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Allah's Wrath against the Apostate, except for the One Who is forced into Disbelief

Allah tells us that He is angry with them who willingly disbelieve in Him after clearly believing in Him, who open their hearts to disbelief finding peace in that, because they understood the faith yet they still turned away from it. They will suffer severe punishment in the Hereafter, because they preferred this life to the Hereafter, and they left the faith for the sake of this world and Allah did not guide their hearts and help them to stand firm in the true religion. He put a seal on their hearts so that they would not be able to understand what is beneficial for them, and He sealed their ears and eyes so that they would not benefit from them. Their faculties did not help them at all, so they are unaware of what is going to happen to them.

﴿ لَا جَرَمَ

(No doubt) means, it is inevitable, and no wonder that those who are like this -

﴿ أَنَّهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(in the Hereafter, they will be the losers.) meaning, they will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.

﴿ إِلَّا مَنۡ أُڪۡرِهَ وَقَلۡبُهُ ۥ مُطۡمَٮِٕنُّۢ بِٱلۡإِيمَـٰنِ

(except one who was forced while his heart is at peace with the faith) This is an exception in the case of one who utters statements of disbelief and verbally agrees with the Mushrikin because he is forced to do so by the beatings and abuse to which he is subjected, but his heart refuses to accept what he is saying, and he is, in reality, at peace with his faith in Allah and His Messenger. The scholars agreed that if a person is forced into disbelief, it is permissible for him to either go along with them in the interests of self-preservation, or to refuse, as Bilal did when they were inflicting all sorts of torture on him, even placing a huge rock on his chest in the intense heat and telling him to admit others as partners with Allah. He refused, saying, "Alone, Alone.'' And he said, "By Allah, if I knew any word more annoying to you than this, I would say it.'' May Allah be pleased with him. Similarly, when the Liar Musaylimah asked Habib bin Zayd Al-Ansari, "Do you bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah'' He said, "Yes.'' Then Musaylimah asked, "Do you bear witness that I am the messenger of Allah'' Habib said, "I do not hear you.'' Musaylimah kept cutting him, piece by piece, but he remained steadfast insisting on his words. It is better and preferable for the Muslim to remain steadfast in his religion, even if that leads to him being killed, as was mentioned by Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir in his biography of `Abdullah bin Hudhafah Al-Sahmi, one of the Companions. He said that he was taken prisoner by the Romans, who brought him to their king. The king said, "Become a Christian, and I will give you a share of my kingdom and my daughter in marriage.'' `Abdullah said: "If you were to give me all that you possess and all that Arabs possess to make me give up the religion of Muhammad even for an instant, I would not do it.'' The king said, "Then I will kill you.'' `Abdullah said, "It is up to you.'' The king gave orders that he should be crucified, and commanded his archers to shoot near his hands and feet while ordering him to become a Christian, but he still refused. Then the king gave orders that he should be brought down, and that a big vessel made of copper be brought and heated up. Then, while `Abdullah was watching, one of the Muslim prisoners was brought out and thrown into it, until all that was left of him was scorched bones. The king ordered him to become a Christian, but he still refused. Then he ordered that `Abdullah be thrown into the vessel, and he was brought back to the pulley to be thrown in. `Abdullah wept, and the king hoped that he would respond to him, so he called him, but `Abdullah said, "I only weep because I have only one soul with which to be thrown into this vessel at this moment for the sake of Allah; I wish that I had as many souls as there are hairs on my body with which I could undergo this torture for the sake of Allah.'' According to some reports, the king imprisoned him and deprived him of food and drink for several days, then he sent him wine and pork, and he did not come near them. Then the king called him and asked him, "What stopped you from eating'' `Abdullah said, "It is permissible for me (under these circumstances), but I did not want to give you the opportunity to gloat.'' The king said to him, "Kiss my head and I will let you go.'' `Abdullah said, "And will you release all the Muslim prisoners with me'' The king said, "Yes.'' So `Abdullah kissed his head and he released him and all the other Muslim prisoners he was holding. When he came back, `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "Every Muslim should kiss the head of `Abdullah bin Hudhafah, and I will be the first to do so.'' And he stood up and kissed his head. May Allah be pleased with them both.

