Allah tells us about the previous Messengers He sent: they all used to eat food needing the nourishment in it. They used to go around in the marketplaces seeking to engage in trade and earn a livelihood. This should not, however, affect their status as Messengers, for Allah gave them good characteristics and caused them to speak fine words and do noble deeds, and gave them miracles and clear proofs, from which any person with sound insight may see the confirmation that what they brought from Allah was true. This Ayah is similar to the Ayat;
(And We sent not before you any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships) (12:109).
(And We did not create them bodies that ate not food) (21:8).
(And We have made some of you as a trial for others; will you have patience) means, `We test some of you by means of others, so that We may see who will be obedient and who will be disobedient.' Allah says:
(will you have patience And your Lord is Ever All-Seer.) meaning, He knows who deserves to receive revelation, as Allah says elsewhere:
(Allah knows best with whom to place His Message) (6:124). And He knows who deserves to be guided to the Message with which He sent them, and who does not deserve to be guided.
(And We have made some of you as a trial for others. Will you have patience) Muhammad bin Ishaq said: Allah is saying, "If I had willed that the world be such that no one would oppose My Messengers, I could have made it so, but I wanted to test My servants by means of them.'' In Sahih Muslim it is narrated from `Iyad bin Himar that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah says: "I will test you and test others by means of you.'') In the Sahih it is recorded that he was given the choice between being a Prophet and king, or being a servant and Messenger, and he chose to be a servant and Messenger.
(21. And those who expect not a meeting with Us said: "Why are not the angels sent down to us, or why do we not see our Lord'' Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.) (22. On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news will there be for the criminals that day. And they will say: "Hijran Mahjura.'') (23. And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) (24. The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.)
Allah describes how stubborn the disbelievers were in their disbelief when they said:
(Why are not the angels sent down to us,) meaning, `so that we may see them with our own eyes and they may tell us that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.' This is like when they said:
(or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face) (17:92). Hence they also said:
(or why do we not see our Lord) Allah said:
(Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.) And Allah says:
(And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them...) (6:111)
(On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news will there be for the criminals that day. And they will say: "Hijran Mahjura.'') means, when they do see the angels, it will not be a good day for them, for on that day there will be no good news for them. This is also confirmed at the time when they are dying, when the angels bring them the tidings of Hell and the wrath of the Compeller, and when the disbeliever's soul is being taken out, the angels say to it, "Come out, O evil soul from an evil body, come out to fierce hot wind and boiling water, and the shadow of black smoke.'' It refuses to come out and it scatters throughout his body, so they beat him, as Allah says:
(And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve; they smite their faces and their backs...'') (8:50)
(And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands.) that is, to beat them:
((saying): "Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat with disrespect!'') (6: 93) Hence in this Ayah Allah says:
(On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news will there be for the criminals) This is in contrast to the state of the believers when death approaches them, for they are given glad tidings of joy and delight. Allah says:
(Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the good news of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have what your souls desire, and therein you shall have what you ask for. Entertainment from, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'') (41:30-32) According to an authentic Hadith narrated from Al-Bara' bin `Azib, the angels say to the believer's soul (at the time of death): "Come out, O good soul in a good body, as you were dwelling in it. Come out to rest and pleasant fragrances and a Lord Who is not angry.'' Other scholars said that the Ayah:
(On the Day they will see the angels -- no good news) vrefers to the Day of Resurrection. This was the view of Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others. But there is no contradiction between these two views, because on both of these days -- the day of death and the Day of Resurrection -- the angels will appear to the believers and disbelievers, and they will give glad tidings of divine mercy and pleasure to the believers, while they will give the disbelievers news that will bring regret and sorrow, so there will be no glad tidings for the evildoers and criminals on that Day.
(And they (angels) will say: "Hijran Mahjura.'') The angels will say to the disbelievers: `success is forbidden to you this day.' The basic meaning of Al-Hijr is preventing or prohibition, hence the word is used in the phrase "Hajara Al-Qadi `Ala Fulan'' (or, "The judge prohibited so and so.'') when he forbids him to dispose of his wealth in cases of bankruptcy, folly, being underage, etc. The name of Al-Hijr (the low semicircular wall near the Ka`bah) is also derived from this root, because it prevents people from Tawaf inside it, since they have to go behind it. The mind is also called Al-Hijr, because it prevents a person from indulging in things that do not befit him. In conclusion, the pronoun in the phrase.
