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How Allah tested Sulayman then made Things easy for Him

Allah says,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا سُلَيۡمَـٰنَ

(And indeed, We tried Sulayman) meaning, `We tested him.'

﴿ وَأَلۡقَيۡنَا عَلَىٰ كُرۡسِيِّهِۦ جَسَدً۬ا

(and We placed on his throne Jasad (a body)).

﴿ ثُمَّ أَنَابَ

(and he returned.) means, after this test, he turned back to Him and asked for forgiveness and to be given a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after him.

﴿ قَالَ رَبِّ ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَهَبۡ لِى مُلۡكً۬ا لَّا يَنۢبَغِى لِأَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۢ بَعۡدِىٓ‌ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ ٱلۡوَهَّابُ

(He said: "My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me. Verily, You are the Bestower.'') Some of them said, "No one after me will have the right to ask Allah for such a kingdom.'' This is the apparent meaning from the context of the Ayah, and several Hadiths with a similar meaning have been narrated from the Messenger of Allah. In his Tafsir of this Ayah, Al-Bukhari recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet said:

« إِنَّ عِفْرِيتًا مِنَ الْجِنِّ تَفَلَّتَ عَلَيَّ الْبَارِحَةَ أَوْ كَلِمَةً نَحْوَهَا لِيَقْطَعَ عَلَيَّ الصَّلَاةَ فَأَمْكَنَنِي اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى مِنْهُ، وَأَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَرْبِطَهُ إِلَى سَارِيَةٍ مِنَ سَوَارِي الْمَسْجِدِ حَتْى تُصْبِحُوا، وَتَنْظُرُوا إِلَيْهِ كُلُّكُمْ، فَذَكَرْتُ قَوْلَ أَخِي سُلَيْمَانَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ:
﴿ رَبِّ ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَهَبۡ لِى مُلۡكً۬ا لَّا يَنۢبَغِى لِأَحَدٍ۬ مِّنۢ بَعۡدِىٓ‌ۖ

(An `Ifrit from among the Jinn came and bothered me last night- or he said something similar -Trying to stop me from praying. Allah enabled me to overpower him, and I wanted to tie him to one of the pillars in the Masjid so that you could see him this morning. Then I remembered what my brother Sulayman said, (My Lord! Forgive me and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me)) Rawh said, "so he let him go, humiliated.'' ) This was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah stood up to pray and we heard him say,

« أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْك »

(I seek refuge with Allah from you.) Then he said,

« أَلْعَنُكَ بِلَعْنَةِ الله »

(I curse you with the curse of Allah.) three times, and he stretched out his hand as if he was reaching out to take something. When he finished his prayer, we said, `O Messenger of Allah, we heard you say something in your prayer which we have never heard you say before, and we saw you stretching out your hand.' He said:

« إِنَّ عَدُوَّ اللهِ إِبْلِيسَ جَاءَ بِشِهَابٍ مِنْ نَارٍ لِيَجْعَلَهُ فِي وَجْهِي فَقُلْتُ: أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْكَ، ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ، ثُمَّ قُلْتُ: أَلْعَنُكَ بِلَعْنَةِ اللهِ التَّامَّةِ، فَلَمْ يَتَأَخَّرْ، ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ ثُمَّ أَرَدْتُ أَنْ آخُذَهُ، وَاللهِ لَوْلَا دَعْوَةُ أَخِينَا سُلَيْمَانَ لَأَصْبَحَ مُوثَقًا، يَلْعَبُ بِهِ صِبْيَانُ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَة »

(The enemy of Allah Iblis came with a flame of fire to throw in my face, so I said, "I seek refuge with Allah from you'' three times, then I said, "I curse you with the complete curse of Allah,'' but he did not back off. I said it three times. Then I wanted to seize him. By Allah, if it were not for the words of our brother Sulayman, he would have been chained up and he would have become a plaything for the children of the people of Al-Madinah.)'' Allah says:

﴿ فَسَخَّرۡنَا لَهُ ٱلرِّيحَ تَجۡرِى بِأَمۡرِهِۦ رُخَآءً حَيۡثُ أَصَابَ

(So, We subjected to him the wind; it blew gently by his order wherever he willed.) Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said, "When Sulayman (peace be upon him) slaughtered the horses out of anger for the sake of Allah, Allah compensated him with something better and swifter, the wind whose morning was a month's (journey), and its afternoon was a month's (journey).''

