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The Qur'an was revealed to serve as a Warning

Allah says, `just as We sent revelation to the Prophets before you,'

﴿ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ قُرۡءَانًا عَرَبِيًّ۬ا

(thus We have revealed to you a Qur'an in Arabic) meaning, plain, clear, and manifest

﴿ لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ

(that you may warn the Mother of the Towns), i.e., Makkah,

﴿ وَمَنۡ حَوۡلَهَا

(and all around it,) means, all the lands, east and west. Makkah is called Umm Al-Qura (the Mother of the Towns) because it is nobler than all other lands, as indicated by much evidence that has been discussed elsewhere. Among the most concise and clear proofs of that is the report recorded by Imam Ahmad from `Abdullah bin `Adi bin Al-Hamra' Az-Zuhri, who heard the Messenger of Allah say, as he was standing in the market place of Makkah;

« وَاللهِ إِنَّكِ لَخَيْرُ أَرْضِ اللهِ وَأَحَبُّ أَرْضِ اللهِ إِلَى اللهِ، وَلَوْلَا أَنِّي أُخْرِجْتُ مِنْكِ مَا خَرَجْت »

(By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, the most beloved land to Allah; were it not for the fact that I was driven out from you, I would never have left you.) This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah; At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih. ''

﴿ وَتُنذِرَ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡجَمۡعِ

(and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling) i.e., the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will assemble the first and the last in one plain.

﴿ لَا رَيۡبَ فِيهِ‌ۚ

(of which there is no doubt,) means, there is no doubt that it will happen and will most certainly come to pass.

﴿ فَرِيقٌ۬ فِى ٱلۡجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ۬ فِى ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(a party will be in Paradise and a party in the blazing Fire.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَجۡمَعُكُمۡ لِيَوۡمِ ٱلۡجَمۡعِ‌ۖ ذَٲلِكَ يَوۡمُ ٱلتَّغَابُنِ‌ۗ

((And remember) the Day when He will gather you (all) on the Day of Gathering, --- that will be the Day of mutual loss and gain) (64:9). which means that the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will gain and lose, respectively. And it is like the Ayah:

﴿ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَةً۬ لِّمَنۡ خَافَ عَذَابَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ يَوۡمٌ۬ مَّجۡمُوعٌ۬ لَّهُ ٱلنَّاسُ وَذَٲلِكَ يَوۡمٌ۬ مَّشۡهُودٌ۬ وَمَا نُؤَخِّرُهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا لِأَجَلٍ۬ مَّعۡدُودٍ۬ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِ لَا تَڪَلَّمُ نَفۡسٌ إِلَّا بِإِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۚ فَمِنۡهُمۡ شَقِىٌّ۬ وَسَعِيدٌ۬

(Indeed in that (there) is a sure lesson for those who fear the torment of the Hereafter. That is a Day whereon will be gathered together, and that is a Day when all (the dwellers of the heavens and the earth) will be present. And We delay it only for a term fixed. On the Day when it comes, no person shall speak except by His leave. Some among them will be wretched and (others) blessed.) (11:103-105) Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah came out to us, holding two books in his hand. He said,

« أَتَدْرُونَ مَا هذَانِ الْكِتَابَانِ؟ »

(Do you know what these two books are) We said, "We do not know unless you tell us, O Messenger of Allah.'' Concerning the book in his right hand, He said:

« هَذَا كِتَابٌ مِنْ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ بِأَسْمَاءِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أبدًا »

(This is a book from the Lord of the worlds, containing the names of the people of Paradise and of their fathers and tribes; all of them are detailed, down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.) Then concerning the book in his left hand, he said:

« هَذَا كِتَابُ أَهْلِ النَّارِ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ وَأَسْمَاءِ آبَائِهِمْ وَقَبَائِلِهِمْ، ثُمَّ أُجْمِلَ عَلى آخِرِهِمْ، لَا يُزَادُ فِيهِمْ وَلَا يُنْقَصُ مِنْهُمْ أَبَدًا »

