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Allah gave Ibrahim Ishaq and Ya`qub

Allah, the Exalted, says that when the Friend of Allah (Ibrahim) withdrew from his father and his people for the sake of Allah, Allah gave him in exchange those who were better than them. He gave him Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya`qub (Jacob), meaning his son, Ishaq, and Ishaq's son, Ya`qub. This is as Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَيَعۡقُوبَ نَافِلَةً۬‌ۖ

(and Ya`qub, a grandson.) (21:72) Also, Allah says,

﴿ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسۡحَـٰقَ يَعۡقُوبَ

(and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) ﴿11:71 There is no difference of opinion about Ishaq being the father of Ya`qub. This is what is recorded in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Baqarah.

﴿ أَمۡ كُنتُمۡ شُہَدَآءَ إِذۡ حَضَرَ يَعۡقُوبَ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ إِذۡ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِى قَالُواْ نَعۡبُدُ إِلَـٰهَكَ وَإِلَـٰهَ ءَابَآٮِٕكَ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ

(Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub When he said unto his sons, "What will you worship after me" They said, "We shall worship your God the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Isma`il and Ishaq.'')(2:133) Allah only mentioned Ishaq and Ya`qub here to show that He made Prophets from among his descendants and successors in order to give him relief and happiness in his life. This is why Allah says,

﴿ وَكُلاًّ۬ جَعَلۡنَا نَبِيًّ۬ا

(and each one of them We made a Prophet.) (19:49) If Ya`qub had not become a Prophet in the lifetime of Ibrahim, then Allah would not have limited the promise of prophethood to him, but He would have mentioned his son Yusuf as well. For verily, Yusuf was also a Prophet, just as the Messenger of Allah said in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, when he was asked who was the best of people. He said,

« يُوسُفُ نَبِيُّ اللهِ ابْنُ يَعْقُوبَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِسْحَاقَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلِ الله »

(The Prophet of Allah, Yusuf, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ya`qub, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ishaq, the son of the Friend of Allah Ibrahim.) In another wording of this Hadith, he said,

« إِنَّ الْكَرِيمَ ابْنَ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ يُوسُفَ بْنَ يَعْقُوبَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيم »

(Verily, the noble one is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one. That is Yusuf, the son of Ya`qub, the son of Ishaq, the son of Ibrahim.) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُم مِّن رَّحۡمَتِنَا وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُمۡ لِسَانَ صِدۡقٍ عَلِيًّ۬ا

(And We gave them of Our mercy, and We granted Sidqin `Aliyyan on the tongues.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sidqin `Aliyyan means the good praise.'' As-Suddi and Malik bin Anas said the same thing. Ibn Jarir said, "Allah only said `Aliyyan (loftiness, exalted) because all of the religions commend them and mention them with praises, may Allah's peace and blessing be upon them all.''

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مُوسَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مُخۡلَصً۬ا وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا وَنَـٰدَيۡنَـٰهُ مِن جَانِبِ ٱلطُّورِ ٱلۡأَيۡمَنِ وَقَرَّبۡنَـٰهُ نَجِيًّ۬ا وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ مِن رَّحۡمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّ۬ا

(51. And mention in the Book, Musa. Verily, he was Mukhlasan and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) (52. And We called him from the right side of the Mount (Tur), and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him.) (53. And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.)

Mentioning Musa and Harun

After Allah had mentioned Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah, and commended him, he next mentioned Al-Kalim (the one spoken to by Allah directly). Allah said,

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مُوسَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مُخۡلَصً۬ا

(And mention in the Book, Musa. Verily, he was Mukhlasan) Ath-Thawri reported from `Abdul-Aziz bin Rafi`, from Abu Lubabah that he said, "The Disciples (of `Isa) said, `O Spirit of Allah, inform us about the one who is Mukhlis (purely devoted) to Allah.' He said, `That is one who does a deed solely for Allah and he does not like for the people to praise him.''' Others recited the word as Mukhlas, which means that he was chosen. This is as Allah says,

﴿ إِنِّى ٱصۡطَفَيۡتُكَ عَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ

(Verily, I have chosen you above men.) (7:144) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا

