In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Successful indeed are the believers.) (2. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) (3. And those who turn away from Al-Laghw.) (4. And those who pay the Zakah.) (5. And those who guard their private parts.) (6. Except from their wives or their right hand possessions, for then, they are free from blame.) (7. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.) (8. Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants are Ra`un.) (9. And those who strictly guard their Salawat.) (10. These are indeed the heirs. ) (11. Who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever.)
(Successful indeed are the believers) means, they have attained victory and are blessed, for they have succeeded. These are the believers who have the following characteristics:
(Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said:
"(Khashi`un) means those with fear and with tranquillity.'' This was also narrated from Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri. It was reported from `Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, that Khushu` means the Khushu` of the heart. This was also the view of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Their Khushu` was in their hearts.'' So they lowered their gaze and were humble towards others. Khushu` in prayer is only attained by the one who has emptied his heart totally, who does not pay attention to anything else besides it, and who prefers it above all else. At that point it becomes a delight and a joy for eyes, as in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa'i from Anas, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Fragrance and women have been made dear to me, and Salah was made the joy of my eye.)
(And those who turn away from Al-Laghw.) refers to falsehood, which includes Shirk and sin, and any words or deeds that are of no benefit. As Allah says:
(And if they pass by Al-Laghw, they pass by it with dignity) (25:72). Qatadah said: "By Allah, there came to them from Allah that which kept them away from that (evil).''
(And those who pay the Zakah.) Most commentators say that the meaning here is the Zakah that is paid on wealth, even though this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Zakah was ordained in Al-Madinah in the year 2 H. The apparent meaning is that the Zakah that was instituted in Al-Madinah is the one based upon the Nusub and the specific amounts, apart from which it seems that the basic principle of Zakah was enjoined in Makkah. As Allah says in Surat Al-An`am, which was also revealed in Makkah:
(but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest, ) (6:141) It could be that what is meant here by Zakah is purification of the soul from Shirk and filth, as in the Ayah:
(Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself (Zakkaha). And indeed he fails who corrupts himself.) (91:9-10) It could be that both meanings are intended, purification of the soul and of one's wealth, because that is part of the purification of the soul, and the true believer is one who pays attention to both matters. And Allah knows best.
(And those who guard their private parts. Except from their wives and their right hand possessions, for then, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.) means, those who protect their private parts from unlawful actions and do not do that which Allah has forbidden; fornication and homosexuality, and do not approach anyone except the wives whom Allah has made permissible for them or their right hand possessions from the captives. One who seeks what Allah has made permissible for him is not to be blamed and there is no sin on him. Allah says:
(they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that) meaning, other than a wife or slave girl,
(then those are the transgressors.) meaning , aggressors.
(Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants) When they are entrusted with something, they do not betray that trust, but they fulfill it, and when they make a promise or make a pledge, they are true to their word. This is not like the hypocrites about whom the Messenger of Allah said:
(The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.)
(And those who strictly guard their Salawat.) means, they persistently offer their prayers at their appointed times, as Ibn Mas`ud said: "I asked the Messenger of Allah , `O Messenger of Allah, which deed is most beloved to Allah' He said,
(Prayer at the appointed time.) I said, `Then what' He said,
(Kindness to one's parents.) I said, `Then what' He said,
(Jihad in the way of Allah.) It was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Qatadah said: "At the fixed times, with the proper bowing and prostration.'' Allah begins and ends this list of praiseworthy qualities with Salah, which is indicative of its virtue, as the Prophet said:
(Adhere to righteousness, you will never be able encompass it all. Know that the best of your deeds is Salah. None will preserve his Wuddu' except the believer.) Having described them with these praiseworthy characteristics and righteous deeds, Allah then says:
(These are indeed the heirs. Who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever.) It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:
(If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the (Mighty) Throne of the Most Merciful.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(There is not one among you who does not have two homes, a home in Paradise and a home in Hell. If he dies and enters Hell, the people of Paradise will inherit his home, and this is what Allah said: (These are indeed the heirs.) Ibn Jurayj narrated from Layth from Mujahid:
(These are indeed the heirs.) "The believers will inherit the homes of the disbelievers because they were created to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate. So when these believers did what was enjoined on them of worship, and the disbelievers neglected to do that which they were commanded to do and for which they had been created, the believers gained the share that they would have been given if they had obeyed their Lord. Indeed, they will be given more than that as well.'' This is what was reported in Sahih Muslim from Abu Burdah, from his father, from the Prophet who said:
(Some of the Muslims will come on the Day of Resurrection with sins like mountains, but Allah will forgive them and put (their burden of sin) on the Jews and Christians.) According to another version: the Messenger of Allah said:
(When the Day of Resurrection comes, Allah will appoint for every Muslim a Jew or Christian, and it will be said, "This is your ransom from the Fire.'') `Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz asked Abu Burdah to swear by Allah besides Whom there is no other God, three times, that his father told him that from the Prophet , and he swore that oath. I say: this Ayah is like Allah's saying:
(Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who have had Taqwa.) (19:63)
(This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do.) (43:72)
(12. And indeed We created man out of an extract of Tin.) (13. Thereafter We made him a Nutfah in a safe lodging.) (14. Then We made the Nutfah into a clot, then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.) (15. After that, surely you will die.) (16. Then (again), surely you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.)
