(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!'')
Allah tells us how the people of Hell will dispute and argue with one another, and Fir`awn and his people will be among them. The weak, who were the followers, will say to those who were arrogant, who were the leaders and masters:
(Verily, we followed you,) meaning, `we obeyed you and heeded your call to disbelief and misguidance in the world,'
(can you then take from us some portion of the Fire) means, `can you carry a part of our burden for us'
(Those who were arrogant will say: "We are all (together) in this (Fire)!...'') meaning, `we will not bear any part of your burden for you; our own punishment is enough for us to bear.'
(Verily, Allah has judged (His) servants!) means, `He has shared out the punishment among us according to what each of us deserves'. This is like the Ayah:
(He will say: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.'') (7:38)
(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!'') They know that Allah will not answer them and will not listen to their prayer, because He said,
(Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!) (23:108), so they will ask the keepers of Hell, who are like jailers watching over the people of Hell, to pray to Allah to lessen the Fire for them if only for one day. But the keepers of Hell will refuse, saying to them,
(Did there not come to you, your Messengers with (clear) evidences) meaning, was not proof established in the world on the lips of the Messengers
(They will say: "Yes.'' They will reply: "Then call (as you like)!...'') means, you are on your own. We will not pray for you or listen to you; we do not want you to be saved and we have nothing to do with you. Moreover, we tell you that it is all the same whether you offer supplication or not, because Allah will not respond and He will not lighten the torment for you.' They will say:
(And the invocation of the disbelievers is nothing but in vain!) meaning, it will not be accepted or responded to.
(51. Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth, --) (52. The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode.) (53. And, indeed We gave Musa the guidance, and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the Scripture --) (54. A guide and a reminder for men of understanding.) (55. So be patient. Verily, the promise of Allah is true, and ask forgiveness for your fault, and glorify the praises of your Lord in the `Ashi and in the Ibkar.) (56. Verily, those who dispute about the Ayat of Allah, without any authority having come to them, there is nothing else in their breasts except pride. They will never have it. So seek refuge in Allah. Verily, it is He Who is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.)
(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life). As-Suddi, "Allah never sends a Messenger to a people and they kill him or some of the believers who call them to the truth, then that generation passes away, but He then sends them someone who will support their call and will seek vengeance for their blood from those who did that to them in this world. So the Prophets and believers may be killed in this world, but their call will prevail in this world.'' Allah granted victory to His Prophet Muhammad and his Companions over those who had opposed him, disbelieved in him and shown hostility towards him. He caused His Word and His religion to prevail over all other religions, commanded him to emigrate from his people to Al-Madinah, where He gave him supporters and helpers. Then He caused him to prevail over the idolaters on the day of Badr, when He granted him victory over them and he humiliated them, killing their leaders and taking their elite prisoner, driving them before him in chains. Then he did them the favor of accepting ransom from them. Shortly after that, Allah enabled him to conquer Makkah, and he rejoiced in his return to his homeland, the sacred and holy land of Al-Haram. Through him, Allah saved it from its disbelief and Shirk. Then Allah enabled him to conquer the Yemen, and the entire Arabian Peninsula submitted to him, and the people entered the religion of Allah in crowds. Then Allah took him (in death), because of his high status and honor, and He established his Companions as his Khalifahs. They conveyed the religion of Allah from him, called mankind to Allah, they conquered many regions, countries and cities, and opened people's hearts, until the call of Muhammad spread throughout the world, east and west. This religion will continue to prevail until the Hour begins. Allah says:
(Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world's life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection the victory will be greater and more complete. Mujahid said, "The witnesses are the angels.''
(The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers.) is referring to the same as;
(...the Day when the witnesses will stand forth.) Others read it with that meaning;
(And the Day the witnesses will stand forth, is a Day when there will be no profit to wrongdoers.) and the wrongdoers are the idolaters.
(their excuses) means, no excuse or ransom will be accepted from them.
(Theirs will be the curse,) means, they will be cast out far away from the mercy of Allah.
(and theirs will be the evil abode.) means, the Hell-fire, as As-Suddi said, a terrible abode and dwelling place.
(And, indeed We gave Musa the guidance.) means, the guidance and light with which Allah sent him.
(and We caused the Children of Israel to inherit the Scripture.) means, `We caused them to prevail in the end and they inherited the land and accumulated wealth of Fir`awn, because of their patience in obeying Allah and following His Messenger Musa.' The Scripture which they inherited, the Tawrah, was
(A guide and a reminder for men of understanding.) i.e. those of a sound and upright nature.
(So be patient) means, `O Muhammad,'
(Verily, the promise of Allah is true,) means, `We have promised that your word will prevail and that the ultimate victory will be for you and those who follow you, and Allah does not break His promises. What We have told you is true and there is no doubt in it whatsoever.'
(and ask forgiveness for your fault,) This encourages the Ummah to seek forgiveness.
(and glorify the praises of your Lord in the `Ashi) meaning, at the end of the day and the beginning of the night,
(and in the Ibkar.) meaning, at the beginning of the day and the end of the night.
(Verily, those who dispute about the Ayat of Allah, without any authority having come to them,) means, they try to refute the truth with falsehood, and to refute sound evidence with dubious arguments, having no proof or evidence from Allah.
(there is nothing else in their breasts except pride. They will never have it.) means, they are too proud to follow the truth and submit to the one who has brought it. But their attempts to suppress the truth and elevate falsehood will fail; the truth will prevail and their words and aspirations will be defeated.
(So seek refuge in Allah.) means, from being like these people,
(Verily, it is He Who is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) or seek refuge with Him from being like these people who dispute about the Ayat of Allah without any authority having come to them.
(57. The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; yet, most of the people do not know.) (58. And not equal are the blind and those who see; nor those who believe, and do righteous good deeds, and those who do evil. Little do you remember!) (59. Verily, the Hour is surely coming, there is no doubt about it, yet most men believe not.)