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The State of the People of Faith and Their Reward Allah states:
﴿ إِنَّمَا يُؤۡمِنُ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا

(Only those believe in Our Ayat,) means, who accept them as true,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُڪِّرُواْ بِہَا خَرُّواْ سُجَّدً۬ا

(who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate,) means, they listen to them and obey them in word and deed.

﴿ وَسَبَّحُواْ بِحَمۡدِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَهُمۡ لَا يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ ۩

(and glorify the praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.) means, they are not too proud to follow them and submit to them, unlike the ignorant among the rebellious disbelievers. Allah says:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ عَنۡ عِبَادَتِى سَيَدۡخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ

(Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!) (40:60). Then Allah says:

﴿ تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡمَضَاجِعِ

(Their sides forsake their beds,) meaning, they pray the voluntary night prayer and forego sleep and resting on a comfortable bed. Mujahid and Al-Hasan said that the Ayah

﴿ تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡمَضَاجِعِ

(Their sides forsake their beds,) refers to voluntary night prayer. Ad-Dahhak said, "It refers to Salat Al-`Isha' in congregation and Salat Al-Fajr in congregation.

﴿ يَدۡعُونَ رَبَّہُمۡ خَوۡفً۬ا وَطَمَعً۬ا

(to invoke their Lord in fear and hope,) means, in fear of His punishment and in hope of His reward.

﴿ وَمِمَّا رَزَقۡنَـٰهُمۡ يُنفِقُونَ

(and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.) means, they do both obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. Their leader in this world and the Hereafter is the Messenger of Allah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Mu`adh bin Jabal said, "I was with the Messenger of Allah on a journey one morning, walking near him. I said, `O Prophet of Allah, tell me of a deed that will grant me admittance to Paradise and keep me away from Hell.' He said:

« لَقَدْ سَأَلْتَ عَنْ عَظِيمٍ وَإِنَّهَ لَيَسِيرٌ عَلَى مَنْ يَسَّرَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ، تَعْبُدُ اللهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا، وَتُقِيمُ الصَّلَاةَ وَتُؤْتِي الزَّكَاةَ، وَتَصُومُ رَمَضَانَ، وَتَحُجُّ الْبَيْت »

(You have asked about something great, and it is easy for the one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, establish regular prayer, pay Zakah, fast Ramadan and perform pilgrimage to the House.) Then he said:

« أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى أَبْوَابِ الْخَيْرِ؟ الصَّومُ جُنَّةٌ، وَالصَّدَقَةُ تُطْفِىءُ الْخَطِيئَةَ، وَصَلَاةُ الرَّجُلِ فِي جَوْفِ اللَّيْل »

(Shall I not tell you of the gates of goodness Fasting is a shield, charity wipes out sin, and the prayer of a man in the depths of the night.) Then he recited:

﴿ تَتَجَافَىٰ جُنُوبُهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡمَضَاجِعِ

(Their sides forsake their beds,) until he reached

﴿ جَزَآءَۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(as a reward for what they used to do.) Then he said:

« أَلَا أُخْبِرُكَ بِرَأْسِ الْأَمْرِ وَعَمُودِهِ وَذِرْوَةِ سَنَامِهِ؟ »

(Shall I not tell you of the greatest of all things and its pillars and pinnacle) I said, `Of course, O Messenger of Allah.' He said:

« رَأْسُ الْأَمْرِ الْإسْلَامُ، وَعَمُودُهُ الصَّلَاةُ، وَذِرْوَةُ سَنَامِهِ الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله »

(The greatest of all things is Islam, its pillars are the prayers and its pinnacle is Jihad for the sake of Allah.) Then he said:

« أَلَا أُخْبِرُكَ بِمَلَاكِ ذلِكَ كُلِّهِ؟ »

(Shall I not tell you the factor on which all of that depends) I said, `Of course, O Messenger of Allah.' He took hold of his tongue and said,

« كُفَّ عَلَيْكَ هذَا »

(Restrain this.) I said, `O Messenger of Allah, will we be accountable for what we say' He said,

« ثَكِلَتْكَ أُمُّكُ يَا مُعَاذُ، وَهَلْ يَكُبُّ النَّاسَ فِي النَّارِ عَلى وُجُوهِهِمْ أَوْ قَالَ: عَلى مَنَاخِرِهِمْ إِلَّا حَصَائِدُ أَلْسِنَتهِم »

