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:
(Verily, Allah does what He wills.)
(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.)
Ibn `Abbas said, "Whoever thinks that Allah will not help Muhammad in this world and the Hereafter, let him stretch out a rope
(to the ceiling) to the ceiling in his house,
(and let him strangle himself.) let him hang himself with it.'' This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, `Ata', Abu Al-Jawza', Qatadah and others. The meaning is: whoever thinks that Allah will not support Muhammad and His Book and His Religion, let him go and kill himself if it annoys him so much. For Allah will most certainly help and support him. Allah says:
(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth.) (40:51). Allah says here:
(Then let him see whether his plan will remove that whereat he rages!) As-Suddi said, "Meaning, in the case of Muhammad '' `Ata' Al-Khurasani said, "Let him see whether that will cure the rage he feels in his heart.''
(Thus have We sent it down) the Qur'an.
(as clear Ayat,) clear in its wording and its meaning, evidence from Allah to mankind.
(and surely, Allah guides whom He wills.) He sends astray whomsoever He wills and He guides whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and definitive proof in doing so.
(He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned.) (21:23). Because of His wisdom, mercy, justice, knowledge, dominion and might, no one can overturn His ruling, and He is swift in bringing to account.
17. Verily, those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Sabians, and the Christians, and the Majus, and those who worship others besides Allah; truly, Allah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, Allah is over all things a Witness.)
Allah tells us about the followers of these various religions, the believers (Muslims) and others such as the Jews and Sabians. We have already seen a definition of them in Surat Al-Baqarah and have noted how people differ over who they are. There are also the Christians, Majus and others who worship others alongside Allah. Allah will
(judge between them on the Day of Resurrection) with justice; He will admit those who believed in Him to Paradise and will send those who disbelieved in Him to Hell, for He is a Witness over their deeds, and He knows all that they say and all that they do in secret, and conceal in their breast.
(18. See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and Ad-Dawabb, and many of mankind prostrate themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified. And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honor him. Verily, Allah does what He wills.)
Allah tells us that He alone, with no partner or associate, is deserving of worship. Everything prostrates to His might, willingly or unwillingly, and everything prostrates in a manner that befits its nature, as Allah says:
(Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly) (16:48). And Allah says here:
(See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth prostrate themselves to Him) means, the angels in the regions of the heavens, and all the living creatures, men, Jinn, animals and birds.
(and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise) (17:44).
(and the sun, and the moon, and the stars,) These are mentioned by name, because they are worshipped instead of Allah, so Allah explains that they too prostrate to their Creator and that they are subjected to Him.
(Prostrate yourselves not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them) (41:37). In the Two Sahihs it was recorded that Abu Dharr said, "The Messenger of Allah said to me,
(Do you know where this sun goes) I said, `Allah and His Messenger know best.' He said,
(It goes (sets) and prostrates beneath the Throne, then it awaits the command. Soon it will be told, "Go back the way whence you came.'')'' Ibn `Abbas said, "A man came and said, `O Messenger of Allah, I saw myself in a dream last night, as if I was praying behind a tree. I prostrated, and the tree prostrated when I did, and I heard it saying, "O Allah, write down a reward for me for that, and remove a sin from me for that, store it with You for me and accept it from me as You accepted from Your servant Dawud.''' Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah recited an Ayah mentioning a prostration, then he prostrated, and I heard him saying the same words that the man had told him the tree said.'' This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, and Ibn Hibban in his Sahih.
(Ad-Dawabb) means all the animals. It was reported in a Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad that the Messenger of Allah forbade using the backs of animals as platforms for speaking, for, perhaps the one who was being ridden was better and remembered Allah more than the one who was riding.
(and many of mankind) means, they prostrate willingly, submitting themselves to Allah of their own free will.
(But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is justified.) means, those who refuse prostration, are stubborn and arrogant.