Allah tells us how He initially created man from an extract of Tin. This was Adam, peace be upon him, whom Allah created from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud. Ibn Jarir said, "Adam was called Tin because he was created from it.'' Qatadah said, "Adam was created from Tin.'' This is the more apparent meaning and is closer to the context, for Adam, upon him be peace, was created from a sticky Tin, which is a sounding clay of altered black smooth mud, and that is created from dust, as Allah says:
(And among His signs is this that He created you (Adam) from dust, and then -- behold you are human beings scattered!) (30:20) Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Musa that the Prophet said:
(Allah created Adam from a handful which He picked up from throughout the earth, so the sons of Adam came forth accordingly, red and white and black and in between, evil and good and in between.) Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi recorded something similar. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Sahih Hasan. ''
(Thereafter We made him a Nutfah.) Here the pronoun refers back to humankind, as in another Ayah:
(and He began the creation of man from clay. Then He made his offspring from semen of despised water.) (32:7,8) meaning, weak, as He says:
(Did We not create you from a despised water Then We placed it in a place of safety.) (77:20-21) meaning the womb, which is prepared and readily equipped for that,
(For a known period. So We did measure; and We are the Best to measure) (77:22-23) meaning, for a known period of time, until it is established and moves from one stage to the next. Allah says here,
(Then We made the Nutfah into a clot,) meaning, `then We made the Nutfah, which is the water gushing forth that comes from the loins of man, i.e., his back, and the ribs of woman, i.e., the bones of her chest, between the clavicle and the breast. Then it becomes a red clot, like an elongated clot.' `Ikrimah said, "This is blood.''
(then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh,) which is like a piece of flesh with no shape or features.
(then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones,) meaning, `We gave it shape, with a head, two arms and two legs, with its bones, nerves and veins.'
(then We clothed the bones with flesh,) meaning, `We gave it something to cover it and strengthen it.'
(and then We brought it forth as another creation.) means, `then We breathed the soul into it, and it moved and became a new creature, one that could hear, see, understand and move.
(So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.)
(and then We brought it forth as another creation. ) Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "We change it from one stage to another until it emerges as an infant, then it grows up through the stages of being a child, adolescent, youth, mature man, old man and senile man.'' Imam Ahmad recorded in his Musnad that `Abdullah -- Ibn Mas`ud -- said, "The Messenger of Allah , the Truthful One, told us:
(The creation of anyone of you is gathered for forty days in his mother's stomach as a Nutfah, then he becomes a clot for a similar period of time, then he becomes a little lump of flesh for a similar length of time. Then the angel is sent to him and he breathes the soul into it, and four things are decreed: his provision, his life-span, his deeds, and whether he will be wretched or blessed. By the One besides Whom there is no other god, one of you may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is no more than a forearm's length between him and it, then the decree will overtake him and he will do the deeds of the people of Hell and thus enter Hell. And a man may do the deeds of the people of Hell until there is no more than a forearm's length between him and it, then the decree will overtake him and he will do finally the deeds of the people of Paradise and thus enter Paradise.) This was recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
(So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.) means, when Allah mentions His ability and subtlety in creating this Nutfah and taking it from stage to stage until it takes the shape of a perfectly formed human being, He says,
(So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.)
(After that, surely you will die.) means, after first being created from nothing, you will eventually die.
(Then (again), surely you will be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection.) means, you will be created anew.
(and then Allah will bring forth the creation of the Hereafter) (29:20) means, the Day of Return, when the souls will be restored to their bodies and all of creation will be brought to account. Everyone will be rewarded or punished according to his deeds -- if they are good then he will be rewarded, and if they are bad then he will be punished.
(17. And indeed We have created above you seven Tara'iq, and We are never unaware of the creation.)