;
Jahannam (Hellfire) exists now

Many of the Imams of the Sunnah used this Ayah to prove that the Fire exists now. This is because Allah said,

﴿ أُعِدَّتۡ

(prepared) meaning, prepared and kept. There are many Hadiths on this subject. For instance, the Prophet said,

« تَحَاجَّتِ الْجَنَّةُ وَالنَّار »

(Paradise and the Fire had an argument…)

Also, the Prophet said,

« اسْتَأْذَنَتِ النَّارُ رَبَّهَا فَقَالَتْ: رَبِّ أَكَلَ بَعضِي بَعْضًا فَأذِنَ لَهَا بِنَفَسَيْنِ: نَفَسٍ فِي الشِّتَاءِ وَنَفَسٍ فِي الصَّيْف »

(The Fire sought the permission of her Lord. She said, 'O my Lord! Some parts of me consumed the other parts.' And Allah allowed her two periods to exhale, one in winter and one in summer.)

Also, there is a Hadith recorded from Ibn Mas`ud that the Companions heard the sound of a falling object. When they asked about it, the Messenger of Allah said,

« هَذَا حَجَرٌ أُلْقِيَ بِهِ مِنْ شَفِيرِ جَهَنَّمَ مُنْذُ سَبْعِينَ سَنَةً، الْآنَ وَصَلَ إِلى قَعْرِهَا »

(This is a stone that was thrown from the top of Jahannam seventy years ago, but only now reached its bottom.) This Hadith is in Sahih Muslim.

There are many Hadiths that are Mutawatir (narrated by many different chains of narrations) on this subject, such as the Hadiths about the eclipse prayer, the night of Isra' etc.

Allah's statements,

﴿ فَأۡتُواْ بِسُورَةٍ۬ مِّن مِّثۡلِهِۦ

(Then produce a Surah (chapter) of the like thereof) (2:23), and,

﴿ بِسُورَةٍ۬ مِّثۡلِهِۦ

(A Surah (chapter) like it) (10:38) this includes the short and long Surahs of the Qur'an. Therefore, the challenge to creation stands with regards to both the long and short Surahs, and there is no disagreement that I know of on this fact between the scholars of old and new. Before he became Muslim, `Amr bin Al-`As met Musaylimah the Liar who asked him, "What has recently been revealed to your fellow (meaning Muhammad) in Makkah'' `Amr said, "A short, yet eloquent Surah.'' He asked, "What is it'' He said,

﴿ وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ

(By Al-`Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss,) (103:1-2)

Musaylimah thought for a while and said, "A similar Surah was also revealed to me.'' `Amr asked, "What is it'' He said, "O Wabr, O Wabr (i.e. a wild cat), you are but two ears and a chest, and the rest of you is unworthy and thin.'' `Amr said, "By Allah! You know that I know that you are lying.''

﴿ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ‌ۖ ڪُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنۡہَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ۬ رِّزۡقً۬ا‌ۙ قَالُواْ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى رُزِقۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۖ وَأُتُواْ بِهِۦ مُتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ فِيهَآ أَزۡوَٲجٌ۬ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ۬‌ۖ وَهُمۡ فِيهَا خَـٰلِدُونَ

(25. And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise). Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: "This is what we were provided with before,'' and they will be given things in resemblance (i.e. in the same form but different in taste) and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives), and they will abide therein forever.)

Rewards of Righteous Believers

After mentioning the torment that Allah has prepared for His miserable enemies who disbelieve in Him and in His Messengers, He mentions the condition of His happy, loyal friends who believe in Him and in His Messengers, adhere to the faith and perform the good deeds. This is the reason why the Qur'an was called Mathani, based on the correct opinion of the scholars. We will elaborate upon this subject later. Mathani means to mention faith and then disbelief, or vice versa. Or, Allah mentions the miserable and then the happy, or vice versa. As for mentioning similar things, it is called Tashabbuh, as we will come to know, Allah willing. Allah said,

﴿ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ‌ۖ

(And give glad tidings to those who believe and do righteous good deeds, that for them will be Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)). Consequently, Allah stated that Paradise has rivers that run beneath it, meaning, underneath its trees and rooms. From Hadiths it is learned that the rivers of Paradise do not run in valleys, and that the banks of Al-Kawthar (the Prophet's lake in Paradise) are made of domes of hollow pearls, the sand of Paradise is made of scented musk while its stones are made from pearls and jewels. We ask Allah to grant Paradise to us, for verily, He is the Most Beneficent, Most Gracious.