(and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) Allah combined these two descriptions for him. For verily, he was one of the greatest Messengers and one of the five Messengers of Strong Will. They are Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, `Isa and Muhammad. May the blessings of Allah be upon them and all of the Prophets. Allah said,

﴿ وَنَـٰدَيۡنَـٰهُ مِن جَانِبِ ٱلطُّورِ

(And We called him from the side of the Tur.) means Mount

﴿ ٱلۡأَيۡمَنِ

(right) It was on the right side of Musa when he went seeking a burning wood from that fire. He saw its glow in the distance, so he set out towards it and found it on the right side of the mountain from his direction, at the edge of the valley that he was in. This is when Allah, the Exalted, spoke to him and called out to him. Allah summoned him to come near and He conversed Ayah with him. Concerning His statement,

﴿ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ مِن رَّحۡمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّ۬ا

(And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.) This means, "We responded to his request and his plea on behalf of his brother and We made him a Prophet as well.'' This is as Allah says in another Ayah,

﴿ وَأَخِى هَـٰرُونُ هُوَ أَفۡصَحُ مِنِّى لِسَانً۬ا فَأَرۡسِلۡهُ مَعِىَ رِدۡءً۬ا يُصَدِّقُنِىٓ‌ۖ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يُكَذِّبُونِ

(And my brother Harun he is more eloquent in speech than me: so send him with me as a helper to confirm me. Verily, I fear that they will belie me.) (28:34) Also, Allah said,

﴿ قَدۡ أُوتِيتَ سُؤۡلَكَ يَـٰمُوسَىٰ

((Allah said:) "You are granted your request, O Musa.'') (20:36) He also said,

﴿ وَيَضِيقُ صَدۡرِى وَلَا يَنطَلِقُ لِسَانِى فَأَرۡسِلۡ إِلَىٰ هَـٰرُونَ وَلَهُمۡ عَلَىَّ ذَنۢبٌ۬ فَأَخَافُ أَن يَقۡتُلُونِ

(So send for Harun. And they have a charge of crime against me, and I fear they will kill me.) (26:13-14) Because of this, some of the Salaf (predecessors) said, "No one in this life pleaded on behalf of someone else more than Musa pleaded for his brother to be a Prophet.'' Allah, the Exalted said,

﴿ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ مِن رَّحۡمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّ۬ا

(And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.)

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صَادِقَ ٱلۡوَعۡدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا وَكَانَ يَأۡمُرُ أَهۡلَهُ ۥ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ مَرۡضِيًّ۬ا

(54. And mention in the Book, Isma`il. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) (55. And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.)

Mentioning Isma`il

Here Allah has commended Isma`il, the son of Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah. He (Isma`il) is the father of all of the Arabs of the Hijaz because he was true to what he promised. Ibn Jurayj said, "He did not make any promise to his Lord, except that he fulfilled it.'' He never obligated himself to do any act of worship with a vow, except that he fulfilled it and carried it out, giving it its full due. Some said,

﴿ صَادِقَ ٱلۡوَعۡدِ

((he was) true to what he promised.) "This was said about him because he said to his father,

﴿ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ

(If Allah wills you will find me of the patient.) (37:102) So he was truthful in that.'' Being true to one's promise is one of the praiseworthy characteristics, just as breaking one's promise is of the detested characteristics. Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفۡعَلُونَ ڪَبُرَ مَقۡتًا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُواْ مَا لَا تَفۡعَلُونَ

(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.) (61:2-3) The Messenger of Allah said,

« آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإِذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإِذَا ائْتُمِنَ خَان »

(The sign of the hypocrite is three things. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he is entrusted with something, he is disloyal to his trust.) Thus, if these are the characteristics of the hypocrites, then behaving contrary to these is a characteristic of the true believer. For this reason, Allah commended His servant and Messenger Isma`il, for he was true to his promise. Likewise, the Messenger of Allah was true to his promise. He did not promise anyone anything, except that he fulfilled his promise to that person. He also commended Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rabi`, the husband of his daughter Zaynab, by saying,