﴿ ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا فُتِنُواْ ثُمَّ جَـٰهَدُواْ وَصَبَرُوٓاْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ يَوۡمَ تَأۡتِى ڪُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ تُجَـٰدِلُ عَن نَّفۡسِہَا وَتُوَفَّىٰ ڪُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ

(110. Then, verily, your Lord for those who emigrated after they were put to trials and then performed Jihad, and were patient, - after this, your Lord is indeed Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (111. (Remember) the Day when every person will come pleading for himself, and every one will be paid in full for what he did, and they will not be dealt with unjustly.)

The One who is forced to renounce Islam will be forgiven if He does Righteous Deeds afterwards

This refers to another group of people who were oppressed in Makkah and whose position with their own people was weak, so they went along with them when they were tried by them. Then they managed to escape by emigrating, leaving their homeland, families and wealth behind, seeking the pleasure and forgiveness of Allah. They joined the believers and fought with them against the disbelievers, bearing hardship with patience. Allah tells them that after this, meaning after their giving in when put to the test, He will forgive them and show mercy to them when they are resurrected.

﴿ يَوۡمَ تَأۡتِى ڪُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ تُجَـٰدِلُ

((Remember) the Day when every person will come pleading) meaning making a case in his own defense.

﴿ عَن نَّفۡسِہَا

(for himself.) means, no one else will plead on his behalf; not his father, not his son, nor his brother, nor his wife.

﴿ وَتُوَفَّىٰ ڪُلُّ نَفۡسٍ۬ مَّا عَمِلَتۡ

(and every one will be paid in full for what he did,) meaning whatever he did, good or evil.

﴿ وَهُمۡ لَا يُظۡلَمُونَ

(and they will not be dealt with unjustly.) meaning there will be no decrease in the reward for good, and no increase in the punishment for evil. They will not be dealt with unjustly in the slightest way.

﴿ وَضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً۬ قَرۡيَةً۬ ڪَانَتۡ ءَامِنَةً۬ مُّطۡمَٮِٕنَّةً۬ يَأۡتِيهَا رِزۡقُهَا رَغَدً۬ا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ۬ فَڪَفَرَتۡ بِأَنۡعُمِ ٱللَّهِ فَأَذَٲقَهَا ٱللَّهُ لِبَاسَ ٱلۡجُوعِ وَٱلۡخَوۡفِ بِمَا ڪَانُواْ يَصۡنَعُونَ وَلَقَدۡ جَآءَهُمۡ رَسُولٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَأَخَذَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ وَهُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ

(112. And Allah gives the example of a township (Makkah), it was secure and peaceful: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the favors of Allah. So Allah made it taste extreme hunger (famine) and fear, because of what they did.) (113. There has come to them a Messenger from among themselves, but they denied him, so the torment seized them while they were wrongdoers.)

The Example of Makkah

This example refers to the people of Makkah, which had been secure, peaceful and stable, a secure sanctuary while men were being snatched away from everywhere outside of it. Whoever entered Makkah, he was safe, and he had no need to fear, as Allah said:

﴿ وَقَالُوٓاْ إِن نَّتَّبِعِ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ مَعَكَ نُتَخَطَّفۡ مِنۡ أَرۡضِنَآ‌ۚ أَوَلَمۡ نُمَكِّن لَّهُمۡ حَرَمًا ءَامِنً۬ا يُجۡبَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ ثَمَرَٲتُ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ رِّزۡقً۬ا مِّن لَّدُنَّا

(And they say: "If we follow the guidance with you, we would be snatched away from our land.'' Have We not established a secure sanctuary (Makkah) for them, to which are brought fruits of all kinds, a provision from Ourselves.) (28:57) Similarly, Allah says here:

﴿ يَأۡتِيهَا رِزۡقُهَا رَغَدً۬ا

(its provision coming to it in abundance) meaning, with ease and in plenty,

﴿ مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ۬ فَڪَفَرَتۡ بِأَنۡعُمِ ٱللَّهِ

(from every place, but it (its people) denied the favors of Allah.) meaning, they denied the blessings of Allah towards them, the greatest of which was Muhammad being sent to them, as Allah said:

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِينَ بَدَّلُواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ كُفۡرً۬ا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوۡمَهُمۡ دَارَ ٱلۡبَوَارِ جَهَنَّمَ يَصۡلَوۡنَهَا‌ۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡقَرَارُ

