When Allah mentions how He took His servant Muhammad, on the Journey by Night, He follows it by mentioning Musa, His servant and Messenger who also spoke with Him. Allah often mentions Muhammad and Musa together, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both, and he mentions the Tawrah and the Qur'an together. So after mentioning the Isra', He says:
(And We gave Musa the Scripture), meaning the Tawrah.
(and made it), meaning the Scripture,
(a guidance), meaning a guide,
(for the Children of Israel (saying): "Take none...'') means, lest they should take,
(''... other than Me as (your) Wakil'') means, `you have no protector, supporter or god besides Me,' because Allah revealed to every Prophet that he should worship Him alone with no partner or associate. Then Allah says:
(O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh) by addressing the descendants of those who were carried in the ship with Nuh there is a reminder of the blessings, as if Allah is saying: `O descendants of those whom We saved and carried in the ship with Nuh, follow in the footsteps of your father,
(Verily, he was a grateful servant). `Remember the blessing I have granted you by sending Muhammad.' Imam Ahmad reported that Anas bin Malik said: "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah will be pleased with His servant if, when he eats something or drinks something, he praises Allah for it.)'' This was also recorded by Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i. Malik said about Zayd bin Aslam: "He used to praise Allah in all circumstances.'' In this context, Al-Bukhari mentioned the Hadith of Abu Zar`ah narrating from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Prophet said:
(I will be the leader of the sons of Adam on the Day of Resurrection...) He quoted the Hadith at length, and in the Hadith, the Prophet said:
(They will come to Nuh and will say, `O Nuh, you were the first of the Messengers sent to the people of earth, and Allah called you grateful servant, so intercede for us with your Lord.') And he quoted the Hadith in full.
(4. And We decreed for the Children of Israel in the Scripture: "Indeed you would do mischief in the land twice and you will become tyrants and extremely arrogant!'') (5. So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled.) (6. Then We gave you a return of victory over them. And We helped you with wealth and children and made you more numerous in manpower.) (7. (And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.'' Then, when the second promise came to pass, (We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces and to enter the Masjid as they had entered it before, and to destroy with utter destruction all that fell in their hands.) (8. It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you, but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our punishment). And We have made Hell a prison for the disbelievers.)
Allah tells us that He made a declaration to the Children of Israel in the Scripture, meaning that He had already told them in the Book which He revealed to them, that they would cause mischief on the earth twice, and would become tyrants and extremely arrogant, meaning they would become shameless oppressors of people, Allah says:
(And We made known this decree to him, that the root of those (sinners) was to be cut off in the early morning.)(15:66), meaning, We already told him about that and informed him of it.
(So, when the promise came for the first of the two) meaning the first of the two episodes of mischief.
(We sent against you servants of Ours given to terrible warfare.) means, `We unleashed soldiers against you from among Our creatures who were given to terrible warfare,' i.e., they had great strength and weapons and power. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes, meaning they took possession of your land and invaded the very innermost parts of your homes, going between and through your houses, coming and going freely with no fear of anyone. This was the promise (completely) fulfilled. The earlier and later commentators differed over the identity of these invaders. Many Isra'iliyyat (reports from Jewish sources) were narrated about this, but I did not want to make this book too long by mentioning them, because some of them are fabricated, concocted by their heretics, and others may be true, but we have no need of them, praise be to Allah. What Allah has told us in His Book (the Qur'an) is sufficient and we have no need of what is in the other books that came before. Neither Allah nor His Messenger required us to refer to them. Allah told His Messenger that when (the Jews) committed transgression and aggression, Allah gave their enemies power over them to destroy their country and enter the innermost parts of their homes. Their humiliation and subjugation was a befitting punishment, and your Lord is never unfair or unjust to His servants. They had rebelled and killed many of the Prophets and scholars. Ibn Jarir recorded that Yahya bin Sa`id said: "I heard Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib saying: `Nebuchadnezzar conquered Ash-Sham (Greater Syria, including Palestine), destroying Jerusalem and killing them, then he came to Damascus and found blood boiling in a censer. He asked them: What is this blood They said: We found our forefathers doing this. Because of that blood, he killed seventy thousand of the believers and others, then the blood stopped boiling. This report is Sahih from Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, and this event is well-known, as he (Nebuchadnezzar) killed their nobles and scholars, and did not leave alive anyone who knew the Tawrah by heart. He took many prisoners from the sons of the Prophets and others, and did many other things that would take too long to mention here. If we had found anything that was correct or close enough, we could have written it and reported it here. And Allah knows best. Then Allah says:
((And We said): "If you do good, you do good for your own selves, and if you do evil (you do it) against yourselves.'') As Allah says elsewhere:
(Whosoever does a righteous good deed, it is for (the benefit of) himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself.) (45:15)
Then Allah says:
(Then, when the second promise came to pass,) meaning, the second episode of mischief, when your enemies came again,
((We permitted your enemies) to disgrace your faces) meaning, to humiliate you and subdue you,
(and to enter the Masjid) meaning, Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).
