We mentioned in many a places before the meaning of Allah's statement,
(Whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is on the earth glorifies Allah. And He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Therefore, we do not need to repeat its meaning here. Allah's statement,
(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do) This refutes those who neglect to fulfill their promises. This honorable Ayah supports the view that several scholars of the Salaf held, that it is necessary to fulfill the promise, regardless of whether the promise includes some type of wealth for the person receiving the promise or otherwise. They also argue from the Sunnah, with the Hadith recorded in the Two Sahihs in which Allah's Messenger said,
(There are three signs for a hypocrite: when he promises, he breaks his promise; when speaks, he lies; and when he is entrusted, he betrays.) And in another Hadith in the Sahih,
(There are four characteristics which if one has all of them, he is the pure hypocrite, and if anyone has any of them, he has a characteristic of hypocrisy, until he abandons it.) So he mentioned breaking the promise among these four characteristics. We mentioned the meaning of these two Hadiths in the beginning of the explanation of Sahih Al-Bukhari, and to Allah is the praise and the thanks. Therefore Allah implied this meaning, when He continued His admonishment by saying,
(Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.) Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud recorded that `Abdullah bin `Amir bin Rabi`ah said, "Allah's Messenger came to us while I was a young boy, and I went out to play. My mother said, `O `Abdullah! Come, I want to give you something.' Allah's Messenger said to her,
(What did you want to give him) She said, `Dates.' He said,
(If you had not given them to him, it would have been written as a lie in your record.)'' Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "The faithful believers said, `If we only knew the dearest good actions to Allah, we would perform them.' Thus, Allah told them about the dearest actions to Him, saying,
(Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows) Allah stated what He likes, and they were tested on the day of Uhud. However, they retreated and fled, leaving the Prophet behind. It was about their case that Allah revealed this Ayah:
(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do) Allah says here, `The dearest of you to Me, is he who fights in My cause.''' Some said that it was revealed about the gravity of fighting in battle, when one says that he fought and endured the battle, even though he did not do so. Qatadah and Ad-Dahhak said that this Ayah was sent down to admonish some people who used to say that they killed, fought, stabbed, and did such and such during battle, even though they did not do any of it. Sa`id bin Jubayr said about Allah's statement,
(Verily, Allah loves those who fight in His cause in rows (ranks)) "Before Allah's Messenger began the battle against the enemy, he liked to line up his forces in rows; in this Surah, Allah teaches the believers to do the same.'' He also said that Allah's statement,
(as if they were a solid structure.) means, its parts are firmly connected to each other; in rows for battle. Muqatil bin Hayyan said, "Firmly connected to each other.'' Ibn `Abbas commented on the meaning of the Ayah,
(as if they were a solid structure.) by saying, "They are like a firm structure that does not move, because its parts are cemented to each other.''
(5. And when Musa said to his people: "O my people! Why do you annoy me while you know certainly that I am the Messenger of Allah to you So, when they turned away (from the path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the right path). And Allah guides not the people who are rebellious.) (6. And (remember) when `Isa, son of Maryam, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, confirming the Tawrah ﴿which came﴾ before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. "But when he came to them with clear proofs, they said: "This is plain magic.'')
