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Condemnation of the Followers of the Shaytan

Allah condemns those who deny the Resurrection and who deny that Allah is able to restore life to the dead, those who turn away from that which Allah has revealed to His Prophets and, in their views -- denial and disbelief -- follow every rebellious Shaytan among men and Jinn. This is the state of the followers of innovation and misguidance, who turn away from the truth and follow falsehood, following the words of the leaders of misguidance who call people to follow innovation and their own desires and opinions. Allah says concerning them and their like,

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يُجَـٰدِلُ فِى ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬

(And among mankind is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge,) meaning, without sound knowledge.

﴿ وَيَتَّبِعُ ڪُلَّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ مَّرِيدٍ۬ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡهِ

(and follows every rebellious Shaytan. For him it is decreed.) Mujahid said, "This refers to that Shaytan.'' meaning that is a matter written in the decree.

﴿ أَنَّهُ ۥ مَن تَوَلَّاهُ

(that whosoever follows him,) and imitates him,

﴿ فَأَنَّهُ ۥ يُضِلُّهُ ۥ وَيَہۡدِيهِ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(he will mislead him, and will drive him to the torment of the Fire.) means, he will mislead him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will drive him to the torment of the Fire, which is unbearably hot, painful and agonizing. As-Suddi reported that Abu Malik said, "This Ayah was revealed about An-Nadr bin Al-Harith. This was also the view of Ibn Jurayj.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمۡ فِى رَيۡبٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡبَعۡثِ فَإِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِنۡ عَلَقَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِن مُّضۡغَةٍ۬ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ۬ وَغَيۡرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ۬ لِّنُبَيِّنَ لَكُمۡ‌ۚ وَنُقِرُّ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ مَا نَشَآءُ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى ثُمَّ نُخۡرِجُكُمۡ طِفۡلاً۬ ثُمَّ لِتَبۡلُغُوٓاْ أَشُدَّڪُمۡ‌ۖ وَمِنڪُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّىٰ وَمِنڪُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰٓ أَرۡذَلِ ٱلۡعُمُرِ لِڪَيۡلَا يَعۡلَمَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ عِلۡمٍ۬ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا‌ۚ وَتَرَى ٱلۡأَرۡضَ هَامِدَةً۬ فَإِذَآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا ٱلۡمَآءَ ٱهۡتَزَّتۡ وَرَبَتۡ وَأَنۢبَتَتۡ مِن ڪُلِّ زَوۡجِۭ بَهِيجٍ۬ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ وَأَنَّهُ ۥ يُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ وَأَنَّهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬ وَأَنَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ ءَاتِيَةٌ۬ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيہَا وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَبۡعَثُ مَن فِى ٱلۡقُبُورِ

(5. O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection, then verily, We have created you from dust, then from a Nutfah, then from a clot then from a little lump of flesh -- some formed and some unformed -- that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term, then We bring you out as infants, then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength. And among you there is he who dies (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known. And you see the earth Hamidatan, but when We send down water on it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).) (6. That is because Allah: He is the Truth, and it is He Who gives life to the dead, and it is He Who is able to do all things.) (7. And surely, the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and certainly, Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.)

Evidence of the Resurrection in the creation of Man and of Plants

When Allah speaks of disbelief in the Resurrection, He also mentions the evidence of His power and ability to resurrect that is evident from the way He initiates creation. Allah says:

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمۡ فِى رَيۡبٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡبَعۡثِ

(O mankind! If you are in doubt about the Resurrection,) which means the time when souls and bodies will be raised up on the Day of Resurrection,

﴿ فَإِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن تُرَابٍ۬

(then verily, We have created you from dust,) meaning, `you were originally created from dust', which is what Adam, peace be upon him, was created from.

﴿ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬

(Then from a Nutfah,) (32:8) meaning, then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.

