;
The Destruction of Towns, which are not destroyed until Evidence is established against Them

Referring to the people of Makkah, Allah says:

﴿ وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَڪۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةِۭ بَطِرَتۡ مَعِيشَتَهَا‌ۖ

(And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood!) They were arrogant transgressors who denied Allah's blessing of giving them ample provision. This is like the Ayah,

﴿ وَضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً۬ قَرۡيَةً۬ ڪَانَتۡ ءَامِنَةً۬ مُّطۡمَٮِٕنَّةً۬ يَأۡتِيهَا رِزۡقُهَا رَغَدً۬ا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ۬

(And Allah puts forward the example of a township, that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place) until:

﴿ فَأَخَذَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ وَهُمۡ ظَـٰلِمُونَ

(So the torment overtook them while they were wrongdoers.) (16:112-113) Allah said:

﴿ فَتِلۡكَ مَسَـٰكِنُهُمۡ لَمۡ تُسۡكَن مِّنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬‌ۖ

(And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little.) Their land became empty and desolate, and you can see nothing but their dwellings.

﴿ وَڪُنَّا نَحۡنُ ٱلۡوَٲرِثِينَ

(And verily, We have been the heirs.) Their towns became ruins, with none remaining. Then Allah tells us of His justice and that He does not destroy anyone unjustly; on the contrary, He destroys those whom He destroys after establishing proof against them. So, he says:

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ مُهۡلِكَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡعَثَ فِىٓ أُمِّهَا

(And never will your Lord destroy the towns until He sends to their mother town) i.e., Makkah --

﴿ رَسُولاً۬ يَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡ ءَايَـٰتِنَا‌ۚ

(a Messenger reciting to them Our Ayat.) This indicates that the Unlettered Prophet, Muhammad was sent from the Mother of Cities as a Messenger to all cities and towns, Arab and non-Arab alike. This is like the Ayat:

﴿ لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ وَمَنۡ حَوۡلَهَا

(so that you may warn the Mother of Towns and all those around it) (6:92).

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيۡڪُمۡ جَمِيعًا

(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah.'') (7:158),

﴿ لِأُنذِرَكُم بِهِۦ وَمَنۢ بَلَغَ‌ۚ

(That I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach.) (6:19)

﴿ وَمَن يَكۡفُرۡ بِهِۦ مِنَ ٱلۡأَحۡزَابِ فَٱلنَّارُ مَوۡعِدُهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(but those of the sects that reject it, the Fire will be their promised meeting place.) (11:17).

﴿ وَإِن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ إِلَّا نَحۡنُ مُهۡلِڪُوهَا قَبۡلَ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ أَوۡ مُعَذِّبُوهَا عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا‌ۚ

(And there is not a town but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment.) (17:58). Allah tells us that He will destroy every town before the Day of Resurrection, as He says:

﴿ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولاً۬

(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.) (17:15). Allah has sent the Unlettered Prophet to all the towns (all of mankind), because he has been sent to the Mother of Cities, their source to which they all return. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Prophet said:

« بُعِثْتُ إِلَى الْأَحْمَرِ وَالْأَسْوَد »

(I have been sent to the red and the black.) Prophethood ended with him, and there is no Prophet or Messenger to come after him, but his way will remain as long as night and day remain, until the Day of Resurrection.

﴿ وَمَآ أُوتِيتُم مِّن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَمَتَـٰعُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَزِينَتُهَا‌ۚ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ‌ۚ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ أَفَمَن وَعَدۡنَـٰهُ وَعۡدًا حَسَنً۬ا فَهُوَ لَـٰقِيهِ كَمَن مَّتَّعۡنَـٰهُ مَتَـٰعَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡضَرِينَ

(60. And whatever you have been given is an enjoyment of the life of the world and its adornment, and that which is with Allah is better and will remain forever. Have you then no sense) (61. Is he whom We have promised an excellent promise -- which he will find true -- like him whom We have made to enjoy the luxuries of the life of the world, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up)

This World is transient and the One Whose concern is this World is not equal to the One Whose concern is the Hereafter

Allah tells us about the insignificance of this world and its contemptible adornments which are nothing in comparison to the great and lasting delights which Allah prepared for His righteous servants in the Hereafter. As Allah says:

﴿ مَا عِندَكُمۡ يَنفَدُ‌ۖ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ بَاقٍ۬‌ۗ

(Whatever is with you, will be exhausted, and whatever is with Allah will remain) (16:96).