« حَدَّثَنِي فَصَدَقَنِي، وَوَعَدَنِي فَوَفَى لِي »

(He spoke to me and he told me the truth, and he promised me and he fulfilled his promise to me.) When the Prophet died, the Khalifah (his successor), Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said, "Whoever received any promise from the Messenger of Allah or was owed any debt by him, then let him come to me and I will fulfill it on his behalf.'' So Jabir bin `Abdullah came and related that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَوْ قَدْ جَاءَ مَالُ الْبَحْرَينِ أَعْطَيْتُكَ هَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا وَهَكَذَا »

(If the wealth of Bahrain comes (to me), then I would give you such and such and such.) This meant that he would fill his hands with wealth. Therefore, when the wealth of Bahrain came (to them), Abu Bakr commanded Jabir to come and fill his hands from that wealth. Then, he commanded him to do so again, until he collected five hundred Dirhams. Then, Abu Bakr gave him its double along with it.(i.e. one thousand extra Dirhams). Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا

(and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) In this is a proof of Isma`il's favored status over his brother, Ishaq. Ishaq was only described as being a Prophet, but Isma`il was described with both prophethood and messengership. It is confirmed in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ اللهَ اصْطَفَى مِنْ وَلَدِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِسْمَاعِيل »

(Verily, Allah chose Isma`il from the sons of Ibrahim...) Then, Imam Muslim mentions the rest of the Hadith in its entirety. However, this statement proves the correctness of what we have said. Allah said,

﴿ وَكَانَ يَأۡمُرُ أَهۡلَهُ ۥ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱلزَّكَوٰةِ وَكَانَ عِندَ رَبِّهِۦ مَرۡضِيًّ۬ا

(And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.) This is also a beautiful form of praise, a commendable quality, and upright characteristic. He was commanded in this way because of his persistence in obedience of his Lord, and enjoining his family to do so. This is as Allah said to His Messenger,

﴿ وَأۡمُرۡ أَهۡلَكَ بِٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ عَلَيۡہَا‌ۖ

(And enjoin the Salah on your family, and be patient with them.) (20:132) Also, Allah, the Exalted, said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيكُمۡ نَارً۬ا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡحِجَارَةُ عَلَيۡہَا مَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ۬ شِدَادٌ۬ لَّا يَعۡصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ

(O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.) ﴿66:6 This means to command them to do good, forbid them from evil and do not neglect them. If you do so, and they obey your command, the Fire (of Hell) will not devour them on the Day of Resurrection. It has been reported in a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

« رَحِمَ اللهُ رَجُلًا قَامَ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّى وَأَيْقَظَ امْرَأَتَهُ، فَإِنْ أَبَتْ نَضَحَ فِي وَجْهِهَا الْمَاءَ. رَحِمَ اللهُ امْرَأَةً قَامَتْ مِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَصَلَّتْ وَأَيْقَظَتْ زَوْجَهَا، فَإِنْ أَبَى نَضَحَتْ فِي وَجْهِهِ الْمَاء »

(May Allah have mercy upon a man who gets up at night to pray and he wakes his wife. If she refuses to get up, he sprinkles water in her face. May Allah have mercy upon a woman who gets up at night to pray and she wakes her husband. If he refuses to get up, she sprinkles water in his face.) This Hadith was recorded by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِدۡرِيسَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صِدِّيقً۬ا نَّبِيًّ۬ا وَرَفَعۡنَـٰهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا

(56. And mention in the Book, Idris. Verily, he was a man of truth, (and) a Prophet.) (57. And We raised him to a high station.)

Mentioning Idris

Allah complimented Idris for being a truthful Prophet and He mentioned that he raised him to a high station. It has previously been mentioned that in the Sahih it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah passed by Idris on the night of the Isra (Night Journey) and he (Idris) was in the fourth heaven. Sufyan reported from Mansur that Mujahid said,

﴿ وَرَفَعۡنَـٰهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا

(And We raised him to a high station.) "This means the fourth heaven.'' Al-Hasan and others said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَرَفَعۡنَـٰهُ مَكَانًا عَلِيًّا

(And We raised him to a high station.) "This means Paradise.''