(And they will say) refers to the angels. This was the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi, `Ata' Al-Khurasani, Khusayf and others; it was also the view favored by Ibn Jarir. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Jurayj said that this referred to the words of the idolaters.
(On the Day they will see the angels) means, they will seek refuge from the angels. This is because when disaster and hardship struck, the Arabs would say:
("Hijran Mahjura.'') Although there is a point to what Ibn Jurayj said, from the context it is unlikely that this is what was meant, and the majority of scholars said something different.
(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did,) This refers to the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will bring mankind to account for their deeds, good and bad alike. Allah tells us that the deeds which these idolaters thought would bring them salvation will be of no avail to them, because they were not in accordance with the Shari`ah or Laws of Allah, whether in terms of sincere intention or in terms of following the Laws set out by Allah. Every deed that is neither sincere nor in accordance with the Laws of Allah is futile, and the deeds of the disbelievers are either one or the other, or they may include both, in which case they are even less likely to be accepted. Allah says:
(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) Sufyan Ath-Thawri, narrated from Abu Ishaq, from Al-Harith that `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) commented on Allah's saying:
(and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust (Haba').) "The rays of the sun when they pass through a small aperture.'' A similar view was also narrated through a different chain of narrators from `Ali, and something similar was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and others. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "This refers to the rays coming through a small window, and if anyone tries to grasp them, he cannot.'' Abu Al-Ahwas narrated from Abu Ishaq from Al-Harith that `Ali said: "Haba' refers to the dust raised by animals. '' A similar view was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak, and this was also said by `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
(scattered floating particles of dust (Haba').) Qatadah said: "Have you not seen dry trees when they are blown by the wind? This refers to those leaves.'' It was narrated that Ya`la bin `Ubayd said: "Ashes or dust when it is stirred up by the wind.'' In conclusion, all of these views are pointing out that the deeds of the disbelievers will be like some worthless scattered thing, and will be of no avail to them whatsoever. As Allah says:
(The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously) (14:18).
(O you who believe! Do not render in vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,) until His saying:
(They are not able to do anything with what they have earned) (2:264).
(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing) (24:39).
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
(Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful) (59:20). That is because the people of Paradise will ascend to lofty degrees and secure dwellings, so they will be in a place of safety, beauty and goodness,
(Abiding therein -- excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) (25:76) The people of Hell will go down to the lowest levels and continual regret, with all kinds of punishments and torments.
(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.)(25:66) means, how evil a dwelling place to look at, and how evil an abode in which to stay. Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) meaning, in return for what they have done of acceptable deeds, they will attain what they will attain and reach the status they will reach, in contrast to the people of Hell, who will not have even one deed to their credit that would qualify them to enter Paradise and be saved from the Fire. Allah points out the situation of the blessed in contrast to that of the doomed, who will not enjoy any goodness at all. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Allah will finish the Judgment halfway through the Day, and the people of Paradise will take their mid day rest in Paradise and the people of Hell in Hell. Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) `Ikrimah said, "I know the time when the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will enter Hell. It is the time which in this world is the time when the late forenoon starts and people go back to their families to take a siesta. The people of Hell will go to Hell, but the people of Paradise will be taken to Paradise and will have their siesta in Paradise, and they will be fed the liver of a whale and they will all eat their fill. This is what Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.)
(25. And (remember) the Day when the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and the angels will be sent down, with a grand descending.) (26. The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty) of the Most Gracious, and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.) (27. And (remember) the Day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say: "Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.'') (28. "Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend!'') (29. "He indeed led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me. And Shaytan is to man ever a deserter.'')