Allah states that His servant and Messenger Musa, son of `Imran, to whom Allah spoke directly, said to his people,
(Why do you annoy me while you know certainly that I am the Messenger of Allah to you) meaning, `why do you annoy me even though you know my truth regarding the Message that I brought you' This brings consolation for Allah's Messenger for what the disbelievers among his people and others did to him. And it orders him to be patient. This is why he once said,
(May Allah have mercy with Musa: he was annoyed more than this, yet he was patient.) By it believers are prohibited from harming or bothering the Prophet in any way or form. As Allah the Exalted said,
(O you who believe! Be not like those who annoyed Musa, but Allah cleared him of that which they alleged, and he was honorable before Allah.) (33:69) And His saying:
(So, when they turned away, Allah turned their hearts away.), means, when the Jews turned away from following the guidance, even though they knew it, Allah turned their hearts away from the guidance. Instead, Allah placed doubts, suspicion and failure in their hearts, just as He said,
(And We shall turn their hearts and vision away, as they refused to believe therin for the first time, and we shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly.) And His saying;
(And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and enter him in Hell, what an evil destination it is!) (4:115), and, Similarly Allah said;
(And Allah guides not the people who are rebellious.) (9:24)
(And when `Isa, son of Maryam, said: "O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you, confirming the Tawrah before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad.'') `Isa said, "The Tawrah conveyed the glad tidings of my coming, and my coming confirms the truth of the Tawrah. I convey the glad tidings of the Prophet who will come after me. He is the unlettered, Makkan, Arab Prophet and Messenger, Ahmad.'' `Isa (peace be upon him) is the last and final Messenger from among the Children of Israel. He remained among the Children of Israel for a while, conveying the good news of the coming of Muhammad, whose name is also Ahmad, the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger. After Muhammad, there will be no prophethood or Messengers. How admirable the Hadith is that Al-Bukhari collected in his Sahih from Jubayr bin Mut`im, who said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah say,
(I have names. I am Muhammad and Ahmad. I am Al-Mahi through whom Allah will eliminate disbelief. I am Al-Hashir who will be the first to be resurrected, with the people being resurrected Hereafter. I am also Al-`Aqib (i.e., there will be no Prophet after me).'') Also Muslim collected this Hadith from Az-Zuhri from Jubayr. Muhammad bin Ishaq recorded that Khalid bin Ma`dan said that some Companions of Allah's Messenger said, "O Allah's Messenger! Tell us about yourself.'' He said,
(I am the (result of the) invocation made to Allah from my father Ibrahim and the good news `Isa delivered. When my mother was pregnant with me, she had a dream in which she saw a light emanating from her that radiated the palaces of Busra in Ash-Sham.'' This Hadith has a good chain of narration that is supported by other similar narrations. Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-`Irbad bin Sariyah said, "The Messenger of Allah said,
(I was written with Allah as the Last and Final of the Prophet, even when Adam was still clay. I will tell of the first good news announcing my advent, the (result of the) invocation to Allah made from my father Ibrahim, the good news `Isa conveyed, and the dream that my mother saw. The mothers of all Prophets see similar dreams.'') Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Umamah said, "I said, `O Allah's Messenger! What was the first good news of your coming' He said,
(The (result of the) invocation to Allah made from my father Ibrahim and the good news `Isa conveyed. My mother saw a light emanating from her that filled the palaces of Ash- Sham in a dream.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah sent eighty men, including `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Ja`far bin Abi Talib, `Abdullah bin `Urfutah, `Uthman bin Maz`un, Abu Musa, and others, to An-Najashi. The Quraysh sent `Amr bin Al-`As and `Umarah bin Al-Walid with a gift for An-Najashi. When they, `Amr and `Umarah, came to An-Najashi, they prostrated before him and stood to his right and left. `Amr and `Umarah said, "Some of our cousins migrated to your land; they have abandoned us and our religion.'' An-Najashi said, "Where are they'' They said, "They are in your land, so send for them,'' so An-Najashi summoned the Muslims. Ja`far said to the Muslims, "I will be your speaker today.'' So, the Muslims followed Ja`far and when he entered on the king he did not prostrate after greeting him. They said to Ja`far, "Why do you not prostrate before the king'' Ja`far said, "We only prostrate for Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.'' They said, "Why'' He said, "Allah has sent a Messenger to us from Him, who ordered us not to prostrate to anyone except Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored. He also ordered to perform prayer and give charity.'' `Amr bin Al-`As said, "They contradict your creed about `Isa, son of Maryam.'' The king asked, "What do you say about `Isa and his mother Maryam'' Ja`far said, "We only say what Allah said about him, that he is Allah's Word, a soul created by Allah and sent down to the honorable virgin who was not touched by a man nor bearing children before.'' An-Najashi lifted a straw of wood and said, "O Ethiopians, monks and priests! By Allah, what they say about `Isa is no more than what we say about him, not even a difference that equals this straw. You are welcomed among us, and greetings to him who sent you. I bear witness that he is Allah's Messenger whom we read about in the Injil. He is the Prophet who `Isa, son of Maryam, foretold the good news about his advent. Live wherever you wish. By Allah, had I not been entrusted with the responsibilities of kingship, I would have gone to him, so that I could be honored by carrying his slippers and his water for ablution.'' The king ordered that the gifts of the idolaters be returned to them. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud soon returned and later on participated in the battle of Badr. He said that when the Prophet received the news that An-Najashi died, he invoked Allah to forgive him. Allah said,
(But when he came to them with clear proofs, they said: "This is plain magic.'') this refers to Ahmad, who was anticipated, in accordance with the early Scriptures and early generations, according to Ibn Jurayj and Ibn Jarir. When the Prophet appeared bringing clear signs, the disbelievers and rejecters said,
(This is plain magic)
(7. And who does more wrong than the one who invents a lie against Allah, while he is being invited to Islam And Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.) (8. They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths. But Allah will bring His Light to perfection even though the disbelievers hate (it).) (9. He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all religions even though idolaters hate (it).)