(Have you not seen those who have changed the favors of Allah into disbelief, and caused their people to dwell in the abode of destruction; Hell, in which they will burn, - and what an evil place to settle in!) (14:28-29). Hence Allah replaced their former blessings with the opposite, and said:

﴿ فَأَذَٲقَهَا ٱللَّهُ لِبَاسَ ٱلۡجُوعِ وَٱلۡخَوۡفِ

(So Allah made it taste extreme hunger (famine) and fear,) meaning, He inflicted it and made them taste of hunger after fruits of all kinds and provision in abundance from every place had been brought to it. This was when they defied the Messenger of Allah and insisted on opposing him, so he supplicated against them, asking Allah to send them seven years like the seven years of Yusuf (i.e., seven years of famine), and they were stricken with a year in which everything that they had was destroyed, and they ate `Alhaz', which is the hair of the camel mixed with its blood when it is slaughtered.

﴿ وَٱلۡخَوۡفِ

(and fear). This refers to the fact that their sense of security was replaced with fear of the Messenger of Allah and his Companions after they had migrated to Al-Madinah. They feared the power and the attack of his armies, and they started to lose and face the destruction of everything that belonged to them, until Allah made it possible for His Messenger to conquer Makkah. This happened because of their evil deeds, their wrongdoing and their rejection of the Messenger that Allah sent to them from among themselves. He reminded them of this blessing in the Ayah:

﴿ لَقَدۡ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ إِذۡ بَعَثَ فِيہِمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ

(Indeed, Allah blessed the believers when He sent Messenger from among themselves to them.) (3:164) and,

﴿ فَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَـٰٓأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ‌ۚ قَدۡ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَيۡكُمۡ ذِكۡرً۬ا

(So have Taqwa of Allah! O men of understanding who have believed, Allah has indeed revealed to you a reminder (this Qur'an). (And has also sent to you) a Messenger.) (65:10-11) and:

﴿ كَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا فِيڪُمۡ رَسُولاً۬ مِّنڪُمۡ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيڪُمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُڪُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحِڪۡمَةَ

(Similarly (as a blessing), We have sent a Messenger to you from among you, reciting Our Ayat to you, and purifying you, and teaching you the Book (the Qur'an) and the Hikmah (i.e. Sunnah).) Until

﴿ وَلَا تَكۡفُرُونِ

(and do not be ungrateful.) (2:151-152) Allah changed the situation of the disbelievers and made it the opposite of what it had been, so they lived in fear after being secure, they were hungry after having plenty of provisions. After the believers lived in fear, Allah granted them security, giving them ample provisions after they lived in poverty, making them rulers, governors and leaders of mankind. This is what we say about the example that was given of the people of Makkah. It was also the opinion of Al-`Awfi and Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam, and Malik narrated it from Az-Zuhri as well. May Allah have mercy on them all.

﴿ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَڪُمُ ٱللَّهُ حَلَـٰلاً۬ طَيِّبً۬ا وَٱشۡڪُرُواْ نِعۡمَتَ ٱللَّهِ إِن كُنتُمۡ إِيَّاهُ تَعۡبُدُونَ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلۡمَيۡتَةَ وَٱلدَّمَ وَلَحۡمَ ٱلۡخِنزِيرِ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيۡرِ ٱللَّهِ بِهِۦ‌ۖ فَمَنِ ٱضۡطُرَّ غَيۡرَ بَاغٍ۬ وَلَا عَادٍ۬ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬ وَلَا تَقُولُواْ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلۡسِنَتُڪُمُ ٱلۡكَذِبَ هَـٰذَا حَلَـٰلٌ۬ وَهَـٰذَا حَرَامٌ۬ لِّتَفۡتَرُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡتَرُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ لَا يُفۡلِحُونَ مَتَـٰعٌ۬ قَلِيلٌ۬ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(114. So eat of the lawful and good food which Allah has provided for you. And be grateful for Allah's favor, if it is He Whom you worship.) (115. He has only forbidden dead flesh, blood, the flesh of swine, and any animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah. But if one is forced by necessity, without willful disobedience, nor transgressing, then, Allah is Pardoning, Most Merciful.) (116. And do not describe what your tongues have lied about, saying: "This is lawful and this is forbidden,'' to invent lies against Allah. Verily, those who invent lies against Allah, will never succeed.) (117. A passing brief enjoyment (will be theirs), but they will suffer a painful torment.)

