;
How the disbelievers advised One Another not to listen to the Qur'an, and the Recompense for that
﴿ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَا تَسۡمَعُواْ لِهَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ

(And those who disbelieve say: "Listen not to this Qur'an...'') means, they advised one another not to pay heed to the Qur'an or obey its commands.

﴿ وَٱلۡغَوۡاْ فِيهِ

(and make noise in the midst of its) means, when it is recited, do not listen to it. This was the view of Mujahid. "And make noise in the midst of its (recitation)'' means whistling and trying to make the Messenger of Allah confused when he recited Qur'an, which is what the Quraysh did.

﴿ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَغۡلِبُونَ

(that you may overcome.) means, this is the practice of these ignorant disbelievers and those who follow in their footsteps, when they hear the Qur'an. Allah commanded us to be different from that, and said:

﴿ وَإِذَا قُرِئَ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥ وَأَنصِتُواْ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُرۡحَمُونَ

(So, when the Qur'an is recited, listen to it, and be silent that you may receive mercy.) (7:204). Then Allah says:

﴿ فَلَنُذِيقَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا

(But surely, We shall cause those who disbelieve to taste a severe torment, ) meaning, in return for what they do when they hear the Qur'an.

﴿ وَلَنَجۡزِيَنَّہُمۡ أَسۡوَأَ ٱلَّذِى كَانُواْ يَعۡمَلُونَ

(and certainly, We shall requite them the worst of what they used to do.) means, for their evil deeds.

﴿ ذَٲلِكَ جَزَآءُ أَعۡدَآءِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلنَّارُ‌ۖ لَهُمۡ فِيہَا دَارُ ٱلۡخُلۡدِ‌ۖ جَزَآءَۢ بِمَا كَانُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يَجۡحَدُونَ وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ رَبَّنَآ أَرِنَا ٱلَّذَيۡنِ أَضَلَّانَا مِنَ ٱلۡجِنِّ وَٱلۡإِنسِ نَجۡعَلۡهُمَا تَحۡتَ أَقۡدَامِنَا لِيَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلۡأَسۡفَلِينَ

(That is the recompense of the enemies of Allah: the Fire. Therein will be for them the eternal home, a recompense for that they used to deny Our Ayat. And those who disbelieve will say: "Our Lord! Show us those among Jinn and men who led us astray, that we may crush them under our feet so that they become the lowest.'') It was reported that `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said, concerning the phrase,

﴿ ٱلَّذَيۡنِ أَضَلَّانَا

(those who led us astray): "Iblis and the son of Adam who killed his brother.'' As-Suddi reported that `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) said; "Iblis is followed by everyone who commits Shirk and the son of Adam is followed by everyone who commits a major sin. So Iblis is the one who calls people to every evil thing, such as Shirk and lesser sins.'' As for the first son of Adam, it is as confirmed in the Hadith:

« مَا قُتِلَتْ نَفْسٌ ظُلْمًا إِلَّا كَانَ عَلَى ابْنِ آدَمَ الْأَوَّلِ كِفْلٌ مِنْ دَمِهَا، لِأَنَّهُ أَوَّلُ مَنْ سَنَّ الْقَتْل »

(No soul is wrongfully killed, but a share of the burden ﴿of that sin will be upon the first son of Adam, because he was the first one who set the precedent of killing another.)

﴿ نَجۡعَلۡهُمَا تَحۡتَ أَقۡدَامِنَا

(that we may crush them under our feet) means, `make them beneath us in the torment, so that they will be punished more severely than us.'

﴿ لِيَكُونَا مِنَ ٱلۡأَسۡفَلِينَ

(so that they become the lowest.) means, in the lowest level of Hell, as already mentioned in Al-A`raf, where the followers ask Allah to multiply the torment for their leaders:

﴿ قَالَ لِكُلٍّ۬ ضِعۡفٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا تَعۡلَمُونَ

((Allah) said: "For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.'') (7:38) i.e., Allah will give each of them the torment and punishment they deserve for their deeds. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ زِدۡنَـٰهُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا فَوۡقَ ٱلۡعَذَابِ بِمَا ڪَانُواْ يُفۡسِدُونَ

(Those who disbelieved and hinder (men) from the path of Allah, for them We will add torment to the torment because they used to spread corruption.) (16:88).

