(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:
(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:
(Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein) (7:145).
(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.
(and those are men of understanding.) means, they possess sound reasoning and an upright nature.
(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.
(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:
(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,
(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:
(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:
(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:
(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:
(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.''
(under which rivers flow.) means, the rivers flow wherever the people want them to flow.
((This is) the promise of Allah,) means, `all that We have mentioned here is what Allah has promised to His believing servants.'
(and Allah does not fail in (His) promise.)
(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!)
Allah tells us that water originates in the sky. This is like the Ayah:
(and We send down pure water from the sky) (25:48). So, Allah sends down water from the sky, and it settles in the earth, then He causes it to flow wherever He wills, and He causes springs, great and small, to flow as needed. Allah says:
(and causes it to penetrate the earth, as water springs,) Sa`id bin Jubayr and `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said that all the water on earth has its origins in the sky. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, its origins lie in the snow, meaning that snow piles up in the mountains, then settles at the bottom (of the mountains) and springs flow from the bottom of them.
(and afterward thereby produces crops of different colors) means, then from the water which comes down from the sky or flows from springs in the earth, He brings forth crops of different colors, i.e., different kinds of forms, tastes, scents, benefits, etc.
(and afterward they wither) means, after they have been ripe and fresh, they become old and you see them turn yellow when they have dried out.
(then He makes them dry and broken pieces.) means, then they become brittle.
(Verily, in this is a reminder for men of understanding.) means, those who are reminded by this and who learn the lesson from it, that this world is like this -- it is green and fresh and beautiful, then it will become old and ugly. The young man will become a weak, senile old man, and after all of that comes death. The blessed one is the one whose state after death will be good. Allah often likens the life of this world to the way He sends down water from the sky and crops and fruits grow thereby, then they become dry and brittle. This is like the Ayah:
(And put forward to them the example of the life of this world: it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is able to do everything) (18:45)
(Is he whose breast Allah has opened to Islam, so that he is in light from his Lord) means, is this person equal to the one who is hard-hearted and far from the truth This is like the Ayah:
(Is he who was dead and We gave him life and set for him a light (i.e. Belief) whereby he can walk amongst men -- like him who is in the darkness (i.e., disbelief) from which he can never come out) (6:122) Allah says:
(So, woe to those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah!) meaning, they do not become soft when Allah is mentioned, and they do not feel humility or fear, and they do not understand.
(They are in plain error!).
(23. Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other, (and) oft-repeated. The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah. That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills; and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.)
Here Allah praises His Book, the Noble Qur'an, which was revealed to His noble Messenger . Allah says,
(Allah has sent down the Best Statement, a Book, its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated.) Mujahid said, "This means that the entire Qur'an's parts resemble each other and are oft-repeated.'' Qatadah said, "One Ayah resembles another and one letter resembles another.'' Ad-Dahhak said, "It is oft-repeated so that people will understand what their Lord tells them.'' `Ikrimah and Al-Hasan said, "There may be an Ayah in one Surah, and another Ayah in another Surah that resembles it.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him: "Oft-repeated means that parts of the Qur'an resemble one another and repeat one another.'' Some of the scholars said that it was narrated from Sufyan bin `Uyaynah that
(its parts resembling each other (and) oft-repeated.) means that some passages of the Qur'an may sometimes refer to one thing, so they resemble one another, and sometimes they mention a thing and its opposite. Such as when the believers then the disbelievers are mentioned, or when Paradise then Hell are described, and so on, and this is the meaning of oft-repeated. Examples include the Ayat:
(Verily, the most righteous will be in delight; and verily, the most wicked will be in the blazing Fire (Hell).) (82:13-14)
(Nay! Truly, the Record of the most wicked is (preserved) in Sijjin) until
(Nay! Verily, the Record of the most righteous is (preserved) in `Illiyyin) (83: 7-18)
(This is a Reminder. And verily, for those who have Taqwa is a good final return (Paradise)) until;
(This is so! And for those who transgress, there will be an evil final return (Fire).) (38:49-55). And there are other similar passages. All of this has to do with it being oft-repeated, i.e., when two meanings are referred to. But when a passage is about one thing, with some parts of it resembling others, this is "its parts resembling each other.'' This is not the same as the Mutashabihat mentioned in the Ayah:
(In it are Ayat that are entirely clear, they are the foundations of the Book; and others not entirely clear) (3:7). that refers to something else altogether.