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءَادَمَ وَمِمَّنۡ حَمَلۡنَا مَعَ نُوحٍ۬ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّةِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَمِمَّنۡ هَدَيۡنَا وَٱجۡتَبَيۡنَآ‌ۚ إِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ خَرُّواْ سُجَّدً۬ا وَبُكِيًّ۬ا ۩

(58. Those were they unto whom Allah bestowed His grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh, and of the offspring of Ibrahim and Israel, and from among those whom We guided and chose. When the Ayat of the Most Gracious were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.)

These Prophets are the Chosen Ones

Allah, the Exalted, says that these Prophets (were favored), but this does not mean only these Prophets who were mentioned in this Surah. Rather, it is referring to all of those who were Prophets. Allah merely changes the implication of the discussion from specific individuals to the entire group of Prophets.

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنۡعَمَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡہِم مِّنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مِن ذُرِّيَّةِ ءَادَمَ

(they unto whom Allah bestowed His grace from among the Prophets, of the offspring of Adam.) As-Suddi and Ibn Jarir both said, "That which is meant by the offspring of Adam is Idris, and what is meant by the offspring of those `whom We carried with Nuh' is Ibrahim, and what is meant by the offspring of Ibrahim is Ishaq, Ya`qub and Isma`il, and what is meant by the offspring of Isra`il is Musa, Harun, Zakariyya, Yayha and `Isa bin Maryam.'' Ibn Jarir said, "And that is the distinction of their genealogies, even though Adam gathers all of them (as their original father). This is because among them is he who was not a descendant of those who were on the ship with Nuh, and he that is Idris. For verily, he was the grandfather of Nuh.'' I say that this is the most apparent meaning, which concludes that Idris is amongst the pillars of Nuh's ancestral lineage. The view that this Ayah refers to the ancestral lineage of the Prophets, is the fact that it is similar to Allah's statement in Surah Al-An`am,

﴿ وَتِلۡكَ حُجَّتُنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهَآ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ‌ۚ نَرۡفَعُ دَرَجَـٰتٍ۬ مَّن نَّشَآءُ‌ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ۬ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ إِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ‌ۚ ڪُلاًّ هَدَيۡنَا‌ۚ وَنُوحًا هَدَيۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۖ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِۦ دَاوُ ۥدَ وَسُلَيۡمَـٰنَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَهَـٰرُونَ‌ۚ وَكَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحۡيَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ وَإِلۡيَاسَ‌ۖ كُلٌّ۬ مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَيُونُسَ وَلُوطً۬ا‌ۚ وَڪُلاًّ۬ فَضَّلۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ وَمِنۡ ءَابَآٮِٕهِمۡ وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِہِمۡ وَإِخۡوَٲنِہِمۡ‌ۖ وَٱجۡتَبَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ وَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ۬

(And that was our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. And We bestowed upon him Ishaq and Ya`qub, each of them We guided; and before him We guided Nuh, and among his progeny Dawud, Sulayman, Ayyub, Yusuf, Musa and Harun. Thus do We reward the doers of good. And Zakariyya, and Yahya, and `Isa and Ilyas, each one of them was of the righteous. And Isma`il and Al-Yasa` and Yunus and Lut and each one of them We preferred above the `Alamin. And also some of their fathers and their progeny and their brethren, We chose them, and We guided them to the straight path.)(6:83-87) Until Allah's statement,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ فَبِهُدَٮٰهُمُ ٱقۡتَدِهۡ‌ۗ

(They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.) (6: 90)Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿ مِنۡهُم مَّن قَصَصۡنَا عَلَيۡكَ وَمِنۡهُم مَّن لَّمۡ نَقۡصُصۡ عَلَيۡكَۗ

(Of some of them We have related to you their story. And of some We have not related to you their story.) (40:78) In Sahih Al-Bukhari it is reported from Mujahid that he asked Ibn `Abbas, "Is there a prostration in Surah Sad'' Ibn `Abbas replied, "Yes.'' Then he recited,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ فَبِهُدَٮٰهُمُ ٱقۡتَدِهۡ‌ۗ

