In Musnad Al-Bazzar, it is recorded from Abu At-Tufayl `Amir bin Wathilah from Zayd bin Harithah that the Messenger of Allah said to Ibn Sayyad:
(I am concealing something, what is it) And the Messenger of Allah was concealing Surat Ad-Dukhan from him. He (Ibn Sayyad) said: "It is Ad-Dukh.'' The Messenger of Allah said,
(Be off with you! Whatever Allah wills happens.)
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Ha Mim.) (2. By the manifest Book that makes things clear.) (3. We sent it down on a blessed night. Verily, We are ever warning.) (4. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter, Hakim.) (5. As a command from Us. Verily, We are ever sending,) (6. (As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.) (7. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you (but) have a faith with certainty.) (8. La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death -- your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.)
Allah tells us that He revealed the Magnificent Qur'an on a blessed night, Laylatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree), as He says elsewhere:
(Verily, We have sent it down in the Night of Al-Qadr) (97:1). This was in the month of Ramadan, as Allah tells us:
(The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an) (2:185). We have already quoted the relevant Hadiths in (the Tafsir of) Surat Al-Baqarah, and there is no need to repeat them here.
(Verily, We are ever warning.) means, telling them what is good for them and what is harmful for them, according to Shari`ah, so that the proof of Allah may be established against His servants.
(Therein (that night) is decreed every matter, Hakim.) means, on Laylatul-Qadr, the decrees are transferred from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfuz to the (angelic) scribes who write down the decrees of the (coming) year including life span, provision, and what will happen until the end of the year. This was narrated from Ibn `Umar, Mujahid, Abu Malik, Ad-Dahhak and others among the Salaf.
(Hakim) means decided or confirmed, which cannot be changed or altered. Allah says:
(As a command from Us.) meaning, everything that happens and is decreed by Allah and the revelation that He sends down -- it all happens by His command, by His leave and with His knowledge.
(Verily, We are ever sending,) means, to mankind, sending Messenger who will recite to them the clear signs of Allah. The need for this was urgent.
((As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them,) means, the One Who sent down the Qur'an is the Lord, Creator and Sovereign of the heavens and the earth and everything in between them.
(if you (but) have a faith with certainty.) Then Allah says:
(La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death -- your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.) This is like the Ayah:
(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah -- to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa. He gives life and causes death...) (7:158)
(9. Nay! They play about in doubt.) (10. Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke,) (11. Covering mankind, this is a painful torment.) (12. (They will say): "Our Lord! Remove the torment from us, really we shall become believers!'') (13. How can there be for them an admonition, when a Messenger explaining things clearly has already come to them.) (14. Then they had turned away from him and said: "(He is) one taught, a madman!'') (15. Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.) (16. On the Day when We shall strike you with the great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.)
Allah says, these idolaters are playing about in doubt, i.e., the certain truth has come to them, but they doubt it and do not believe in it. Then Allah says, warning and threatening them:
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) It was narrated that Masruq said, "We entered the Masjid -- i.e., the Masjid of Kufah at the gates of Kindah -- and a man was reciting to his companions,
(the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) He asked them; `Do you know what that is' That is the smoke that will come on the Day of Resurrection. It will take away the hearing and sight of the hypocrites, but for the believers it will be like having a cold.''' He said, "We came to Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) and told him about that. He was lying down, and he sat up with a start and said, `Allah said to your Prophet
(Say: "No wage do I ask of you for this, nor am I one of the pretenders.'') (38:86). And it is part of knowledge that when a man does not know something, he should say, `Allah knows best.' I will tell you a Hadith about that. When the Quraysh did not respond to Islam and they grew stubborn, the Messenger of Allah invoked Allah against them that they would have years like the years (of drought and famine) of Yusuf. They became so exhausted and hungry that they ate bones and dead meat. They looked at the sky, but they saw nothing but smoke.''' According to another report: "A man would look at the sky and he would see nothing between him and the sky except a smoky haze, because of his exhaustion.''