The Development of the Nutfah and Embryo in the Womb
﴿ ثُمَّ مِنۡ عَلَقَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِن مُّضۡغَةٍ۬

(then from a clot then from a little lump of flesh) if the Nutfah establishes itself in the woman's womb, it stays like that for forty days, then more material is added to it and it changes into a red clot, by the leave of Allah, and it remains like that for forty days. Then it changes and becomes a lump of flesh, like a piece of meat with no form or shape. Then it starts to take on a form and shape, developing a head, arms, chest, stomach, thighs, legs, feet and all its members. Sometimes a woman miscarries before the fetus is formed and sometimes she miscarries after it has formed. As Allah says:

﴿ ثُمَّ مِن مُّضۡغَةٍ۬ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ۬ وَغَيۡرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ۬

(then from a little lump of flesh -- some formed and some unformed) meaning, as you see.

﴿ لِّنُبَيِّنَ لَكُمۡ‌ۚ وَنُقِرُّ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡحَامِ مَا نَشَآءُ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى

(that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term,) meaning that sometimes the fetus remains in the womb and is not miscarried.

﴿ مُّخَلَّقَةٍ۬ وَغَيۡرِ مُخَلَّقَةٍ۬

(some formed and some unformed, ) Mujahid said, "This means the miscarried fetus, formed or unformed. When forty days have passed of it being a lump of flesh, then Allah sends an angel to it who breathes the soul into it and forms it as Allah wills, handsome or ugly, male or female. He then writes its provision, its allotted length of life and whether it is to be one of the blessed or the wretched.'' It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Ibn Mas`ud said, "The Messenger of Allah , who is the true and truly inspired one, told us:

« إِنَّ خَلْقَ أَحَدِكُمْ يُجْمَعُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ لَيْلَةً، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ اللهُ إِلَيْهِ الْمَلَكَ فَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعِ كَلِمَاتٍ: بِكَتْبِ رِزْقِهِ وَعَمَلِهِ وَأَجَلِهِ، وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيدٌ، ثُمَّ يُنْفَخُ فِيهِ الرُّوح »

(Every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for another forty days, and then a lump of flesh for another forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his provision, his deeds, his life span, and whether he will be blessed or wretched. Then he blows the soul into him.)''

Man's Development from Infancy to Old Age His saying;
﴿ ثُمَّ نُخۡرِجُكُمۡ طِفۡلاً۬

(then We bring you out as infants,) means, weak in his body, hearing, sight, senses, stamina and mind. Then Allah gives him strength, gradually and causes his parents to treat him with tender kindness night and day. Allah says:

﴿ ثُمَّ لِتَبۡلُغُوٓاْ أَشُدَّڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(then (give you growth) that you may reach your age of full strength.) meaning, his strength increases until he reaches the vitality and handsomeness of youth.

﴿ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُتَوَفَّىٰ

(And among you there is he who dies,) means, when he is young and strong.

﴿ وَمِنكُم مَّن يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰٓ أَرۡذَلِ ٱلۡعُمُرِ

(and among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age,) meaning advanced old age with its weakness in mind and body, in steady decline in comprehension, and disability to grasp. As Allah says:

﴿ لِڪَيۡلَا يَعۡلَمَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ عِلۡمٍ۬ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا‌ۚ

(so that he knows nothing after having known.)

﴿ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكُم مِّن ضَعۡفٍ۬ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ ضَعۡفٍ۬ قُوَّةً۬ ثُمَّ جَعَلَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ قُوَّةٍ۬ ضَعۡفً۬ا وَشَيۡبَةً۬‌ۚ يَخۡلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ‌ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ ٱلۡقَدِيرُ

(Allah is He Who created you in (a state of) weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.) (30:54)

Another Parable of the Resurrection from Plants
﴿ وَتَرَى ٱلۡأَرۡضَ هَامِدَةً۬

(And you see the earth Hamidatan,) This is another sign of the power of Allah to bring the dead back to life, just as He brings the dead, barren earth back to life, the lifeless earth in which nothing grows. Qatadah said, "(This means) the eroded, dusty earth.'' As-Suddi said, "Dead.''

﴿ فَإِذَآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا ٱلۡمَآءَ ٱهۡتَزَّتۡ وَرَبَتۡ وَأَنۢبَتَتۡ مِن ڪُلِّ زَوۡجِۭ بَهِيجٍ۬

(but when We send down water on it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).) When Allah sends the rain upon it, it is stirred to life, that is, vegetation begins to grow and it comes alive after it was dead. Then it rises after the soil had settled, then it puts forth its different kinds of fruit and crops with all their varied colours, tastes, fragrances, shapes and benefits. Allah says:

﴿ وَأَنۢبَتَتۡ مِن ڪُلِّ زَوۡجِۭ بَهِيجٍ۬

(and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth).) meaning, beautiful in appearance and with delightful fragrances.