﴿ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ خَيۡرٌ۬ لِّلۡأَبۡرَارِ

(and that which is with Allah is the best for the most righteous.) (3:198)

﴿ وَمَا ٱلۡحَيَوٰةُ ٱلدُّنۡيَا فِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ إِلَّا مَتَـٰعٌ۬

(whereas the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter is but a brief passing enjoyment.) (13:26)

﴿ بَلۡ تُؤۡثِرُونَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ

(Nay, you prefer the life of this world. Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.) (87:16-17). The Messenger of Allah said:

« وَاللهِ مَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا كَمَا يَغْمِسُ أَحَدُكُمْ إِصْبَعَهُ فِي الْيَمِّ، فَلْيَنْظُرْ مَاذَا يَرْجِعُ إِلَيْه »

(By Allah, the life of this world in comparison to the Hereafter is as if one of you were to dip his finger in the sea; let him see what comes back to him.) Allah's saying:

﴿ أَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُونَ

(Have you then no sense) means, do those who prefer this world to the Hereafter have no sense

﴿ أَفَمَن وَعَدۡنَـٰهُ وَعۡدًا حَسَنً۬ا فَهُوَ لَـٰقِيهِ كَمَن مَّتَّعۡنَـٰهُ مَتَـٰعَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡضَرِينَ

(Is he whom We have promised an excellent promise -- which he will find true -- like him whom We have made to enjoy the luxuries of the life of the world, then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up) Is the one who believes in the reward which Allah has promised in return for righteous deeds, which he will undoubtedly attain, like one who disbelieves in the meeting with Allah and in His promises and threats He is only enjoying a few days in this life,

﴿ ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡضَرِينَ

(then on the Day of Resurrection, he will be among those brought up.) Mujahid and Qatadah said: "He will be among those who are punished.'' It was said that this was revealed concerning the Messenger of Allah and Abu Jahl, or that it was revealed concerning Hamzah and Ali, and Abu Jahl. Both views were narrated from Mujahid. The apparent meaning is that it is more general than that. This is like the Ayah where Allah describes a believer in Paradise looking out at his companion who is in Hell, and saying:

﴿ وَلَوۡلَا نِعۡمَةُ رَبِّى لَكُنتُ مِنَ ٱلۡمُحۡضَرِينَ

(Had it not been for the grace of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those brought forth (to Hell).) (37:57) And Allah says:

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ عَلِمَتِ ٱلۡجِنَّةُ إِنَّہُمۡ لَمُحۡضَرُونَ

(but the Jinn know well that they have indeed to appear (before Him)) (37:158).

﴿ وَيَوۡمَ يُنَادِيهِمۡ فَيَقُولُ أَيۡنَ شُرَكَآءِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ كُنتُمۡ تَزۡعُمُونَ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلۡقَوۡلُ رَبَّنَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ ٱلَّذِينَ أَغۡوَيۡنَآ أَغۡوَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ كَمَا غَوَيۡنَا‌ۖ تَبَرَّأۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ‌ۖ مَا كَانُوٓاْ إِيَّانَا يَعۡبُدُونَ وَقِيلَ ٱدۡعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمۡ فَدَعَوۡهُمۡ فَلَمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمۡ وَرَأَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ‌ۚ لَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ يَہۡتَدُونَ وَيَوۡمَ يُنَادِيہِمۡ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبۡتُمُ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ فَعَمِيَتۡ عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلۡأَنۢبَآءُ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ فَهُمۡ لَا يَتَسَآءَلُونَ فَأَمَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَعَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحِينَ

(62. And (remember) the Day when He will call to them and say: "Where are My (so-called) partners whom you used to assert'') (63. Those about whom the Word will have been fulfilled will say: "Our Lord! These are they whom we led astray. We led them astray, as we were astray ourselves. We declare our innocence before You. It was not us they worshipped.'') (64. And it will be said: "Call upon your partners,'' and they will call upon them, but they will give no answer to them, and they will see the torment. If only they had been guided!) (65. And the Day He will call to them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers'') (66. Then the news of a good answer will be obscured to them on that Day, and they will not be able to ask one another.) (67. But as for him who repented, believed, and did righteous deeds, then perhaps he will be among those who are successful.)