(And who does more wrong than the one who invents a lie against Allah, while he is being invited to Islam) meaning, none is more unjust than he who lies about Allah and calls upon rivals and associates partners with Him, even while he is being invited to Tawhid and sincerely worshipping Him. This is why Allah said,
(And Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.) Allah said,
(They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths.) indicating that the disbelievers will try to contradict the truth with falsehood. Their attempts are similar to one's attempt to extinguish the sun with his mouth, which is impossible. Likewise is the case of their attempt to extinguish truth. So Allah said,
(But Allah will bring His Light to perfection even though the disbelievers hate (it). He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the idolaters hate (it).) We explained the meanings of similar Ayat before, in the Tafsir of Surah Bara'ah. All praise and thanks are due to Allah.
(10. O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a trade that will save you from a painful torment) (11. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know!) (12. (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in `Adn (Eternal) Paradise; that is indeed the great success.) (13. And also (He will give you) another (blessing) which you love, help from Allah and a near victory. And give glad tidings to the believers.)
We mentioned a Hadith from `Abdullah bin Salam in that the Companions wanted to ask the Prophet of Allah about the best actions with Allah the Exalted and Most Honored, so they could practice them. Allah the Exalted sent down this Surah, including this Ayah,
(O you who believe! Shall I guide you to a trade that will save you from a painful torment) Allah then explained this great trade that will never fail, the trade that will earn one what he wishes and saves him from what he dislikes. Allah the Exalted said,
(That you believe in Allah and His Messenger, and that you strive hard and fight in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know!) this is better than the trade of this life and striving hard for it and amassing it. Allah the Exalted said,
(He will forgive you your sins,) meaning, `if you fulfill what I commanded you and guided you to, then I will forgive your sins and admit you into the Gardens of Paradise. In them, you will have exalted residences and high positions.' This is why Allah the Exalted said,
(and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwellings in `Adn (Eternal) Paradise; that is indeed the great success.) Allah said,
(And also another (blessing) which you love,) meaning, `I will grant you more favors that you like,'
(help from Allah and a near victory.) meaning, if you fight in Allah's cause and support His religion, He will grant you victory. Allah the Exalted said,
(O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm.) (47:7), and,
(Verily, Allah will help those who help His (cause). Truly, Allah is All Strong, All-Wise.) (22:40) Allah's statement,
(and a near victory.) means, it will come sooner, and this is the increased favor that is earned in this life and continues, becoming the delight of the Hereafter. It is for those who obey Allah and His Messenger and support Allah and His religion. Allah said;
(And give glad tidings to the believers.)
(14. O you who believe! Be you helpers (in the cause) of Allah as said `Isa, son of Maryam, to the Hawariyyin (the disciples): "Who are my helpers (in the cause) of Allah'' The Hawariyyun said: "We are Allah's helpers'' (i.e., we will strive in His cause!). Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved. So, We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the victorious (uppermost).)