(as they had entered it before,) when they entered the very innermost parts of your homes.
(and to destroy) wrecking and inflicting ruin upon it.
(all that fell in their hands.) everything they could get their hands on.
(with utter destruction. It may be that your Lord may show mercy unto you) meaning that He may rid you of them.
(but if you return (to sins), We shall return (to Our punishment).) meaning, if you return to causing mischief,
(We shall return) means, We `will once again punish you in this world, along with the punishment and torment We save for you in the Hereafter.'
(And We have made Hell a prison (Hasir) for the disbelievers.) meaning, a place of permanent detention, a prison which cannot be avoided or escaped. Ibn `Abbas said, "Hasir here means a jail.'' Mujahid said, "They will be detained in it.'' Others said like- wise. Al-Hasan said, "Hasir means a bed of Fire.'' Qatadah said: "The Children of Israel returned to aggression, so Allah sent this group against them, Muhammad and his companions, who made them pay the Jizyah, with willing submission, and feeling themselves subdued.''
(9. Verily, this Qur'an guides to that which is most just and right and gives good news to those who believe, those who do righteous deeds, that they will have a great reward (Paradise).) (10. And that those who do not believe in the Hereafter, for them We have prepared a painful torment (Hell).)
Allah praises His noble Book, the Qur'an, which He revealed to His Messenger Muhammad. It directs people to the best and clearest of ways.
(gives good news to those who believe,) in it a
(those who do righteous deeds,) in accordance with it, telling them
(that they will have a great reward,) i.e., on the Day of Resurrection. And He tells
(those who do not believe in the Hereafter,) that
(for them is a painful torment,) i.e. on the Day of Resurrection. As Allah says:
(... then announce to them a painful torment.) (84:24)
(11. And man invokes (Allah) for evil as he invokes (Allah) for good and man is ever hasty.)
Allah tells us about man's haste and how he sometimes prays against himself or his children or his wealth, praying for something bad to happen for them, or for them to die or be destroyed, invoking curses, etc. If Allah were to answer his prayer, he would be destroyed because of it, as Allah says:
(And were Allah to hasten for mankind the evil...) (10:11) This is how it was interpreted by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah. We have already discussed the Hadith:
(Do not pray against yourselves or your wealth, for that might coincide with a time when Allah answers prayers.) What makes the son of Adam do that is his anxiety and haste. Allah says:
(And man is ever hasty.) Salman Al-Farisi and Ibn `Abbas mentioned the story of Adam, when he wanted to get up before his soul reached his feet. When his soul was breathed into him, it entered his body from his head downwards. When it reached his brain he sneezed, and said, "Al-Hamdu Lillah'' (praise be to Allah), and Allah said, "May your Lord have mercy on you, O Adam.'' When it reached his eyes, he opened them, and when it reached his body and limbs he started to stare at them in wonder. He wanted to get up before it reached his feet, but he could not. He said, "O Lord, make it happen before night comes.''
(12. And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat (signs). Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating, that you may seek bounty from your Lord, and that you may know the number of the years and to count (periods of time). And We have explained everything (in detail) with full explanation.)