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ تَفَجَّرُ تَحْتَ تِلَالٍ أَوْ مِنْ تَحْتِ جِبَالِ الْمِسْك »

(The rivers of Paradise spring from beneath hills, or mountains of musk.)

He also reported from Masruq that `Abdullah said, "The rivers of Paradise spring from beneath mountains of musk.''

The similarity between the Fruits of Paradise

Allah said next,

﴿ ڪُلَّمَا رُزِقُواْ مِنۡہَا مِن ثَمَرَةٍ۬ رِّزۡقً۬ا‌ۙ قَالُواْ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى رُزِقۡنَا مِن قَبۡلُ‌ۖ

(Every time they will be provided with a fruit therefrom, they will say: "This is what we were provided with before'').

Ibn Abi Hatim reported that Yahya bin Abi Kathir said, "The grass of Paradise is made of saffron, its hills from musk and the boys of everlasting youth will serve the believers with fruits which they will eat. They will then be brought similar fruits, and the people of Paradise will comment, `This is the same as what you have just brought us.' The boys will say to them, `Eat, for the color is the same, but the taste is different. Hence Allah's statement,

﴿ وَأُتُواْ بِهِۦ مُتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا‌ۖ

(and they will be given things in resemblance). Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi narrated that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas said that Abu Al-`Aliyah said that,

﴿ وَأُتُواْ بِهِۦ مُتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا‌ۖ

(and they will be given things in resemblance) means, "They look like each other, but the taste is different.'' Also, `Ikrimah said,

﴿ وَأُتُواْ بِهِۦ مُتَشَـٰبِهً۬ا‌ۖ

(and they will be given things in resemblance) "They are similar to the fruits of this life, but the fruits of Paradise taste better. '' Sufyan Ath-Thawri reported from Al-A`mash, from Abu Thubyan, that Ibn `Abbas said, "Nothing in Paradise resembles anything in the life of this world, except in name.'' In another narration, Ibn `Abbas said, "Only the names are similar between what is in this life and what is in Paradise.''

The Wives of the People of Paradise are Pure

Allah said,

﴿ وَلَهُمۡ فِيهَآ أَزۡوَٲجٌ۬ مُّطَهَّرَةٌ۬‌ۖ

(and they shall have therein Azwajun Mutahharatun). Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Purified from filth and impurity.'' Also, Mujahid said, "From menstruation, relieving the call of nature, urine, spit, semen and pregnancies.'' Also, Qatadah said, "Purified from impurity and sin.'' In another narration, he said, "From menstruation and pregnancies.'' Further, `Ata', Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Abu Salih, `Atiyah and As-Suddi were reported to have said similarly.

Allah's statement,

﴿ وَهُمۡ فِيهَا خَـٰلِدُونَ

(and they will abide therein forever) meaning ultimate happiness, for the believers will enjoy everlasting delight, safe from death and disruption of their bliss, for it never ends or ceases. We ask Allah to make us among these believers, for He is the Most Generous, Most Kind and Most merciful.

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَسۡتَحۡىِۦۤ أَن يَضۡرِبَ مَثَلاً۬ مَّا بَعُوضَةً۬ فَمَا فَوۡقَهَا‌ۚ فَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فَيَعۡلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ ٱلۡحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمۡ‌ۖ وَأَمَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ فَيَقُولُونَ مَاذَآ أَرَادَ ٱللَّهُ بِهَـٰذَا مَثَلاً۬‌ۘ يُضِلُّ بِهِۦ ڪَثِيرً۬ا وَيَهۡدِى بِهِۦ كَثِيرً۬ا‌ۚ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِۦۤ إِلَّا ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهۡدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مِيثَـٰقِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۤ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(26. Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it. And as for those who believe, they know that it is the truth from their Lord, but as for those who disbelieve, they say: "What did Allah intend by this parable'' By it He misleads many, and many He guides thereby. And He misleads thereby only the Fasiqin (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah). (27. Those who break Allah's covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.)

