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All Mankind are the Offspring of Adam

Allah states that He has created all mankind from Adam, peace be upon him, and from Adam, He created his wife, Hawwa' and from them, people started to spread. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ۬ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ شُعُوبً۬ا وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۚ

(O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honorable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has Taqwa) (49:13), and,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفۡسٍ۬ وَٲحِدَةٍ۬ وَخَلَقَ مِنۡہَا زَوۡجَهَا

(O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife.) (4:1) In this honorable Ayah, Allah said;

﴿ وَجَعَلَ مِنۡہَا زَوۡجَهَا لِيَسۡكُنَ إِلَيۡہَا‌ۖ

(And (then) He has created from him his wife, in order that he might enjoy the pleasure of living with her.) so that he is intimate and compassionate with her. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۤ أَنۡ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيۡنَڪُم مَّوَدَّةً۬ وَرَحۡمَةً‌ۚ

(And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives (spouses) from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy.) (30:21) Indeed, there is no intimacy between two souls like that between the spouses. This is why Allah mentioned that the sorcerer might be able with his trick to separate between a man and his wife (thus indicating the difficulty of separating them in normal circumstances). Allah said next,

﴿ فَلَمَّا تَغَشَّٮٰهَا

(When he covered her) meaning had sexual intercourses with her.

﴿ حَمَلَتۡ حَمۡلاً خَفِيفً۬ا

(she became pregnant and she carried it about lightly) in reference to the first stage of pregnancy when the woman does not feel pain, for at that time, the fetus will be just a Nutfah (the mixture of the male and female discharge), then becomes an `Alaqah (a piece of thick coagulated blood) and then a Mudghah (a small lump of flesh). Allah said next,

﴿ فَمَرَّتۡ بِهِۦ‌ۖ

(and she carried it about), she continued the pregnancy, according to Mujahid. It was reported that Al-Hasan, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and As-Suddi said similarly. Maymun bin Mahran reported that his father said, "She found the pregnancy unnoticeable.'' Ayyub said, "I asked Al-Hasan about the Ayah,

﴿ فَمَرَّتۡ بِهِۦ‌ۖ

(and she carried it about) and he said, `Had you been an Arab, you would know what it means! It means that she continued the pregnancy (through its various stages).''' Qatadah said,

﴿ فَمَرَّتۡ بِهِۦ‌ۖ

(and she carried it about (lightly).), means, it became clear that she was pregnant. Ibn Jarir commented, "This Ayah means that the liquid remained, whether she stood up or sat down.'' Al-`Awfi recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The semen remained in, but she was unsure if she became pregnant or not,

﴿ فَلَمَّآ أَثۡقَلَت

(Then when it became heavy), she became heavier with the fetus'', As-Suddi said, "The fetus grew in her womb.''

﴿ دَّعَوَا ٱللَّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَٮِٕنۡ ءَاتَيۡتَنَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا

(they both invoked Allah, their Lord (saying): "If You give us a Salih child,) if he is born human in every respect. Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas commented, "They feared that their child might be born in the shape of an animal!'' while Abu Al-Bakhtri and Abu Malik commented, "They feared that their newborn might not be human.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri also commented, "If You (Allah) give us a boy.''

﴿ لَّنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلشَّـٰكِرِينَ
﴿ فَلَمَّآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا جَعَلَا لَهُ ۥ شُرَكَآءَ فِيمَآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمَا‌ۚ فَتَعَـٰلَى ٱللَّهُ عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ

(we shall indeed be among the grateful. But when He gave them a Salih child, they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them. High be Allah, Exalted above all that they ascribe as partners to Him.) (7:189-190) Ibn Jarir recorded that Al-Hasan commented on this part of the Ayah,

﴿ جَعَلَا لَهُ ۥ شُرَكَآءَ فِيمَآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمَا‌ۚ

(they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them) "This occurred by followers of some religion, not from Adam (or Hawwa').'' Al-Hasan also said, "This Ayah refers to those among the offspring of Adam who fell into Shirk,