﴿ حَيۡثُ أَصَابَ

(wherever he willed.) means, wherever in the world he wanted.

﴿ وَٱلشَّيَـٰطِينَ كُلَّ بَنَّآءٍ۬ وَغَوَّاصٍ۬

(And also the Shayatin, from every kind of builder and diver,) means, among them were some whom he used to build high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and cauldrons fixed (in their places), and other difficult tasks which humans were unable to do. And there was another group, who dived into the sea recovering pearls, jewels and other precious things which cannot be found anywhere else.

﴿ وَءَاخَرِينَ مُقَرَّنِينَ فِى ٱلۡأَصۡفَادِ

(And also others bound in fetters.) means, tied up in chains. These were the ones who had rebelled and refused to work, or else their work was bad and they were wrongdoers.

﴿ هَـٰذَا عَطَآؤُنَا فَٱمۡنُنۡ أَوۡ أَمۡسِكۡ بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ۬

((Allah said to Sulayman): "This is Our Gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked of you.'') means, `this that We have given to you of kingship and perfect power, as you asked for, you may give to whomsoever you wish and deny to whomsoever you wish, and you will not be brought to account. Whatever you do is permissible for you, so however you judge, it will be right.' It was reported in the Two Sahihs that when the Messenger of Allah was given the choice between being a servant and a Messenger -- who does what he is commanded to do and distributes things among the people as Allah commands him to do -- or being a Prophet and a king, who can give to whomever he wishes and withhold from whomever he wishes without being held accountable for anything, he chose the former. He consulted with Jibril (peace be upon him) who said, "Be humble.'' So he chose the former because it has a greater value before Allah and brings a higher status in the Hereafter, even though the second option, prophethood combined with kingship, is also a great thing both in this world and in the Hereafter, when Allah tells us what He gave to Sulayman (peace be upon him) in this world, He tells us that he will have a great share with Allah on the Day of Resurrection. He says:

﴿ وَإِنَّ لَهُ ۥ عِندَنَا لَزُلۡفَىٰ وَحُسۡنَ مَـَٔابٍ۬

(And verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good (final) return.) meaning, in this world and the Hereafter.

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ عَبۡدَنَآ أَيُّوبَ إِذۡ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ ۥۤ أَنِّى مَسَّنِىَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ بِنُصۡبٍ۬ وَعَذَابٍ ٱرۡكُضۡ بِرِجۡلِكَ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا مُغۡتَسَلُۢ بَارِدٌ۬ وَشَرَابٌ۬ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ أَهۡلَهُ ۥ وَمِثۡلَهُم مَّعَهُمۡ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ وَخُذۡ بِيَدِكَ ضِغۡثً۬ا فَٱضۡرِب بِّهِۦ وَلَا تَحۡنَثۡ‌ۗ إِنَّا وَجَدۡنَـٰهُ صَابِرً۬ا‌ۚ نِّعۡمَ ٱلۡعَبۡدُ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥۤ أَوَّابٌ۬

(41. And remember Our servant Ayyub, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily, Shaytan has afflicted me with distress and torment!'') (42. (Allah said to him): "Strike the ground with your foot. This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a drink.'') (43. And We gave him (back) his family, and along with them the like thereof, as a mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand.) (44. "And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.'' Truly, We found him patient. How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!)