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud, and some Companions said; "When Allah gave these two examples of the hypocrites'' meaning Allah's statements,

﴿ مَثَلُهُمۡ كَمَثَلِ ٱلَّذِى ٱسۡتَوۡقَدَ نَارً۬ا

(Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire), and,

﴿ أَوۡ كَصَيِّبٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ

(Or like a rainstorm from the sky), "The hypocrites said, `Allah's far more exalted than for Him to make such examples.' So Allah revealed these Ayat (2:26-27) up to:

﴿ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(Who are the losers)''. Sa`id said that Qatadah said, "Allah does not shy away from the truth when He mentions a matter as a parable, whether this matter is significant or not. When Allah mentioned the flies and the spider in His Book, the people of misguidance said, `Why did Allah mention these things.' So Allah revealed;

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَسۡتَحۡىِۦۤ أَن يَضۡرِبَ مَثَلاً۬ مَّا بَعُوضَةً۬ فَمَا فَوۡقَهَا‌ۚ

(Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger (or less when it is smaller) than it).''

A Parable about the Life of This World

Abu Ja`far Ar-Razi reported that Ar-Rabi` bin Anas commented on this Ayah (2:26); "This is an example that Allah has given for the life of this world. The mosquito lives as long as it needs food, but when it gets fat, it dies. This is also the example of people whom Allah mentioned in the Qur'an: when they acquire (and collect the delights of) the life of this world, Allah then takes them away.'' Afterwards, he recited,

﴿ فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُڪِّرُواْ بِهِۦ فَتَحۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ أَبۡوَٲبَ ڪُلِّ شَىۡءٍ

(So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing) (6:44)

In this Ayah (2:26) Allah stated that He does not shy away or hesitate in making an example or parable of anything, whether the example involves a significant or an insignificant matter.

Allah's statement,

﴿ فَمَا فَوۡقَهَا‌ۚ

(Or so much more when it is bigger than it) Fama fawqaha means, something bigger than the mosquito, which is one of the most insignificant and tiniest of creatures. Muslim narrated that Aishah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُشَاكُ شَوكَةً فَمَا فَوْقَهَا إِلَّا كُتِبَتْ لَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةٌ، وَمُحِيَتْ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَة »

(No Muslim is harmed by a thorn, Fama fawqaha (or something larger), but a good deed will be written for him and an evil deed will be erased from his record.)

So Allah has informed us that there is no matter that is too small that is exempt from being used as an example, even if it was as insignificant as a mosquito or a spider. Allah said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ ضُرِبَ مَثَلٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَمِعُواْ لَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ لَن يَخۡلُقُواْ ذُبَابً۬ا وَلَوِ ٱجۡتَمَعُواْ لَهُ ۥ‌ۖ وَإِن يَسۡلُبۡہُمُ ٱلذُّبَابُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا لَّا يَسۡتَنقِذُوهُ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ ضَعُفَ ٱلطَّالِبُ وَٱلۡمَطۡلُوبُ

(O mankind! A similitude has been coined, so listen to it (carefully): Verily, those on whom you call besides Allah, cannot create (even) a fly, even though they combine together for the purpose. And if the fly snatches away a thing from them, they will have no power to release it from the fly. So weak are (both) the seeker and the sought.) (22:73),

﴿ مَثَلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ أَوۡلِيَآءَ كَمَثَلِ ٱلۡعَنڪَبُوتِ ٱتَّخَذَتۡ بَيۡتً۬ا‌ۖ وَإِنَّ أَوۡهَنَ ٱلۡبُيُوتِ لَبَيۡتُ ٱلۡعَنڪَبُوتِ‌ۖ لَوۡ ڪَانُواْ يَعۡلَمُونَ