﴿ جَعَلَا لَهُ ۥ شُرَكَآءَ فِيمَآ ءَاتَٮٰهُمَا‌ۚ

(they ascribed partners to Him (Allah) in that which He has given to them.)'' Qatadah said, "Al-Hasan used to say that it refers to the Jews and Christians. Allah gave them children, and they turned them into Jews and Christians.'' The explanations from Al-Hasan have authentic chains of narration leading to him, and certainly, it is one of the best interpretations. This Ayah should therefore be understood this way, for it is apparent that it does not refer to Adam and Hawa', but about the idolators among their offspring. Allah mentioned the person first (Adam and Hawwa') and then continued to mention the species (mankind, many of whom committed Shirk). There are similar cases in the Qur'an. For cases, Allah said

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَـٰبِيحَ

(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps) It is well-known that the stars that were made as lamps in the sky are not the same as the shooting missiles that are thrown at the devils (mentioned later in the Ayah). There are similar instances in the Qur'an. Allah knows best.

﴿ أَيُشۡرِكُونَ مَا لَا يَخۡلُقُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ وَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ لَهُمۡ نَصۡرً۬ا وَلَآ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَنصُرُونَ وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَتَّبِعُوڪُمۡ‌ۚ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَدَعَوۡتُمُوهُمۡ أَمۡ أَنتُمۡ صَـٰمِتُونَ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ عِبَادٌ أَمۡثَالُڪُمۡ‌ۖ فَٱدۡعُوهُمۡ فَلۡيَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَڪُمۡ إِن كُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ أَلَهُمۡ أَرۡجُلٌ۬ يَمۡشُونَ بِہَآ‌ۖ أَمۡ لَهُمۡ أَيۡدٍ۬ يَبۡطِشُونَ بِہَآ‌ۖ أَمۡ لَهُمۡ أَعۡيُنٌ۬ يُبۡصِرُونَ بِہَآ‌ۖ أَمۡ لَهُمۡ ءَاذَانٌ۬ يَسۡمَعُونَ بِہَا‌ۗ قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمۡ ثُمَّ كِيدُونِ فَلَا تُنظِرُونِ إِنَّ وَلِـِّۧىَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ‌ۖ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ وَٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ نَصۡرَڪُمۡ وَلَآ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَنصُرُونَ وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَسۡمَعُواْ‌ۖ وَتَرَٮٰهُمۡ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيۡكَ وَهُمۡ لَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(191. Do they attribute as partners to Allah those who created nothing but they themselves are created) (192. No help can they give them, nor can they help themselves.) (193. And if you call them to guidance, they follow you not. It is the same for you whether you call them or you keep silent.) (194. Verily, those whom you call upon besides Allah are servants like you. So call upon them and let them answer you if you are truthful.) (195. Have they feet wherewith they walk Or have they hands wherewith they hold Or have they eyes wherewith they see Or have they ears wherewith they hear Say: "Call your (so-called) partners (of Allah) and then plot against me, and give me no respite!) (196. Verily, my protector is Allah Who has revealed the Book (the Qur'an), and He protects the righteous.) (197. And those whom you call upon besides Him (Allah) cannot help you nor can they help themselves.) (198. And if you call them to guidance, they hear not and you will see them looking at you, yet they see not.'')

Idols do not create, help, or have Power over Anything

Allah admonishes the idolators who worshipped idols, rivals and images besides Him, although these objects were created by Allah, and neither own anything nor can they bring harm or benefit. These objects do not see or give aid to those who worship them. They are inanimate objects that neither move, hear, or see. Those who worship these objects are better than they are, for they hear see and have strength of their own. Allah said,

﴿ أَيُشۡرِكُونَ مَا لَا يَخۡلُقُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ

(Do they attribute as partners to Allah those who created nothing but they themselves are created) meaning, `Do you associate with Allah others that neither create, nor have power to create anything' Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَن يَخۡلُقُواْ ذُبَابً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱجۡتَمَعُواْ لَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَإِن يَسۡلُبۡہُمُ ٱلذُّبَابُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا لَّا يَسۡتَنقِذُوهُ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ ضَعُفَ ٱلطَّالِبُ وَٱلۡمَطۡلُوبُ مَا قَدَرُواْ ٱللَّهَ حَقَّ قَدۡرِهِۦۤ‌ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَقَوِىٌّ عَزِيزٌ