Allah the Exalted orders His faithful servants to be Allah's supporters at all times, in all their statements and actions, sacrificing their selves and wealth. Allah orders them to accept His and His Messenger's call, just as the disciples said to Prophet `Isa when he said,
(Who are my helpers (in the cause) of Allah) meaning, `who will support me in conveying the Message of Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored'
(The Hawariyyun said:) in reference to the followers of `Isa (peace be upon him)
(We are Allah's helpers) meaning, `we will support you with regards to the Message you have been sent with and will help you convey it.' Whereby, `Isa sent the disciples to the various areas of Ash-Sham to call the Greeks and the Israelites to Islam. Similarly, during the days of Hajj, Allah's Messenger used to ask,
(Who will support me in conveying the Message of my Lord Verily, the Quraysh have prevented me from conveying the Message of my Lord.) Allah the Exalted and Most Honored raised Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj to support the Prophet. They were the residents of Al-Madinah who gave the pledge to him and supported him, vowing to protect him from mankind and the Jinns if he migrated to them. When he migrated to them with his Companions, they fulfilled their vow to Allah. This is the reason why Allah and His Messenger called them, Al-Ansar, the Supporters. The name became synonymous with them. May Allah be pleased with them and please them, as well.
(Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved.) When `Isa, peace be on him, conveyed the Message of his Lord to his people and the disciples supported him, a group from the Children of Israel believed. They accepted the guidance that `Isa brought to them, while another group, was led astray. This group rejected what `Isa brought them, denied his prophethood and invented terrible lies about him and his mother. They are the Jews, may Allah curse them until the Day of Judgment. Another group exaggerated over `Isa, until they elevated him to more than the level of prophethood that Allah gave him. They divided into sects and factions, some saying that `Isa was the son of Allah, while others said that he was one in a trinity, and this is why they invoke the father, the son and the holy ghost! Some of them said that `Isa was Allah, as we mentioned in the Tafsir of Surat An-Nisa'.
(So, We gave power to those who believed against their enemies,) that is, `We gave them victory over the group of Christians which defied them,'
(and they became the victorious (uppermost).) `over the disbelieving group, when We sent Muhammad.' Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir At-Tabari reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "When Allah decided to raise `Isa to heaven, `Isa went to his companions while drops of water were dripping from his head. At that time, there were twelve men at the house. `Isa said to them, `Some of you will disbelieve in me twelve times after having believed in me.' He then asked, `Who among you volunteers that he be made to resemble me and be killed instead of me; he will be with me in my place (in Paradise).' One of the youngest men present volunteered, but `Isa commanded him to sit down. `Isa repeated his statement and the young man again stood up and volunteered, and `Isa again told him to sit down. `Isa repeated the same statement and the young man volunteered. This time, `Isa said, `Then it will be you.' The appearance of `Isa was cast upon that young man, while `Isa, peace be on him, was raised to heaven through an opening in the roof of the house. The Jews came looking for `Isa and arrested the one that appeared as him, killing him by crucifixion. Some of them disbelieved in `Isa twelve times, after they had believed in him. They divided into three groups. One group, Al-Ya`qubiyyah (the Jacobites), said, `Allah remained with us as much as He willed and then ascended to heaven.' Another group, An-Nasturiyyah (the Nestorians), said, `Allah's son remained with us as much as Allah willed and He then rasied him up to heaven.' A third group said, `Allah's servant and Messenger remained with us as much as Allah willed and then Allah raised him up to Him.' The last group was the Muslim group. The two disbelieving groups collaborated against the Muslim group and annihilated it. Islam remained unjustly concealed until Allah sent Muhammad,
(Then a group of the Children of Israel believed and a group disbelieved.) This Ayah refers to the group among the Children of Israel that disbelieved and the group that believed, during the time of `Isa,
(So, We gave power to those who believed against their enemies, and they became the victorious (uppermost).) through the victory that Muhammad gained over the religion of the disbelievers, which brought the dominance of their religion.'' This is the wording in his book for the Tafsir of this honorable Ayah. Similarly, An-Nasa'i collected this statement of Ibn `Abbas in his Sunan. Therefore, the Ummah of Muhammad will always be prevalent on the truth until Allah's command (the Final Hour) commences, while they are on this path. The last group of them will fight against Ad-Dajjal along with `Isa, peace be on him, according to Hadiths in the authentic collections. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat As-Saff. All praise and thanks are due to Allah.