Ayyub

Here Allah tells us about His servant and Messenger Ayyub (Job) and how He tested him. These tests afflicted his body, his wealth and his children, until there was no part of his body that was healthy except his heart. Then he had nothing left in this world which he could use to help him deal with his sickness or the predicament he was in, besides his wife, who retained her devotion to him because of her faith in Allah and His Messenger. She used to work for people as a paid servant, and she fed and served him (Ayyub) for nearly eighteen years. Before that, he was very rich and had many children, being well off in worldly terms. All of that had been taken away until he ended up being thrown into the city dump where he stayed all this time, shunned by relatives and strangers alike, with the exception of his wife -- may Allah be pleased with her. She did not leave him, morning and evening, except for when she was serving people, then she would come straight back to him. When this had gone on for a long time, and things had gotten very bad, and the time allotted by divine decree had come to an end, Ayyub prayed to the Lord of the worlds, the God of the Messengers, and said:

﴿ أَنِّى مَسَّنِىَ ٱلضُّرُّ وَأَنتَ أَرۡحَمُ ٱلرَّٲحِمِينَ

(Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.) (21:83). And according to this Ayah:

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ عَبۡدَنَآ أَيُّوبَ إِذۡ نَادَىٰ رَبَّهُ ۥۤ أَنِّى مَسَّنِىَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ بِنُصۡبٍ۬ وَعَذَابٍ

(And remember Our servant Ayyub, when he invoked his Lord (saying): "Verily, Shaytan has afflicted me with distress and torment!'') It was said that "distress'' referred to bodily afflictions and "torment'' referred to the loss of his wealth and children. Then the Most Merciful of those who show mercy responded to him, telling him to stand up and strike the ground with his foot. He did this, and Allah caused a spring of water to flow. He commanded him to wash in it, and all the pain and affliction in his body disappeared. Then He commanded him to strike the ground in a different place, and Allah caused another spring to flow, and Ayyub was commanded to drink from it. Then all his internal problems disappeared, and he became healthy again, inside and out. Allah says:

﴿ ٱرۡكُضۡ بِرِجۡلِكَ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا مُغۡتَسَلُۢ بَارِدٌ۬ وَشَرَابٌ۬

(Strike the ground with your foot. This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink.) Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ نَبِيَّ اللهِ أَيُّوبَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ لَبِثَ بِهِ بَلَاؤُهُ ثَمَانِيَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً، فَرَفَضَهُ الْقَرِيبُ وَالْبَعِيدُ، إِلَّا رَجُلَيْنِ كَانَا مِنْ أَخَصِّ إِخْوَانِهِ بِهِ، كَانَا يَغْدُوَانِ إِلَيْهِ وَيَرُوحَانِ، فَقَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا لِصَاحِبِهِ: تَعْلَمُ وَاللهِ لَقَدْ أَذْنَبَ أَيُّوبُ ذَنْبًا مَا أَذْنَبَهُ أَحَدٌ مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ، قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ: وَمَا ذَاكَ؟ قَالَ: مُنْذُ ثَمَانِيَ عَشْرَةَ سَنَةً لَمْ يَرْحَمْهُ اللهُ فَيَكْشِفَ مَا بِهِ، فَلَمَّا رَاحَا إِلَيْهِ لَمْ يَصْبِرِ الرَّجُلُ حَتْى ذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ، فَقَالَ أَيُّوبُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ: لَا أَدْرِي مَا تَقُولُ، غَيْرَ أَنَّ اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَعْلَمُ أَنِّي كُنْتُ أَمُرُّ عَلَى الرَّجُلَيْنِ يَتَنَازَعَانِ فَيَذْكُرَانِ اللهَ تَعَالَى، فَأَرْجِعُ إِلَى بَيْتِي فَأُكَفِّرُ عَنْهُمَا كَرَاهِيَةَ أَنْ يُذْكَرَ اللهُ تَعَالَى إِلَّا فِي حَقَ، قَالَ: وَكَانَ يَخْرُجُ إِلَى حَاجَتِهِ، فَإِذَا قَضَاهَا أَمْسَكَتِ امْرَأَتُهُ بِيَدِهِ حَتْى يَبْلُغَ، فَلَمَّا كَانَ ذَاتَ يَوْمٍ أَبْطَأَ عَلَيْهَا، فَأَوْحَى اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى إِلَى أَيُّوبَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ أَن
﴿ ٱرۡكُضۡ بِرِجۡلِكَ‌ۖ هَـٰذَا مُغۡتَسَلُۢ بَارِدٌ۬ وَشَرَابٌ۬
فَاسْتَبْطَأَتْهُ (فَتَلَقَّتْهُ) تَنْظُرُ، فَأَقْبَلَ عَلَيْهَا وَقَدْ أَذْهَبَ اللهُ مَا بِهِ مِنَ الْبَلَاءِ وَهُوَ عَلَى أَحْسَنِ مَا كَانَ، فَلَمَّا رَأَتْهُ قَالَتْ: أَيْ بَارَكَ اللهُ فِيكَ، هَلْ رَأَيْتَ نَبِيَّ اللهِ هَذَا الْمُبْتَلَى، فَوَاللهِ عَلَى ذَلِكَ مَا رَأَيْتُ رَجُلًا أَشْبَهَ بِهِ مِنْكَ إِذْ كَانَ صَحِيحًا. قَالَ: فَإِنِّي أَنَا هُوَ، قَالَ: وَكَانَ لَهُ أَنْدَرَانِ: أَنْدَرٌ لِلْقَمْحِ وَأَنْدَرٌ لِلشَّعِيرِ، فَبَعَثَ اللهُ تَعَالَى سَحَابَتَيْنِ فَلَمَّا كَانَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا عَلَى أَنْدَرِ الْقَمْحِ، أَفْرَغَتْ فِيهِ الذَّهَبَ حَتْى فَاضَ، وَأَفْرَغَتِ الْأُخْرَى فِي أَنْدَرِ الشَّعِيرِ حَتْى فَاض »

