This believer said to his people who persisted in their rebellion and transgression, and preferred the life of this world:
(O my people! Follow me, I will guide you to the way of right conduct.) This is in contrast to the false claim of Fir`awn:
(and I guide you only to the path of right policy.) Then he sought to make them shun this world which they preferred to the Hereafter, and which had prevented them from believing in the Messenger of Allah, Musa (peace be upon him). He said:
(O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but an enjoyment,) meaning, it is insignificant and fleeting, and soon it will diminish and pass away.
(and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.) means, the abode which will never end and from which there will be no departure, which will be either Paradise or Hell. Allah says:
(Whosoever does an evil deed, will not be requited except the like thereof;) means, one like it.
(and whosoever does a righteous deed, whether male or female and is a true believer, such will enter Paradise, where they will be provided therein without limit.) means, the reward cannot be enumerated, but Allah will give an immense reward without end. And Allah is the Guide to the straight path.
(41. "And O my people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the Fire!'') (42. "You invite me to disbelieve in Allah, and to join partners in worship with Him of which I have no knowledge; and I invite you to the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving!'') (43. "La Jarama, you call me to one that does not have a claim in this world or in the Hereafter. And our return will be to Allah, and the transgressors, they shall be the dwellers of the Fire!'') (44. "And you will remember what I am telling you, and my affair I leave it to Allah. Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of (His) servants.'') (45. So, Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted (against him), while an evil torment encompassed Fir`awn's people.) (46. The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon. And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Admit Fir`awn's people into the severest torment!'')
That believer said: `Why do I call you to salvation, which is the worship of Allah alone with no partner or associate, and belief in His Messenger, whom He has sent,'
(while you call me to the Fire! You invite me to disbelieve in Allah, and to join partners in worship with Him of which I have no knowledge;) means, on the basis of ignorance, with no proof or evidence.
(and I invite you to the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving!) means, with all His might and pride, He still forgives the sin of the one who repents to Him.
(La Jarama, you call me to one) They say it means, "Truly.'' As-Suddi and Ibn Jarir said that the meaning of His saying:
(La jarama) means "Truly.'' Ad-Dahhak said:
(La Jarama) means, "No lie.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah and Ibn `Abbas said:
(La Jarama) means, "Indeed, the one that you call me to of idols and false gods
(that does not have a claim in this world or in the Hereafter).'' Mujahid said, "The idols that do not have anything.'' Qatadah said, "This means that idols possess no power either to benefit or to harm.'' As-Suddi said, "They do not respond to those who call upon them, either in this world or in the Hereafter.'' This is like the Ayah:
(And who is more astray than one who calls on besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their calls to them And when the people are gathered, they will become their enemies and deny their worship.) (46:5-6)
(If you invoke them, they hear not your call; and if they were to hear, they could not grant it to you) (35:14).
(And our return will be to Allah,) means, in the Hereafter, where He will reward or punish each person according to his deeds. He says:
(and the transgressors, they shall be the dwellers of the Fire!) meaning, they will dwell therein forever, because of their great sin, which is associating others in worship with Allah.
(And you will remember what I am telling you,) means, `you will come to know the truth of what I enjoined upon `you and forbade you to do, the advice I gave you and what I explained to you. You will come to know, and you will feel regret at the time when regret will be of no avail.'
(and my affair I leave it to Allah.) means, `I put my trust in Allah and seek His help, and I renounce you utterly.'
(Verily, Allah is the All-Seer of (His) servants.) means, He knows all about them, may He be exalted and sanctified, and He guides those who deserve to be guided and sends astray those who deserve to be sent astray; His is the perfect proof, utmost wisdom and mighty power.
(So Allah saved him from the evils that they plotted,) means, in this world and in the Hereafter; in this world, Allah saved him along with Musa (peace be upon him) and in the Hereafter (He will admit him) to Paradise.
