Allah tells us of His might, pride, majesty, beautiful Names and sublime attributes, and His perfect Words which no one can encompass. No human being knows their essence or nature, or how many they are. As the Leader of Mankind and Seal of the Messengers said:
(I cannot praise You enough; You are as You have praised yourself.) Allah says:
(And if all the trees on the earth were pens and the sea, with seven seas behind it to add to its, yet the Words of Allah would not be exhausted.) meaning, even if all the trees on earth were made into pens and the sea was made into ink, and topped up with seven more like it, and they were used to write the Words of Allah showing His might, attributes and majesty, the pens would break and the ink would run dry, even if more were brought. The number seven is used to indicate a large amount, it is not to be taken literally or to be understood as referring to the seven oceans of the world, as was suggested by those who took this idea from Israelite stories, which we neither believe nor reject. As Allah says elsewhere:
(Say: "If the sea were ink for the Words of my Lord, surely, the sea would be exhausted before the Words of my Lord would be finished, even if We brought like it for its aid.'') (18:109). The words
(like it) do not mean merely another one, but another like it and another and another and another, etc., because there is no limit to the signs and Words of Allah.
(Verily, Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.) means, He is All-Mighty and has subjugated all things to His will, so nothing can prevent what He wills, and none can oppose or put back His decision. He is All-Wise in His creation, commands, Words, actions, Laws and all His affairs.
(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as a single person.) means, His creation and resurrection of all of mankind on the Day of Resurrection is, in relation to His power, like the creation and resurrection of a single soul; all of this is easy for Him.
(Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!'' -- and it is!) (36:82)
(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.) (54:50). This means He only has to command a thing once, and it will happen. There is no need for Him to repeat it or confirm it.
(But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they find themselves on the surface of the earth alive after their death.)(79:13)
(Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.) means, just as He hears all that they say, so He also sees all that they do, as if He is hearing and seeing a single soul. His power over all of them is like His power over a single soul, Allah says:
(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as a single person.)
(29. See you not that Allah merges the night into the day, and merges the day into the night, and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) (30. That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is falsehood; and that Allah, He is the Most High, the Most Great.)
(merges the night into the day,) meaning, He takes from the night and adds to the day, so that the day becomes longer and the night shorter, which is what happens in summer when the days are longest; then the day starts to become shorter and the night longer, which is what happens in winter.
(and has subjected the sun and the moon, each running its course for a term appointed;) It was said that this means, each runs within its set limits, or it means until the Day of Resurrection; both meanings are correct. The first view is supported by the Hadith of Abu Dharr, may Allah be pleased with him, in the Two Sahihs, according to which the Messenger of Allah said:
(O Abu Dharr! Do you know where this sun goes) I (Abu Dharr) said: "Allah and His Messenger know best.'' He said:
(It goes and prostrates beneath the Throne, then it seeks permission from its Lord, and soon it will be said: "Go back from whence you came.'') Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The sun is like flowing water, running in its course in the sky during the day. When it sets, it travels in its course beneath the earth until it rises in the east.'' He said, "The same is true in the case of the moon.'' Its chain of narration is Sahih.
(and that Allah is All-Aware of what you do.) This is like the Ayah,
(Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and the earth) (22:70). The meaning is that Allah is the Creator Who knows all things, as He says:
(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof) (65:12).
(That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is falsehood;) means, He shows you His Signs so that you may know from them that He is the Truth, i.e., He truly exists and is truly divine, and that all else besides Him is falsehood. He has no need of anything else, but everything else is dependent on Him, because everything in heaven and on earth is created by Him and is enslaved by Him; none of them could move even an atom's weight except with His permission. If all the people of heaven and earth were to come together to create a fly, they would not be able to do so. Allah says:
(That is because Allah, He is the Truth, and that which they invoke besides Him is falsehood; and that Allah, He is the Most High, the Most Great.) meaning, He is the Most High and there is none higher than Him, and He is the Most Great Who is greater than everything. Everything is subjugated and insignificant in comparison to Him.
(31. See you not that the ships sail through the sea by Allah's grace that He may show you of His signs Verily, in this are signs for every patient, grateful (person).) (32. And when waves cover them like shades, they invoke Allah, making their invocations for Him only. But when He brings them safe to land, there are among them those that stop in between. And Our Ayat are not denied except by every Khattar Kafur.)
For if He did not give the water the strength to carry the ships, they would not sail. So he says:
(that He may show you of His signs) meaning, by His power.
(Verily, in this are signs for every patient, grateful.) means, every person who bears difficulty with patience and who gives thanks at times of ease. Then Allah says:
(And when waves cover them like shades,) meaning, like mountains or clouds,
(they invoke Allah, making their invocations for Him only.) This is like the Ayah,
(And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him) (17:67).
(And when they embark on a ship...) (29:65) Then Allah says:
(But when He brings them safe to land, there are among them those that stop in between.) Mujahid said, "This refers to the disbelievers -- as if he interpreted the word Muqtasid to mean denier as in the Ayah,
(but when He brings them safely to land, behold, they give a share of their worship to others) (29:65).
(And Our Ayat are not denied except by every Khattar Kafur.) Khattar means one who betrays or stabs in the back. This was the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Malik, narrating from Zayd bin Aslam. This word describes a person who, whenever he makes a promise, breaks his promise, and it refers to the worst form of treachery.
(Kafur) means, one who denies blessings and does not give thanks for them, rather he forgets them and does not remember them.
(33. O mankind! Have Taqwa of your Lord, and fear a Day when no father can avail aught for his son, nor a son avail aught for his father. Verily, the promise of Allah is true, let not then this present life deceive you, nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah.)
