(They assign to Allah that which they dislike (for themselves),) meaning, daughters, and partners, who are merely His servants, yet none of them would like to have someone sharing in his wealth.
(and their tongues assert the lie that the better things will be theirs.) This is a denunciation of their claims that better things will be theirs in this world, and in the Hereafter. Allah tells us about what some of them said, as in the Ayat:
(And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us, and then take it from him, verily! He is hopelessly, ungrateful. But if We let him taste of goodness after harm has touched him, he is sure to say: "Ills have departed from me.'' Surely, he is cheerful, and boastful (ungrateful to Allah).) (11:9-10)
(And if We give him a taste of mercy from Us, after some adversity has touched him, he is sure to say: "This is due to me; I do not think that the Hour will occur. But if I am brought back to my Lord, then, with Him, there will surely be the best for me.'' Then, We will certainly show the disbelievers what they have done, and We shall make them taste severe torment.) (41:50)
(Have you seen the one who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said: "I shall certainly be given wealth and children (if I came back to life).'') (19:77) Allah tells us about one of the two men:
(He went into his garden while wronging himself. He said: "I do not think that this will ever perish. And I do not think that the Hour will ever come, and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, (on the Day of Resurrection), then surely, I shall find better than this when I return to Him.'') (18:35-36) These people combined bad deeds with the false hopes of being rewarded with good for those bad deeds, which is impossible. Thus Allah refuted their false hopes, when He said:
(No doubt), meaning, truly it is inevitable that
(for them is the Fire), meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
(and they will be forsaken). Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and others said: "This means they will be forgotten and neglected there.'' This is like the Ayah:
(So today We forget them just as they forgot meeting on this day of theirs.) (7:51). It was also reported from Qatadah that,
(they will be forsaken) means `they are hastened into the Fire.' There is no contradiction between the two, because they will be hastened into the Fire on the Day of Resurrection, then they will be forgotten there, i.e., left to dwell there for eternity.
(63. By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you, but Shaytan made their deeds seeming fair to them. So today he is their helper, and theirs will be a painful torment. ) (64. And We have not revealed the Book to you, except that you may clearly explain to them those things in which they differ, and (as) a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.) (65. And Allah sends water down from the sky, then He revives the earth with it after its death. Surely that is a sign for people who listen.)
Allah says, `He sent Messengers to the nations of the past, and they were rejected. You, O Muhammad, have an example in your brothers among the Messengers, so do not be distressed by your people's rejection. As for the idolaters' rejection of the Messengers, the reason for this is that the Shaytan made their deeds attractive to them.'
(So today he (Shaytan) is their helper,) meaning they will be suffering punishment while Shaytan is their only helper, and he cannot save them, so they have no one to answer their calls for help, and theirs is a painful punishment.
Then Allah says to His Messenger that He has revealed the Book to him to explain the truth to mankind in matters which they dispute over. So the Qur'an is a decisive arbitrator for every issue that they argue about.
(and (as) a guidance) meaning, for their hearts.
(and a mercy) meaning, for the one who adheres to it.
(for a people who believe.) Just as Allah causes the Qur'an to bring life to hearts that were dead from disbelief, so He brings the earth to life after it has died, by sending down water from the sky.
(Surely that is a sign for people who listen.) meaning those who understand the words and their meanings.
(66. And there is indeed a lesson for you in the An'am (cattle). We have made a drink for you out of what is in its belly, from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers.) (67. And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you derive strong drink and a goodly provision. There is indeed a sign in this for those of reason.)
(there is for you) - O mankind -
(in the cattle) - meaning camels, cows and sheep,
(a lesson) meaning a sign and an evidence of the wisdom, power, mercy and kindness of the Creator.