(Allah's Prophet Ayyub (peace be upon him) suffered for eighteen years from his affliction and was shunned by relatives and strangers alike, besides two men who were the closest of his brothers to him. They used to visit him every morning and every evening. One of them said to his companion, "You know, by Allah, that Ayyub committed a great sin which nobody in the world ever committed.'' His companion said, "Why are you saying that'' He said, "For eighteen years he has been suffering and Allah has not had mercy on him and relieve his suffering.'' When he went to him the next morning, the (second) man could not wait to tell this to Ayyub. Ayyub (peace be upon him) said, "I do not know what you are talking about, but Allah knows if I passed by two men who were arguing and they mentioned the Name of Allah, I would go back home and offer expiation lest they had mentioned the Name of Allah in an improper manner. '' Whenever he went out to answer the call of nature, when he finished, his wife would take his hand until he came back home. One day he took a long time, and Allah had revealed to Ayyub, (Strike the ground with your foot. This is (a spring of) water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink.) She thought that he had taken too long, so she turned to look at him, and saw that Allah had taken away the afflictions he had been suffering, and he looked better than he had ever looked. When she saw him, she said, "May Allah bless you! Have you seen Allah's Prophet, the one who is sorely tested By Allah, I have never seen a man who looks more like him than you, if he were healthy.'' He said, "I am he.'' He had two threshing floors, one for wheat and one for barley. Allah sent two clouds, and when one of them reached the threshing floor of the wheat, it rained gold until it was full. The other rained gold on the threshing floor of the barley until it was full.) This is the wording of Ibn Jarir, may Allah have mercy on him. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

« بَيْنَمَا أَيُّوبُ يَغْتَسِلُ عُرْيَانًا خَرَّ عَلَيْهِ جَرَادٌ مِنْ ذَهَبٍ فَجَعَلَ أَيُّوبُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ يَحْثُو فِي ثَوْبِهِ، فَنَادَاهُ رَبُّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَا أَيُّوبُ، أَلَمْ أَكُنْ أَغْنَيْتُكَ عَمَّا تَرَى قَالَ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ: بَلَى يَا رَبِّ، وَلَكِنْ لَا غِنى بِي عَنْ بَرَكَتِك »

(While Ayyub was bathing naked, locusts of gold fell upon him. Ayyub (peace be upon him) began gathering them in his garment. Then his Lord called to him, "O Ayyub, have I not made you so rich that you have no need of what you see'' He (peace be upon him) said, "Yes, O Lord! But I cannot do without Your blessing!'') This was only recorded by Al-Bukhari.