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلۡحَقُّ

(That is because Allah: He is the Truth,) means, the Creator, the Controller, the One Who does as He wills.

﴿ وَأَنَّهُ ۥ يُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ

(and it is He Who gives life to the dead,) means, just as He gives life to the dead earth and brings forth from it all these kinds of vegetation.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحۡيَاهَا لَمُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ

(Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is able to do all things.) (41:39)

﴿ إِنَّمَآ أَمۡرُهُ ۥۤ إِذَآ أَرَادَ شَيۡـًٔا أَن يَقُولَ لَهُ ۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ

(Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!'' -- and it is!) (36:82).

﴿ وَأَنَّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ ءَاتِيَةٌ۬ لَّا رَيۡبَ فِيہَا

(And surely, the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it;) meaning, it will inevitably come to pass.

﴿ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَبۡعَثُ مَن فِى ٱلۡقُبُورِ

(and certainly, Allah will resurrect those who are in the graves.) means, He will bring them back to life after they have become dust; He will create them anew after they have become nothing.

﴿ وَضَرَبَ لَنَا مَثَلاً۬ وَنَسِىَ خَلۡقَهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ مَن يُحۡىِ ٱلۡعِظَـٰمَ وَهِىَ رَمِيمٌ۬
﴿ قُلۡ يُحۡيِيہَا ٱلَّذِىٓ أَنشَأَهَآ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬‌ۖ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ خَلۡقٍ عَلِيمٌ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلشَّجَرِ ٱلۡأَخۡضَرِ نَارً۬ا فَإِذَآ أَنتُم مِّنۡهُ تُوقِدُونَ

(And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust'' Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!'' He Who produces for you fire out of the green tree, when behold you kindle there- with.) (36:78-80). And there are many similar Ayat.

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يُجَـٰدِلُ فِى ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَلَا هُدً۬ى وَلَا كِتَـٰبٍ۬ مُّنِيرٍ۬
﴿ ثَانِىَ عِطۡفِهِۦ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا خِزۡىٌ۬‌ۖ وَنُذِيقُهُ ۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ عَذَابَ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ ذَٲلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ يَدَاكَ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَيۡسَ بِظَلَّـٰمٍ۬ لِّلۡعَبِيدِ

(8. And among men is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge or guidance, or a Book giving light (from Allah).) (9. Bending his neck in pride, and leading (others) too (far) astray from the path of Allah. For him there is disgrace in this worldly life, and on the Day of Resurrection We shall make him taste the torment of burning.) (10. That is because of what your hands have sent forth, and verily, Allah is not unjust to servants.)

Clarifying the State of the Leaders of the Innovators and Those Who lead People astray

Allah has already told us about the ignorant imitators who are led astray:

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يُجَـٰدِلُ فِى ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَيَتَّبِعُ ڪُلَّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ مَّرِيدٍ۬

(And among mankind is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge, and follows every rebellious Shaytan.) And here He tells us about those who call others to misguidance, the leaders of disbelief and innovation:

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يُجَـٰدِلُ فِى ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَلَا هُدً۬ى وَلَا كِتَـٰبٍ۬ مُّنِيرٍ۬

(And among men is he who disputes about Allah, without knowledge or guidance, or a Book giving light (from Allah).) meaning, with no correct rational thought, and no clear transmitted text; what they say is based only on their opinions and whims. Allah's saying,

﴿ ثَانِىَ عِطۡفِهِۦ

(Bending his neck in pride,) Ibn `Abbas and others said, "Too proud to follow the truth when he is called to it.'' Mujahid, Qatadah and Malik said, narrating from Zayd bin Aslam:

﴿ ثَانِىَ عِطۡفِهِۦ

(Bending his neck in pride,) means, twisting his neck, i.e., turning away from the truth to which he is called, bending his neck out of pride and arrogance. This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَفِى مُوسَىٰٓ إِذۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَـٰهُ إِلَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنَ بِسُلۡطَـٰنٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬ فَتَوَلَّىٰ بِرُكۡنِهِۦ