(The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Awliya' (protectors, helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house ـ if they but knew.) (29:41), and,

﴿ أَلَمۡ تَرَ كَيۡفَ ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً۬ كَلِمَةً۬ طَيِّبَةً۬ كَشَجَرَةٍ۬ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصۡلُهَا ثَابِتٌ۬ وَفَرۡعُهَا فِى ٱلسَّمَآءِ تُؤۡتِىٓ أُڪُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينِۭ بِإِذۡنِ رَبِّهَا‌ۗ وَيَضۡرِبُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡأَمۡثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَذَڪَّرُونَ وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ۬ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ ٱجۡتُثَّتۡ مِن فَوۡقِ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ۬ يُثَبِّتُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِٱلۡقَوۡلِ ٱلثَّابِتِ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَفِى ٱلۡأَخِرَةِ‌ۖ وَيُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ‌ۚ وَيَفۡعَلُ ٱللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ

(See you not how Allah sets forth a parable A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high). Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability. Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in life of this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah alone and none else), and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers) to go astray those and Allah does what He wills.) (14:24-27). Allah said,

﴿ ضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً عَبۡدً۬ا مَّمۡلُوكً۬ا لَّا يَقۡدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬

(Allah puts forward the example of (two men ـ a believer and a disbeliever); a servant under the possession of another, he has no power of any sort) (16:75). He then said,

﴿ وَضَرَبَ ٱللَّهُ مَثَلاً۬ رَّجُلَيۡنِ أَحَدُهُمَآ أَبۡڪَمُ لَا يَقۡدِرُ عَلَىٰ شَىۡءٍ۬ وَهُوَ ڪَلٌّ عَلَىٰ مَوۡلَٮٰهُ أَيۡنَمَا يُوَجِّههُّ لَا يَأۡتِ بِخَيۡرٍ‌ۖ هَلۡ يَسۡتَوِى هُوَ وَمَن يَأۡمُرُ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ‌ۙ

(And Allah puts forward (another) example of two men, one of them dumb, who has no power over anything, and he is a burden on his master; whichever way he directs him, he brings no good. Is such a man equal to one who commands justice) (16:76). Also, Allah said,

﴿ ضَرَبَ لَكُم مَّثَلاً۬ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ‌ۖ هَل لَّكُم مِّن مَّا مَلَكَتۡ أَيۡمَـٰنُكُم مِّن شُرَڪَآءَ فِى مَا رَزَقۡنَـٰڪُمۡ

(He sets forth for you a parable from your own selves: Do you have partners among those whom your right hands possess (i.e. your servants) to share as equals in the wealth we have bestowed on you) (30:28).

Mujahid commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَسۡتَحۡىِۦۤ أَن يَضۡرِبَ مَثَلاً۬ مَّا بَعُوضَةً۬ فَمَا فَوۡقَهَا‌ۚ

(Verily, Allah is not ashamed to set forth a parable even of a mosquito or so much more when it is bigger than it.) "The believers believe in these parables, whether they involve large matters or small, because they know that they are the truth from their Lord, and Allah guides the believers by these parables.''

In his Tafsir, As-Suddi reported that Ibn `Abbas, Ibn Mas`ud and other people among the Companions said,

﴿ يُضِلُّ بِهِۦ ڪَثِيرً۬ا

(By it He misleads many), "Meaning the hypocrites. Allah guides the believers with these parables, and the straying of the hypocrites increases when they reject the parables that Allah mentioned for them which they know are true. This is how Allah misleads them.''