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُواْ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ وَأَبۡشِرُواْ بِٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ نَحۡنُ أَوۡلِيَآؤُكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۖ وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَا تَشۡتَهِىٓ أَنفُسُكُمۡ وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ نُزُلاً۬ مِّنۡ غَفُورٍ۬ رَّحِيمٍ۬

(30. Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): "Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!'') (31. "We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire, and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.'') (32. "An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'')

Glad Tidings to Those Who believe in Allah Alone and stand firm
﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ

(Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,) means, they do good deeds sincerely for the sake of Allah, and they obey Allah, doing what Allah has prescribed for them. Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin `Imran said, "I read this Ayah to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ

(Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,) He said, `Those are the ones who do not associate anything with Allah.''' Then he reported a narration of Al-Aswad bin Hilal, who said, "Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) said, `What do you say about this Ayah:

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ قَالُواْ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ

(Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,)' They said:

﴿ رَبُّنَا ٱللَّهُ ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَقَـٰمُواْ

("Our Lord is Allah,'' and then they stand firm,) `They shun sin.' He said, `You have not interpreted it improperly.' They say: `Our Lord is Allah, then they stand firm and do not turn to any other god besides Him. ''' This was also the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, As-Suddi and others. Ahmad recorded that Sufyan bin `Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, tell me something that I can adhere to.' He said:

« قُلْ: رَبِّيَ اللهُ، ثُمَّ اسْتَقِم »

(Say, my Lord is Allah, then stand firm.) I said, `O Messenger of Allah, what do you fear most for me' The Messenger of Allah took hold of the edge of his tongue and said,

« هذَا »

(This is.)'' This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih.'' Muslim also recorded it in his Sahih, and An-Nasa'i recorded that Sufyan bin `Abdullah Ath-Thaqafi said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah, tell me something about Islam that I will not have to ask anyone about it after you.' He said:

« قُلْ: آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَقِم »

(Say: I believe in Allah, then stand firm.)'' -- then he mentioned the rest of the Hadith.

﴿ تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ

(on them the angels will descend). Mujahid, As-Suddi, Zayd bin Aslam and his (Zayd's) son said, "This means, at the time of death, and they will say,

﴿ أَلَّا تَخَافُواْ

(Fear not). '' Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Zayd bin Aslam said, "This means not to fear "that which you will face in the Hereafter.''

﴿ وَلَا تَحۡزَنُواْ

(nor grieve!) `for what you have left behind of worldly things, children, family, wealth and debt, for we will take care of it for you.'

﴿ وَأَبۡشِرُواْ بِٱلۡجَنَّةِ ٱلَّتِى كُنتُمۡ تُوعَدُونَ

(But receive the glad tidings of Paradise which you have been promised!) So they give glad tidings of the end of bad things and the arrival of good things. This is like what is said in the Hadith narrated by Al-Bara', may Allah be pleased with him:

« إِنَّ الْمَلَائِكَةَ تَقُولُ لِرُوحِ الْمُؤْمِنِ: اخْرُجِي أَيَّتُهَا الرُّوحُ الطَّيِّـبَةُ فِي الْجَسَدِ الطَّيِّبِ كُنْتِ تَعْمُرِينَهُ، اخْرُجِي إِلى رَوْحٍ وَرَيْحَانٍ وَرَبَ غَيْرِ غَضْبَان »

(The angels say to the soul of the believer, "Come out, O good soul from the good body in which you used to dwell, come out to rest, and provision and a Lord Who is not angry.'') It was said that the angels will come down to them on the Day when they are brought out of their graves. Zayd bin Aslam said, "They will give him glad tidings when he dies, in his grave, and when he is resurrected.'' This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, and this view reconciles all the opinions; it is a good view and it is true.