(O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought. They have not estimated Allah His rightful estimate. Verily, Allah is All-Strong, Almighty) (22:73-74). Allah states that if all false gods of the disbelievers gather their strength, they would not be able to create a fly. Rather, if the fly steals anything from them, no matter how insignificant, and flew away, they would not be able to retrieve it. Therefore, if an object is this weak, how can it be worshipped and invoked for provisions and aid This is why Allah said,

﴿ لَا يَخۡلُقُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَهُمۡ يُخۡلَقُونَ

(... who created nothing but they themselves are created) these worshipped objects themselves were created and made. Prophet Ibrahim Al-Khalil proclaimed,

﴿ أَتَعۡبُدُونَ مَا تَنۡحِتُونَ

("Worship you that which you (yourselves) carve'') (37:95) Allah said next,

﴿ وَلَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ لَهُمۡ نَصۡرً۬ا

(No help can they give them) those who worship them,

﴿ وَلَآ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَنصُرُونَ

(nor can they help themselves) nor are they able to aid themselves against those who seek to harm them. For instance, Allah's Khalil, peace be upon him, broke and disgraced the idols of his people, just as Allah said he did,

﴿ فَرَاغَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ضَرۡبَۢا بِٱلۡيَمِينِ

(Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand,) (37:93) and,

﴿ فَجَعَلَهُمۡ جُذَٲذًا إِلَّا ڪَبِيرً۬ا لَّهُمۡ لَعَلَّهُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ يَرۡجِعُونَ

(So he broke them to pieces, (all) except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it.) (21:58) Mu`adh bin `Amr ibn Al-Jamuh and Mu`adh bin Jabal, may Allah be pleased with both of them, were still young when they embraced Islam after the Messenger of Allah came to Al-Madinah. So they were attacking the idols of the idolators at night, breaking, disfiguring them and using them as fuel for needy widows. They sought to give a lesson to their people to make them aware of their error. `Amr bin Al-Jamuh, who was one of the chiefs of his people, had an idol that he used to worship and perfume. The two Mu`adhs used to go to that idol, turn it on its head and tarnish it with animal waste. When `Amr bin Al-Jamuh would see what happened to his idol, he would clean it, perfume it and leave a sword next to it, saying, "Defend yourself.'' However, the two young men would repeat their actions, and he would do the same as before. Once, they took the idol, tied it to a dead dog and threw it in a well while tied to a rope! When `Amr bin Al-Jamuh saw this, he knew that his religion was false and said, "By Allah! Had you been a god who has might, you would not end up tied to a dog on a rope!'' `Amr bin Al-Jamuh embraced Islam, and he was strong in his Islam. He was later martyred during the battle of Uhud, may Allah be pleased with him, give him pleasure. and grant him Paradise as his dwelling. Allah said,

﴿ وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَتَّبِعُوڪُمۡ‌ۚ

(And if you call them to guidance, they follow you not.) Allah says, these idols do not hear the calls of those who worship them. Therefore, the result is the same, whether calling the idols or shunning them. Ibrahim, peace be upon said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعۡبُدُ مَا لَا يَسۡمَعُ وَلَا يُبۡصِرُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى عَنكَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

("O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything'') (19:42) Next, Allah states that the idols were created, just as those who worship them. Rather, the people are better than the idols, because they are able to hear, see and exert harm. The idols, on the other hand, have no such powers. Allah said next,

﴿ قُلِ ٱدۡعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمۡ

(Say: "Call your (so-called) partners (of Allah)) invoke the idols for aid against me and do not give me respite, even for an instant, and give it your best effort,

﴿ إِنَّ وَلِـِّۧىَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى نَزَّلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ‌ۖ وَهُوَ يَتَوَلَّى ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ

(Verily, my protector is Allah Who has revealed the Book (the Qur'an), and He protects the righteous.) Allah's support is sufficient and He will suffice for me, He is My supporter, I trust in Him and take refuge with Him. He is my protector, in this life and the Hereafter, and the protector of every righteous believer after me. Similarly, the people of Hud said,

﴿ إِن نَّقُولُ إِلَّا ٱعۡتَرَٮٰكَ بَعۡضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوٓءٍ۬‌ۗ قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أُشۡہِدُ ٱللَّهَ وَٱشۡہَدُوٓاْ أَنِّى بَرِىٓءٌ۬ مِّمَّا تُشۡرِكُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ‌ۖ فَكِيدُونِى جَمِيعً۬ا ثُمَّ لَا تُنظِرُونِ إِنِّى تَوَكَّلۡتُ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ رَبِّى وَرَبِّكُم‌ۚ مَّا مِن دَآبَّةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ ءَاخِذُۢ بِنَاصِيَتِہَآ‌ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى عَلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