Allah reminds us of the great signs that He created, including the alternation of the night and day, so that people may rest at night, and go out and earn a living, do their work, and travel during the day, and so that they may know the number of days, weeks, months and years, so they will know the appointed times for paying debts, doing acts of worship, dealing with transactions, paying rents and so on. Allah says:
(that you may seek bounty from your Lord,) meaning, in your living and travels etc.
(and that you may know the number of the years and to count.) If time stood still and never changed, we would not know any of these things, as Allah says:
(Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the night continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you light Will you not then hear'' Say: "Tell me! If Allah made the day continuous for you till the Day of Resurrection, which god besides Allah could bring you night wherein you rest Will you not then see'' It is out of His mercy that He has made for you the night and the day that you may rest therein and that you may seek of His bounty - and in order that you may be grateful.) (28:71-73)
(Blessed be He Who has placed the big stars in the heaven, and has placed therein a great lamp (sun), and a moon giving light. And He it is Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.) (25:61-62)
(and His is the alternation of night and day.) (23:80)
(He makes the night to go in the day and makes the day to go in the night. And He has subjected the sun and the moon. Each running (on a fixed course) for an appointed term. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.) (39:5)
((He is the) Cleaver of the daybreak. He has appointed the night for resting, and the sun and the moon for reckoning. Such is the measuring of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.) (6:96),
(And a sign for them is the night. We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.) (36:37-38) Allah has made the night a sign having distinguishing features by which it is known. These features include the darkness and the appearance of the moon. The day also has distinguishing features by which it is known; the light and the appearance of the shining sun. He made a distinction between the light of the moon and the light of the sun, so that they may be distinguished from one another, as Allah says:
(It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and to count (periods of time). Allah did not create this but in truth.) (10:5) until,
(Ayat for those people who keep their duty to Allah, and fear Him much.) (10:6)
(They ask you about the crescent moons. Say: "These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage.'') (2:189)
(Then, We have obliterated the sign of the night (with darkness) while We have made the sign of the day illuminating,) Ibn Jurayj reported that `Abdullah bin Kathir commented on this Ayah: “(It means) the darkness of the night and the twilight of the day.'' Ibn Jurayj reported that Mujahid said: "The sun is the sign of the day and the moon is the sign of the night.
(We have obliterated the sign of the night) this refers to the moon's blackness, which is how Allah has created it.''
(And We have appointed the night and the day as two Ayat.) Ibn Abi Najih reported that Ibn `Abbas said: "By night and day, this is how Allah created them, may He be glorified.''
(13. And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a Book which he will find wide open. ) (14. (It will be said to him): "Read your Book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.'')
After mentioning time, and the deeds of the son of Adam that take place therein, Allah says:
(And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck,) The word Ta'irah (lit. something that flies) refers to man's deeds which fly from him, as Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others said. It includes both good deeds and bad deeds, he will be forced to acknowledge them and will be rewarded or punished accordingly.
(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of a speck of dust shall see it.) (99:7-8). Allah says:
((Remember) that the two receivers (recording angels) receive (each human being), one sitting on the right and one on the left (to note his or her actions). Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).) (50:17-18)
(But verily, over you (are appointed angels in charge of mankind) to watch you, Kiraman (Honorable) Katibin - writing down (your deeds), they know all that you do.) (82:10-12)
(You are only being requited for what you used to do.) (52:16)
(whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof.) (4:123) The meaning is that the deeds of the sons of Adam are preserved, whether they are great or small, and they are recorded night and day, morning and evening.
(and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him a Book which he will find wide open.) meaning, `We will collect all of his deeds for him in a Book which will be given to him on the Day of Resurrection, either in his right hand, if he is one of the blessed, or in his left hand if he is one of the wretched.'
(wide open) means, it will be open for him and others to read all of his deeds, from the beginning of his life until the end.
(On that Day man will be informed of what (deeds) he sent forward, and what (deeds) he left behind. Nay! Man will be a witness against himself, though he may put forth his excuses.) (75:13-15) Allah says:
((It will be said to him): "Read your Book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day.'') meaning, you have not been treated unjustly and nothing has been recorded against you except what you have done, because you remember everything that you have done, and no one will forget anything that he did. Everyone will be able to read his Book, whether he is literate or illiterate.