(They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance.) (6:90) Ibn `Abbas then said, "So your Prophet is one of those who have been commanded to follow them. And he is of those who should be followed.'' -- referring to Dawud. Allah, the Exalted, said in this noble Ayah,

﴿ إِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ خَرُّواْ سُجَّدً۬ا وَبُكِيًّ۬ا ۩

(When the Ayah of the Most Gracious were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.) This means that when they heard the Words of Allah, mentioning His proofs and evidences, they prostrated to their Lord in humility, humbleness, praise and thanks for the great favors they were blessed with. The word Bukiyan at the end of the Ayah means those who are crying, and it is the plural of Baki. Due to this the scholars agree that it is legislated to prostrate upon reading this Ayah, in following them and adhering to their manner of worship.

﴿ فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٌ أَضَاعُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَٱتَّبَعُواْ ٱلشَّہَوَٲتِ‌ۖ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يَدۡخُلُونَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُونَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

(59. Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah and have followed lusts. So they will meet Ghaiy.) (60. Except those who repent and believe, and work righteousness. Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.)

They were succeeded by Wicked People and Good People

After Allah mentioned the party of blessed ones -- the Prophets and those who followed them by maintaining the limits set by Allah and His commandments, fulfilling what Allah ordered and avoiding His prohibitions -- then He mentions,

﴿ فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٌ

(there has succeeded them a posterity.) This means later generations.

﴿ أَضَاعُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ

(who have lost Salah) Losing their prayers is when they do not consider the prayers obligatory. Therefore they lose, because the prayer is the pillar and foundation of the religion. It is the best of the servants' deeds. Thus, these people will occupy themselves with worldly desires and delights, and they will be pleased with the life of this world. They will be tranquil and at ease in the worldly appetites. Therefore, these people will meet with Ghaiy, which means loss on the Day of Resurrection. Al-Awza`i reported from Musa bin Sulayman, who reported from Al-Qasim bin Mukhaymirah that he said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٌ أَضَاعُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ

(Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah) "This means that they will not keep up with the proper times of the prayer, because if it meant complete abandonment of the prayer, this would be disbelief.'' It is also reported that it was said to Ibn Mas`ud, "Allah often mentions the prayer in the Qur'an. He says,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ عَن صَلَاتِہِمۡ سَاهُونَ

(Those who neglect their Salah.) (107:5) And He says,

﴿ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِہِمۡ دَآٮِٕمُونَ

(Those who remain constant in their Salah.) (70:23) And He says,

﴿ عَلَىٰ صَلَاتِہِمۡ يُحَافِظُونَ

(Who guard their Salah.)'' (23:9) Then, Ibn Mas`ud said, "This means at its designated times.'' The people said, "We thought that this was referring to the abandonment of the prayer.'' He replied, "That would be disbelief.'' Masruq said, "No one who guards the five daily prayers will be written among the heedless. In their neglect is destruction. Their neglect is delaying them past their fixed times.'' Al-Awza`i reported from Ibrahim bin Zayd that Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz recited the Ayah,

﴿ فَخَلَفَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ خَلۡفٌ أَضَاعُواْ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَٱتَّبَعُواْ ٱلشَّہَوَٲتِ‌ۖ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا

(Then, there has succeeded them a posterity who have lost the Salah and have followed lusts. So they will meet Ghayy.) Then, he said, "Their loss was not their abandonment of the prayers, but it was by not offering them during their proper and prescribed times.'' Allah said,

﴿ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا

(So they will meet Ghayy.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

﴿ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا

(So they will meet Ghayy.) "This means loss.'' Qatadah said, "This means evil.'' Sufyan Ath-Thawri, Shu`bah and Muhammad bin Ishaq all reported from Abu Ishaq As-Sabi`i, who reported from Abu `Ubaydah, who reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud that he said,

﴿ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا

(So they will meet Ghayy.) "This is a valley in the Hellfire which is very deep and its food is filthy.'' Al-A`mash reported from Ziyad, who reported from Abu `Iyad, who commented Allah's statement,