(And in Musa, when We sent him to Fir`awn with a manifest authority. But (Fir`awn) turned away along with his hosts) (51:38-39),

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ وَإِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ رَأَيۡتَ ٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ يَصُدُّونَ عَنكَ صُدُودً۬ا

(And when it is said to them: "Come to what Allah has sent down and to the Messenger,'' you see the hypocrites turn away from you with aversion.) (4:61),

﴿ وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ تَعَالَوۡاْ يَسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَكُمۡ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ لَوَّوۡاْ رُءُوسَهُمۡ وَرَأَيۡتَهُمۡ يَصُدُّونَ وَهُم مُّسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ

(And when it is said to them: "Come, so that the Messenger of Allah may ask forgiveness from Allah for you,'' they twist their heads, and you would see them turning away their faces in pride.) (63:5), And Luqman said to his son:

﴿ وَلَا تُصَعِّرۡ خَدَّكَ لِلنَّاسِ

(And turn not your face away from men with pride) (31:18) meaning, do not turn away from them in an arrogant manner. And Allah says:

﴿ وَإِذَا تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡهِ ءَايَـٰتُنَا وَلَّىٰ مُسۡتَڪۡبِرً۬ا

(And when Our verses are recited to him, he turns away in pride) (31:7).

﴿ لِيُضِلَّ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ

(and leading (others) too (far) astray from the path of Allah.) This either refers to those who are stubborn, or it means that the person who does this has been created like this so that he will be one of those who lead others astray from the path of Allah. Then Allah says:

﴿ لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا خِزۡىٌ۬‌ۖ

(For him there is disgrace in this worldly life,) meaning, humiliation and shame, such as when he is too arrogant to heed the signs of Allah, so Allah will send humiliation upon him in this world and will punish him in this world, before he reaches the Hereafter, because this world is all he cares about and all he knows.

﴿ وَنُذِيقُهُ ۥ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ عَذَابَ ٱلۡحَرِيقِ ذَٲلِكَ بِمَا قَدَّمَتۡ يَدَاكَ

(and on the Day of Resurrection We shall make him taste the torment of burning. That is because of what your hands have sent forth,) means, this will be said to him by way of rebuke.

﴿ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَيۡسَ بِظَلَّـٰمٍ۬ لِّلۡعَبِيدِ

(and verily, Allah is not unjust to the servants.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ خُذُوهُ فَٱعۡتِلُوهُ إِلَىٰ سَوَآءِ ٱلۡجَحِيمِ ثُمَّ صُبُّواْ فَوۡقَ رَأۡسِهِۦ مِنۡ عَذَابِ ٱلۡحَمِيمِ ذُقۡ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡڪَرِيمُ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا مَا كُنتُم بِهِۦ تَمۡتَرُونَ

((It will be said: ) "Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire, Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous! Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!'') (44:47-50)

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَعۡبُدُ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرۡفٍ۬‌ۖ فَإِنۡ أَصَابَهُ ۥ خَيۡرٌ ٱطۡمَأَنَّ بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَإِنۡ أَصَابَتۡهُ فِتۡنَةٌ ٱنقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِهِۦ خَسِرَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةَ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلۡخُسۡرَانُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ يَدۡعُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُ ۥ وَمَا لَا يَنفَعُهُ ۥ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلضَّلَـٰلُ ٱلۡبَعِيدُ يَدۡعُواْ لَمَن ضَرُّهُ ۥۤ أَقۡرَبُ مِن نَّفۡعِهِۦ‌ۚ لَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَلَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡعَشِيرُ

(11. And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge: if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a Fitnah strikes him, he turns back on his face. He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.) (12. He calls besides Allah unto that which can neither harm him nor profit him. That is a straying far away.) (13. He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit; certainly an evil Mawla and certainly an evil `Ashir!)