(We have made a drink for you out of what is in its belly) meaning its singular forms refers to one cattle, or it could refer to the whole species. For cattle are the creatures which provide a drink from what is in their bellies and in another Ayah it is `in their bellies.' Either way is plausible. He said,
(from between excretions and blood, pure milk;) meaning it is free of blood, and is pure in its whiteness, taste and sweetness. It is between excrement and blood in the belly of the animal, but each of them goes its own way after the food has been fully digested in its stomach. The blood goes to the veins, the milk goes to the udder, the urine goes to the bladder and the feces goes to the anus. None of them gets mixed with another after separating, and none of them is affected by the other.
(pure milk; palatable to the drinkers.) meaning nothing to cause one to choke on it. When Allah mentions milk and how He has made it a palatable drink for mankind, He follows this with a reference to the drinks that people make from the fruits of the date palm and grapevine, and what they used to do with intoxicating Nabidh (drink made from dates) before it was forbidden. Thus He reminds them of His blessings, and says:
(And from the fruits of date palms and grapes, you derive strong drink) This indicates that it was permissible to drink it before it was forbidden. It also indicates that strong drink (i.e., intoxicating drink) derived from dates is the same as strong drink derived from grapes. Also forbidden are strong drinks derived from wheat, barley, corn and honey, as is explained in detail in the Sunnah.
(strong drink and a goodly provision.) Ibn `Abbas said: "Strong drink is the product of these two fruits that is forbidden, and the good provision is what is permitted of them.'' According to another report: "Strong drink is its unlawful, and the goodly provision is its lawful,'' referring to the fruits when they are dried, like dates and raisins, or products derived from them such as molasses, vinegar and wine (of grapes, dates) which are permissible to drink before they become strong (becomes alcoholic), as was stated in the Sunnah.
(There is indeed a sign in this for those of reason.) It is appropriate to mention reason here, because it is the noblest feature of man. Hence Allah forbade this Ummah from drinking intoxicants, in order to protect their ability to reason. Allah says:
(And We placed gardens of date palms and grapes in it, and We caused springs of water to gush forth in it. So that they may eat of its fruit - while their hands did not make it. Will they not then give thanks Glory be to Him Who created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind (male and female), and of that which they know not.) (36:34-36)
(68. And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they (humans) erect.'') (69. "Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the routes that your Lord made easy (for you).'' There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colors, in which there is a cure for men. There is indeed a sign in that for people who reflect.)
What is meant by inspiration here is guidance. The bee is guided to make its home in the mountains, in trees and in structures erected by man. The bee's home is a solid structure, with its hexagonal shapes and interlocking forms there is no looseness in its combs. Then Allah decrees that the bee will have permission to eat from all fruits and to follow the ways which Allah has made easy for it, wherever it wants to go in the vast spaces of the wilderness, valleys and high mountains. Then each bee comes back to its hive without swerving to the right or left, it comes straight back to its home where its offspring and honey are. It makes wax from its wings, and regurgitates honey from its mouth, and lays eggs from its rear, then the next morning it goes out to the fields again.
(and follow the routes of your Lord made easy (for you)) Qatadah and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said: "This means, in an obedient way'', understanding it to be a description of the route of migration. Ibn Zayd said that this is like the Ayah:
(And We have subdued them for them so that some they may ride and some they may eat.) (36:72) He said: "Do you not see that they move the bees' home from one land to another, and the bees follow them'' The first opinion is clearly the more likely, as it describes the routes that the bees follow, i.e., `follow these routes as they are easy for you.' This was stated by Mujahid. Ibn Jarir said that both opinions are correct.
(There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colors, wherein is healing for men.) (meaning, honey, that is) white, yellow, red, or of other good colors, depending on the different things that the bees eat.