Here Allah tells us about the terror of the Day of Resurrection and the tremendous events that will happen, including the splitting of heavens when they are pierced by the clouds, that is the shadow of the magnificent light which dazzles all sight. The angels of heaven will come down on that Day and surround all creatures at the place of gathering, then the Lord, may He be blessed and exalted, will come to pass judgment. Mujahid said, "This is as Allah says:
(Do they then wait for anything other than that Allah should come to them in the shadows of the clouds and the angels)'' (2:210)
(The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty) of the Most Gracious,) This is like the Ayah,
(Whose is the kingdom this Day: It is Allah's, the One, the Irresistible!) (40:16) In the Sahih it says:
(Allah, may He be exalted, will fold up the heavens in His Right Hand, and will take the earths in His other Hand, then He will say: "I am the Sovereign, I am the Judge. Where are the kings of the earth Where are the tyrants Where are the arrogants'')
(and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers.) means it will be very difficult, because it will be the Day of justice and the decisive judgment, as Allah says:
(Truly, that Day will be a hard Day -- Far from easy for the disbelievers) (74:9-10). This is how the disbelievers will be on the Day of Resurrection. As for the believers, Allah says:
(The greatest terror will not grieve them.)
(And (remember) the Day when the wrongdoer will bite at his hands, he will say: "O! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger.'') Here Allah tells us of the regret felt by the wrongdoer who rejected the path of the Messenger and what he brought from Allah of clear truth concerning which there is no doubt, and followed another path. When the Day of Resurrection comes, he will feel regret but his regret will avail him nothing, and he will bite on his hands in sorrow and grief. Whether this Ayah was revealed concerning `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it or someone else among the doomed, it applies to every wrongdoer, as Allah says:
(On the Day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire) as mentioned in those two Ayat (33:66) Every wrongdoer will feel the ultimate regret on the Day of Resurrection, and will bite at his hands, saying:
(O! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as an intimate friend!) meaning, the one among the propagators of misguidance who diverted him from true guidance and led him to follow the path of misguidance, whether this refers to Umayyah bin Khalaf or his brother Ubayy bin Khalaf, or to someone else.
(He indeed led me astray from the Reminder) means the Qur'an,
(after it had come to me.) means, after it had reached me. Allah says:
(And Shaytan is to man ever a deserter (in the hour of need).) meaning, he leads him away from the truth and diverts him from it, and uses him for the purposes of falsehood and calls him to it.
(30. And the Messenger will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'an.'') (31. Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals. But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.)
Allah tells how His Messenger and Prophet Muhammad will say: "O my Lord! Verily, my people deserted this Qur'an.'' The idolaters would not listen to the Qur'an, as Allah says:
(And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'an, and make noise in the midst of it.'') (41:26). When he would recite Qur'an to them, they would talk nonsense or speak about something else, so that they would not hear it. This is a form of forsaking it and rejecting it, and not believing in it is the same as forsaking it, and not pondering its meanings and trying to understand it is the same as forsaking it, and not acting upon it and following its commandments and heeding its prohibitions is the same as forsaking it, and turning away from it in favor of poetry or other words or songs or idle talk or some other way is the same as forsaking it. We ask Allah, the Most Generous, the Bestower of bounty, the One Who is able to do what He wills, to keep us safe from doing that which earns His wrath and to use us to do that which will earn His pleasure of preserving and understanding His Book, following its commandments night and day in the manner which He loves and which pleases Him, for He is Generous and Kind.
(Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.) means, `just as there is for you, O Muhammad, those people who scorned the Qur'an, so in all the previous nations did Allah make for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals, who called people to their misguidance and disbelief,' as Allah says:
(And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies -- Shayatin among mankind and Jinn) as stated in these two Ayat. (6:112) Allah says here:
(But sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.) meaning, for the one who follows His Messenger and believes in His Book, Allah will be his Guide and Helper in this world and the Hereafter. Allah says
(a Guide and Helper.) because the idolaters used to try to prevent people from following the Qur'an lest anyone be guided by it. They wanted their way to prevail over the way of the Qur'an. Allah says:
(Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.)
(32. And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once'' Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages.) (33. And no example or parable do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.) (34. Those who will be gathered to Hell on their faces, such will be in an evil state, and most astray from the path.)