The Idolators and Their Partners and the Emnity between Them in the Hereafter

Allah informs of how He will rebuke the idolaters on the Day of Resurrection, when He will call them and say:

﴿ أَيۡنَ شُرَكَآءِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ كُنتُمۡ تَزۡعُمُونَ

("Where are My (so-called) partners whom you used to assert'') meaning, `where are the gods which you used to worship in the world, the idols and rivals Can they help you or save you' This is said in the nature of a rebuke and warning, as in the Ayah,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ جِئۡتُمُونَا فُرَٲدَىٰ كَمَا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُمۡ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ۬ وَتَرَكۡتُم مَّا خَوَّلۡنَـٰكُمۡ وَرَآءَ ظُهُورِڪُمۡ‌ۖ وَمَا نَرَىٰ مَعَكُمۡ شُفَعَآءَكُمُ ٱلَّذِينَ زَعَمۡتُمۡ أَنَّہُمۡ فِيكُمۡ شُرَكَـٰٓؤُاْ‌ۚ لَقَد تَّقَطَّعَ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَضَلَّ عَنڪُم مَّا كُنتُمۡ تَزۡعُمُونَ

(And truly, you have come unto Us alone as We created you the first time. You have left behind you all that which We had bestowed on you. We see not with you your intercessors whom you claimed to be partners with Allah. Now all relations between you and them have been cut off, and all that you used to claim has vanished from you.) (6:94) His saying:

﴿ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلۡقَوۡلُ

(Those about whom the Word will have been fulfilled) means the Shayatin and evil Jinn, and those who used to advocate disbelief.

﴿ رَبَّنَا هَـٰٓؤُلَآءِ ٱلَّذِينَ أَغۡوَيۡنَآ أَغۡوَيۡنَـٰهُمۡ كَمَا غَوَيۡنَا‌ۖ تَبَرَّأۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ‌ۖ مَا كَانُوٓاْ إِيَّانَا يَعۡبُدُونَ

("Our Lord! These are they whom we led astray. We led them astray, as we were astray ourselves. We declare our innocence before You. It was not us they worshipped.'') They will testify against them and say that they led them astray, then they will declare their innocence of their worship. This is like the Ayat:

﴿ وَٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ءَالِهَةً۬ لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمۡ عِزًّ۬ا
﴿ كَلَّا‌ۚ سَيَكۡفُرُونَ بِعِبَادَتِہِمۡ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيۡہِمۡ ضِدًّا

(And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory. Nay, but they will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.) (19:81-82)

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدۡعُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَن لَّا يَسۡتَجِيبُ لَهُ ۥۤ إِلَىٰ يَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ وَهُمۡ عَن دُعَآٮِٕهِمۡ غَـٰفِلُونَ وَإِذَا حُشِرَ ٱلنَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمۡ أَعۡدَآءً۬ وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِہِمۡ كَـٰفِرِينَ

(And who is more astray than one who calls besides Allah, who will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) (46:5-6). Ibrahim Al-Khalil, (peace be upon him) said to his people:

﴿ إِنَّمَا ٱتَّخَذۡتُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡثَـٰنً۬ا مَّوَدَّةَ بَيۡنِكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۖ ثُمَّ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ يَكۡفُرُ بَعۡضُڪُم بِبَعۡضٍ۬ وَيَلۡعَنُ بَعۡضُڪُم بَعۡضً۬ا

(You have taken idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other.) (29:25)

﴿ إِذۡ تَبَرَّأَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتُّبِعُواْ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُواْ وَرَأَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ وَتَقَطَّعَتۡ بِهِمُ ٱلۡأَسۡبَابُ

(When those who were followed disown those who followed, and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them) until:

﴿ وَمَا هُم بِخَـٰرِجِينَ مِنَ ٱلنَّارِ

(And they will never get out of the Fire.) (2:166-167). Allah says:

﴿ وَقِيلَ ٱدۡعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمۡ

(And it will be said (to them): "Call upon your partners,'') meaning, `to save you from the predicament you are in, as you hoped that they would do in this world.'