(And We have fastened every man's Ta'irah (deeds) to his neck,) The neck is mentioned because it is a part of the body that has no counterpart, and when one is restrained by it, he has no escape. Ma`mar narrated from Qatadah, "His deeds,
(and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall bring out for him) We shall bring forth those deeds.''
(a Book which he will find wide open.) Ma`mar said: Al-Hasan recited,
(one sitting on the right and one on the left. ) (50:17)And he said;﴾ "O son of Adam, your Book has been opened for you, and two noble angels have been entrusted to accompany you, one on your right and one on your left. The one who is on your right records your good deeds, and the one who is on your left records your bad deeds. `So do whatever you want, a lot or a little, until you die, then I will fold up your Book and tie it to your neck with you in your grave. Then when you come out on the Day of Resurrection, you will find the Book wide open, so read your Book.' By Allah, the One Who makes you accountable for your own deeds is being perfectly just.'' These are some of the best words Al-Hasan ever spoke, may Allah have mercy on him.
(15. Whoever goes right, then he goes right only for the benefit of himself. And whoever goes astray, then he goes astray at his own loss. No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden. And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).)
Allah tells us that whoever is guided and follows the truth, walking in the footsteps of the Prophet, he will gain the good consequences of that for himself.
(And whoever goes astray,) meaning from the truth, deviating from the way of guidance, he is wronging himself and will have to bear the consequences. Then Allah says:
(No one laden with burdens can bear another's burden.) no one will have to bear the sins of another, and he does not wrong anyone besides himself, as Allah says:
(and if one heavily laden calls another to (bear) his load, nothing of it will be lifted) (35:15) There is no contradiction between this and other Ayat:
(And verily, they shall bear their own loads, and other loads besides their own.) (29:13) and:
(and also of the burdens of those whom they misled without knowledge.) (16:25) For those who called others to do evil will bear the sin of their own deviation as well as the sin of those whom they led astray, without detracting the least amount from the burden of those people, and none of this burden shall be removed from them. This is the justice and mercy of Allah towards His servants. As Allah says:
(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning).)
Allah tells us that out of His justice, He does not punish anyone until He has established proof against him by sending a Messenger to him, as He says:
(Every time a group is cast therein, its keeper will ask: "Did no warner come to you'' They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we belied him and said: `Allah never sent down anything (of revelation); you are only in great error.''') (67:8-9) And,
(And those who disbelieved will be driven to Hell in groups, till, when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves - reciting to you the verses of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours'' They will say: "Yes,'' but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!) (39:71) And,
(Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not (the evil deeds) that we used to do.'' (Allah will reply:) "Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers there is no helper.'') (35:37) There are other Ayat which indicate that Allah will not make anyone enter Hell except after sending a Messenger to them.
Here there arises an issue over which the scholars in earlier and modern times have disagreed, may Allah have mercy on them. This is the issue of children who die when they are little, and their parents are disbelievers: what happens to them By the same token, what happens to the insane, the deaf, the senile and those who die during the circumstances of Fatrah, when no Message reached them Several Hadiths have been narrated on this topic, which I will quote here by the help and support of Allah.
The First Hadith from Al-Aswad bin Sari'
Imam Ahmad reported from Al-Aswad bin Sari' that the Messenger of Allah said,
(There are four who will present their case on the Day of Resurrection: a deaf man who never heard anything, an insane man, a very old and senile man, and a man who died during the Fatrah. As for the deaf man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came but I never heard anything.'' As for the insane man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came and the young boys were throwing camel dung at me.'' As for the senile man, he will say, "O Lord, Islam came and I did not understand anything.'' As for the one who died during the Fatrah, he will say, "O Lord, no Messenger from You came to me.'' Allah will accept their pledge of obedience to Him, then He will send word to them that they should enter the Fire. By the One in Whose Hand is the soul of Muhammad, if they enter it, it will be cool and safe for them.) There is a similar report with a chain from Qatadah from Al-Hasan from Abu Rafi` from Abu Hurayrah, but at the end it says:
(Whoever enters it will find it cool and safe, and whoever does not enter it will be dragged into it.) This was also recorded by Ishaq bin Rahwayh from Mu`adh bin Hisham, and by Al-Bayhaqi in Al-I`tiqad. He said: "This is a Sahih chain.'' It was reported by Ibn Jarir from the Hadith of Ma`mar from Hammam from Abu Hurayrah, who attributed it to the Prophet. Then Abu Hurayrah said: "Recite, if you wish:
(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning)).'' This was also narrated by Ma`mar from `Abdullah bin Tawus from his father, from Abu Hurayrah, but it is Mauquf (it was not attributed directly to the Prophet ).