﴿ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ أَهۡلَهُ ۥ وَمِثۡلَهُم مَّعَهُمۡ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(And We gave him (back) his family, and along with them the like thereof, as a mercy from Us, and a reminder for those who understand.) Al-Hasan and Qatadah said, "Allah brought his family themselves back to life, and added others like them.''

﴿ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا

(as a mercy from Us,) means, in return for his patience, steadfastness, repentance, humility and constant turning to Allah.

﴿ وَذِكۡرَىٰ لِأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(and a reminder for those who understand.) means, for those who understand that the consequence of patience is a solution and a way out.

﴿ وَخُذۡ بِيَدِكَ ضِغۡثً۬ا فَٱضۡرِب بِّهِۦ وَلَا تَحۡنَثۡ‌ۗ

(And take in your hand a bundle of thin grass and strike therewith (your wife), and break not your oath.) Ayyub (peace be upon him) got angry with his wife and was upset about something she had done, so he swore an oath that if Allah healed him, he would strike her with one hundred blows. When Allah healed him, how could her service, mercy, compassion and kindness be repaid with a beating So Allah showed him a way out, which was to take a bundle of thin grass, with one hundred stems, and hit her with it once. Thus he fulfilled his oath and avoided breaking his vow. This was the solution and way out for one who had Taqwa of Allah and turned to Him in repentance. Allah says:

﴿ إِنَّا وَجَدۡنَـٰهُ صَابِرً۬ا‌ۚ نِّعۡمَ ٱلۡعَبۡدُ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥۤ أَوَّابٌ۬

(Truly, We found him patient. How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!) Allah praised and commanded him, saying,

﴿ نِّعۡمَ ٱلۡعَبۡدُ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥۤ أَوَّابٌ۬

(How excellent a servant! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!) Allah says:

﴿ فَإِذَا بَلَغۡنَ أَجَلَهُنَّ فَأَمۡسِكُوهُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوفٍ أَوۡ فَارِقُوهُنَّ بِمَعۡرُوفٍ۬ وَأَشۡہِدُواْ ذَوَىۡ عَدۡلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ وَأَقِيمُواْ ٱلشَّهَـٰدَةَ لِلَّهِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِڪُمۡ يُوعَظُ بِهِۦ مَن كَانَ يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِ‌ۚ وَمَن يَتَّقِ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡعَل لَّهُ ۥ مَخۡرَجً۬ا وَيَرۡزُقۡهُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَحۡتَسِبُ‌ۚ وَمَن يَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسۡبُهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بَـٰلِغُ أَمۡرِهِۦ‌ۚ قَدۡ جَعَلَ ٱللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدۡرً۬ا

(And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.) (65:2-3)

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ عِبَـٰدَنَآ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَيۡدِى وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرِ إِنَّآ أَخۡلَصۡنَـٰهُم بِخَالِصَةٍ۬ ذِڪۡرَى ٱلدَّارِ وَإِنَّہُمۡ عِندَنَا لَمِنَ ٱلۡمُصۡطَفَيۡنَ ٱلۡأَخۡيَارِ وَٱذۡكُرۡ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَذَا ٱلۡكِفۡلِ‌ۖ وَكُلٌّ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَخۡيَارِ هَـٰذَا ذِكۡرٌ۬‌ۚ

(45. And remember Our servants, Ibrahim, Ishaq, and Ya`qub, Ulil-Aydi wal-Absar.) (46. Verily, We did choose them by granting them the remembrance of the Abode.) (47. And they are with Us, verily, of the chosen and the best!) (48. And remember Isma`il, Al-Yasa`, and Dhul-Kifl, all are among the best.) (49. This is a Reminder...)

The Chosen and the Best among the Prophets

Allah tells us about the virtues of His servants the Messengers and His Prophets:

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ عِبَـٰدَنَآ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَيۡدِى وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرِ

(And remember Our servants, Ibrahim, Ishaq, and Ya`qub, Ulil-Aydi wal-Absar.) meaning, righteous deeds, beneficial knowledge, strength in worship and insight. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

﴿ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَيۡدِى

(Ulil-Aydi) "Of great strength and worship;

﴿ وَٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ

(wal-Absar) means, understanding of the religion.'' Qatadah and As-Suddi said, "They were given strength in worship and understanding of the religion.''

