا

(And do not do mischief on the earth, after it has been set in order) (5:56). Allah prohibits causing mischief on the earth, especially after it has been set in order. When the affairs are in order and then mischief occurs, it will cause maximum harm to the people; thus Allah forbids causing mischief and ordained worshipping Him, supplicating to Him, begging Him and being humble to Him. Allah said,

﴿ وَٱدۡعُوهُ خَوۡفً۬ا وَطَمَعًا‌ۚ

(and invoke Him with fear and hope) fearing what He has of severe torment and hoping in what He has of tremendous reward. Allah then said,

﴿ إِنَّ رَحۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ

(Surely, Allah's mercy is (ever) near unto the good-doers) meaning, His mercy is for the good-doers who obey His commands and avoid what He prohibited. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَرَحۡمَتِى وَسِعَتۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ۬‌ۚ فَسَأَكۡتُبُہَا لِلَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ

(And My mercy envelopes all things. That (mercy) I shall ordain for those who who have Taqwa.) (7:156). Matar Al-Warraq said, "Earn Allah's promise by obeying Him, for He ordained that His mercy is near to the good-doers. '' Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement.

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُرۡسِلُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحَ بُشۡرَۢا بَيۡنَ يَدَىۡ رَحۡمَتِهِۦ‌ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَقَلَّتۡ سَحَابً۬ا ثِقَالاً۬ سُقۡنَـٰهُ لِبَلَدٍ۬ مَّيِّتٍ۬ فَأَنزَلۡنَا بِهِ ٱلۡمَآءَ فَأَخۡرَجۡنَا بِهِۦ مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ نُخۡرِجُ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَڪَّرُونَ وَٱلۡبَلَدُ ٱلطَّيِّبُ يَخۡرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۖ وَٱلَّذِى خَبُثَ لَا يَخۡرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدً۬ا‌ۚ ڪَذَٲلِكَ نُصَرِّفُ ٱلۡأَيَـٰتِ لِقَوۡمٍ۬ يَشۡكُرُونَ

(57. And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy (rain). Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead, then We cause water (rain) to descend thereon. Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed.) (58. The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the permission of its Lord; and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but (a little) with difficulty. Thus do We explain variously the Ayat for a people who give thanks.)

Among Allah's Signs, He sends down the Rain and brings forth the Produce

After Allah stated that He created the heavens and earth and that He is the Owner and Possessor of the affairs Who makes things subservient (for mankind), He ordained that He be invoked in Du`a', for He is able to do all things. Allah also stated that He is the Sustainer and He resurrects the dead on the Day of Resurrection. Here, Allah said that He sends the wind that spreads the clouds that are laden with rain. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۤ أَن يُرۡسِلَ ٱلرِّيَاحَ مُبَشِّرَٲتٍ۬

(And among His signs is this, that He sends the winds with glad tidings) (30:46). Allah's statement,

﴿ بَيۡنَ يَدَىۡ رَحۡمَتِهِۦ‌ۖ

(going before His mercy) means, before the rain. Allah also said;

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى يُنَزِّلُ ٱلۡغَيۡثَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا قَنَطُواْ وَيَنشُرُ رَحۡمَتَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡوَلِىُّ ٱلۡحَمِيدُ

(And He it is Who sends down the rain after they have despaired, and spreads His mercy. And He is Al-Wali (the Guardian), Al-Hamid (the praiseworthy) (42:28) and,

﴿ فَٱنظُرۡ إِلَىٰٓ ءَاثَـٰرِ رَحۡمَتِ ٱللَّهِ ڪَيۡفَ يُحۡىِ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ بَعۡدَ مَوۡتِہَآ‌ۚ إِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ لَمُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ‌ۖ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬

(Look then at the results of Allah's mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily, that ﴿is the one Who shall indeed raise the dead, and He is able to do all things) (30:50). Allah said next,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَقَلَّتۡ سَحَابً۬ا ثِقَالاً۬

(Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud) when the wind carries clouds that are heavy with rain, and this is why these clouds are heavy, close to the earth, and their color is dark. Allah's statement,