﴿ وَيَهۡدِى بِهِۦ

(And He guides thereby) meaning, with the parables,

﴿ كَثِيرً۬ا‌ۚ

(many) from among the people of faith and conviction. Allah adds guidance to their guidance, and faith to their faith, because they firmly believe in what they know to be true, that is, the parables that Allah has mentioned. This is guidance that Allah grants them;

﴿ وَمَا يُضِلُّ بِهِۦۤ إِلَّا ٱلۡفَـٰسِقِينَ

(And He misleads thereby only the Fasiqin (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah)), meaning, the hypocrites. The Arabs say that the date has Fasaqat, when it comes out of its skin, and they call the mouse a Fuwaysiqah, because it leaves its den to cause mischief. The Two Sahihs recorded `A'ishah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

« خَمْسٌ فَوَاسِقُ يُقْتَلْنَ فِي الْحِلِّ وَالْحَرَمِ: الغُرَابُ وَالْحِدَأَةُ وَالْعَقْرَبُ وَالْفَأْرَةُ وَالْكَلْبُ الْعَقُور »

(Five animals are Fawasiq, and they must be killed during Ihram and otherwise: the crow, the kite, the scorpion, the mouse and the rabid dog.) Fasiq, includes the disbeliever and the disobedient. However, the Fisq of the disbeliever is worse, and this is the type of Fasiq that the Ayah is describing here, because Allah described them as,

﴿ ٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهۡدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مِيثَـٰقِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۤ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۚ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(Those who break Allah's covenant after ratifying it, and sever what Allah has ordered to be joined and do mischief on earth, it is they who are the losers.)

These are the characteristics of the disbelievers and they contradict the qualities of the believers. Similarly, Allah said in Surat Ar-Ra`d,

﴿ أَفَمَن يَعۡلَمُ أَنَّمَآ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ مِن رَّبِّكَ ٱلۡحَقُّ كَمَنۡ هُوَ أَعۡمَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡأَلۡبَـٰبِ ٱلَّذِينَ يُوفُونَ بِعَهۡدِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَا يَنقُضُونَ ٱلۡمِيثَـٰقَ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَصِلُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۤ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّہُمۡ وَيَخَافُونَ سُوٓءَ ٱلۡحِسَابِ

(Shall he then, who knows that what has been revealed unto you (O Muhammad) from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed. Those who fulfill the covenant of Allah and break not the Mithaq (bond, treaty, covenant). And those who join that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they are good to their relatives and do not sever the bond of kinship), and fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning.) (13:19-21)) until,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَنقُضُونَ عَهۡدَ ٱللَّهِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مِيثَـٰقِهِۦ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۤ أَن يُوصَلَ وَيُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۙ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱللَّعۡنَةُ وَلَهُمۡ سُوٓءُ ٱلدَّارِ

(And those who break the covenant of Allah, after its ratification, and sever that which Allah has commanded to be joined (i.e. they sever the bond of kinship and are not good to their relatives), and work mischief in the land, on them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah's mercy), and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell).) (13:25)

The covenant that these deviant people broke is Allah's covenant with His creation, that is, to obey Him and avoid the sins that He prohibited. This covenant was reiterated in Allah's Books and by the words of His Messengers. Ignoring this covenant constitutes breaking it. It was said that the Ayah (2:27) is about the disbelievers and the hypocrites among the People of the Book. In this case, the covenant that they broke is the pledge that Allah took from them in the Tawrah to follow Muhammad when he is sent as a Prophet, and to believe in him, and in what he was sent with. Breaking Allah's covenant in this case occurred when the People of the Book rejected the Prophet after they knew the truth about him, and they hid this truth from people, even though they swore to Allah that they would do otherwise. Allah informed us that they threw the covenant behind their backs and sold it for a miserable price.

It was also reported that the Ayah (2:27) refers to all disbelievers, idol worshippers and hypocrites. Allah took their pledge to believe in His Oneness, showing them the signs that testify to His Lordship. He also took a covenant from them to obey His commands and refrain from His prohibitions, knowing that His Messengers would bring proofs and miracles that none among the creation could ever produce. These miracles testified to the truth of Allah's Messengers. The covenant was broken when the disbelievers denied what was proven to them to be authentic and rejected Allah's Prophets and Books, although they knew that they were the truth. This Tafsir was reported from Muqatil bin Hayyan, and it is very good. It is also the view that Az-Zamakhshari held.