﴿ إِنَّآ أَخۡلَصۡنَـٰهُم بِخَالِصَةٍ۬ ذِڪۡرَى ٱلدَّارِ

(Verily, We did choose them by granting them the remembrance of the Abode.) Mujahid said, "This means: We made them strive for the Hereafter, and there is nothing else for them besides that.'' As-Suddi also said, "The remembrance of the Hereafter and striving for it.'' Malik bin Dinar said, "Allah removed the love of this world from their hearts, and singled them out for land remembrance of the Hereafter.'' Qatadah said, "They used to remind the people about the Abode of the Hereafter and to strive for it.''

﴿ وَإِنَّہُمۡ عِندَنَا لَمِنَ ٱلۡمُصۡطَفَيۡنَ ٱلۡأَخۡيَارِ

(And they are with Us, verily, of the chosen and the best!) means, they are among those who have been elected and chosen, and they are the best and the chosen ones.

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ إِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَٱلۡيَسَعَ وَذَا ٱلۡكِفۡلِ‌ۖ وَكُلٌّ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَخۡيَارِ

(And remember Isma`il, Al-Yasa`, and Dhul-Kifl, all are among the best.) We have already discussed their characteristics and stories in detail in Surat Al-Anbiya', may peace be upon them, and there is no need to repeat it here.

﴿ هَـٰذَا ذِكۡرُ

(This is a Reminder) means, a reminder to those who will be reminded. As-Suddi said, "This means the Holy Qur'an.''

﴿ هَـٰذَا ذِكۡرٌ۬‌ۚ وَإِنَّ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ لَحُسۡنَ مَـَٔابٍ۬ جَنَّـٰتِ عَدۡنٍ۬ مُّفَتَّحَةً۬ لَّهُمُ ٱلۡأَبۡوَٲبُ مُتَّكِـِٔينَ فِيہَا يَدۡعُونَ فِيہَا بِفَـٰكِهَةٍ۬ ڪَثِيرَةٍ۬ وَشَرَابٍ۬ وَعِندَهُمۡ قَـٰصِرَٲتُ ٱلطَّرۡفِ أَتۡرَابٌ هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِيَوۡمِ ٱلۡحِسَابِ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَرِزۡقُنَا مَا لَهُ ۥ مِن نَّفَادٍ

(49. And verily, for those who have Taqwa is a good final return. ) (50. `Adn Paradise, whose doors will be opened for them.) (51. Therein they will recline; therein they will call for fruits in abundance and drinks;) (52. And beside them will be Qasirat-at-Tarf, (and) of equal ages.) (53. This it is what you are promised for the Day of Reckoning!) (54. (It will be said to them)! Verily, this is Our provision which will never finish.)

The Final Return of the Blessed

Allah tells us that His blessed, believing servants will have a good final return in the Hereafter, which means their ultimate destination. Then He explains it further, as He says:

﴿ جَنَّـٰتِ عَدۡنٍ۬

(`Adn Gardens) meaning, eternal gardens (of Paradise),

﴿ مُّفَتَّحَةً۬ لَّهُمُ ٱلۡأَبۡوَٲبُ

(whose doors will be opened for them.) means, when they come to them (these gardens), their gates will open for them.

﴿ مُتَّكِـِٔينَ فِيہَا

(Therein they will recline;) It was said that this means that they will sit cross-legged on chairs beneath canopies.

﴿ يَدۡعُونَ فِيہَا بِفَـٰكِهَةٍ۬ ڪَثِيرَةٍ۬

(therein they will call for fruits in abundance) means, whatever they ask for, they will find it, and it will be prepared just as they wanted it.

﴿ وَشَرَابٌ۬

(and drinks;) means, whatever kind of drink they want, the servants will bring it to them,

﴿ بِأَكۡوَابٍ۬ وَأَبَارِيقَ وَكَأۡسٍ۬ مِّن مَّعِينٍ۬

(With cups, and jugs, and a glass of flowing wine.) (56: 18).