﴿ فَدَعَوۡهُمۡ فَلَمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمۡ وَرَأَوُاْ ٱلۡعَذَابَ‌ۚ

(and they will call upon them, but they will give no answer to them, and they will see the torment.) means, they will realize for sure that they are inevitably destined for the Fire. His saying:

﴿ لَوۡ أَنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ يَہۡتَدُونَ

(If only they had been guided!) means, when they see the punishment with their own eyes, they will wish that they had been among the guided in this world. This is like the Ayah,

﴿ وَيَوۡمَ يَقُولُ نَادُواْ شُرَڪَآءِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ زَعَمۡتُمۡ فَدَعَوۡهُمۡ فَلَمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمۡ وَجَعَلۡنَا بَيۡنَہُم مَّوۡبِقً۬ا وَرَءَا ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ ٱلنَّارَ فَظَنُّوٓاْ أَنَّہُم مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمۡ يَجِدُواْ عَنۡہَا مَصۡرِفً۬ا

(And the Day He will say: "Call those partners of Mine whom you claimed.'' Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put a Mawbiq (a barrier) between them. And the criminals, shall see the Fire and apprehend that they have to fall in it. And they will find no way of escape from there.) (18:52-53) Their attitude towards the Messengers on the Day of Resurrection

﴿ وَيَوۡمَ يُنَادِيہِمۡ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبۡتُمُ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ

(And the Day He will call to them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers'') The first call will be concerning the issue of Tawhid, which includes evidences of the prophethood -- `What was your response to the Messengers who were sent to you How did you deal with them' This is like the questions which will be asked of a person in his grave: `who is your Lord who is your Prophet and what is your religion' The believer will testify that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, but the disbelievers will say, "Oh, oh, I do not know.'' So he will have no answer on the Day of Resurrection except to remain silent, because whoever is blind in this world (i.e., does not see Allah's signs and believes not in Him), will be blind in the Hereafter, and more astray. Allah says:

﴿ فَعَمِيَتۡ عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلۡأَنۢبَآءُ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ فَهُمۡ لَا يَتَسَآءَلُونَ

(Then the news of a good answer will be obscured to them on that Day, and they will not be able to ask one another.) Mujahid said: "The proof will be obscured from them,'' so they will not be able to ask one another for help by virtue of their blood ties. Allah's saying:

﴿ فَأَمَّا مَن تَابَ وَءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا

(But as for him who repented, believed, and did righteous deeds,) means, in this world.

﴿ فَعَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحِينَ

(then perhaps he will be among those who are successful.) means, on the Day of Resurrection. And the word; perhaps (`Asa), when used in reference to Allah, may He be exalted, implies that the thing described will inevitably come to pass, and this will undoubtedly happen by the grace and mercy of Allah.

﴿ وَرَبُّكَ يَخۡلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيَخۡتَارُ‌ۗ مَا ڪَانَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡخِيَرَةُ‌ۚ سُبۡحَـٰنَ ٱللَّهِ وَتَعَـٰلَىٰ عَمَّا يُشۡرِڪُونَ وَرَبُّكَ يَعۡلَمُ مَا تُكِنُّ صُدُورُهُمۡ وَمَا يُعۡلِنُونَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّهُ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۖ لَهُ ٱلۡحَمۡدُ فِى ٱلۡأُولَىٰ وَٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۖ وَلَهُ ٱلۡحُكۡمُ وَإِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ

(68. And your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they. Glorified is Allah, and exalted above all that they associate.) (69. And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal, and what they reveal.) (70. And He is Allah; La ilaha illa Huwa, His is the praise in the first and in the last, and His is the decision, and to Him shall you be returned.)