He said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Every newborn is born in a state of Fitrah (the natural state of man), then his parents make him into a Jew or Christian or Zoroastrian, as animals produce whole animals - do you see any that is born mutilated (with something missing)) According to one report they said: "O Messenger of Allah, what about those who die when they are little'' He said,
(Allah knows best what they would have done.) Imam Ahmad reported from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet) as far as I know - the narrator was not sure if it was attributed to Musa - said:
(The children of the Muslims are in Paradise, being taken care of by Ibrahim.) In Sahih Muslim it is reported from `Iyyad bin Hammad that the Messenger of Allah said that Allah said:
(I have created My servants as Hunafa.) According to another version, the wording is "as Muslims.''
In his book Al-Mustakhraj `Ala Al-Bukhari, Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Barqani recorded the Hadith of `Awf Al-A`rabi, from Abu Raja' Al-`Utardi from Samurah that the Prophet said:
(Every newborn is born in a state of Fitrah.) The people called out to him: "O Messenger of Allah! What about the children of the idolaters'' He said,
(And the children of the idolaters too.) At-Tabarani reported that Samurah said: "We asked the Messenger of Allah about the children of the idolaters, and he said,
(They are the servants of the people of Paradise.)
Ahmad reported that Hasna' bint Mu`awiyah, from Bani Suraym, said that his paternal uncle said to him: "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, who is in Paradise' He said,
(Prophets are in Paradise, martyrs are in Paradise, infants are in Paradise and baby girls who were buried alive are in Paradise.)
In order to discuss this issue we need good, sound proof, but people who have no knowledge of Shari`ah may try to speak about it. For this reason some of the scholars did not like to discuss it. This view has been narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Al-Qasim bin Muhammad bin Abi Bakr As-Siddiq, Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah and others. Ibn Hibban recorded in his Sahih that Jarir bin Hazim said: I heard Abu Raja' Al-`Utardi saying that he heard Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them both) saying, "While he was on the Minbar, the Messenger of Allah said:
(This Ummah will be fine so long as they do not talk about children and the divine decree.)'' Ibn Hibban said: "This means talking about the children of the idolators.'' Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar also recorded it via Jarir bin Hazim, then he said, "A group narrated it from Abu Raja' from Ibn `Abbas, but it is Mauquf''.
(16. And when We decide to destroy a town (population), Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.)
The commentators differed over the meaning of this word. It was said that the phrase translated here as "Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein'' means, "We send Our decree upon them'' as Allah says elsewhere:
(Our decree reaches it by night or by day) For (Amarna cannot mean "Our command'') because Allah does not command or enjoin immorality. Or, they said it means that Allah subjugated them to commit immoral deeds, so they deserved the punishment. Or it was said that it means: "We commanded them to obey Us, but they committed immoral sins, so they deserved punishment.'' This was reported from Ibn Jurayj from Ibn `Abbas, and it is also the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr.
(Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said: (this means) "We gave power to the evil people, so they committed sin therein (in the town), and because they did that, Allah destroyed them with the punishment.'' This is similar to the Ayah:
(And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people) (6:133) This was also the view of Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid and Ar-Rabi' bin Anas.
(And when We decide to destroy a town (population), Amarna those who live luxuriously. Then, they transgress therein,) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, (it means) "We increase their numbers. This was also the view of `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah, and it was reported from Malik and Az-Zuhri.
(17. And how many generations have We destroyed after Nuh! And sufficient is your Lord as All-Knower and Seer of the sins of His servants.)