(May your mother be bereft of you, O Mu`adh! Will the people be thrown into Hell -- (or he said) on their faces -- except because of what their tongues say) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah in their Sunans. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''

﴿ فَلَا تَعۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّآ أُخۡفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعۡيُنٍ۬

(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes) means, no one knows the vastness of what Allah has concealed for them of everlasting joy in Paradise and delights such as no one has ever seen. Because they conceal their good deeds, Allah conceals the reward for them, a fitting reward which will suit their deeds. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "If people conceal their good deeds, Allah will conceal for them what no eye has seen and what has never crossed the mind of man. It was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Al-Bukhari quoted the Ayah: d

﴿ فَلَا تَعۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّآ أُخۡفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعۡيُنٍ۬

(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes) Then he recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« قَالَ اللهُ تَعَالى: أَعْدَدْتُ لِعِبَادِي الصَّالِحِينَ مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ، وَلَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ، وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلى قَلْبِ بَشَر »

(Allah says: "I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and it has never crossed the mind of man.'') Abu Hurayrah said: "Recite, if you wish:

﴿ فَلَا تَعۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ۬ مَّآ أُخۡفِىَ لَهُم مِّن قُرَّةِ أَعۡيُنٍ۬

(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes.) It was also recorded by Muslim and At-Tirmidhi. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.'' In another version of Al-Bukhari:

« وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلَى قَلْبِ بَشَرٍ، ذُخْرًا مِنْ بَلْهِ مَا أُطْلِعْتُمْ عَلَيْه »

("and no body has ever even imagined of. All that is reserved, besides which, all that you have seen is nothing.'') It was also reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet said:

« مَنْ يَدْخُلِ الْجَنَّةَ يَنْعَمْ لَا يَبْأَسْ، لَا تَبْلَى ثِيَابُهُ، وَلَا يَفْنَى شَبَابُهُ، فِي الْجَنَّةِ مَا لَا عَيْنٌ رَأَتْ، وَلَا أُذُنٌ سَمِعَتْ، وَلَا خَطَرَ عَلى قَلْبِ بَشَر »

(Whoever enters Paradise, will enjoy a life of luxury and never feel deprivation, his clothes will never wear out, his youth will never fade. In Paradise there is what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and has never crossed the mind of man.) This was recorded by Muslim.

﴿ أَفَمَن كَانَ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا كَمَن كَانَ فَاسِقً۬ا‌ۚ لَّا يَسۡتَوُ ۥنَ أَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ فَلَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتُ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ نُزُلاَۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ وَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فَسَقُواْ فَمَأۡوَٮٰهُمُ ٱلنَّارُ‌ۖ كُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡہَآ أُعِيدُواْ فِيہَا وَقِيلَ لَهُمۡ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ ٱلَّذِى كُنتُم بِهِۦ تُكَذِّبُونَ وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ ٱلۡأَدۡنَىٰ دُونَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ ٱلۡأَكۡبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ وَمَنۡ أَظۡلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِۦ ثُمَّ أَعۡرَضَ عَنۡهَآ‌ۚ إِنَّا مِنَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ مُنتَقِمُونَ

(18. Is then he who is a believer like him who is rebellious Not equal are they.) (19. As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens of Abode as an entertainment for what they used to do.) (20. And as for those who rebel, their abode will be the Fire, every time they wish to get away therefrom, they will be put back thereto, and it will be said to them: "Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'') (21. And verily, We will make them taste of the near lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return.) (22. And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom Verily, We shall exact retribution from the criminals.)

The Believer and the Rebellious are not equal

Allah tells us that in His justice and generosity, on the Day of Judgment He will not judge those who believed in His signs and followed His Messengers, in the same way as He will judge those who rebelled, disobeyed Him and rejected the Messengers sent by Allah to them. This is like the Ayat:

﴿ أَمۡ حَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱجۡتَرَحُواْ ٱلسَّيِّـَٔاتِ أَن نَّجۡعَلَهُمۡ كَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ سَوَآءً۬ مَّحۡيَاهُمۡ وَمَمَاتُہُمۡ‌ۚ سَآءَ مَا يَحۡكُمُونَ

(Or do those who earn evil deeds think that We shall hold them equal with those who believe and do righteous good deeds, in their present life and after their death Worst is the judgment that they make.) (45:21),