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke, covering the people, this is a painful torment) A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said, "O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to send rain to Mudar, for they are dying. So the Prophet prayed for rain for them, and they got rain. Then the Ayah was revealed:
(Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.) Ibn Mas`ud said, "Do you think that the torment will be removed for them on the Day of Resurrection When they were granted ease, they reverted to their former state. Then Allah revealed:
(On the Day when We shall strike you with the Great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.)'' He said, "This means the day of Badr.'' Ibn Mas`ud said, "Five things have come to pass: the smoke, the (defeat of the) Romans, the (splitting of the) moon, the Batshah, and the torment.'' This Hadith was narrated in the Two Sahihs. It was also recorded by Imam Ahmad in his Musnad, and by At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i in their (Books of) Tafsir, and by Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim with a number of chains of narration. A number of the Salaf, such as Mujahid, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Ad-Dahhak and `Atiyah Al-`Awfi concurred with Ibn Mas`ud's interpretation of this Ayah and his view that the smoke already happened. This was also the view of Ibn Jarir. According to the Hadith of Abu Sarihah, Hudhayfah bin Asid Al-Ghifari (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah looked out upon us from a room while we were discussing the Hour. He said:
(The Hour will not come until you see ten signs. The rising of the sun from the west; the smoke; the beast; the emergence of Ya'juj and Ma'juj; the appearance of `Isa bin Maryam; the Dajjal; three cases of the earth collapsing -- one in the east, one in the west, and one in the Arabian Peninsula; and a fire which will emerge from the bottom of Aden and will drive the people -- or gather the people -- stopping with them when they stop to sleep at night or rest during the day.)'' This was recorded only by Muslim in his Sahih In the Two Sahihs it was recorded that the Messenger of Allah said to Ibn Sayyad:
(I am concealing something for you.) He said, It is Ad-Dukh. The Prophet said,
(Be off with you! You cannot get further than your rank.) He said, "The Messenger of Allah was concealing from him the words,
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.)''This indicates that the smoke is yet to appear. Ibn Sayyad was a fortune-teller who heard things through the Jinn, whose speech is unclear, therefore he said, "It is Ad-Dukh,'' meaning Ad-Dukhan (the smoke). When the Messenger of Allah was sure what was happening, that the source of his information was the Shayatin, he said:
(Be off with you! You cannot get further than your rank.) There are numerous Marfu` and Mawquf Hadiths, Sahih, Hasan and others, which indicate that the smoke is one of the awaited signs (of the Hour). This is also the apparent meaning of Ayat in the Qur'an. Allah says:
(Then wait you for the Day when the sky will bring forth a visible smoke.) meaning, clearly visible, such that all people will see it. According to Ibn Mas`ud's interpretation, this was a vision which they saw because of their intense hunger and exhaustion. He also interprets the Ayah
(Covering mankind,) meaning, it covered them and overwhelmed them. But if it was only an illusion which happened to the idolaters of Makkah, Allah would not have said "covering mankind.''
(this is a painful torment.) means, this will be said to them by way of rebuke. This is like the Ayah:
(The Day when they will be pushed down by force to the fire of Hell, with a horrible, forceful pushing. This is the Fire which you used to deny.) (52:13-14). Or some of them will say that to others.
((They will say): "Our Lord! Remove the torment from us, really we shall become believers!'') means, when the disbelievers witness the punishment of Allah, they will ask for it to be taken away from them. This is like the Ayat:
(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!'') (6:27)
(And warn mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them; then the wrongdoers will say: "Our Lord! Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your Call and follow the Messengers!'' (It will be said): "Had you not sworn aforetime that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter).) (14:44) Allah says here:
(How can there be for them an admonition, when a Messenger explaining things clearly has already come to them. Then they had turned away from him and said: "(He is) one taught, a madman!'') meaning, `what further admonition do they need when We have sent them a Messenger with a clear Message and warning Yet despite that, they turned away from him, opposed him and rejected him, and they said: (He is) one taught (by a human being), a madman.' This is like the Ayah:
(On that Day will man remember, but how will that remembrance (then) avail him) (89:23)
(And if you could but see, when they will be terrified with no escape, and they will be seized from a near place. And they will say (in the Hereafter): "We do believe (now);'' but how could they receive (faith and its acceptance by Allah) from a place so far off...) (34:51-52)
(Verily, We shall remove the torment for a while. Verily, you will revert.) means, `if We were to remove the torment from you for a while, and send you back to the world, you would go back to your former state of disbelief and denial.' This is like the Ayat:
(And though We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.) (23:75)
(But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars) (6:28)
(On the Day when We shall strike you with the great Batshah. Verily, We will exact retribution.) Ibn Mas`ud interpreted this to mean the day of Badr. This is also the view of a group who agreed with Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) about the meaning of the smoke, as discussed above. It was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) in a report related to him from Al-`Awfi and from Ubayy bin Ka`b, may Allah be pleased with him. This is possible, but the apparent meaning is that it refers to the Day of Resurrection, although the day of Badr was also a day of vengeance. Ibn Jarir said, "Ya`qub narrated to me; Ibn `Ulayyah narrated to me, Khalid Al-Hadhdha' narrated to us, from `Ikrimah who said, `Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said that "the great Batshah'' is the day of Badr, and I say that it is the Day of Resurrection.'' This chain of narration is Sahih to him. This is also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri and of `Ikrimah according to the more authentic of the two reports narrated from him. And Allah knows best.
(17. And indeed We tried before them Fir`awn's people, when there came to them a noble Messenger.) (18. Saying: "Deliver to me the servants of Allah. Verily, I am to you a Messenger worthy of all trust.'') (19. "And exalt not yourselves against Allah. Truly, I have come to you with a manifest authority.'') (20. "And truly, I seek refuge with my Lord and your Lord, lest you should stone me.'') (21. "But if you believe me not, then keep away from me and leave me alone.'') (22. So he (Musa) called upon his Lord (saying): "These are indeed the people who are criminals.'') (23. (Allah said): "Depart you with My servants by night. Surely, you will be pursued.'') (24. "And leave the sea as it is (quiet and divided). Verily, they are a host to be drowned.'') (25. How many of gardens and springs that they (Fir`awn's people) left behind, (26. And green crops (fields) and goodly places,) (27. And comforts of life wherein they used to take delight!) (28. Thus (it was)! And We made other people inherit them.) (29. And the heavens and the earth wept not for them, nor were they given respite.) (30. And indeed We saved the Children of Israel from the humiliating torment,) (31. From Fir`awn; verily, he was arrogant and was of the excessive.) (32. And We chose them above the nations (Al-`Alamin) with knowledge,) (33. And granted them signs in which there was a plain trial.)