(This is the book of the people of Hell, containing their names and the names of their fathers and tribes, all of them are detailed down to the last one of them, and nothing will be added or taken away from it.) The Companions of the Messenger of Allah said, "Why should we strive if it is something that is already cut and dried'' The Messenger of Allah said:

« سَدِّدُوا وَقَارِبُوا فَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ الْجَنَّةِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَلٍ، وَإِنَّ صَاحِبَ النَّارِ يُخْتَمُ لَهُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ، وَإِنْ عَمِلَ أَيَّ عَمَل »

(Strive with your deeds as hard as you can for middle course or close to it, for the person who is destined for Paradise will die doing the deeds of the people of Paradise, regardless of what he did before, and the person who is destined for Hell will die doing the deeds of the people of Hell, regardless of what he did before.) Then he made a gesture with his fist and said,

« فَرَغَ رَبُّكُمْ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ مِنَ الْعِبَاد »

(Your Lord has settled the matter of His servants) and he opened his right hand as if throwing something;

« فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّة »

(A party in Paradise.) and he made a similar gesture with his left hand;

« فَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِير »

(And a party in the blazing Fire.)'' This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and An-Nasa'i; At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan Sahih Gharib.'' Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Nadrah said, "One of the Companions of the Prophet, whose name was Abu Abdullah, was visited by some of his friends, and they found him weeping. They asked him, `What has caused you to weep Didn't the Messenger of Allah say to you,

« خُذْ مِنْ شَارِبِكَ ثُمَّ أَقِرَّهُ حَتَّى تَلْقَانِي »

(Trim your moustache and adhere to that practice until you meet me)' He said, `Yes, but I heard the Messenger of Allah say;

« إِنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى قَبَضَ بِيَمِينِهِ قَبْضَةً وَأُخْرَى بِالْيَدِ الْأُخْرَى، قَالَ: هذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَهذِهِ لِهذِهِ، وَلَا أُبَالِي »

(Allah picked up a handful in His Right Hand and another in His other Hand, and said, "This is for this and this is for this, and I do not care.'') `And I do not know in which of the two handfuls I am.''' There are several Hadiths about Al-Qadr (the Divine Decree) in the books of Sahih, Sunan and Musnad. Including those narrated by `Ali, Ibn Mas`ud, `A'ishah and a large number of Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all.

﴿ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَجَعَلَهُمۡ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬

(And if Allah had willed, He could have made them one nation,) means, either all following guidance or all following misguidance, but He made them all different, and He guides whomsoever He wills to the truth and He sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He has complete wisdom and perfect proof. Allah says:

﴿ وَلَـٰكِن يُدۡخِلُ مَن يَشَآءُ فِى رَحۡمَتِهِۦ‌ۚ وَٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ مَا لَهُم مِّن وَلِىٍّ۬ وَلَا نَصِيرٍ

(but He admits whom He wills to His mercy. And the wrongdoers will have neither a protector nor a helper.)

﴿ أَمِ ٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَ‌ۖ فَٱللَّهُ هُوَ ٱلۡوَلِىُّ وَهُوَ يُحۡىِ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ۬ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفۡتُمۡ فِيهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَحُكۡمُهُ ۥۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكُمُ ٱللَّهُ رَبِّى عَلَيۡهِ تَوَڪَّلۡتُ وَإِلَيۡهِ أُنِيبُ فَاطِرُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا‌ۖ يَذۡرَؤُكُمۡ فِيهِ‌ۚ لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬‌ۖ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ لَهُ ۥ مَقَالِيدُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ يَبۡسُطُ ٱلرِّزۡقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقۡدِرُ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ۬

(9. Or have they taken protecting friends besides Him But Allah --- He Alone is the protector. And He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things.) (10. And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah. Such is Allah, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance.) (11. The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you. There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.) (12. To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth. He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens. Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.)