("All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil (madness). '' Hud replied: "I call Allah to witness, and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe (as partners in worship, with Him (Allah)). So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has the grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on a path that is straight) (11:54-56). Ibrahim Al-Khalil proclaimed (to his people),

﴿ قَالَ أَفَرَءَيۡتُم مَّا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡبُدُونَ أَنتُمۡ وَءَابَآؤُڪُمُ ٱلۡأَقۡدَمُونَ فَإِنَّہُمۡ عَدُوٌّ۬ لِّىٓ إِلَّا رَبَّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَنِى فَهُوَ يَہۡدِينِ

(Do you observe that which you have been worshipping, You and your ancient fathers. Verily, they are enemies to me, save the Lord of all that exists. Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me.'') (26:75-78) He also said to his father and his people,

﴿ وَإِذۡ قَالَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمُ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوۡمِهِۦۤ إِنَّنِى بَرَآءٌ۬ مِّمَّا تَعۡبُدُونَ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِى فَطَرَنِى فَإِنَّهُ ۥ سَيَہۡدِينِ وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةَۢ بَاقِيَةً۬ فِى عَقِبِهِۦ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ

("Verily, I am innocent of what you warship. Except Him Who did create me; and verily, He will guide me.'' And he made it a legacy lasting among his offspring, that they may turn back (to Allah).) (43:26-28) Allah said here,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ

(Verily, those whom you call upon besides Allah) until the end of the Ayah, reiterating what has been said earlier, but He uses direct speech this time,

﴿ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ نَصۡرَڪُمۡ وَلَآ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَنصُرُونَ

(cannot help you nor can they help themselves.) The Ayah,

﴿ وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَسۡمَعُواْ‌ۖ وَتَرَٮٰهُمۡ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيۡكَ وَهُمۡ لَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(And if you call them to guidance, they hear not and you will see them looking at you, yet they see not.) is similar to another Ayah,

﴿ إِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ لَا يَسۡمَعُواْ دُعَآءَكُمۡ

(If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call.) (35:14). Allah said next,

﴿ وَتَرَٮٰهُمۡ يَنظُرُونَ إِلَيۡكَ وَهُمۡ لَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(and you will see them looking at you, yet they see not.) meaning, they have eyes that stare as if they see, although they are solid. Therefore, the Ayah treated them as if they had a mind (saying, Tarahum, instead of Taraha), since they are made in the shape of humans with eyes drawn on them.

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(199. Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-'Urf (the good), and turn away from the foolish (don't punish them). ) (200. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.)

Showing Forgiveness

`Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ

(Show forgiveness) "Allah commanded (Prophet Muhammad ) to show forgiveness and turn away from the idolators for ten years. Afterwards Allah ordered him to be harsh with them.'' And more than one narration from Mujahid says, "From the (bad) behavior and actions of the people, of those who have not committed espionage.'' And Hashim bin `Urwah said that his father said, "Allah ordered Allah's Messenger to pardon the people for their behavior.'' And in one narration, "pardon what I have allowed you of their behavior. In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is recorded that Hisham reported from his father `Urwah from his brother `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr who said; "(The Ayah);

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ

(Show forgiveness) was only revealed about the people’s (bad) character.'' There is a narration from Mughirah from Hisham from his father from Ibn `Umar; and another from Hisham from his father from `A'ishah, both of whom said similarly. And Allah knows best. Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Yunus said that Sufyan bin `Uyaynah narrated that Umay said, "When Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored, revealed this Ayah,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf (what is good), and turn away from the foolish) to His Prophet, the Messenger of Allah asked,

« مَا هَذَا يَا جِبْرِيل »