(while an evil torment encompassed Fir`awn's people.) this refers to drowning in the sea, then being transferred from there to Hell, for their souls are exposed to the Fire morning and evening until the Hour begins. When the Day of Resurrection comes, their souls and bodies will be reunited in Hell. Allah says:
(And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Admit Fir`awn's people to the severest torment!'') meaning, more intense pain and greater agony. This Ayah contains one of the major proofs used by the Ahlus-Sunnah to prove that there will be torment in the grave during the period of Al-Barzakh; it is the phrase:
(The Fire, they are exposed to it, morning and afternoon). But the question arises: this Ayah was undoubtedly revealed in Makkah, but they use it as evidence to prove that there will be torment in the grave during the period of Al-Barzakh. Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that a Jewish woman used to serve her, and whenever `A'ishah did her a favor, the Jewish woman would say, "May Allah save you from the torment of the grave. '' `A'ishah said, "Then the Messenger of Allah came in, and I said, `O Messenger of Allah, will there be any torment in the grave before the Day of Resurrection' He said,
(No, who said that) I said, `This Jewish woman, whenever I do her a favor, she says: May Allah save you from the torment of the grave.''' The Messenger of Allah said,
(The Jews are lying, and they tell more lies about Allah. There is no torment except on the Day of Resurrection.) Then as much time passed as Allah willed should pass, then one day he came out at midday, wrapped in his robe with his eyes reddening, calling at the top of his voice:
(The grave is like patches of dark night! O people, if you knew what I know, you would weep much and laugh little. O people, seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave, for the torment of the grave is real.)'' This chain of narration is Sahih according to the conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, although they did not record it. It was said, `how can this report be reconciled with the fact that the Ayah was revealed in Makkah and the Ayah indicates that there will be torment during the period of Al-Barzakh' The answer is that the Ayah refers to the souls (of Fir`awn and his people) being exposed to the Fire morning and evening; it does not say that the pain will affect their bodies in the grave. So it may be that this has to do specifically with their souls. With regard to there being any effect on their bodies in Al-Barzakh, and their feeling pain as a result, this is indicated in the Sunnah, in some Hadiths which we will mention below. It was said that this Ayah refers to the punishment of the disbelievers in Al-Barzakh, and that it does not by itself imply that the believer will be punished in the grave for his sins. This is indicated by the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad from `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) according to which the Messenger of Allah entered upon `A'ishah when a Jewish woman was with her, and she (the Jewish woman) was saying, "I was told that you will be tried in the grave.'' The Messenger of Allah was worried and said:
(Only the Jews will be tested.) `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "Several nights passed, then the Messenger of Allah said:
(Verily you will be tested in the graves.)'' `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "After that, the Messenger of Allah used to seek refuge with Allah from the torment of the grave.'' This was also recorded by Muslim. It could be said that this Ayah indicates that the souls will be punished in Al-Barzakh, but this does not necessarily imply that the bodies in their graves will be affected by that. When Allah revealed something about the torment of the grave to His Prophet, he sought refuge with Allah from that. And Allah knows best. The Hadiths which speak of the torment of the grave are very many. Qatadah said, concerning the Ayah,
(morning and afternoon.): "(This means) every morning and every evening, for as long as this world remains, it will be said to them by way of rebuke and humiliation, O people of Fir`awn, this is your position.'' Ibn Zayd said, "They are there today, being exposed to it morning and evening, until the Hour begins.
(And on the Day when the Hour will be established (it will be said to the angels): "Cause Fir`awn's people to enter the severest torment!'') The people of Fir`awn are like foolish camels, stumbling into rocks and trees without thinking.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(When one of you dies, he is shown his place (in Paradise or Hell) morning and evening; if he is one of the people of Paradise, then he is one of the people of Paradise, and if he is one of the people of Hell, then he is one of the people of Hell. It will be said to him, this is your place until Allah resurrects you to go to it on the Day of Resurrection.)'' It was also reported in the Two Sahihs.
(47. And, when they will dispute in the Fire, the weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Verily, we followed you, can you then take from us some portion of the Fire'') (48. Those who were arrogant will say: "We are all (together) in this (Fire)! Verily, Allah has judged between (His) servants!'') (49. And those in the Fire will say to the keepers (angels) of Hell: "Call upon your Lord to lighten for us the torment for a day!'') (50. They will say: "Did there not come to you, your Messengers with (clear) evidences'' They will say: "Yes.'' They will reply: "Then call (as you like)! And the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but in vain!'')