﴿ أَمۡ نَجۡعَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ كَٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَمۡ نَجۡعَلُ ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ كَٱلۡفُجَّارِ

(Shall We treat those who believe and do righteous good deeds as corruptors on earth Or shall We treat those who have Taqwa as the wicked) (38:28)

﴿ لَا يَسۡتَوِىٓ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلنَّارِ وَأَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡجَنَّةِ‌ۚ

(Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise...) (59:20). Allah says:

﴿ أَفَمَن كَانَ مُؤۡمِنً۬ا كَمَن كَانَ فَاسِقً۬ا‌ۚ لَّا يَسۡتَوُ ۥنَ

(Is then he who is a believer like him who is a rebellious Not equal are they.) i.e., before Allah on the Day of Resurrection. `Ata' bin Yasar, As-Suddi and others mentioned that this was revealed concerning `Ali bin Abi Talib and `Uqbah bin Abi Mu`it. Hence Allah has judged between them when He said:

﴿ أَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ

(As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds,) meaning, their hearts believed in the signs of Allah, and they did as the signs of Allah dictate, i.e. righteous good deeds.

﴿ فَلَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتُ ٱلۡمَأۡوَىٰ

(for them are Gardens of Abode) i.e., in which there are dwellings and houses and lofty apartments.

﴿ نُزُلاَۢ

(as an entertainment) means, something to welcome and honor a guest,

﴿ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ وَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ فَسَقُواْ

(for what they used to do. And as for those who rebel,) means, those who disobeyed Allah, their dwelling place will be the Fire, and every time they want to escape from it, they will be thrown back in, as Allah says:

﴿ ڪُلَّمَآ أَرَادُوٓاْ أَن يَخۡرُجُواْ مِنۡہَا مِنۡ غَمٍّ أُعِيدُواْ فِيہَا

(Every time they seek to get away therefrom, from anguish, they will be driven back therein) (22:22). Al-Fudayl bin `Iyad said: "By Allah, their hands will be tied, their feet will be chained, the flames will lift them up and the angels will strike them.

﴿ وَقِيلَ لَهُمۡ ذُوقُواْ عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ ٱلَّذِى كُنتُم بِهِۦ تُكَذِّبُونَ

(and it will be said to them: "Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'')'' means, this will be said to them by way of rebuke and chastisement.

﴿ وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ ٱلۡأَدۡنَىٰ دُونَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ ٱلۡأَكۡبَرِ

(And verily, We will make them taste of the near lighter torment prior to the greater torment,) Ibn `Abbas said, "The near torment means diseases and problems in this world, and the things that happen to its people as a test from Allah to His servants so that they will repent to Him.'' Something similar was also narrated from Ubayy bin Ka`b, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Al-Hasan, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak, `Alqamah, `Atiyah, Mujahid, Qatadah, `Abd Al-Karim Al-Jazari and Khusayf.

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَظۡلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِۦ ثُمَّ أَعۡرَضَ عَنۡهَآ‌ۚ

(And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom) means, there is no one who does more wrong than the one whom Allah reminds of His signs and explains them to him clearly, then after that he neglects and ignores them, and turns away from them, forgetting them as if he does not know them. Qatadah said: "Beware of turning away from the remembrance of Allah, for whoever turns away from remembering Him will be the most misguided and the most in need, and the most guilty of sin.'' Allah says, warning the one who does that:

﴿ إِنَّا مِنَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ مُنتَقِمُونَ

(Verily, We shall exact retribution from the criminals.) meaning, `We shall avenge Ourselves on those who do that in the strongest possible terms.'

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَا مُوسَى ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبَ فَلَا تَكُن فِى مِرۡيَةٍ۬ مِّن لِّقَآٮِٕهِۦ‌ۖ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ هُدً۬ى لِّبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ أَٮِٕمَّةً۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْ‌ۖ وَڪَانُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ يَفۡصِلُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ فِيمَا ڪَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ

(23. And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture. So, be not you in doubt of meeting him. And We made it a guide to the Children of Israel.) (24. And We made from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat.) (25. Verily, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection, concerning that wherein they used to differ.)

The Book of Musa and the Leadership of the Children of Israel

Allah tells us that He gave the Book -- the Tawrah -- to His servant and Messenger Musa, peace be upon him.