(in which there is a cure for men.) meaning there is a cure in honey for diseases that people suffer from. Some of those who spoke about the study of Prophetic medicine said that if ﴿Allah﴾ had said, `in which there is the cure for men', then it would be the remedy for all diseases, but He said, `in which there is a cure for men', meaning that it is the right treatment for every "cold'' disease, because it is "hot'', and a disease should be treated with its opposite. Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded in their Sahihs from Qatadah from Abu Al-Mutawakkil `Ali bin Dawud An-Naji from Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri that a man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "My brother is suffering from diarrhea''. He said,
(Give him honey to drink.) The man went and gave him honey, then he came back and said, "O Messenger of Allah! I gave him honey to drink, and he only got worse.'' The Prophet said,
(Go and give him honey to drink.) So he went and gave him honey, then he came back and said, "O Messenger of Allah! it only made him worse. '' The Prophet said,
(Allah speaks the truth and your brother's stomach is lying. Go and give him honey to drink.) So he went and gave him honey, and he recovered.'' It is reported in the Two Sahihs from `A'ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Messenger of Allah used to like sweet things and honey. This is the wording of Al-Bukhari, who also reported in his Sahih from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Healing is to be found in three things: the cut made by the cupper, or drinking honey, or in branding with fire (cauterizing), but I have forbidden my Ummah to use branding.)
(There is indeed a sign in that for people who reflect.) meaning in the fact that Allah inspires this weak little creature to travel through the vast fields and feed from every kind of fruit, then gather it for wax and honey, which are some of the best things, in this is a sign for people who think about the might and power of the bee's Creator Who causes all of this to happen. From this they learn that He is the Initiator, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, the Most Generous, the Most Merciful.
(70. And Allah created you and then He will cause you to die; and among you there are some who are sent back to senility, so that they know nothing after having known (much). Truly, Allah is Knowing, capable of all things.)
Allah tells us that He is controlling the affairs of His servants. He is the One Who created them out of nothing, then He will cause them to die. But there are some of them that He allows to grow old, which is a physical weakness, as Allah says:
(Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness) (30:54)
(so that they know nothing after having known.) meaning, after he knew things, he will reach a stage where he knows nothing because of weakness of mind due to old age and senility. Thus Al-Bukhari, when commenting on this Ayah, reported a narration from Anas bin Malik that the Messenger of Allah used to pray:
(I seek refuge with You from miserliness, laziness, old age, senility, the punishment of the grave, the Fitnah of the Dajjal and the trials of life and death.) Zuhayr bin Abi Sulma said, in his famous Mu`allaqah: "I became exhausted from the responsibilities of life. Whoever lives for eighty years, no wonder he is tired. I saw death hitting people like a crazed camel, and whoever it hit dies, but whoever is not hit lives until he grows old.''
(71. And Allah honored some of you over others with wealth and properties. Then, those who are so honored will by no means hand over their wealth and properties to those (captives of war) whom their right hands possess, so that they may be equal with them in that. Do they then deny the favor of Allah)
Allah explains to the idolaters the ignorance and disbelief involved in their claim that Allah has partners while also admitting that these partners are His servants. In their Talbiyah for Hajj, they used to say, "Here I am, there are no partners for You except Your own partner, You own him and everything he owns.'' Allah says, denouncing them: `You would not accept for your servant to have an equal share in your wealth, so how is it that Allah would accept His servant to be His equal in divinity and glory As Allah says elsewhere:
(He sets forth a parable for you from yourselves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servant) to share as equals in the wealth We have granted you, those whom you fear as you fear each other) (30:28) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas mentioned this Ayah, saying, "Allah is saying - `If they did not want their servant to have a share with them in their wealth and wives, how can My servant have a share with Me in My power' Thus Allah says:
(Do they then deny the favor of Allah)'' According to another report, Ibn `Abbas said: "How can they accept for Me that which they do not accept for themselves''
(Do they then deny the favor of Allah) meaning, they assign to Allah a share of the tilth and cattle which He has created. They denied His blessings and associated others in worship with Him. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "Umar bin Al-Khattab wrote this letter to Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari: `Be content with your provision in this world, for the Most Merciful has honored some of His servants over others in terms of provision as a test of both. The one who has been given plenty is being tested to see if he will give thanks to Allah and fulfill the duties which are his by virtue of his wealth...''' It was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim.
(72. And Allah has made for you mates of your own kind, and has made for you, from your mates, sons and grandsons, and has granted you good provisions. Do they then believe in false deities and deny favor of Allah)