In his biography of Fatimah bint Al-Hasan Umm Ahmad Al-`Ajaliyyah, Al-Hafiz bin `Asakir reported that she said: "One day the disbelievers defeated the Muslims in a battle. There was a good horse which belonged to a rich man who was also righteous. The horse just stood there, so its owner said, `What is the matter with you Woe to you! I was only preparing you for a day such as this.' The horse said to him: `How can you expect me not to perform badly, when you delegated my feeding to the grooms, and they mistreated me and only fed me a little' The man said, `I make you a promise before Allah that from this day on, only I will feed you from my own lap.' So the horse began to run, and his owner was saved, and after that he only ever fed the horse from his own lap. This story became well known among the people, and they started to come to him to hear the story from his own lips. News of this reached the king of Byzantium, and he said: `A city where this man is, will be kept safe from harm.' He wanted to bring the man to his own city, so he sent an apostate (a man who had left Islam) who was living in his city to go to him, and when he reached him, he pretended that his intentions towards Islam and its followers were good, so the Mujahid trusted him. One day they went out walking along the shore, but the apostate made a pact with another person, a follower of the Byzantine king, to come and help him take the Mujahid prisoner. When they made their move, he lifted his gaze to the sky and said, `O Allah! He has deceived me by swearing in Your Name, so protect me in whatever way You will.' Then two wild animals came out and seized them, and the Mujahid came back safe and sound. '' The Inheritance of the Earth
(and makes you inheritors of the earth,) means, each generation inherits from the generation that came before them, one after the other, as Allah says:
(if He wills, He can destroy you, and in your place make whom He wills as your successors, as He raised you from the seed of other people) (6:133),
(And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others) (6:165),
(And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place generations after generations on earth.'') (2:30) meaning, people who will come after one another, as we have already stated. Allah's saying:
(and makes you inheritors of the earth,) means, nation after nation, generation after generation, people after people. If He had willed, He could have created them all at one time, and not made some of them the offspring of others. If He had willed, He could have created them all together, as He created Adam from dust. If He had willed, He could have made some of them the offspring of others, but not caused any of them to die until they all died at one time; in this case the earth would have become constricted for them and it would be too difficult for them to live and earn a living, and they would have caused inconvenience and harm to one another. But His wisdom and decree ruled that they should be created from one soul, then their numbers should be greatly increased, so He created them on the earth and made them generation after generation, nation after nation, until their time will come to an end and there will be no one left on earth, as Allah has decreed and as He has completely counted out their numbers. Then the Resurrection will come to pass, and each person will be rewarded or punished according to his deeds. Allah says:
(Is not He Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations Is there any god with Allah) meaning, is there anyone else able to do that, or a god with Allah worth worshipping -- while you know that He is the only one who can do that, having no partners
(Little is that you remember!) meaning, how little they think about that which would guide them to the truth and show them the straight path.
(63. Is not He Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy Is there any god with Allah Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners!) Allah says,
(Is not He Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea,) meaning, by means of what He has created of heavenly and earthly signposts. This is like the Ayah,
(And landmarks and by the stars, they guide themselves.) (16:16)
(It is He Who has set the stars for you, so that you may guide your course with their help through the darkness of the land and the sea...) (6:97)
(and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy) meaning, ahead of the clouds which bring rain, by means of which Allah shows His mercy to His servants who are suffering drought and despair.
(Is there any god with Allah Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners!)
(64. Is not He Who originates creation, and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and earth Is there any god with Allah Say: "Bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful.'') He is the One Who, by His might and power, originates creation and then repeats it. This is like the Ayat:
(Verily, the punishment of your Lord is severe and painful. Verily, He it is Who begins and repeats.) (85:12-13)
(And He it is Who originates the creation, then He will repeat it; and this is easier for Him.) (30:27)
(and Who provides for you from heaven and earth) with the rain He sends down from the sky causing the blessings of the earth to grow, as He says elsewhere:
(By the sky which gives rain, again and again. And the earth which splits.) (86:11-12)
(He knows that which goes into the earth and that which comes forth from it, and that which descends from the heaven and that which ascends to it) (34:2). Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, sends down water from the sky as a blessing, and causes it to penetrate the earth, and then come forth as springs. After that, by means of the water He brings forth all kinds of crops, fruits and flowers, in all their different forms and colors.
(Eat and pasture your cattle; verily, in this are signs for men of understanding) (20:54). Allah says:
(Is there any god with Allah) meaning, who did this Or, according to another interpretation: after this (who could be worth worship)
(Say: "Bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful.'') Produce the evidence of that. But it is known that they have no proof or evidence, as Allah says:
(And whoever invokes besides Allah, any other god, of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, the disbelievers will not be successful.) (23:117)
(65. Say: "None in the heavens and the earth knows the Unseen except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.'') (66. Nay, their knowledge will perceive that in the Hereafter. Nay, they are in doubt about it. Nay, they are in complete blindness about it.)
Allah commands His Messenger to inform all of creation that no one among the dwellers of heaven and earth knows the Unseen, except Allah.
(except Allah) This is an absolute exception, meaning that no one knows this besides Allah, He is alone in that regard, having no partner in that knowledge. This is like the Ayat:
(And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He) (6:59).
(Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain) (31:34). until the end of the Surah. And there are many Ayat which mention similar things.
(nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.) That is, the created beings who dwell in the heavens and on earth do not know when the Hour will occur, as Allah says:
(Heavy is its burden through the heavens and the earth. It shall not come upon you except all of a sudden) (7: 187). meaning, it is a grave matter for the dwellers of heaven and earth.
(Nay, their knowledge will perceive that in the Hereafter. Nay, they are in doubt about it.) means their knowledge and amazement stops short of knowing its time. Other scholars read this with the meaning "their knowledge is all the same with regard to that,'' which reflects the meaning of the Hadith in Sahih Muslim which states that the Messenger of Allah said to Jibril, when the latter asked him when the Hour would come:
(The one who is being asked about it does not know any more than the one who is asking.) In other words, they were both equal in the fact that their knowledge did not extend that far.
(Nay, they are in doubt about it.) This refers to the disbelievers in general as Allah says elsewhere:
(And they will be set before your Lord in rows, (and Allah will say:) "Now indeed, you have come to Us as We created you the first time. Nay, but you thought that We had appointed no meeting for you (with Us).'') (18:48) i.e., the disbelievers among you. By the same token, Allah says here:
(Nay, they are in doubt about it.) meaning, they doubt that it will come to pass.
(Nay, they are in complete blindness about it.) They are blind and completely ignorant about it.
(67. And those who disbelieve say: "When we have become dust -- we and our fathers -- shall we really be brought forth'') (68. "Indeed we were promised this -- we and our forefathers before, verily, these are nothing but tales of ancients.'') (69. Say to them: "Travel in the land and see how has been the end of the criminals.'') (70. And grieve you not over them, nor be straitened (in distress) because of what they plot.)
Allah tells us about the idolaters who deny the Resurrection, considering it extremely unlikely that bodies will be re-created after they have become bones and dust. Then He says:
(Indeed we were promised this -- we and our forefathers before,) meaning, `we and our forefathers have been hearing this for a long time, but in reality, we have never seen it happen.'
(verily, these are nothing but tales of ancients.) the promises that bodies will be restored are
(nothing but tales of ancients.) meaning that they were taken by the people who came before us from books which were handed down from one to the other, but they have no basis in reality. Responding to their thoughts of disbelief and their belief that there would be no Resurrection, Allah said,
(Say) `O Muhammad, to these people,'
(Travel in the land and see how has been the end of the criminals.) meaning, those who denied the Messengers and their message of the Resurrection and other matters. See how the punishment and vengeance of Allah struck them and how Allah saved from among them the noble Messengers and the believers who followed them. This will be an indication of the truth of the Message brought by the Messengers. Then, to comfort the Prophet, Allah says:
(And grieve you not over them,) meaning, `but do not feel sorry for them or kill yourself with regret for them,'
(nor be straitened because of what they plot.) means, `because they plot against you and reject what you have brought, for Allah will help and support you, and cause your religion to prevail over those who oppose you and stubbornly resist you in the east and in the west.'
(71. And they say: "When this promise, if you are truthful'') (72. Say: "Perhaps that which you wish to hasten on, may be close behind you.'') (73. Verily, your Lord is full of grace for mankind, yet most of them do not give thanks.) (74. And verily, your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they reveal.) (75. And there is nothing hidden in the heaven and the earth but it is in a Clear Book.) Allah tells us about how the idolaters asked about the Day of Resurrection, but thought it unlikely that it would ever come to pass.
(And they say: "When (will) this promise (be fulfilled), if you are truthful'') Allah said, responding to them:
(Say) `O Muhammad,'
(Perhaps that which you wish to hasten on, may be close behind you.) Ibn `Abbas said, "That which you wish to hasten on has come close to you, or some of it has come close.'' This was also the view of Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata Al-Khurasani, Qatadah and As-Suddi. This is also what is meant in the Ayat:
(And they say: "When will that be'' Say: "Perhaps it is near!'') (17:51)
(They ask you to hasten on the torment. And verily, Hell, of a surety, will encompass the disbelievers) (29:54).
(may be close behind you.) means, it is being hastened for you. This was reported from Mujahid. Then Allah says:
(Verily, your Lord is full of grace for mankind,) meaning, He abundantly bestows His blessings on them even though they wrong themselves, yet despite that they do not give thanks for those blessings, except for a few of them.
(And verily, your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they reveal.) means, He knows what is hidden in their hearts just as He knows what is easily visible.
(It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly) (13:10),
(He knows the secret and that which is yet more hidden) (20: 7),
(Surely, even when they cover themselves with their garments, He knows what they conceal and what they reveal) (11:5). Then Allah tells us that He is the Knower of the unseen in the heavens and on earth, and that He is the Knower of the unseen and the seen, i.e., that which is unseen by His servants and that which they can see. And Allah says:
(and there is nothing hidden) Ibn `Abbas said, "This means, there is nothing
(in the heaven and the earth but it is in a Clear Book.) This is like the Ayah,
(Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth Verily, it is (all) in the Book. Verily, that is easy for Allah.) (22:70)
(76. Verily, this Qur'an narrates to the Children of Israel most of that in which they differ.) (77. And truly, it is a guide and a mercy for the believers.) (78. Verily, your Lord will decide between them by His judgment. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.) (79. So, put your trust in Allah; surely, you are on manifest truth.) (80. Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they flee, turning their backs.) (81. Nor can you lead the blind out of their error. You can only make to hear those who believe in Our Ayat, so they submit (became Muslims).)