The meaning of worshipping Allah as it were upon the edge

Mujahid, Qatadah and others said:

﴿ عَلَىٰ حَرۡفٍ۬‌ۖ

(upon the edge) means, in doubt. Others said that it meant on the edge, such as on the edge or side of a mountain, i.e., (this person) enters Islam on the edge, and if he finds what he likes he will continue, otherwise he will leave. Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said:

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يَعۡبُدُ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ حَرۡفٍ۬‌ۖ

(And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were upon the edge.) "People would come to Al-Madinah ﴿to declare their Islam and if their wives gave birth to sons and their mares gave birth to foals, they would say, `This is a good religion,' but if their wives and their mares did not give birth, they would say, `This is a bad religion.''' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "One of them would come to Al-Madinah, which was a land that was infected with a contagious disease. If he remained healthy there, and his mare foaled and his wife gave birth to a boy, he would be content, and would say, `I have not experienced anything but good since I started to follow this religion.''

﴿ وَإِنۡ أَصَابَتۡهُ فِتۡنَةٌ

(but if a Fitnah strikes him), Fitnah here means affliction, i.e., if the disease of Al-Madinah befalls him, and his wife gives birth to a babe girl and charity is delayed in coming to him, the Shaytan comes to him and says: `By Allah, since you started to follow this religion of yours, you have experienced nothing but bad things,' and this is the Fitnah.'' This was also mentioned by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ibn Jurayj and others among the Salaf when explaining this Ayah. Mujahid said, concerning the Ayah:

﴿ ٱنقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِهِۦ

(he turns back on his face.) "(This means), he becomes an apostate and a disbeliever.''

﴿ خَسِرَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةَ‌ۚ

(He loses both this world and the Hereafter.) means, he does not gain anything in this world. As for the Hereafter, he has disbelieved in Allah the Almighty, so he will be utterly doomed and humiliated. So Allah says:

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلۡخُسۡرَانُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ

(That is the evident loss.), i.e., the greatest loss and the losing deal.

﴿ يَدۡعُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَضُرُّهُ ۥ وَمَا لَا يَنفَعُهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(He calls besides Allah unto that which can neither harm him nor profit him.) means, the idols, rivals, and false gods which he calls upon for help, support and provision -- they can neither benefit him nor harm him.

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلضَّلَـٰلُ ٱلۡبَعِيدُ

(That is a straying far away.)

﴿ يَدۡعُواْ لَمَن ضَرُّهُ ۥۤ أَقۡرَبُ مِن نَّفۡعِهِۦ‌ۚ

(He calls unto him whose harm is nearer than his profit;) means, he is more likely to harm him than benefit him in this world, and in the Hereafter he will most certainly cause him harm.

﴿ لَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ وَلَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡعَشِيرُ

(certainly an evil Mawla and certainly an evil `Ashir!) Mujahid said, "This means the idols.'' The meaning is: "How evil a friend is this one upon whom he calls instead of Allah as a helper and supporter.''

﴿ وَلَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡعَشِيرُ

(and certainly an evil `Ashir!) means the one with whom one mixes and spends one's time.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُدۡخِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَفۡعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

(14. Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds to Gardens underneath which rivers flow. Verily, Allah does what He wills.)

The Reward of the Righteous

The mention of the misguided who are doomed is followed by mention of the righteous who are blessed. They are those who believe firmly in their hearts and confirm their faith by their actions, doing all kinds of righteous deeds and avoiding evil actions. Because of this, they will inherit dwellings in the lofty ranks of the gardens of Paradise. So Allah tells us that He sends those astray and guides these, and says:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَفۡعَلُ مَا يُرِيدُ

(Verily, Allah does what He wills.)

﴿ مَن كَانَ يَظُنُّ أَن لَّن يَنصُرَهُ ٱللَّهُ فِى ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةِ فَلۡيَمۡدُدۡ بِسَبَبٍ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡطَعۡ فَلۡيَنظُرۡ هَلۡ يُذۡهِبَنَّ كَيۡدُهُ ۥ مَا يَغِيظُ وَڪَذَٲلِكَ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ ءَايَـٰتِۭ بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَہۡدِى مَن يُرِيدُ

(15. Whoever thinks that Allah will not help him in this world and in the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope to the ceiling and let him strangle himself. Then let him see whether his plan will remove that whereat he rages!) (16. Thus have We sent it down as clear Ayat, and surely, Allah guides whom He wills.)