﴿ فَلَا تَكُن فِى مِرۡيَةٍ۬ مِّن لِّقَآٮِٕهِۦ‌ۖ

(So, be not you in doubt of meeting him.) Qatadah said, "This refers to the Night of Isra','' then he narrated that Abu Al-`Aliyah Ar-Riyahi said, "The cousin of your Prophet, meaning Ibn `Abbas, told me that the Messenger of Allah said:

« أُرِيتُ لَيْلَةَ أُسْرِيَ بِي مُوسى بْنَ عِمْرَانَ رَجُلًا آدَمَ طِوَالًا جَعْدًا كَأَنَّهُ مِنْ رِجَالِ شَنُوءَةَ، وَرَأَيْتُ عِيسى رَجُلًا مَرْبُوعَ الْخَلْقِ إِلَى الْحُمْرَةِ وَالْبَيَاضِ، سَبْط الرَّأْسِ، وَرَأَيْتُ مَالِكًا خَازِنَ النَّارِ وَالدَّجَّال »

(On the night of Isra', I saw Musa bin `Imran, a tall, brown-skinned man with curly hair, looking like the men of Shanu'ah; and I saw `Isa, a man of medium stature and ruddy white skin, and with lank hair. And I saw Malik the Keeper of Hell, and the Dajjal.) Among the signs which Allah showed him were:

﴿ فَلَا تَكُن فِى مِرۡيَةٍ۬ مِّن لِّقَآٮِٕهِۦ‌ۖ

(So, be not you in doubt of meeting him.) i.e., he saw Musa and met with him on the Night of Isra'.''

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ

(And We made it) means, `the Book which We gave to him,'

﴿ هُدً۬ى لِّبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ

(a guide to the Children of Israel.) This is similar to what Allah says in Surat Al-Isra':

﴿ وَءَاتَيۡنَا مُوسَى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ هُدً۬ى لِّبَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ أَلَّا تَتَّخِذُواْ مِن دُونِى وَڪِيلاً۬

(And We gave Musa the Scripture and made it a guidance for the Children of Israel (saying): "Take none other than Me as Trustee.'') (17:2)

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ أَٮِٕمَّةً۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْ‌ۖ وَڪَانُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ

(And We made from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat.) means, because they were patient in adhering to the commands of Allah and avoiding what He prohibited, and they believed in His Messengers and followed what they brought, there were among them leaders who guided others to the truth by the command of Allah, calling for goodness, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Then when they changed (the Words of Allah), twisting and distorting them, they lost that position and their hearts became hard. They change the words from their places, so they do no righteous deeds and have no correct beliefs. Allah says:

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ أَٮِٕمَّةً۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْ‌ۖ

(And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient) Qatadah and Sufyan said: "When they patiently shunned the temptations of this world.'' This was also the view of Al-Hasan bin Salih. Sufyan said, "This is how these people were. A man cannot be an example to be followed unless he shuns the temptation of this world.'' Allah says:

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ ءَاتَيۡنَا بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ وَٱلۡحُكۡمَ وَٱلنُّبُوَّةَ وَرَزَقۡنَـٰهُم مِّنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَفَضَّلۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَلَى ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ وَءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُم بَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡرِ‌ۖ

(And indeed We gave the Children of Israel the Scripture, and the understanding of the Scripture and its laws, and the prophethood; and provided them with good things, and preferred them above the nations. And We gave them clear proofs in matters.) (45:16-17). And He says here:

﴿ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ يَفۡصِلُ بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ فِيمَا ڪَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ

(Verily, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection, concerning that wherein they used to differ.) meaning, with regard to beliefs and actions.

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَهۡدِ لَهُمۡ كَمۡ أَهۡلَڪۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِهِم مِّنَ ٱلۡقُرُونِ يَمۡشُونَ فِى مَسَـٰكِنِهِمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ‌ۖ أَفَلَا يَسۡمَعُونَ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّا نَسُوقُ ٱلۡمَآءَ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ٱلۡجُرُزِ فَنُخۡرِجُ بِهِۦ زَرۡعً۬ا تَأۡڪُلُ مِنۡهُ أَنۡعَـٰمُهُمۡ وَأَنفُسُہُمۡ‌ۖ أَفَلَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(26. Is it not a guidance for them: how many generations We have destroyed before them in whose dwellings they do walk about Verily, therein indeed are signs. Would they not then listen) (27. Have they not seen how We drive water to the dry land that has no vegetation, and therewith bring forth crops providing food for their cattle and themselves Will they not then see)

Learning the Lessons of the Past

Allah says: will these people who deny the Messengers not learn from the nations who came before them, whom Allah destroyed for their rejection of His Messengers and their opposition to what the Messengers brought them of the straight path No trace is left of them whatsoever.