﴿ نَحۡنُ أَوۡلِيَآؤُكُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۖ

(We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. ) means, the angels will say to the believers when death approaches: "We have been your friends, i.e., your close companions, in this world, protecting you and helping you by the command of Allah, and we will be with you in the Hereafter, keeping you from feeling lonely in your graves and when the Trumpet is blown; we will reassure you on the Day of Resurrection and will take you across the Sirat and bring you to the Gardens of delight.''

﴿ وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَا تَشۡتَهِىٓ أَنفُسُكُمۡ

(Therein you shall have (all) that your souls desire,) means, `in Paradise you will have all that you wish for and that will delight you.'

﴿ وَلَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ

(and therein you shall have (all) for which you ask.) means, `whatever you ask for, it will appear before you as you wish it to be.'

﴿ نُزُلاً۬ مِّنۡ غَفُورٍ۬ رَّحِيمٍ۬

(An entertainment from the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) means, `a welcoming gift and a blessing from the One Who has forgiven your sins and Who is Merciful and Kind towards you, Who has forgiven you, concealed your faults and been Kind and Merciful.'

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَحۡسَنُ قَوۡلاً۬ مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ وَلَا تَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ‌ۚ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ۬ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ

(33. And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.'') (34. The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.) (35. But none is granted it except those who are patient -- and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion in this world.) (36. And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.)

The Virtue of calling Others to Allah
﴿ وَمَنۡ أَحۡسَنُ قَوۡلاً۬ مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ

(And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah,) means, he calls the servants of Allah to Him.

﴿ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ

(and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.'') means, he himself follows that which he says, so it benefits him as well as others. He is not one of those who enjoin good but do not do it themselves, or who forbid evil yet they do it themselves. He does good and avoids doing evil, and he calls people to their Creator, may He be blessed and exalted. This is general in meaning and applies to everyone who calls people to what is good and is himself guided by what he says. The Messenger of Allah is the foremost among people in this regard, as Muhammad bin Sirin, As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said. It was also said that what was meant here is the righteous Mu'adhdhin, as it was mentioned in Sahih Muslim:

« الْمُؤَذِّنُونَ أَطْوَلُ النَّاسِ أَعْنَاقًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة »

(The Mu'adhdhins will be the ones with the longest necks on the Day of Resurrection.)'' In As-Sunan it is reported that the Prophet said:

« الْإِمَامُ ضَامِنٌ، وَالْمُؤَذِّنُ مُؤْتَمَنٌ، فَأَرْشَدَ اللهُ الْأَئِمَّةَ وَغَفَرَ لِلْمُؤَذِّنِين »

(The Imam is a guarantor and the Mu'adhdhin is in a position of trust. May Allah guide the Imams and forgive the Mu'adhdhin.)'' The correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, and includes the Mu'adhdhin and others. When this Ayah was revealed, the Adhan had not been prescribed at all. The Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and the Adhan was prescribed in Al-Madinah after the Hijrah, when it was shown to `Abdullah bin `Abd Rabbihi Al-Ansari in a dream. He told the Messenger of Allah about it, and he told him to teach it to Bilal (may Allah be pleased with him) who had a more beautiful voice, as we have discussed elsewhere. So the correct view is that the Ayah is general in meaning, as `Abdur-Razzaq said, narrating from Ma`mar, from Al-Hasan Al-Basri, who recited this Ayah:

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَحۡسَنُ قَوۡلاً۬ مِّمَّن دَعَآ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَقَالَ إِنَّنِى مِنَ ٱلۡمُسۡلِمِينَ

(And who is better in speech than he who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds, and says: "I am one of the Muslims.'') and said, "This is the beloved of Allah, this is the close friend of Allah, this is the chosen one of Allah, this is the most beloved of the all the people of earth to Allah. He responded to the call of Allah and called mankind to that to which he had responded. He did righteous deeds in response and said, `I am one of the Muslims.' This is Allah's Khalifah.''

