Here Allah denounces the idolaters for their denial of the Resurrection and their belief that there is nothing after this life and no life or resurrection after death, which they based on the fact that their forefathers had died and had not returned. They said, If the resurrection is true,
(Then bring back our forefathers, if you speak the truth!) This is false evidence and a specious argument, for the resurrection will happen on the Day of Judgment, not in this world; it will happen when this world has ended and ceased to be. Allah will bring all creatures back, created anew. He will make the evildoers fuel for the fire of Hell, and on that Day you will be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger will be a witness over you. Then Allah threatens them and warns them of the irresistible torment other idolaters like who denied the resurrection, suffered. Such as the people of Tubba`, i.e., Saba'. Allah destroyed them, wreaked havoc upon their land and scattered them here and there throughout the land, as we have already seen in Surah Saba'. This was brought about because the idolaters denied the Resurrection. Here too, the idolaters are compared to them. They Tubba` were Arab descendants of Qahtan, just as these people (Quraysh) were Arab descendants of `Adnan. Among the people of Himyar -- who are also known as Saba' -- when a man became their king, they called him Tubba`, just as the title Chosroes was given to the king of Persia, Caesar to the king of the Romans, Fir`awn to the disbelieving ruler of Egypt, Negus to the king of Ethiopia, and so on among other nations. But it so happened that one of the Tubba` left Yemen and went on a journey of conquest until he reached Samarqand, expanding his kingdom and domain. He is the one who founded Al-Hirah. It is agreed that he passed through Al-Madinah during the days of Jahiliyyah. He fought its inhabitants but they resisted him; they fought him by day and supplied him with food by night, so he felt ashamed before them and refrained from harming them. He was accompanied by two Jewish rabbis who advised him and told him that he would never prevail over this city, for it would be the place to which a Prophet would migrate towards the end of time. So he retreated and took them (the two rabbis) with him to Yemen. When he passed by Makkah, he wanted to destroy the Ka`bah, but they told him not to do that either. They told him about the significance of this House, that it had been built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil (peace be upon him) and that it would become of great importance through that Prophet who would be sent towards the end of time. So he respected it, performed Tawaf around it, and covered it with a fine cloth. Then he returned to Yemen and invited its people to follow the religion of guidance along with him. At that time, the religion of Musa (peace be upon him) was the religion followed by those who were guided, before the coming of the Messiah, peace be upon him. So the people of Yemen accepted the religion of guidance along with him. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(I do not know whether Tubba` was a Prophet or not.) It was narrated that Tamim bin `Abdur-Rahman said: " `Ata' bin Abi Rabah said, `Do not revile Tubba`, for the Messenger of Allah forbade reviling him.''' And Allah knows best.
(38. And We created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, for mere play.) (39. We created them not except with truth, but most of them know not.) (40. Verily, the Day of Judgment is the time appointed for all of them --) (41. The Day when a near relative cannot avail a near relative in aught, and no help can they receive,) (42. Except him on whom Allah has mercy. Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.)
Here Allah tells us of His justice, and that He is far above mere play, folly and falsehood. This is like the Ayah:
(And We created not the heaven and the earth and all that is between them without purpose! That is the consideration of those who disbelieve! Then woe to those who disbelieve from the Fire!) (38:27)
(Did you think that We had created you in play, and that you would not be brought back to Us So Exalted be Allah, the True King: La ilaha illa Huwa, the Lord of the Supreme Throne!) (23:115-116) Then Allah says:
(Verily, the Day of Judgment is the time appointed for all of them) This is the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will judge between all creatures, and He will punish the disbelievers and reward the believers.
(is the time appointed for all of them) means, He will gather all of them, the first and the last of them.
(The Day when a near relative cannot avail a near relative in aught,) means, no relative will be able to help another relative. This is like the Ayah:
(Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another.) (23:101)
(And no friend will ask a friend (about his condition). Though they shall be made to see one another) (70:10-11) which means, he will not ask his brother about how he is, even though he can see him with his own eyes.
(and no help can they receive,) means, no relative will help another, and no help will come to him from outside.
(Except him on whom Allah has mercy.) means, and nothing will be of any avail that Day except the mercy of Allah towards His creation.
(Verily, He is the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.) means, he is the Almighty, with immense mercy.
(43. Verily, the tree of Zaqqum) (44. Will be the food of the sinners.) (45. Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies,) (46. Like the boiling of scalding water.) (47. (It will be said:) "Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire,'') (48. "Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water.'') (49. "Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous.'') (50. "Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!'')
Allah tells us how He will punish the disbelievers who deny the meeting with Him:
(Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners.) Those who sinned by their words and in deeds. These are the disbelievers. More than one commentator stated that this referred to Abu Jahl; undoubtedly he is included among those referred to in this Ayah, but it is not specifically about him. Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' was reciting to a man:
(Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners.) The man said, "The food of the orphan.'' Abu Ad-Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Say, the tree of Zaqqum is the food of the evildoer.'' i.e., he will not have any other food apart from that. Mujahid said, "If a drop of it were to fall on the earth, it would corrupt the living of all the people of earth.'' A similar Marfu` report has been narrated earlier.
(Like boiling oil,) means, like the dregs of oil.
(it will boil in the bellies, like the boiling of scalding water.) means, because of its heat and rancidity.