﴿ هَلۡ تُحِسُّ مِنۡہُم مِّنۡ أَحَدٍ أَوۡ تَسۡمَعُ لَهُمۡ رِكۡزَۢا

(Can you find a single one of them or hear even a whisper of them) (19:98). Allah says:

﴿ يَمۡشُونَ فِى مَسَـٰكِنِهِمۡ‌ۚ

(in whose dwellings they do walk about) meaning, these disbelievers walk about in the places where those disbelievers used to live, but they do not see any of those who used to live there, for they have gone --

﴿ كَأَن لَّمۡ يَغۡنَوۡاْ فِيهَا‌ۚ

(As if they had never lived there) (11:68) This is like the Ayat:

﴿ فَتِلۡكَ بُيُوتُهُمۡ خَاوِيَةَۢ بِمَا ظَلَمُوٓاْ‌ۗ

(These are their houses in utter ruin, for they did wrong) (27:52).

﴿ فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ۬ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِهَا وَبِئۡرٍ۬ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ۬ وَقَصۡرٍ۬ مَّشِيدٍ أَفَلَمۡ يَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ

(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins, and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle! Have they not traveled through the land) until:

﴿ وَلَـٰكِن تَعۡمَى ٱلۡقُلُوبُ ٱلَّتِى فِى ٱلصُّدُورِ

(but it is the hearts which are in the breasts that grow blind.) (22:45-46) Allah says here:

﴿ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ‌ۖ

(Verily, therein indeed are signs.) meaning, in the fact that these people are gone and have been destroyed, and in what happened to them because they disbelieved the Messengers, and how those who believed in them were saved, there are many signs, proofs and important lessons.

﴿ أَفَلَا يَسۡمَعُونَ

(Would they not then listen) means, to the stories of those who came before and what happened to them.

The Revival of the Earth with Water is Proof of the Resurrection to come
﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّا نَسُوقُ ٱلۡمَآءَ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ٱلۡجُرُزِ

(Have they not seen how We drive water to the dry land) Here Allah explains His kindness and goodness towards them by His sending water to them, whether from the sky or from water flowing through the land, water carried by rivers down from the mountains to the lands that need it at particular times. Allah says:

﴿ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ٱلۡجُرُزِ

(to the dry land) which means the land where nothing grows, as in the Ayah,

﴿ وَإِنَّا لَجَـٰعِلُونَ مَا عَلَيۡہَا صَعِيدً۬ا جُرُزًا

(And verily, We shall make all that is on it a bare dry soil.) (18:8) i.e., barren land where nothing grows. Allah says here:

﴿ أَوَلَمۡ يَرَوۡاْ أَنَّا نَسُوقُ ٱلۡمَآءَ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ٱلۡجُرُزِ فَنُخۡرِجُ بِهِۦ زَرۡعً۬ا تَأۡڪُلُ مِنۡهُ أَنۡعَـٰمُهُمۡ وَأَنفُسُہُمۡ‌ۖ أَفَلَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(Have they not seen how We drive water to the dry land that has no vegetation, and therewith bring forth crops providing food for their cattle and themselves Will they not then see) This is like the Ayah,

﴿ فَلۡيَنظُرِ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ إِلَىٰ طَعَامِهِۦۤ أَنَّا صَبَبۡنَا ٱلۡمَآءَ صَبًّ۬ا

(Then let man look at his food: We pour forth water in abundance.) (80:24-25). Allah says here:

﴿ أَفَلَا يُبۡصِرُونَ

(Will they not then see)

﴿ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡفَتۡحُ إِن ڪُنتُمۡ صَـٰدِقِينَ قُلۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡفَتۡحِ لَا يَنفَعُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنُهُمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنظَرُونَ فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡهُمۡ وَٱنتَظِرۡ إِنَّهُم مُّنتَظِرُونَ

(28. They say: "When will this Fath be, if you are telling the truth'') (29. Say: "On the Day of Al-Fath, no profit will it be to those who disbelieve if they (then) believe! Nor will they be granted a respite.'') (30. So turn aside from them and await, verily, they (too) are awaiting.)