﴿ سُقۡنَـٰهُ لِبَلَدٍ۬ مَّيِّتٍ۬

(We drive it to a land that is dead) that is, a dry land that does not have any vegetation. This Ayah is similar to another Ayah,

﴿ وَءَايَةٌ۬ لَّهُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ ٱلۡمَيۡتَةُ أَحۡيَيۡنَـٰهَا

(And a sign for them is the dead land. We give it life) (36:33). This is why Allah said here,

﴿ فَأَخۡرَجۡنَا بِهِۦ مِن كُلِّ ٱلثَّمَرَٲتِ‌ۚ كَذَٲلِكَ نُخۡرِجُ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ

(Then We produce every kind of fruit therewith. Similarly, We shall raise up the dead.) meaning, just as We bring life to dead land, We shall raise up the dead on the Day of Resurrection, after they have disintegrated. Allah will send down rain from the sky and the rain will pour on the earth for forty days. The corpses will then be brought up in their graves, just as the seeds become grow in the ground (on receiving rain). Allah often mentions this similarity in the Qur'an when He gives the example of what will happen on the Day of Resurrection, and bringing life to dead land,

﴿ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَذَڪَّرُونَ

(so that you may remember or take heed.) Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلۡبَلَدُ ٱلطَّيِّبُ يَخۡرُجُ نَبَاتُهُ ۥ بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۖ

(The vegetation of a good land comes forth (easily) by the permission of its Lord;) meaning, the good land produces its vegetation rapidly and proficiently. Allah said in another Ayah (about Maryam, mother of `Isa, peace be upon him);

﴿ وَأَنۢبَتَهَا نَبَاتًا حَسَنً۬ا

(He made her grow in a good manner.) (3:37) The Ayah continues,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِى خَبُثَ لَا يَخۡرُجُ إِلَّا نَكِدً۬ا‌ۚ

(and that which is bad, brings forth nothing but with difficulty.) Mujahid, and others such as As-Sibakh, etc. also said this. Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Musa said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَثَلُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ وَالْهُدَى كَمَثَلِ الْغَيْثِ الْكَثِيرِ أَصَابَ أَرْضًا فَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا نَقِيَّةٌ قَبِلَتِ الْمَاءَ فَأَنْبَتَتِ الْكَلَأَ وَالْعُشْبَ الْكَثِيرَ وَكَانَتْ مِنْهَا أَجَادِبُ أَمْسَكَتِ الْمَاءَ فَنَفَعَ اللهُ بِهَا النَّاسَ فَشَرِبُوا وَسَقَوْا وَزَرَعُوا وَأَصَابَ مِنْهَا طَائِفَةً أُخْرَى إِنَّمَا هِيَ قِيعَانٌ لَا تُمْسِكُ مَاءً وَلَا تُنْبِتُ كَلَأً، فَذَلِكَ مَثَلُ مَنْ فَقُهَ فِي دِينِ اللهِ وَنَفَعَهُ مَا بَعَثَنِي اللهُ بِهِ فَعَلِمَ وَعَلَّمَ وَمَثَلُ مَنْ لَمْ يَرْفَعْ بِذَلِكَ رَأْسًا وَلَمْ يَقْبَلْ هُدَى اللهِ الَّذِي أُرْسِلْتُ بِه »

(The parable of the guidance and knowledge with which Allah has sent me is that of an abundant rain falling on a land, some of which was fertile soil that absorbed rain water and brought forth vegetation and grass in abundance. And another portion of it was hard and held the rain water; and Allah benefited the people with it, they utilized it for drinking, making their animals drink from it, and for irrigation of the land for cultivation. And a portion of it was barren which could neither hold the water nor bring forth vegetation. The first is the example of the person who comprehends Allah's religion and gets benefit which Allah sent me with, by learning and teaching others. The last example is that of a person who does not care for it and does not accept the guidance Allah sent me with.)

﴿ لَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ فَقَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ۬ قَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّا لَنَرَٮٰكَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَيۡسَ بِى ضَلَـٰلَةٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِنِّى رَسُولٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ أُبَلِّغُكُمۡ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ رَبِّى وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمۡ وَأَعۡلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

(59. Indeed, We sent Nuh to his people and he said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!'') (60. The leaders of his people said: "Verily, we see you in plain error.'') (61. (Nuh) said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!) (62. I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.'')