(And whomsoever Allah disgraces, none can honor him. Verily, Allah does what He wills.) It was recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(When the son of Adam recites the Ayat containing the prostration, the Shaytan withdraws weeping and says, "Ah! Woe (to me)! the son of Adam was commanded to prostrate and he prostrated, so Paradise is his; I was commanded to prostrate and I refused, so I am doomed to Hell.'') This was recorded by Muslim. In his book Al-Marasil, Abu Dawud recorded that Khalid bin Ma`dan, may Allah have mercy upon him, reported that Allah's Messenger said,
(Surat Al-Hajj has been favored over the rest of the Qur'an with two prostrations.'') Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Isma`ili recorded from Abu Al-Jahm that `Umar did the two prostrations of ﴿Surat﴾ Al-Hajj when he was in Al-Jabiyah, and he said, "This Surah has been favored with two prostrations.''
(19. These two opponents dispute with each other about their Lord; then as for those who disbelieved, garments of fire will be cut out for them, boiling water will be poured down over their heads.) (20. With it will melt (or vanish away) what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.) (21. And for them are hooked rods of iron.) (22. Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein, and (it will be) said to them: "Taste the torment of burning!'')
It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abu Dharr swore that this Ayah --
(These two opponents dispute with each other about their Lord;) was revealed concerning Hamzah and his two companions, and `Utbah and his two companions, on the day of Badr when they came forward to engage in single combat. This is the wording of Al-Bukhari in his Tafsir of this Ayah. Then Al-Bukhari recorded that `Ali bin Abi Talib said, "I will be the first one to kneel down before the Most Merciful so that the dispute may be settled on the Day of Resurrection.'' Qays (sub-narrator) said, "Concerning them the Ayah was revealed:
(These two opponents dispute with each other about their Lord;) He (Qays) said, "They are the ones who came forward (for single combat) on the day of Badr: `Ali, Hamzah and `Ubaydah vs., Shaybah bin Rabi`ah, `Utbah bin Rabi`ah and Al-Walid bin `Utbah.'' This was reported only by Al-Bukhari. Ibn Abi Najih reported that Mujahid commented on this Ayah, "Such as the disbeliever and the believer disputing about the Resurrection.'' According to one report Mujahid and `Ata' commented on this Ayah, "This refers to the believers and the disbelievers.'' The view of Mujahid and `Ata' that this refers to the disbelievers and the believers, includes all opinions, the story of Badr as well as the others. For the believers want to support the religion of Allah, while the disbelievers want to extinguish the light of faith and to defeat the truth and cause falsehood to prevail. This was the view favored by Ibn Jarir, and it is good.
(then as for those who disbelieved, garments of fire will be cut out for them,) meaning, pieces of fire will be prepared for them. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Of copper, for it is the hottest of things when it is heated.''
(boiling water will be poured down over their heads. With it will melt (or vanish away) what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.) meaning, when the boiling water --which is water that has been heated to the ultimate degree- is poured down over their heads. Ibn Jarir recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said:
(The boiling water will be poured over their heads and will penetrate their skulls until it reaches what is inside, and what is inside will melt until it reaches their feet. This is the melting, then he will be restored to the state he was before.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said it is Hasan Sahih. This was also recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, who then recorded that `Abdullah bin As-Sariy said, "The angel will come to him, carrying the vessel with a pair of tongs because of its heat. When he brings it near to his face, he will shy away from it. He will raise a hammer that he is carrying and will strike his head with it, and his brains will spill out, then he will pour the brains back into his head. This is what Allah says in the Ayah:
(With it will melt what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.)''
(And for them are hooked rods of iron.) Ibn `Abbas said, "They will be struck with them, and with each blow, a limb will be severed, and they will cry out for oblivion.''
(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein,) Al-A`mash reported from Abu Zibiyan that Salman said, "The fire of Hell is black and dark; its flames and coals do not glow or shine.'' Then he recited:
(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein,)
("Taste the torment of burning!'') This is like the Ayah:
(and it will be said to them: "Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'') (32:20). The meaning is that they will be humiliated by words and actions.
(23. Truly, Allah will admit those who believe and do righteous good deeds, to Gardens underneath which rivers flow (in Paradise), wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk.) (24. And they are guided unto goodly speech and they are guided to the path of Him, Who is Worthy of all praises.)