Here Allah warns people about the Day of Resurrection, and commands them to fear Him and remember the Day of Resurrection when
(no father can avail aught for his son,) which means, even if he wanted to offer himself as a sacrifice for his son, it would not be accepted from him. The same will apply in the case of a son who wants to sacrifice himself for his father -- it will not be accepted from him. Then Allah reminds them once again with the words:
(let not then this present life deceive you,) meaning, do not let your feelings of contentment with this life make you forget about the Hereafter.
(nor let the chief deceiver deceive you about Allah.) refers to the Shaytan. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah. The Shaytan makes promises to them and arouses in them false desires, but there is no substance to them, as Allah says:
(He makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan's promises are nothing but deceptions.) (4:120). Wahb bin Munabbih said: `Uzayr (peace be upon him) said: "When I saw the misfortune of my people, I felt very sad and distressed, and I could not sleep, so I prayed to my Lord and fasted, and I called upon Him weeping. There came to me an angel and I said to him: `Tell me, will the souls of the righteous intercede for the wrongdoers, or the fathers for their sons' He said: `On the Day of Resurrection all matters will be settled, and Allah's dominion will be made manifest and no exceptions will be made. No one will speak on that Day except with the permission of the Most Merciful. No father will answer for his son, or any son for his father, or any man for his brother, or any servant for his master. No one will care about anybody except himself, or feel grief or compassion for anyone except himself. Everyone will be worried only about himself. No one will be asked about anybody else. Each person will be concerned only about himself, weeping for himself and carrying his own burden. No one will carry the burden of another.''' This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim.
(34. Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware.) The Knower of the Unseen is Allah. These are the keys of the Unseen, whose knowledge Allah alone has kept for Himself, and no one else knows them unless Allah tells him about them. The knowledge of `when the Hour will occur' is not known to any Prophet who was sent or any angel who is close to Allah.
(None can reveal its time but He) (7:187). Similarly, no one but Allah knows when rain will fall, but when He issues the commands, the angels who are entrusted with the task of bringing rain know about it, as do those among His creation whom He wills should know. No one but He knows what is in the wombs of what He wants to create, but when He decrees whether it is to be male or female, and whether it is to be blessed or doomed, the angels who are entrusted with that know about it, as do those among His creation whom He wills should know. No one knows what he will earn tomorrow with regard to this world or the Hereafter.
(and no person knows in what land he will die.) in his own land or elsewhere, in some other land. No one knows this. This Ayah is like the Ayah,
(And with Him are the keys of the Unseen, none knows them but He.) (6:59) It was reported in the Sunnah that the above five things are called the Keys of the Unseen. Imam Ahmad recorded that Buraydah said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:
(There are five things which no one knows except Allah: (Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware.)) The chain of narrators for this Hadith is Sahih, although they did not recorded it.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(The Keys of the Unseen are five, which no one knows except Allah: (Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware.)) This was recorded only by Al-Bukhari, which he narrated in the Book of the Rain Prayer in his Sahih. He also recorded it in his Tafsir with a different chain of narrators, stating that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, "The Prophet said:
(The Keys of the Unseen are five.)'' Then he recited:
(Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs.) This too was recorded only by Al-Bukhari.
In his Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari narrated from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah was standing before the people one day when a man came to him and said, `O Messenger of Allah, what is Iman' He said:
(Iman is to believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers and in the meeting with Him, and to believe in the Resurrection in the Hereafter.) He said: `O Messenger of Allah, what is Islam' He said:
(Islam is to worship Allah Alone and not associate anything in worship with Him, to establish regular prayer, to pay the obligatory Zakah, and to fast in Ramadan.) He said, `O Messenger of Allah, what is Ihsan' He said:
(Ihsan is to worship Allah as if you see Him, and if you do not see Him, then He sees you.) He said, `O Messenger of Allah, when will the Hour come' He said:
(The one who is asked about it does not know more than the one who is asking, but I will tell you of some of its signs: when the servant woman gives birth to her mistress, that is one of its signs; when the barefoot and naked become leaders of the people, that is one of its signs. The timing of the Hour is one of the five things which no one knows except Allah: (Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs...)) Then the man went away, and the Prophet said,
(Bring him back to me.) They went to bring him back, but they could not find him. He said:
(That was Jibril who came to teach the people their religion.) It was also recorded by Al-Bukhari in the Book of Faith, and by Muslim with several chains of narration. We have discussed this at the beginning of our commentary on Al-Bukhari, where we mentioned at length some Hadiths narrated by the Commander of the faithful `Umar bin Al-Khattab. These were recorded only by Muslim.
(and no person knows in what land he will die.) Qatadah said, "There are some things which Allah has kept to Himself, and they are not known to any angel who is close to Him or any Prophet who was sent by Him.
(Verily, Allah, with Him is the knowledge of the Hour,) no one among mankind knows when the Hour will come, in which year or month, or whether it will come at night or during the day.
(He sends down the rain,) and no one knows when rain will come, night or day.
(and knows that which is in the wombs.) No one knows what is in the wombs, male or female, red or black, or what it is.
(No person knows what he will earn tomorrow,) whether it will be good or bad. You do not know, O son of Adam, when you will die. You might die tomorrow, you might be stricken by calamity tomorrow.
(and no person knows in what land he will die.) means, no person knows where his resting place will be, on the land or in the sea, on a plain or in the mountains. It says in the Hadith:
(If Allah wants to take a person's soul in a particular land, He will give him a reason to go there.) In Al-Mu`jam Al-Kabir, Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani recorded that Usamah bin Zayd said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah does not will that a person should die in a certain land but He gives him a reason to go there.)'' This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Luqman. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Sufficient for us is Allah and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.