Allah's statement next,

﴿ وَيَقۡطَعُونَ مَآ أَمَرَ ٱللَّهُ بِهِۦۤ أَن يُوصَلَ

(And sever what Allah has ordered to be joined) is in reference to keeping the relations with the relatives, as Qatadah asserted. This Ayah is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ فَهَلۡ عَسَيۡتُمۡ إِن تَوَلَّيۡتُمۡ أَن تُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَتُقَطِّعُوٓاْ أَرۡحَامَكُمۡ

(Would you then, if you were given the authority, do mischief in the land, and sever your ties of kinship) (47:22)

Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred this opinion. However, it has been said that the meaning of the Ayah (2:27) here is more general. Hence, everything that Allah has commanded to nurture, and the people severed, is included in its meaning.

The Meaning of "Loss"

Muqatil bin Hayyan commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(It is they who are the losers) "In the Hereafter.'' Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱللَّعۡنَةُ وَلَهُمۡ سُوٓءُ ٱلدَّارِ

(On them is the curse (i.e. they will be far away from Allah's mercy), and for them is the unhappy (evil) home (i.e. Hell)) (13:25).

Also, Ad-Dahhak said that Ibn `Abbas said, "Every characteristic that Allah describes those other than the people of Islam - such as being losers - then it refers to disbelief. However, when they are attributed to the people of Islam, then these terms refer to sin.'' Ibn Jarir commented on Allah's statement,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرُونَ

(It is they who are the losers,) "`Losers is plural for loser, this word refers to whoever decreased his own share of Allah's mercy by disobeying Him, just as the merchant loses in his trade by sustaining capital loss. Such is the case with the hypocrite and the disbeliever who lose their share of the mercy that Allah has in store for His servants on the Day of Resurrection. And that is when the disbeliever and the hypocrite most desperately need Allah's mercy.''

﴿ كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَڪُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٲتً۬ا فَأَحۡيَـٰڪُمۡ‌ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُحۡيِيكُمۡ ثُمَّ إِلَيۡهِ تُرۡجَعُونَ

(28. How can you disbelieve in Allah seeing that you were dead and He gave you life Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection) and then unto Him you will return.)

Allah testifies to the fact that He exists and that He is the Creator and the Sustainer Who has full authority over His servants,

﴿ كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ

(How can you disbelieve in Allah)

How can anyone deny Allah's existence or worship others with Him while;

﴿ وَڪُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٲتً۬ا فَأَحۡيَـٰڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(You were dead and He gave you life) meaning, He brought them from the state of non-existence to life. Similarly, Allah said,

﴿ أَمۡ خُلِقُواْ مِنۡ غَيۡرِ شَىۡءٍ أَمۡ هُمُ ٱلۡخَـٰلِقُونَ أَمۡ خَلَقُواْ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ‌ۚ بَل لَّا يُوقِنُونَ

(Were they created by nothing Or were they themselves the creators Or did they create the heavens and the earth Nay, but they have no firm belief) (52:35-36) and,

﴿ هَلۡ أَتَىٰ عَلَى ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ حِينٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلدَّهۡرِ لَمۡ يَكُن شَيۡـًٔ۬ا مَّذۡكُورًا

(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) (76:1).

There are many other Ayat on this subject. Ibn Jarir reported from `Ata' that Ibn `Abbas said that,

﴿ وَڪُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٲتً۬ا فَأَحۡيَـٰڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life) means, "You did not exist beforehand. You were nothing until Allah created you; He will bring death to you and then bring you back to life during Resurrection.'' Ibn `Abbas then said, "This is similar to Allah's statement;

﴿ قَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ أَمَتَّنَا ٱثۡنَتَيۡنِ وَأَحۡيَيۡتَنَا ٱثۡنَتَيۡنِ

(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice and You have given us life twice.'') (40:11)''

﴿ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا ثُمَّ ٱسۡتَوَىٰٓ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَسَوَّٮٰهُنَّ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬‌ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ۬

(29. He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa ila the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the Knower of everything.)