The Story of Nuh and His People

After Allah mentioned the story of Adam in the beginning of this Surah, He started mentioning the stories of the Prophets, the first then the latter of them. Allah mentioned the story of Nuh, because he was the first Messenger Allah sent to the people of the earth after Adam. His name was Nuh bin Lamak bin Matushalakh bin Khanukh. And Khanukh was, as they claim, the Prophet Idris. And Idris was the first person to write letters using pen, and he was the son of Barad bin Mahlil, bin Qanin bin Yanish bin Shith bin Adam, upon them all be peace. This lineage is mentioned by Muhammad bin Ishaq and other Imams who document lineage. `Abdullah bin `Abbas and several other scholars of Tafsir said that the first idol worship began when some righteous people died and their people built places of worship over their graves. They made images of them so that they could remember their righteousness and devotion, and thus, imitate them. When time passed, they made statues of them and later on worshipped these idols, naming them after the righteous people: Wadd, Suwa`, Yaghuth, Ya`uq and Nasr. After this practice became popular, Allah sent Nuh as a Messenger, all thanks are due to Him. Nuh commanded his people to worship Allah alone without partners, saying,

﴿ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ عَلَيۡكُمۡ عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ۬

("O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Certainly, I fear for you the torment of a Great Day!'') the torment of the Day of Resurrection, if you meet Allah while associating others with Him.

﴿ قَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦۤ

(The leaders of his people said) meaning, the general public, chiefs, commanders and great ones of his people said,

﴿ إِنَّا لَنَرَٮٰكَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬

("Verily, we see you in plain error'') because of your calling us to abandon the worship of these idols that we found our forefathers worshipping. This, indeed, is the attitude of evil people, for they consider the righteous people to be following misguidance. Allah said in other Ayat,

﴿ وَإِذَا رَأَوۡهُمۡ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّ هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ لَضَآلُّونَ

(And when they saw them, they said: "Verily, these have indeed gone astray!'') (83:32) and,

﴿ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَوۡ كَانَ خَيۡرً۬ا مَّا سَبَقُونَآ إِلَيۡهِ‌ۚ وَإِذۡ لَمۡ يَهۡتَدُواْ بِهِۦ فَسَيَقُولُونَ هَـٰذَآ إِفۡكٌ۬ قَدِيمٌ۬

(And those who disbelieve say of those who believe: "Had it been a good thing, they (the weak and poor) would not have preceded us thereto!'' And when they have not let themselves be guided by it (this Qur'an), they say: "This is an ancient lie!'') (46:11) There are several other Ayat on this subject.

﴿ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَيۡسَ بِى ضَلَـٰلَةٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِنِّى رَسُولٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ

((Nuh) said: "O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!'') meaning, there is nothing wrong with me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists, Lord and King of all things,

﴿ أُبَلِّغُكُمۡ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ رَبِّى وَأَنصَحُ لَكُمۡ وَأَعۡلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ

("I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.'') This is the attribute of a Messenger, that he conveys using plain, yet eloquent words, offers sincere advice and is knowledgeable about Allah; indeed, no other people can compete with the Prophets in this regard. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to his Companions on the Day of `Arafah, when their gathering was as large as it ever was,

« أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّكُمْ مَسْؤُولُونَ عَنِّي فَمَا أَنْتُمْ قَائِلُونَ؟ »

(O people! You will be asked about me, so what will you say) They said, "We testify that you have conveyed and delivered (the Message) and offered sincere advice.'' So he kept raising his finger to the sky and lowering it towards them, saying,

« اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَدْ اللَّهُمَّ اشْهَد »

(O Allah! Bear witness, O Allah! Bear witness.)