The Command to eat Lawful Provisions and to be Thankful, and an Explanation of what is Unlawful

Allah orders His believing servants to eat the good and lawful things that He has provided, and to give thanks to Him for that, for He is the Giver and Originator of all favors, Who alone deserves to be worshipped, having no partners or associate. Then Allah mentions what He has forbidden things which harm them in both religious and worldly affairs, i.e., dead meat, blood and the flesh of pigs.

﴿ وَمَآ أُهِلَّ لِغَيۡرِ ٱللَّهِ بِهِۦ‌ۖ

(and any animal which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for other than Allah.) meaning, it was slaughtered with the mention of a name other than that of Allah. Nevertheless,

﴿ فَمَنِ ٱضۡطُرَّ

(But if one is forced by necessity.) meaning, if one needs to do it, without deliberately disobeying or transgressing, then,

﴿ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ۬

(Allah is Pardoning, Most Merciful.) We have already discussed a similar Ayah in Surat Al-Baqarah, and there is no need to repeat it here. And to Allah be praise. Then Allah forbids us to follow the ways of the idolaters who declare things to be permitted or forbidden based upon their own whims and whatever names they agree on, such as the Bahirah (a she-camel whose milk was spared for the idols and nobody was allowed to milk it), the Sa'ibah (a she-camel let loose for free pasture for their false gods, idols, etc., and nothing was allowed to be carried on it), the Wasilah (a she-camel set free for idols because it has given birth to a she-camel at its first delivery and then again gives birth to a she-camel at its second delivery) and the Ham (a stallion camel freed from work for the sake of their idols, after it had finished a number of acts of copulation assigned for it), and so on. All of these were laws and customs that were invented during jahiliyyah. Then Allah says:

﴿ وَلَا تَقُولُواْ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلۡسِنَتُڪُمُ ٱلۡكَذِبَ هَـٰذَا حَلَـٰلٌ۬ وَهَـٰذَا حَرَامٌ۬ لِّتَفۡتَرُواْ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ‌ۚ

(And do not describe what your tongues have lied about, saying: "This is lawful and this is forbidden,'' to invent lies against Allah.) This includes everyone who comes up with an innovation (Bid`ah) for which he has no evidence from the Shari`ah, or whoever declares something lawful that Allah has forbidden, or whoever declares something unlawful that Allah has permitted, only because it suits his opinions or whim to do so.

﴿ لِمَا تَصِفُ

(describe what...) meaning, do not speak lies because of what your tongues put forth. Then Allah warns against that by saying:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡتَرُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ لَا يُفۡلِحُونَ

(Verily, those who invent lies against Allah, will never succeed.) meaning, either in this world or the Hereafter. As for this world, it is transient pleasure, and in the Hereafter, theirs will be a severe punishment, as Allah says:

﴿ نُمَتِّعُهُمۡ قَلِيلاً۬ ثُمَّ نَضۡطَرُّهُمۡ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍ۬

(We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We will drive them into an unrelenting punishment.) (31:24) and

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَفۡتَرُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ لَا يُفۡلِحُونَ مَتَـٰعٌ۬ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا ثُمَّ إِلَيۡنَا مَرۡجِعُهُمۡ ثُمَّ نُذِيقُهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلشَّدِيدَ بِمَا ڪَانُواْ يَكۡفُرُونَ

(Verily, those who invent a lie against Allah, will never be successful. (A brief) enjoyment in this world! and then to Us will be their return, then We shall make them taste the severest torment because they disbelieved.) (10:69-70)

﴿ وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمۡنَا مَا قَصَصۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۖ وَمَا ظَلَمۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡ يَظۡلِمُونَ ثُمَّ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لِلَّذِينَ عَمِلُواْ ٱلسُّوٓءَ بِجَهَـٰلَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ تَابُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ذَٲلِكَ وَأَصۡلَحُوٓاْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهَا لَغَفُورٌ۬ رَّحِيمٌ

(118. And for those who are Jews, We have forbidden such things as We have mentioned to you before. And We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves.) (119. Then, your Lord for those who did evil out of ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds - verily, after that, your Lord is Pardoning, Most Merciful.)