(`What does it mean, O Jibril) Jibril said, `Allah commands you to forgive those who wronged you, give to those who deprived you, and keep relations with those who cut theirs with you.''' Al-Bukhari said, "Allah said,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf and turn away from the ignorant). `Al-`Urf', means, righteousness.'' Al-Bukhari next recorded from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "`Uyaynah bin Hisn bin Hudhayfah stayed with his nephew Al-Hur bin Qays, who was among the people whom `Umar used to have near him, for `Umar used to like to have the reciters of the Qur'an (who memorized it) near him and would listen to their opinion, regardless of whether they were old or young men. `Uyaynah said to his nephew, `O my nephew! You are close to this chief (`Umar), so ask for permission for me to see him.' Al-Hur said `I will ask him for you,' and he asked `Umar for permission for `Uyaynah to meet him, and `Umar gave him permission. When `Uyaynah entered on `Umar, he said, `O Ibn Al-Khattab! You neither give to us sufficiently nor rule with justice between us.' `Umar became so angry that he almost punished `Uyaynah. However, Al-Hur said, `O Chief of he Faithful! Allah, the Exalted, said to His Prophet ,

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin Al-`Urf, and turn away from the foolish) Verily this man (`Uyaynah) is one of the fools!' By Allah, `Umar did not do anything after he heard that Ayah being recited, and indeed, he was one who adhered to the Book of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.'' Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith. Some scholars said that people are of two kinds, a good-doer, so accept his good doing and neither ask him more than he can bear nor what causes him hardship. The other kind is the one who falls in shortcomings, so enjoin righteousness on him. If he still insists on evil, becomes difficult and continues in his ignorance, then turn away from him, so that your ignoring him might avert his evilness. Allah said in other instances,

﴿ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ ٱلسَّيِّئَةَ‌ۚ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ هَمَزَٲتِ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحۡضُرُونِ

(Repel evil with that which is better. We are best-acquainted with the things they utter. And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.'') (23:96-98) and,

﴿ وَلَا تَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ‌ۚ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ۬

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient -- and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion in this world.) (41:34-35) in reference to the advice contained in these Ayat,

﴿ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away (from doing good), then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower) (41:36). Allah said in this honorable Suah,

﴿ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (7:200) These three instances in the Qur'an, in Surahs Al-A`raf, Al-Mu'minun and As-Sajdah, are unique in the Qur'an. Allah encourages lenient treatment of evil doers, for this might deter them from persistence in their evil, Allah willing,

﴿ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬

(then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend) (41:34). Allah also encourages seeking refuge with Him from the devils of the Jinns. The devil will not be deterred if one is lenient with him, because he seeks your destruction and total demise. The devil to you, O mankind, is an open enemy, just as he was for your father before you. Ibn Jarir said, while explaining Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬

(And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan), "If the devil lures you to get angry, thus directing you away from forgiving the ignorant and towards punishing him

﴿ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(then seek refuge with Allah.) Allah commands here to seek refuge with Him from the devil's whispers,

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) Allah hears the ignorance that the fools subject you to, your seeking refuge with Him from the devil's whispers, and the rest of the speech of His creation; none of it escapes His knowledge. He knows what drives the lures of the devil away from you, as well as, the rest of what His creatures do.'' We mentioned the Hadiths concerning Isti`adhah (seeking refuge with Allah) in the beginning of this Tafsir, so we do not need to repeat them here.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوۡاْ إِذَا مَسَّہُمۡ طَـٰٓٮِٕفٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ تَذَڪَّرُواْ فَإِذَا هُم مُّبۡصِرُونَ وَإِخۡوَٲنُهُمۡ يَمُدُّونَہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡغَىِّ ثُمَّ لَا يُقۡصِرُونَ

(201. Verily, those who have Taqwa, when an evil thought comes to them from Shaytan, they remember (Allah), and (indeed) they then see (aright).) (202. But (as for) their brothers (the devils' brothers) they (the devils) plunge them deeper into error, and they never stop short.)

The Whispering of Shaytan and the People of Taqwa

Allah mentions His servants who have Taqwa, obeying His orders, and avoid what He forbade:

﴿ إِذَا مَسَّہُمۡ

(when comes to them) an evil thought, or anger, or the whispers of Shaytan cross their mind, or intend to err, or commit an error,

﴿ تَذَڪَّرُواْ

(they remember) Allah's punishment, as well as, His tremendous reward. They remember Allah's promises and threats, then repent, go back to Him, seek refuge with Him and ask for forgiveness before death,

﴿ فَإِذَا هُم مُّبۡصِرُونَ

(and (indeed) they then see (aright)) they become aright and aware of the error of their ways.