Wisdom in Da`wah etc
﴿ وَلَا تَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡحَسَنَةُ وَلَا ٱلسَّيِّئَةُ‌ۚ

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal.) means, there is a huge difference between them.

﴿ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ

(Repel (the evil) with one which is better,) means, `when someone does you wrong, repel him by treating him well,' as `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "There is no better punishment for one who has disobeyed Allah with regard to you, than your obeying Allah with regard to him.''

﴿ فَإِذَا ٱلَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ ۥ عَدَٲوَةٌ۬ كَأَنَّهُ ۥ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ۬

(then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend.) means, `if you treat well those who treat you badly, this good deed will lead to reconciliation, love and empathy, and it will be as if he is a close friend to you and he will feel pity for you and be kind to you.' Then Allah says:

﴿ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ

(But none is granted it except those who are patient) meaning, no one accepts this advice and works according to it, except for those who can be patient in doing so, for it is difficult for people to do.

﴿ وَمَا يُلَقَّٮٰهَآ إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ۬

(and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion) means, the one who has a great portion of happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas explained this Ayah: "Allah commands the believers to be patient when they feel angry, to be forbearing when confronted with ignorance, and to forgive when they are mistreated. If they do this, Allah will save them from the Shaytan and subdue their enemies to them until they become like close friends.''

﴿ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۖ

(And if an evil whisper from Shaytan tries to turn you away, then seek refuge in Allah.) means, the devils among men may be deceived by your kind treatment of him, but the devils among the Jinn, when they insinuate their evil whispers, cannot be dealt with except by seeking refuge with the Creator Who gave him power over you. If you seek refuge with Allah and turn to Him, He will stop him from harming you and bring his efforts to naught. When the Messenger of Allah stood up to pray, he would say:

« أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ السَّمِيعِ الْعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ، مِنْ هَمْزِهِ وَنَفْخِهِ وَنَفْثِه »

(I seek refuge in Allah the All-Hearing, All-Knowing, from the accursed Shaytan and his evil insinuations, breath and impurity.)'' We have already stated that there is nothing like this in the Qur'an, apart from the passage in Surat Al-A`raf, where Allah says:

﴿ خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

(Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower.) (7:199-200) and the passage in Surat Al-Mu'minun where Allah says:

﴿ ٱدۡفَعۡ بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ ٱلسَّيِّئَةَ‌ۚ نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ هَمَزَٲتِ ٱلشَّيَـٰطِينِ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحۡضُرُونِ

(Repel evil with that which is better. We are Best-Acquainted with the things they utter. And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin. And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.'') (23:96-98)

﴿ وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِ ٱلَّيۡلُ وَٱلنَّهَارُ وَٱلشَّمۡسُ وَٱلۡقَمَرُ‌ۚ لَا تَسۡجُدُواْ لِلشَّمۡسِ وَلَا لِلۡقَمَرِ وَٱسۡجُدُواْ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَهُنَّ إِن ڪُنتُمۡ إِيَّاهُ تَعۡبُدُونَ فَإِنِ ٱسۡتَڪۡبَرُواْ فَٱلَّذِينَ عِندَ رَبِّكَ يُسَبِّحُونَ لَهُ ۥ بِٱلَّيۡلِ وَٱلنَّہَارِ وَهُمۡ لَا يَسۡـَٔمُونَ ۩
﴿ وَمِنۡ ءَايَـٰتِهِۦۤ أَنَّكَ تَرَى ٱلۡأَرۡضَ خَـٰشِعَةً۬ فَإِذَآ أَنزَلۡنَا عَلَيۡہَا ٱلۡمَآءَ ٱهۡتَزَّتۡ وَرَبَتۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَحۡيَاهَا لَمُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ

(37. And from among His signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Do not prostrate yourselves to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourselves to Allah Who created them, if you worship Him.) (38. But if they are too proud, then there are those who are with your Lord glorify Him night and day, and never are they tired.) (39. And among His signs; that you see the earth barren, but when We send down water to it, it is stirred to life and growth. Verily, He Who gives it life, surely is able to give life to the dead. Indeed He is Able to do all things.)