(The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.) means, this is the description of the righteous, when they hear the Words of the Compeller, the Protector, the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving, because they understand the promises and warnings contained therein. The frightening words and threats make their skin shiver from fear.
(Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.) because of their hope for His mercy and kindness. They are unlike others, the wicked, immoral sinners, in a number of ways: First They listen to the recitation of the Ayat (of the Qur'an), while those (sinners) listen to poetic verse recited by female singers. Second When the Ayat of Ar-Rahman are recited to them, they fall down in prostration weeping, with the proper attitude of fear, hope, love, understanding and knowledge, as Allah says:
(The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Ayat are recited unto them, they increase their faith; and they put their trust in their Lord; Who perform the Salah and spend out of that We have provided them. It is they who are the believers in it. For them are grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and a generous provision (i.e., Paradise).) (8:2-4),
(And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not on them (as if they were) deaf and blind) (25:73). When they hear the Ayat of Allah, they are not too busy to pay attention to them; they listen to them and understand their meanings. So they act upon them and prostrate when they hear them, out of understanding, not out of ignorance and blind following of others. Third They adhere to the correct etiquette when they listen to them. As the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) used to do when they listened to the words of Allah recited by the Messenger of Allah. Their skin Would shiver, and their hearts would soften to the remembrance of Allah. They did not shout or do other actions that are not natural; on the contrary, they would sit quietly with the proper attitude of fear, in an unparalleled fashion. They attained the victory of praise from their Lord in this world and the Hereafter. `Abdur-Razzaq said, "Ma`mar told us that Qatadah, may Allah have mercy on him, recited,
(The skins of those who fear their Lord shiver from it. Then their skin and their heart soften to the remembrance of Allah.) and said, `This is the characteristic of the friends of Allah; Allah has described them in this manner, saying that their skin shivers, their eyes weep and their hearts find rest to the remembrance of Allah. He did not say that they lose their minds and swoon; that is the characteristic of the followers of innovation, and that comes from the Shaytan.''' Allah's saying:
(That is the guidance of Allah. He guides therewith whom He wills;) means, this is the characteristic of those whom Allah has guided, and anyone who does anything different is one of those whom Allah has sent astray.
(and whomever Allah sends astray, for him there is no guide.)
(24. Is he then, who will confront with his face the awful torment on the Day of Resurrection And it will be said to the wrongdoers: "Taste what you used to earn!'') (25. Those before them denied, and so the torment came on them from directions they perceived not.) (26. So, Allah made them to taste the disgrace in the present life, but greater is the torment of the Hereafter if they only knew!)
(Is he then, who will confront with his face the awful torment on the Day of Resurrection) he will be rebuked and he and the evildoers like him will be told:
(Taste what you used to earn!) `Is this like the one who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection' as Allah says:
(Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on the straight way) (67:22);
(The Day they will be dragged on their faces into the Fire (it will be said to them): "Taste you the touch of Hell!'') (54:48), and
(Is he who is cast into the Fire better or he who comes secure on the Day of Resurrection) (41:40) In each of these Ayat, it was sufficient to refer to one of the two groups.
(Those before them denied, and so the torment came on them from directions they perceived not.) means, the previous generations who denied the Messengers were destroyed by Allah for their sins. And none had they to protect them from Allah.
(So Allah made them to taste the disgrace in the present life,) means, by means of the punishment and revenge which He sent down upon them, and the rejoicing of the believers for what happened to them. So, let those who are addressed beware, for they have rejected the noblest of the Messengers and the Seal of the Prophets. And what Allah has promised them of severe punishment in the Hereafter is worse than whatever befell them in this world. Allah says:
(but greater is the torment of the Hereafter if they only knew!)
(27. And indeed We have put forth for men, in this Qur'an every kind of parable in order that they may remember.) (28. An Arabic Qur'an, without any crookedness (therein) in order that they may have Taqwa of Him.) (29. Allah puts forth a parable: a man belonging to many partners disputing with one another, and a man belonging entirely to one master. Are those two equal in comparison All the praises and thanks be to Allah! But most of them know not.) (30. Verily, you will die, and verily, they (too) will die.) (31. Then, on the Day of Resurrection, you will be disputing before your Lord.)