﴿ وَعِندَهُمۡ قَـٰصِرَٲتُ ٱلطَّرۡفِ

(And beside them will be Qasirat-at-Tarf (chaste females)) means, they restrain their glances from anyone except their husbands, and do not turn to anyone else.

﴿ أَتۡرَابٌ

((and) of equal ages.) means, they will all be of the same age. This is the understanding of Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b and As-Suddi.

﴿ هَـٰذَا مَا تُوعَدُونَ لِيَوۡمِ ٱلۡحِسَابِ

(This it is what you are promised for the Day of Reckoning!) means, `this that We have mentioned of the features of Paradise is what He has prepared for His pious servants who will reach it after they have been resurrected from their graves and been saved from the Fire.' Then Allah tells us that Paradise will never come to an end or disappear or cease to be. He says:

﴿ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَرِزۡقُنَا مَا لَهُ ۥ مِن نَّفَادٍ

(Verily, this is Our provision which will never finish.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿ مَا عِندَكُمۡ يَنفَدُ‌ۖ وَمَا عِندَ ٱللَّهِ بَاقٍ۬‌ۗ

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

﴿ عَطَآءً غَيۡرَ مَجۡذُوذٍ۬

(a gift without an end.) (11:108)

﴿ لَهُمۡ أَجۡرٌ غَيۡرُ مَمۡنُونٍ۬

(for them is a reward that will never come to an end.) (84:25).

﴿ أُڪُلُهَا دَآٮِٕمٌ۬ وَظِلُّهَا‌ۚ تِلۡكَ عُقۡبَى ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ‌ۖ وَّعُقۡبَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ ٱلنَّارُ

(its provision is eternal and so is its shade; this is the end of those who have Taqwa, and the end (final destination) of the disbelievers is Fire.)(13:35). And there are many similar Ayat.

﴿ هَـٰذَا‌ۚ وَإِنَّ لِلطَّـٰغِينَ لَشَرَّ مَـَٔابٍ۬ جَهَنَّمَ يَصۡلَوۡنَہَا فَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمِهَادُ هَـٰذَا فَلۡيَذُوقُوهُ حَمِيمٌ۬ وَغَسَّاقٌ۬ وَءَاخَرُ مِن شَكۡلِهِۦۤ أَزۡوَٲجٌ هَـٰذَا فَوۡجٌ۬ مُّقۡتَحِمٌ۬ مَّعَكُمۡ‌ۖ لَا مَرۡحَبَۢا بِہِمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّہُمۡ صَالُواْ ٱلنَّارِ قَالُواْ بَلۡ أَنتُمۡ لَا مَرۡحَبَۢا بِكُمۡ‌ۖ أَنتُمۡ قَدَّمۡتُمُوهُ لَنَا‌ۖ فَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡقَرَارُ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا مَن قَدَّمَ لَنَا هَـٰذَا فَزِدۡهُ عَذَابً۬ا ضِعۡفً۬ا فِى ٱلنَّارِ وَقَالُواْ مَا لَنَا لَا نَرَىٰ رِجَالاً۬ كُنَّا نَعُدُّهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡأَشۡرَارِ أَتَّخَذۡنَـٰهُمۡ سِخۡرِيًّا أَمۡ زَاغَتۡ عَنۡہُمُ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ إِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ لَحَقٌّ۬ تَخَاصُمُ أَهۡلِ ٱلنَّارِ

(55. This is so! And for the Taghin will be an evil final return.) (56. Hell! Where they will enter it, and worst (indeed) is that place to rest!) (57. This is so! Then let them taste it - Hamim and Ghassaq.) (58. And other of similar kind - all together!) (59. This is a troop entering with you (in Hell), no welcome for them! Verily, they shall enter in the Fire!) (60. (The followers will say to those who misled): "Nay, you (too)! No welcome for you! It is you who brought this upon us, so evil is this place to stay in!'') (61. They will say: "Our Lord! Whoever brought this upon us, add to him a double torment in the Fire!'') (62. And they will say: "What is the matter with us that we see not men whom we used to count among the bad ones'') (63. "Did we take them as an object of mockery, or have (our) eyes failed to perceive them'') (64. Verily, that is the very truth -- the mutual dispute of the people of the Fire!)