(Seize him) means the disbeliever. It was reported that when Allah says to the keepers of Hell, "Seize him,'' seventy thousand of them will rush to seize him.
(and drag him) means, drag him by pulling him and pushing him on his back. Mujahid said:
(Seize him and drag him) means, take him and push him.
(into the midst of blazing Fire.) means, into the middle of it.
(Then pour over his head the torment of boiling water.) This is like the Ayah:
(boiling water will be poured down over their heads. With it will melt what is within their bellies, as well as (their) skins.) (22:19-20). The angel will strike him with a hooked rod of iron and split his head open, then he will pour boiling water over his head. It will go down through his body, melting through his stomach and intestines, until it goes through his heels; may Allah protect us from that.
(Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous.) means, they (the keepers of Hell) will say that to him by way of ridicule and rebuke. Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "This means, you are neither mighty nor generous.'' And Allah's saying:
(Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!) is like His saying:
(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. In this magic, or do you not see) (52: 13-15) Similarly Allah said:
(Verily, this is that where of you used to doubt!)
(51. Verily, those who have Taqwa, will be in place of security.) (52. Among Gardens and Springs,) (53. Dressed in Sundus and Istabraq, facing each other,) (54. So (it will be). And We shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes,) (55. They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security;) (56. They will never taste death therein except the first death, and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire,) (57. As a bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success!) (58. Certainly, We have made this (Qur'an) easy in your tongue, in order that they may remember.) (59. So wait thou and watch; for they (too) are waiting)
They will enjoy in Paradise When Allah describes the state of the doomed, He follows that with a description of the life of the blessed. For this reason the Qur'an is called Al-Mathani (i.e., oft-repeated).
(Verily, those who have Taqwa,) i.e., those who fear Allah and are dutiful towards Him in this world,
(will be in place of security.) means, in the Hereafter, i.e., in Paradise, where they will be safe from death and the fear of leaving it, and from every kind of worry, grief, terror and exhaustion, and from the Shaytan and his wiles, and from all other troubles and disasters.
(Among Gardens and Springs). This is in direct contrast to the state of the doomed, who will have the tree of Zaqqum and boiling water.
(Dressed in Sundus) means, the finest of silk, such as shirts and the like.
(and Istabraq) means, silk which is woven with shiny threads, like a splendid garment which is worn over regular clothes.
(facing each other, ) means, sitting on thrones where none of them will sit with his back to anyone else.
(So (it will be). And We shall marry them to Hur (fair females) with wide lovely eyes,) This will be a gift in addition to the beautiful wives given to them.
(with whom no man or Jinn has had Tamth (sexual intercourse) before them.) (55:56)
((In beauty) they are like rubies and Marjan.) (55:58)
(Is there any reward for good other than good) (55:60)
(They will call therein for every kind of fruit in peace and security;) means, whatever kinds of fruit they ask for will be brought to them, and they will have the security of knowing that this supply will never come to an end or be withheld; these fruits will be brought to them whenever they want.
(They will never taste death therein except the first death,) This is an exception which reinforces the negation. The meaning is that they will never taste death there. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Death will be brought forth in the image of a fine ram. It will be made to stand between Paradise and Hell, then it will be slaughtered. It will be said, "O people of Paradise, it is eternal, no more death; and O people of Hell, it is eternal, no more death.'') This Hadith was already quoted in our discussion of Surah Maryam. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Abu Sa`id and Abu Hurayrah said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(It will be said to the people of Paradise, "It is granted to you that you will be healthy and will never fall ill, you will live and never die, you will enjoy a life of luxury and will never be miserable, you will be youthful and will never grow old.'')'' This was recorded by Muslim. It was reported that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Whoever has Taqwa of Allah, he will enter Paradise and enjoy a life of luxury and he will never be miserable. He will live therein and never die, his clothes will never wear out and his youth will never fade.)''
(and He will save them from the torment of the blazing Fire,) means, along with this great and eternal blessing, He will also have saved them from the agonizing torment in the depths of Hell, so they will have achieved their desired aim and avoided the thing they feared. Allah says,
(As a bounty from your Lord! That will be the supreme success!) meaning, that will be from His bounty and kindness towards them. It was reported in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Work and strive hard, and know that no one will enter Paradise by virtue of his deeds.) They said, "Not even you, O Messenger of Allah'' He said,
(Not even me, unless Allah showers me with His mercy and grace.)
(Certainly, We have made this easy in your tongue, in order that they may remember.) means, `We have made this Qur'an, which We have sent down, easy, plain and clear, in your language which is the most eloquent, clear and beautiful of all languages.'
(in order that they may remember.) means, in order that they may understand and know. Despite the fact that it is so plain and clear, there are still people who disbelieve, who stubbornly go against it. Allah says to His Messenger, consoling him and promising him victory, and warning those who reject him that they will be destroyed.
(Wait then; verily, they (too) are waiting.) meaning, `they will come to know who will be victorious and whose word will prevail in this world and in the Hereafter. For victory will be for you, O Muhammad, and for your brothers among the Prophets and Messengers, and for the believers who followed you,' as Allah says:
(Allah has decreed: "Verily, it is I and My Messengers who shall be the victorious.'') (58:21)
(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, -- the Day when their excuses will be of no profit to wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode.) (40:51-52) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ad-Dukhan. All praise and thanks are due to Allah and in Him is all strength and protection.