﴿ أَوَعَجِبۡتُمۡ أَن جَآءَكُمۡ ذِكۡرٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ لِيُنذِرَكُمۡ وَلِتَتَّقُواْ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَنجَيۡنَـٰهُ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ وَأَغۡرَقۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ‌ۚ إِنَّہُمۡ ڪَانُواْ قَوۡمًا عَمِينَ

(63. "Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder from your Lord through a man from among you, that he may warn you, so that you may fear Allah and that you may receive (His) mercy'') (64. But they belied him, so We saved him and those along with him in the Fulk, and We drowned those who belied Our Ayat. They were indeed a blind people.) Allah said that Nuh proclaimed to his people,

﴿ أَوَعَجِبۡتُمۡ

("Do you wonder...''), do not wonder because of this. Surely, it is not strange that Allah sends down revelation to a man among you as mercy, kindness and compassion for you, so that he warns you that you may avoid Allah's torment by associating none with Him,

﴿ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ

("and that you may receive (His) mercy.'') Allah said,

﴿ فَكَذَّبُوهُ

(But they belied him) but they insisted on rejecting and opposing him, and only a few of them believed in him, as Allah stated in another Ayah. Allah said next,

﴿ فَأَنجَيۡنَـٰهُ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡفُلۡكِ

(So We saved him and those along with him in the Fulk) the ark,

﴿ وَأَغۡرَقۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا‌ۖ

(And We drowned those who belied Our Ayat. ) Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ مِّمَّا خَطِيٓـَٔـٰتِہِمۡ أُغۡرِقُواْ فَأُدۡخِلُواْ نَارً۬ا فَلَمۡ يَجِدُواْ لَهُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَنصَارً۬ا

(Because of their sins they were drowned, then they were admitted into the Fire. And they found none to help them instead of Allah.) (71:25) Allah said,

﴿ إِنَّہُمۡ ڪَانُواْ قَوۡمًا عَمِينَ

(They were indeed a blind people.) meaning, blind from the Truth, unable to recognize it or find their way to it. Here, Allah said that He has taken revenge from His enemies and saved His Messenger and those who believed in him, while destroying their disbelieving enemies. Allah said in a another Ayah,

﴿ إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا

(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers) (40:51). This is Allah's Sunnah (way) with His servants, in this life and the Hereafter, that the good end, victory and triumph is for those who fear Him. For example, Allah destroyed the people of Nuh, and saved Nuh and his believing followers. Ibn Wahb said that he was told that Ibn `Abbas said that eighty men were saved with Nuh in the ship, one of them was Jurhum, who spoke Arabic. Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement, which was also narrated with a continuous chain of narration from Ibn `Abbas.

﴿ وَإِلَىٰ عَادٍ أَخَاهُمۡ هُودً۬ا‌ۗ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ قَالَ ٱلۡمَلَأُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّا لَنَرَٮٰكَ فِى سَفَاهَةٍ۬ وَإِنَّا لَنَظُنُّكَ مِنَ ٱلۡكَـٰذِبِينَ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ لَيۡسَ بِى سَفَاهَةٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِنِّى رَسُولٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ أُبَلِّغُڪُمۡ رِسَـٰلَـٰتِ رَبِّى وَأَنَا۟ لَكُمۡ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ أَوَعَجِبۡتُمۡ أَن جَآءَكُمۡ ذِڪۡرٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ عَلَىٰ رَجُلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ لِيُنذِرَڪُمۡ‌ۚ وَٱذۡڪُرُوٓاْ إِذۡ جَعَلَكُمۡ خُلَفَآءَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ قَوۡمِ نُوحٍ۬ وَزَادَكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡخَلۡقِ بَصۜۡطَةً۬‌ۖ فَٱذۡڪُرُوٓاْ ءَالَآءَ ٱللَّهِ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ

(65. And to `Ad (the people, We sent) their brother Hud. He said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other god but Him. Will you then not have Taqwa'') (66. The leaders of those who disbelieved among his people said: "Verily, we see you in foolishness, and verily, we think you are one of the liars.'') (67. (Hud) said: "O my people! There is no foolishness in me, but (I am) a Messenger from the Lord of all that exists!) (68. "I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord, and I am a trustworthy adviser (or well-wisher) for you.) (69. "Do you wonder that there has come to you a Reminder (and an advice) from your Lord through a man from among you to warn you And remember that He made you successors (generations after generations) after the people of Nuh and increased you amply in stature. So remember the graces (bestowed upon you) from Allah so that you may be successful.'')