A Brethren of Devils among Mankind lure to Falsehood

Allah said next,

﴿ وَإِخۡوَٲنُهُمۡ يَمُدُّونَہُمۡ

(But (as for) their brothers they plunge them deeper) in reference to the devils' brothers among mankind. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلۡمُبَذِّرِينَ كَانُوٓاْ إِخۡوَٲنَ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينِ‌ۖ

(Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayatin) (17:27) for they are followers of the Shayatin, who listen to them and obey their orders.

﴿ يَمُدُّونَہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡغَىِّ

(They plunge them deeper into error) the devils help them commit sins, making this path easy and appealing to them

﴿ ثُمَّ لَا يُقۡصِرُونَ

(and they never stop short) for the devils never cease inciting mankind to commit errors. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِخۡوَٲنُهُمۡ يَمُدُّونَہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡغَىِّ ثُمَّ لَا يُقۡصِرُونَ

(But (as for) their brothers they plunge them deeper into error, and they never stop short.) "Neither mankind stop short of the evil that they are doing nor the devils stop short of luring them. '' Therefore,

﴿ لَا يُقۡصِرُونَ

(they never stop short) refers to the devils getting tired or stopping their whispering. Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ تَؤُزُّهُمۡ أَزًّ۬ا

(See you not that We have sent Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil) (19:83) persistently luring the disbelievers to commit evil, according to Ibn `Abbas and others.

﴿ وَإِذَا لَمۡ تَأۡتِهِم بِـَٔايَةٍ۬ قَالُواْ لَوۡلَا ٱجۡتَبَيۡتَهَا‌ۚ قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ مِن رَّبِّى‌ۚ هَـٰذَا بَصَآٮِٕرُ مِن رَّبِّڪُمۡ وَهُدً۬ى وَرَحۡمَةٌ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(203. And if you do not bring them a miracle, they say: "Why have you not brought it'' Say: "I but follow what is revealed to me from my Lord. This (the Qur'an) is nothing but evidences from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.'')

Idolators ask to witness Miracles

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ قَالُواْ لَوۡلَا ٱجۡتَبَيۡتَهَا‌ۚ

(they say, "Why have you not brought it'') "They say, `Why have you not received a miracle''', or, "Why have you not initiated or made it'' Ibn Jarir reported that, `Abdullah bin Kathir said that Mujahid said about Allah's statement,

﴿ وَإِذَا لَمۡ تَأۡتِهِم بِـَٔايَةٍ۬ قَالُواْ لَوۡلَا ٱجۡتَبَيۡتَهَا‌ۚ

(And if you do not bring them a miracle, they say: "Why have you not brought it'') "They say, `Produce a miracle of your own.''' Qatadah, As-Suddi, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Jarir agreed with this. Allah said next,

﴿ وَإِذَا لَمۡ تَأۡتِهِم بِـَٔايَةٍ۬

(And if you do not bring them an Ayah) a miracle or a sign. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ إِن نَّشَأۡ نُنَزِّلۡ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ ءَايَةً۬ فَظَلَّتۡ أَعۡنَـٰقُهُمۡ لَهَا خَـٰضِعِينَ

(If We will, We could send down to them from the heaven a sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility.) (26:4) The pagans asked the Prophet, why did you not strive hard to bring us an Ayah (miracle) from Allah so that we witness it and believe in it. Allah said to him,

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَتَّبِعُ مَا يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ مِن رَّبِّى‌ۚ

(Say: "I but follow what is revealed to me from my Lord.'') I do not ask such things of my Lord. I only follow what He reveals and commands me. Therefore, if Allah sends a miracle, I will accept it. Otherwise, I will not ask for it unless He allows me. Certainly, Allah is Most Wise, the All-Knower. Allah next directs the servants to the fact that this Qur'an is the most powerful miracle, clearest evidence and most true proof and explanation, saying,

﴿ هَـٰذَا بَصَآٮِٕرُ مِن رَّبِّڪُمۡ وَهُدً۬ى وَرَحۡمَةٌ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(This (the Qur'an) is nothing but evidences from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.)

﴿ وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ

(204. So, when the Qur'an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.)