Allah is the Protector, Ruler and Creator

Here Allah denounces the idolaters for taking other gods instead of Allah, and declares that He is the True God, and it is not right to worship anyone except Him Alone. He is the One Who is able to bring the dead back to life and He is Able to do all things. Then He says:

﴿ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفۡتُمۡ فِيهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬ فَحُكۡمُهُ ۥۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah.) means, in whatever issue you differ. This is general in meaning and applies to all things.

﴿ فَحُكۡمُهُ ۥۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(the decision thereof is with Allah.) means, He is the Judge of that, according to His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِى شَىۡءٍ۬ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ

((And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger) (4:59).

﴿ ذَٲلِكُمُ ٱللَّهُ رَبِّى

(Such is Allah, my Lord) means, (He is) the Judge of all things.

﴿ عَلَيۡهِ تَوَكَّلۡتُ وَإِلَيۡهِ أُنِيبُ

(in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn in repentance.) means, `I refer all matters to Him.'

﴿ فَاطِرُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ

(The Creator of the heavens and the earth.) means, the Maker of them both and everything in between.

﴿ جَعَلَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا

(He has made for you mates from yourselves,) means, of your own kind. As a blessing and a favor from Him, He has made your kind male and female.

﴿ وَمِنَ ٱلۡأَنۡعَـٰمِ أَزۡوَٲجً۬ا‌ۖ

(and for the cattle (also) mates.) means, and He has created for you eight pairs of cattle.

﴿ يَذۡرَؤُكُمۡ فِيهِ‌ۚ

(By this means He creates you.) means, in this manner He creates you, male and female, generation after generation of men and cattle.

﴿ لَيۡسَ كَمِثۡلِهِۦ شَىۡءٌ۬‌ۖ

(There is nothing like Him,) means, there is nothing like the Creator of these pairs, for He is the Unique, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who has no peer or equal.

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلۡبَصِيرُ

(He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer.)

﴿ لَهُ ۥ مَقَالِيدُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ

(To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth.) We have already discussed the interpretation of this phrase in Surat Az-Zumar (39:63), the conclusion of which is that He is the One Who is controlling and governing them.

﴿ يَبۡسُطُ ٱلرِّزۡقَ لِمَن يَشَآءُ وَيَقۡدِرُ‌ۚ

(He expands provision for whom He wills, and straitens.) means, He gives plentiful provision to whomsoever He wills and He reduces it for whomsoever He wills, and He is perfectly Wise and Just.

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ۬

(Verily, He is the All-Knower of everything.)

﴿ شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِۦ نُوحً۬ا وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ وَمَا وَصَّيۡنَا بِهِۦۤ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰٓ‌ۖ أَنۡ أَقِيمُواْ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ‌ۚ كَبُرَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ مَا تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ‌ۚ ٱللَّهُ يَجۡتَبِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَہۡدِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ مَن يُنِيبُ وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوٓاْ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُ بَغۡيَۢا بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۚ وَلَوۡلَا كَلِمَةٌ۬ سَبَقَتۡ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى لَّقُضِىَ بَيۡنَہُمۡ‌ۚ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُورِثُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ لَفِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّنۡهُ مُرِيبٍ۬

(13. He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you, and that which We ordained for Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it. Intolerable for the idolaters is that to which you call them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.) (14. And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them, through transgression between themselves. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term, the matter would have been settled between them. And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them, are in grave doubt concerning it.)

The Religion of the Messengers is One

Allah says to this Ummah:

﴿ شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ ٱلدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِۦ نُوحً۬ا وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡكَ

(He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion which He ordained for Nuh, and that which We have revealed to you,) Allah mentions the first Messenger who was sent after Adam, that is, Nuh, peace be upon them, and the last of them is Muhammad. Then He mentions those who came in between them who were the Messengers of strong will, namely Ibrahim, Musa and `Isa bin Maryam. This Ayah mentions all five, just as they are also mentioned in the Ayah in Surat Al-Ahzab, where Allah says:

