;
The Obedient and the Sinner are not equal

Allah says, `is the one who is like this equal to one who associates others in worship with Allah and sets up rivals to Him' They are not equal before Allah, as He says:

﴿ لَيۡسُواْ سَوَآءً۬‌ۗ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ أُمَّةٌ۬ قَآٮِٕمَةٌ۬ يَتۡلُونَ ءَايَـٰتِ ٱللَّهِ ءَانَآءَ ٱلَّيۡلِ وَهُمۡ يَسۡجُدُونَ

(Not all of them are alike; a party of the People of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Ayat of Allah Ana'a Al-Layl, prostrating themselves (in prayer).) (3:113). And Allah says here:

﴿ أَمَّنۡ هُوَ قَـٰنِتٌ ءَانَآءَ ٱلَّيۡلِ سَاجِدً۬ا وَقَآٮِٕمً۬ا

(Is one who is obedient to Allah, Ana'a Al-Layl prostrating and standing) meaning, one who is humble and fears Allah when he prostrates and stands (in prayer). It was reported that Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "The obedient one is one who obeys Allah and His Messenger.'' Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said, Ana'a Al-Layl means in the depths of the night.

﴿ يَحۡذَرُ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَيَرۡجُواْ رَحۡمَةَ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۗ

(fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord.) means, in his worship he feels both fear and hope. Both are essential in worship, and fear should be stronger during one's lifetime. Allah says:

﴿ يَحۡذَرُ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَيَرۡجُواْ رَحۡمَةَ رَبِّهِۦ‌ۗ

(fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord. ) At the time of death, hope is uppermost, as Imam `Abd bin Humayd recorded in his Musnad from Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, "The Messenger of Allah entered upon a man who was dying, and said to him,

« كَيْفَ تَجِدُكَ؟ »

(How do you feel) He said, `I am both afraid and hopeful.' The Messenger of Allah said:

« لَا يَجْتَمِعَانِ فِي قَلْبِ عَبْدٍ فِي مِثْلِ هَذَا الْمَوْطِنِ إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ الَّذِي يَرْجُو، وَأَمَّنَهُ الَّذِي يَخَافُه »

(These do not co-exist in a person's heart at times such as this, but Allah will give him what he hopes for and protect him from that which he fears.)'' This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah, and Ibn Majah from the Hadith of Yasar bin Hatim from Ja`far bin Sulayman. At-Tirmidhi said, "Gharib.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Tamim Ad-Dari (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah said:

« مَنْ قَرَأَ بِمِائَةِ آيَةٍ فِي لَيْلَةٍ كُتِبَ لَهُ قُنُوتُ لَيْلَة »

(Whoever recites one hundred Ayat in one night, it will be recorded as if he prayed all night.) This was also recorded by An-Nasa'i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah.

﴿ قُلۡ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِى ٱلَّذِينَ يَعۡلَمُونَ وَٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ‌ۗ

(Say: "Are those who know equal to those who know not'') means, is this one equal with the one who sets up rivals to Allah to mislead (men) from His path

﴿ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(It is only men of understanding who will remember.) means, the only one who will understand the difference between them is the one who has understanding. And Allah knows best.

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰعِبَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ‌ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ فِى هَـٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةٌ۬‌ۗ وَأَرۡضُ ٱللَّهِ وَٲسِعَةٌ‌ۗ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّـٰبِرُونَ أَجۡرَهُم بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ۬ قُلۡ إِنِّىٓ أُمِرۡتُ أَنۡ أَعۡبُدَ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصً۬ا لَّهُ ٱلدِّينَ وَأُمِرۡتُ لِأَنۡ أَكُونَ أَوَّلَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ

(10. Say: "O My servants who believe, have Taqwa of your Lord. Good is for those who do good in this world, and Allah's earth is spacious! Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.'') (11. Say: "Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah, making religion sincerely for Him.'') (12. "And I am commanded (this) in order that I may be the first of the Muslims

The Command for Taqwa, Emigration and to worship Him alone with all Sincerity

Allah commands His believing servants to remain steadfast in their obedience and have Taqwa of Him.

﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰعِبَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمۡ‌ۚ لِلَّذِينَ أَحۡسَنُواْ فِى هَـٰذِهِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةٌ۬‌ۗ

(Say: "O My servants who believe, have Taqwa of your Lord. Good is for those who do good in this world...'') means, the one who does good deeds in this world, will have a good (reward) in this world and in the Hereafter.

﴿ وَأَرۡضُ ٱللَّهِ وَٲسِعَةٌ‌ۗ

(and Allah's earth is spacious!) Mujahid said, "So emigrate through it and strive hard and keep away from idols.''

﴿ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّـٰبِرُونَ أَجۡرَهُم بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ۬

(Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.) Al-`Awza`i said, "Their reward will not be weighed or measured; they will be given an immense reward.'' As-Suddi said:

﴿ إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى ٱلصَّـٰبِرُونَ أَجۡرَهُم بِغَيۡرِ حِسَابٍ۬

(Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.) means, "In Paradise.''

﴿ قُلۡ إِنِّىٓ أُمِرۡتُ أَنۡ أَعۡبُدَ ٱللَّهَ مُخۡلِصً۬ا لَّهُ ٱلدِّينَ

(Say: "Verily, I am commanded to worship Allah, making religion sincerely for Him...'') means, `I am commanded to worship Allah alone in all sincerity, with no partner or associate.'

﴿ وَأُمِرۡتُ لِأَنۡ أَكُونَ أَوَّلَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ

(And I am commanded (this) in order that I may be the first of the Muslims.)

﴿ قُلۡ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ إِنۡ عَصَيۡتُ رَبِّى عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ۬ قُلِ ٱللَّهَ أَعۡبُدُ مُخۡلِصً۬ا لَّهُ ۥ دِينِى

(13. Say: "Verily, if I disobey my Lord, I am afraid of the torment of a great Day.'') (14. Say: "Allah Alone I worship by doing religious deeds sincerely for His sake only.'') (15. "So, worship what you like besides Him.'' Say: "The losers are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, that will be a manifest loss!'') (16. They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them. With this Allah frightens His servants: "O My servants, therefore have Taqwa of Me!'')

Creating Fear of the Punishment of Allah

Allah `says, say O Muhammad, even though you are the Messenger of Allah:'

﴿ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ إِنۡ عَصَيۡتُ رَبِّى عَذَابَ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ۬

(Verily, if I disobey my Lord, I am afraid of the torment of a great Day.) meaning the Day of Resurrection. This is a conditional sentence, and if what is referred to here applies to the Prophet, it applies even more so to others,

﴿ قُلِ ٱللَّهَ أَعۡبُدُ مُخۡلِصً۬ا لَّهُ ۥ دِينِى فَٱعۡبُدُواْ مَا شِئۡتُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ‌ۗ

(Say: "Allah Alone I worship by doing religious deeds sincerely for His sake only. So, worship what you like besides Him.'') This is also a threat, and a disowning of them.

﴿ قُلۡ إِنَّ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ

(Say: "The losers...'') means, the greatest losers of all,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ خَسِرُوٓاْ أَنفُسَہُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيهِمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ‌ۗ

(are those who will lose themselves and their families on the Day of Resurrection.) means, they will be separated and will never meet again, whether their families have gone to Paradise and they have gone to Hell, or all of them have gone to Hell, they will never meet or feel happiness again.

﴿ أَلَا ذَٲلِكَ هُوَ ٱلۡخُسۡرَانُ ٱلۡمُبِينُ

(Verily, that will be a manifest loss!) means, this is the clearest and most obvious loss. Then He describes their state in the Fire:

﴿ لَهُم مِّن فَوۡقِهِمۡ ظُلَلٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلنَّارِ وَمِن تَحۡتِہِمۡ ظُلَلٌ۬‌ۚ

(They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and covering (of Fire) beneath them.) This is like the Ayat:

﴿ لَهُم مِّن جَهَنَّمَ مِهَادٌ۬ وَمِن فَوۡقِهِمۡ غَوَاشٍ۬‌ۚ وَكَذَٲلِكَ نَجۡزِى ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ

(Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hell-fire). Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers) (7:41)

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَغۡشَٮٰهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ مِن فَوۡقِهِمۡ وَمِن تَحۡتِ أَرۡجُلِهِمۡ وَيَقُولُ ذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمۡ تَعۡمَلُونَ

(On the Day when the torment (Hell-fire) shall cover them from above them and from underneath their feet, and it will be said: "Taste what you used to do.'') (29:55)

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ يُخَوِّفُ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦ عِبَادَهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(With this Allah frightens His servants:) means, Allah tells us about this, which will undoubtedly come to pass, to frighten His servants, so that they will keep away from unlawful things and from sin.

﴿ يَـٰعِبَادِ فَٱتَّقُونِ

(O My servants, therefore have Taqwa of Me!) means, `fear My wrath, My anger, My punishment and My vengeance.'

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱجۡتَنَبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَ أَن يَعۡبُدُوهَا وَأَنَابُوٓاْ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ لَهُمُ ٱلۡبُشۡرَىٰ‌ۚ فَبَشِّرۡ عِبَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَمِعُونَ ٱلۡقَوۡلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحۡسَنَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَٮٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمۡ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(17. Those who avoid At-Taghut by not worshipping them and turn to Allah, for them are glad tidings; so announce the good news to My servants.) (18. Those who listen to the Word and follow the best thereof, those are (the ones) whom Allah has guided and those are men of understanding.)

Good News for the Righteous `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, narrating from his father:
﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱجۡتَنَبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَ أَن يَعۡبُدُوهَا

(Those who avoid At-Taghut by not worshipping them) was revealed concerning Zayd bin `Amr bin Nufayl and Abu Dharr and Salman Al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with them). The correct view is that it includes them and all others who avoided worshipping idols and turned to the worship of Ar-Rahman. These are the people for whom there is good news in this world and in the Hereafter. Then Allah says:

﴿ فَبَشِّرۡ عِبَادِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَمِعُونَ ٱلۡقَوۡلَ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ أَحۡسَنَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ

(so announce the good news to My servants -- those who listen to the Word and follow the best thereof,) meaning, those who understand it and act in accordance with it. This is like the Words of Allah, may He be exalted, to Musa (peace be upon him) , when He gave him the Tawrah:

﴿ فَخُذۡهَا بِقُوَّةٍ۬ وَأۡمُرۡ قَوۡمَكَ يَأۡخُذُواْ بِأَحۡسَنِہَا‌ۚ

(Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein) (7:145).

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ هَدَٮٰهُمُ ٱللَّهُ‌ۖ

(those are whom Allah has guided) means, those who are described in this manner are the ones whom Allah has guided in this world and the Hereafter.

﴿ وَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمۡ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ

(and those are men of understanding.) means, they possess sound reasoning and an upright nature.

﴿ أَفَمَنۡ حَقَّ عَلَيۡهِ كَلِمَةُ ٱلۡعَذَابِ أَفَأَنتَ تُنقِذُ مَن فِى ٱلنَّارِ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوۡاْ رَبَّہُمۡ لَهُمۡ غُرَفٌ۬ مِّن فَوۡقِهَا غُرَفٌ۬ مَّبۡنِيَّةٌ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ‌ۖ وَعۡدَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ لَا يُخۡلِفُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمِيعَادَ

(19. Is, then one against whom the Word of punishment is justified (equal to the one who avoids evil) Will you rescue him who is in the Fire) (20. But those who have Taqwa of their Lord, for them are built lofty rooms, one above another under which rivers flow. (This is) the promise of Allah, and Allah does not fail in (His) promise.) Allah says, `if He has decreed that someone is to be doomed, can you save him from his misguidance and doom' Which means, no one can guide him apart from Allah, because whomever Allah leaves astray cannot be guided, and whomever He guides cannot be led astray. Then Allah tells us that His blessed servants will have lofty rooms in Paradise.