How the Disbelievers sought to hasten on the Punishment, and what happened to Them

Allah tells us how the disbelievers sought to hasten on the punishment, and to bring the wrath and vengeance of Allah upon themselves, because they thought this punishment would never happen, and because of their disbelief and stubbornness.

﴿ وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡفَتۡحُ

(They say: "When will this Fath be...'') meaning, `when will you prevail over us, O Muhammad, since you claim that there will be a time when you will gain the upper hand over us and take your revenge on us, so when will that happen All we see of you and your companions is that you are hiding, afraid and humiliated.' Allah says:

﴿ قُلۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡفَتۡحِ

(Say: "On the Day of Al-Fath...'') meaning, `when the wrath and punishment of Allah befall you, in this world and the next,'

﴿ لَا يَنفَعُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنُهُمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنظَرُونَ

(no profit will it be to those who disbelieve if they (then) believe! Nor will they be granted a respite.) This is like the Ayah,

﴿ فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَرِحُواْ بِمَا عِندَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ

(Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad with that which they had of the knowledge...) (40:83-85) Those who claim that this refers to the conquest of Makkah go too far, and have made a grievous mistake, for on the day of the conquest of Makkah, the Messenger of Allah accepted the Islam of the freed Makkan prisoners-of-war, who numbered nearly two thousand. If what was meant by this Ayah was the conquest of Makkah, he would not have accepted their Islam, because Allah says:

﴿ قُلۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡفَتۡحِ لَا يَنفَعُ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنُهُمۡ وَلَا هُمۡ يُنظَرُونَ

(Say: "On the Day of Al-Fath, no profit will it be to those who disbelieve if they (then) believe! Nor will they be granted a respite.'') What is meant by Al-Fath here is Judgment, as in the Ayat:

﴿ فَٱفۡتَحۡ بَيۡنِى وَبَيۡنَهُمۡ فَتۡحً۬ا

((Nuh said:) So Aftah (judge) between me and them) (26:118). and:

﴿ قُلۡ يَجۡمَعُ بَيۡنَنَا رَبُّنَا ثُمَّ يَفۡتَحُ بَيۡنَنَا بِٱلۡحَقِّ

(Say: "Our Lord will assemble us all together, then He will judge between us with truth'') (34:26).

﴿ وَٱسۡتَفۡتَحُواْ وَخَابَ ڪُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ۬

(And they sought judgment and every obstinate, arrogant dictator was brought to a complete loss and destruction.) (14:15)

﴿ وَكَانُواْ مِن قَبۡلُ يَسۡتَفۡتِحُونَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ

(although aforetime they had invoked Allah to pass judgment over those who disbelieved) (2:89)

﴿ إِن تَسۡتَفۡتِحُواْ فَقَدۡ جَآءَڪُمُ ٱلۡفَتۡحُ‌ۖ

(If you ask for a judgment, now has the judgment come unto you) (8:19). Then Allah says:

﴿ فَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡهُمۡ وَٱنتَظِرۡ إِنَّهُم مُّنتَظِرُونَ

(So turn aside from them and await, verily, they (too) are awaiting.) meaning, `turn away from these idolaters, and convey that which has been revealed to you from your Lord.' This is like the Ayah,

﴿ ٱتَّبِعۡ مَآ أُوحِىَ إِلَيۡكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ‌ۖ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ‌ۖ

(Follow what has been revealed to you from your Lord, there is no God but Him.) (6:106) `Wait until Allah fulfills that which He has promised you, and grants you victory over those who oppose you, for He never breaks His promise.'

﴿ عَنۡهُمۡ وَٱنتَظِرۡ

(verily, they (too) are awaiting.) means, `you are waiting, and they are waiting and plotting against you,'

﴿ أَمۡ يَقُولُونَ شَاعِرٌ۬ نَّتَرَبَّصُ بِهِۦ رَيۡبَ ٱلۡمَنُونِ

(Or do they say: "A poet! We await for him some calamity by time!'') (52:30). `You will see the consequences of your patience towards them, and the fulfillment of the promise of your Lord in your victory over them, and they will see the consequences of their wait for something bad to befall you and your Companions, in that Allah's punishment will come upon them.' Sufficient unto us is Allah, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat As-Sajdah.