﴿ وَإِذۡ أَخَذۡنَا مِنَ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مِيثَـٰقَهُمۡ وَمِنكَ وَمِن نُّوحٍ۬ وَإِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَى ٱبۡنِ مَرۡيَمَ‌ۖ

(And (remember) when We took from the Prophets their covenant, and from you, and from Nuh, Ibrahim, Musa, and `Isa son of Maryam.) (33:7). The Message which all the Messengers brought was to worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, as Allah says:

﴿ وَمَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَنَّهُ ۥ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنَا۟ فَٱعۡبُدُونِ

(And We did not send any Messenger before you but We revealed to him (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.) (21:25). And according to a Hadith (the Prophet said):

« نَحْنُ مَعْشَرَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ أَوْلَادُ عَلَّاتٍ، دِينُنَا وَاحِد »

(We Prophets are brothers and our religion is one.) In other words, the common bond between them is that Allah Alone is to be worshipped, with no partner or associate, even though their laws and ways may differ, as Allah says.

﴿ لِكُلٍّ۬ جَعَلۡنَا مِنكُمۡ شِرۡعَةً۬ وَمِنۡهَاجً۬ا‌ۚ

(To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way) (5:48). Allah says here:

﴿ أَنۡ أَقِيمُواْ ٱلدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُواْ فِيهِ‌ۚ

(saying you should establish religion and make no divisions in it.) meaning, Allah enjoined all the Prophets (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all) to be as one and He forbade them to differ and be divided.

﴿ كَبُرَ عَلَى ٱلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ مَا تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَيۡهِ‌ۚ

(Intolerable for the idolaters is that to which you call them.) means, `it is too much for them to bear, and they hate that to which you call them, O Muhammad, i.e., Tawhid.'

﴿ ٱللَّهُ يَجۡتَبِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ مَن يَشَآءُ وَيَہۡدِىٓ إِلَيۡهِ مَن يُنِيبُ

(Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance.) means, He is the One Who decrees guidance for those who deserve it, and decrees misguidance for those who prefer it to the right path. Allah says here;

﴿ وَمَا تَفَرَّقُوٓاْ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡعِلۡمُ

(And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them,) means, their opposition to the truth arose after it had come to them and proof had been established against them. Nothing made them resist in this manner except their transgression and stubbornness.

﴿ وَلَوۡلَا كَلِمَةٌ۬ سَبَقَتۡ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ى

(And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term,) means, were it not for the fact that Allah had already decreed that He would delay the reckoning of His servants until the Day of Resurrection, the punishment would have been hastened for them in this world.

﴿ وَإِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ أُورِثُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ

(And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture after them,) means, the later generation which came after the earlier generation which had rejected the truth.

﴿ لَفِى شَكٍّ۬ مِّنۡهُ مُرِيبٍ۬

(are in grave doubt concerning it.) means, they do not have any firm conviction in matters of religion; they merely imitate their forefathers, without any evidence or proof. So they are very confused and doubtful.

﴿ فَلِذَٲلِكَ فَٱدۡعُ‌ۖ وَٱسۡتَقِمۡ ڪَمَآ أُمِرۡتَ‌ۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعۡ أَهۡوَآءَهُمۡ‌ۖ وَقُلۡ ءَامَنتُ بِمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن ڪِتَـٰبٍ۬‌ۖ وَأُمِرۡتُ لِأَعۡدِلَ بَيۡنَكُمُ‌ۖ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّنَا وَرَبُّكُمۡ‌ۖ لَنَآ أَعۡمَـٰلُنَا وَلَكُمۡ أَعۡمَـٰلُڪُمۡ‌ۖ لَا حُجَّةَ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَكُمُ‌ۖ ٱللَّهُ يَجۡمَعُ بَيۡنَنَا‌ۖ وَإِلَيۡهِ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(15. So unto this then invite (people), and stand firm as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say: "I believe in whatsoever Allah has sent down of the Book and I am commanded to do justice among you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you. Allah will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return.'')