﴿ مِّن فَوۡقِهَا غُرَفٌ۬ مَّبۡنِيَّةٌ۬

(are built lofty rooms, one above another), story upon story, solidly-constructed, adorned and high. `Abdullah bin Al-Imam Ahmad recorded that `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ فِي الْجَنَّةِ لَغُرَفًا يُرَى بُطُونُهَا مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا، وَظُهُورُهَا مِنْ بُطُونِهَا »

(In Paradise there are rooms whose inside can be seen from the outside, and the outside can be seen from the inside.) A Bedouin asked, `Who are they for, O Messenger of Allah' He said,

« لِمَنْ أَطَابَ الْكَلَامَ، وَأَطْعَمَ الطَّعَامَ، وَصَلَّى بِاللَّيْلِ وَالنَّاسُ نِيَام »

(For those who speak kindly, feed the hungry and stand in prayer at night whilst the people are sleeping.)'' This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Gharib''. Imam Ahmad recorded from Sahl bin Sa`d (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ لَيَتَرَاءَوْنَ فِي الْغُرْفَةِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ، كَمَا تَرَاءَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاء »

(The people of Paradise will look towards each other in raised places of Paradise as you look towards the stars on the horizons of the sky.) He said, "I told An-Nu`man bin Abi `Ayyash about that, and he said, `I heard Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrate it:

« كَمَا تَرَاءَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الَّذِي فِي الْأُفُقِ الشَّرْقِيِّ أَوِ الْغَرْبِي »

(As you see the stars on the horizon of the east or the west.)''' It was also recorded in the Two Sahihs. Imam Ahmad said, "Fazarah narrated to us; Fulayh narrated to us; from Hilal bin `Ali, from `Ata' bin Yasar, from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said:

« إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ لَيَتَرَاءَوْنَ فِي الْجَنَّةِ أَهْلَ الْغُرَفِ، كَمَا تَرَاءَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الدُّرِّيَّ الْغَارِبَ فِي الْأُفُقِ الطَّالِعِ، فِي تَفَاضُلِ أَهْلِ الدَّرَجَات »

(The people of Paradise will look towards each other in the raised places of Paradise as you look at the high, bright stars which remain on the horizon. Such will be the difference in superiority which some of them have over others.) They said, "O Messenger of Allah, are those the abodes of the Prophets'' He said:

« بَلَى، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، وَأَقْوَامٌ آمَنُوا بِاللهِ وَصَدَّقُوا الرُّسُل »

(No, by the One in Whose Hand is my soul, they are the abodes of people who believed in Allah and in the Messengers.) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, who said, "Hasan Sahih.''

﴿ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِہَا ٱلۡأَنۡہَـٰرُ‌ۖ

(under which rivers flow.) means, the rivers flow wherever the people want them to flow.

﴿ وَعۡدَ ٱللَّهِ‌ۖ

((This is) the promise of Allah,) means, `all that We have mentioned here is what Allah has promised to His believing servants.'

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُخۡلِفُ ٱلۡمِيعَادَ

(and Allah does not fail in (His) promise.)

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ أَنزَلَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ مَآءً۬ فَسَلَكَهُ ۥ يَنَـٰبِيعَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ثُمَّ يُخۡرِجُ بِهِۦ زَرۡعً۬ا مُّخۡتَلِفًا أَلۡوَٲنُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَٮٰهُ مُصۡفَرًّ۬ا ثُمَّ يَجۡعَلُهُ ۥ حُطَـٰمًا‌ۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَذِكۡرَىٰ لِأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ أَفَمَن شَرَحَ ٱللَّهُ صَدۡرَهُ ۥ لِلۡإِسۡلَـٰمِ فَهُوَ عَلَىٰ نُورٍ۬ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ‌ۚ فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلۡقَـٰسِيَةِ قُلُوبُہُم مِّن ذِكۡرِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ

(21. See you not that Allah sends down water from the sky, and causes it to penetrate the earth, as water springs, and afterward thereby produces crops of different colors, and afterward they wither and you see them turn yellow; then He makes them dry and broken pieces. Verily, in this is a reminder for men of understanding.) (22. Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from his Lord So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah! They are in plain error!)