﴿ فَسَوۡفَ يَلۡقَوۡنَ غَيًّا

(So they will meet Ghayy.) He said, "This is a valley in Hell made of puss and blood.'' Allah said,

﴿ إِلَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا

(Except those who repent and believe and work righteousness.) This means, "Except those who recant from giving up the prayers and following the desires, for verily, Allah will accept their repentance, give them a good end and make them of those who inherit the Garden of Delight (Paradise). '' For this reason Allah says,

﴿ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ يَدۡخُلُونَ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ وَلَا يُظۡلَمُونَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

(Such will enter Paradise and they will not be wronged in aught.) This is because repentance wipes away that which was before it. In another Hadith, the Prophet said,

« التَّائِبُ مِنَ الذَّنْبِ كَمَنْ لَاذَنْبَ لَه »

(The one who repents from sin is like he who has no sin.) Because of this, those who repent will not lose anything from the (good) deeds that they did. They will not be held accountable for what they did before their repentance, thus causing a decrease in their reward for deeds that they do after their repentance. That is because whatever they did before repenting is lost, forgotten and not taken to account. This is an honor from the Most Generous and a kindness from the Most Gentle. This is an exception that is made for these people, similar to Allah's statement in Surah Al-Furqan,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَدۡعُونَ مَعَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَـٰهًا ءَاخَرَ وَلَا يَقۡتُلُونَ ٱلنَّفۡسَ ٱلَّتِى حَرَّمَ ٱللَّهُ إِلَّا بِٱلۡحَقِّ

(And those who invoke not any other god along with Allah, nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause...) until Allah's statement,

﴿ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورً۬ا رَّحِيمً۬ا

(and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (25:68-70)

﴿ جَنَّـٰتِ عَدۡنٍ ٱلَّتِى وَعَدَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ عِبَادَهُ ۥ بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ وَعۡدُهُ ۥ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا لَّا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوًا إِلَّا سَلَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ رِزۡقُهُمۡ فِيہَا بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا تِلۡكَ ٱلۡجَنَّةُ ٱلَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيًّ۬ا

(61. (They will enter) `Adn Gardens which the Most Gracious has promised to His servants in the unseen. Verily, His promise must come to pass.) (62. They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only Salam. And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) (63. Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who had Taqwa.)

The Description of the Gardens of the Truthful and Those Who repent

Allah, the Exalted, says that the Gardens (of Paradise), which the penitent will enter, will be Gardens of `Adn, meaning, eternity. These are Gardens that the Most Beneficent promises His servants in the unseen. This means that these Gardens are from the unseen things that they believe in, even though they have never witnessed them. They believe in the unseen out of their strong conviction and the strength of their faith. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ وَعۡدُهُ ۥ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(Verily, His promise must come to pass.) This affirms the fact that this will occur, and that it is a settled matter. Allah does not break His promise, nor does He change it. This is similar to His statement,

﴿ كَانَ وَعۡدُهُ ۥ مَفۡعُولاً

(His promise is certainly to be accomplished.) (73:18) This means that His promise will be and there is no avoiding it. Allah's statement here,

﴿ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(must come to pass.) This means that it will come to His servants who are striving towards it and they will reach it. There are those commentators who said,

﴿ مَأۡتِيًّ۬ا

(must come to pass.) "This means it is coming, because everything that comes to you, you also come to it. This is as the Arabs say, `Fifty years came to me, and I came to fifty years.' They both mean the same thing (I'm fifty years old).'' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ لَّا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوًا

(They shall not hear therein any Laghw.) This means that in these gardens of Paradise there is no ignorant, wasteful and useless speech, like there is in this life. He said,

﴿ إِلَّا سَلَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ

(...but only Salam.) This is an indifferent exception, similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ لَا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوً۬ا وَلَا تَأۡثِيمًا إِلَّا قِيلاً۬ سَلَـٰمً۬ا سَلَـٰمً۬ا

(No Laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: Salam! Salam!) (56:25-26) Concerning His statement,