The Order to listen to the Qur'an

After Allah mentioned that this Qur'an is a clear evidence, guidance and mercy for mankind, He commanded that one listen to the Qur'an when it is recited, in respect and honor of the Qur'an. This is to the contrary of the practice of the pagans of Quraysh, who said,

﴿ لَا تَسۡمَعُواْ لِهَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ وَٱلۡغَوۡاْ فِيهِ

("Listen not to this Qur'an, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation)'') (41:26). Ibn Jarir reported that Ibn Mas`ud said; "We would give Salams to each other during Salah. So the Ayah of Qur'an was revealed;

﴿ وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥ

(When the Qur'an is recited, then listen to it.)

﴿ وَٱذۡكُر رَّبَّكَ فِى نَفۡسِكَ تَضَرُّعً۬ا وَخِيفَةً۬ وَدُونَ ٱلۡجَهۡرِ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ بِٱلۡغُدُوِّ وَٱلۡأَصَالِ وَلَا تَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡغَـٰفِلِينَ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ وَيُسَبِّحُونَهُ ۥ وَلَهُ ۥ يَسۡجُدُونَ ۩

(205. And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons, and be not of those who are neglectful). (206. Surely, those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him, but they glorify His praise and prostrate themselves before Him.)

Remembering Allah in the Mornings and Afternoons

Allah ordains that He be remembered more often in the mornings and the afternoons. Just as He ordered that He be worshipped during these two times when He said,

﴿ وَسَبِّحۡ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّكَ قَبۡلَ طُلُوعِ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَقَبۡلَ ٱلۡغُرُوبِ

(And glorify the praises of your Lord, before the rising of the sun and before (its) setting.) (50:39) Before the night of Isra', when the five daily prayers were ordained, this Ayah was revealed in Makkah ordering that Allah be worshipped at these times, Allah said next,

﴿ تَضَرُّعً۬ا وَخِيفَةً۬

(humbly and with fear) meaning, remember your Lord in secret, not loudly, with eagerness and fear. This is why Allah said next,

﴿ وَدُونَ ٱلۡجَهۡرِ مِنَ ٱلۡقَوۡلِ

(and without loudness in words). Therefore, it is recommended that remembering Allah in Dhikr is not performed in a loud voice. When the Companions asked the Messenger of Allah, "Is our Lord close, so that we call Him in secret, or far, so that we raise our voices'' Allah sent down the verse,

﴿ وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِى عَنِّى فَإِنِّى قَرِيبٌ‌ۖ أُجِيبُ دَعۡوَةَ ٱلدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ‌ۖ

(And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor).) (2:186) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari said, "The people raised their voices with Du`a' (invoking Allah) while travelling. The Prophet said to them,

« يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ ارْبَعُوا عَلَى أَنْفُسِكُمْ، فَإِنَّكُمْ لَا تَدْعُونَ أَصَمَّ وَلَا غَائِبًا إِنَّ الَّذِي تَدْعُونَهُ سَمِيعٌ قَرِيبٌ أَقْرَبُ إِلَى أَحَدِكُمْ مِنْ عُنُقِ رَاحِلِته »

(O people! Take it easy on yourselves, for He Whom you are calling is not deaf or absent. Verily, He Whom you are calling is the All-Hearer, close (by His knowledge), closer to one of you than the neck of his animal.)'' These texts encourage the servants to invoke Allah in Dhikr often, especially in the mornings and afternoons, so that they are not among those who neglect remembering Him. This is why Allah praised the angels who praise Him night and day without tiring,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِهِۦ

(Surely, those who are with your Lord (i.e., angels) are never too proud to perform acts of worship to Him) Allah reminded the servants of this fact so that they imitate the angels in their tireless worship and obedience of Allah. Prostration, here, upon the mention that the angels prostrate to Allah is legitimate. A Hadith reads;

« أَلَا تَصُفُّونَ كَمَا تَصُفُّ الْمَلَائِكَةُ عِنْدَ رَبِّهَا يُتِمُّونَ الصُّفُوفَ الْأُوَلَ فَالْأُوَلَ وَيَتَرَاصُّونَ فِي الصَّف »

(Why not you stand in line (for the prayer) like the angels stand in line before their Lord They continue the first then the next lines and they stand close to each other in line. ) This is the first place in the Qur'an where it has been legitimized -- according to the agreement of the scholars -- for the readers of the Qur'an, and those listening to its recitation, to perform prostration.