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ رِزۡقُهُمۡ فِيہَا بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) This means, in what is similar to mornings and evenings. This does not mean that there is a night and a day (in Paradise), but they will be living in times that alternate. They will know its lighted times from its lights and illumination. This is as Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah, who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَوَّلُ زُمْرَةٍ تَلِجُ الْجَنَّةَ صُوَرُهُمْ عَلَى صُورَةِ الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ لَا يَبْصُقُونَ فِيهَا، وَلَا يَتَمَخَّطُونَ فِيهَا. وَلَا يَتَغَوَّطُونَ، آنِيَتُهُمْ وَأَمْشَاطُهُمُ الذَّهَبُ وَالْفِضَّةُ وَمَجَامِرُهُمُ الْأَلُوَّةُ، وَرَشْحُهُمُ الْمِسْكُ وَلِكُلِّ وَاحِدٍ مِنْهُمْ زَوْجَتَانِ، يُرَى مُخُّ سَاقِهَا مِنْ وَرَاءِ اللَّحْمِ مِنَ الْحُسْنِ، لَا اخْتِلَافَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَلَا تَبَاغُضَ، قُلُوبُهُمْ عَلَى قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ وَاحِدٍ، يُسَبِّحُونَ اللهَ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا »

(The first group to enter into Paradise will have forms like the form of the moon on a night when it is full. They will not spit, nor will they blow their noses therein. They also will not defecate. Their containers and combs will be made of gold and silver and their censers will be of aloes wood. Their sweat will be the fragrance of musk and each of them will have two wives. The marrow of their shins will be visible from beneath the skin due to their beauty. They will not have any disputes between them, or any hatred. Their hearts will be united like the heart of one man. They will glorify Allah in the morning and evening.) Al-Bukhari and Muslim both recorded this narration in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad also recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« الشُّهَدَاءُ عَلَى بَارِقِ نَهْرٍ بِبَابِ الْجَنَّةِ فِي قُبَّةٍ خَضْرَاءَ، يَخْرُجُ عَلَيْهِمْ رِزْقُهُمْ مِنَ الْجَنَّةِ بُكْرَةً وَعَشِيًّا »

(The martyrs will be upon the banks of a river by the gates of Paradise. Over them will be a green dome. Their sustenance will be brought out to them from Paradise, morning and evening.) Ahmad is the only one who collected this narration. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ رِزۡقُهُمۡ فِيہَا بُكۡرَةً۬ وَعَشِيًّ۬ا

(And they will have therein their sustenance, morning and afternoon.) "This means the amount of time equal to night and day.'' Allah said,

﴿ تِلۡكَ ٱلۡجَنَّةُ ٱلَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيًّ۬ا

(Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who had Taqwa.) This means, `This Paradise that We have described with these magnificent attributes, it is that which We will cause are pious servants to inherit.' They are those who obey Allah in happiness and times of hardship. They are those who suppress their anger and they pardon people's offenses. This is as Allah says at the beginning of Surah Al-Mu'minun,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ هُمۡ فِى صَلَاتِہِمۡ خَـٰشِعُونَ

(Successful indeed are the believers. Those who are humble in their Salah.) (23:1-2) Until His saying,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثُونَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ ٱلۡفِرۡدَوۡسَ هُمۡ فِيہَا خَـٰلِدُونَ

(These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws. In it they shall dwell forever.) (23:10-11)

﴿ وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمۡرِ رَبِّكَ‌ۖ لَهُ ۥ مَا بَيۡنَ أَيۡدِينَا وَمَا خَلۡفَنَا وَمَا بَيۡنَ ذَٲلِكَ‌ۚ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّ۬ا رَّبُّ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا بَيۡنَہُمَا فَٱعۡبُدۡهُ وَٱصۡطَبِرۡ لِعِبَـٰدَتِهِۦ‌ۚ هَلۡ تَعۡلَمُ لَهُ ۥ سَمِيًّ۬ا

(64. And we descend not except by the command of your Lord. To Him belongs what is before us and what is behind us, and what is between those two; and your Lord is never forgetful.) (65. Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him and abide patiently in His worship. Do you know of any who is similar to Him)