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The Virtues of Surat Al-Mulk

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Hurayrah that Allah's Messenger said,

« إِنَّ سُورَةً فِي الْقُرْآنِ ثَلَاثِينَ آيَةً شَفَعَتْ لِصَاحِبِهَا حَتْى غُفِرَ لَهُ:
﴿ تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ

(Verily, there is a chapter in the Qur'an which contains thirty Ayat that will intercede on behalf of its reciter until he is forgiven. (It is): (Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.)) This Hadith was collected by At-Tirmidhi and the four Sunan Compilers. At-Tirmidhi said concerning it, "This is a Hasan Hadith.'' At-Tabarani and Al-Hafiz Ad-Diya' Al-Maqdisi both recorded from Anas that the Messenger of Allah said,

« سُورَةٌ فِي الْقُرْآنِ خَاصَمَتْ عَنْ صَاحِبِهَا حَتْى أَدْخَلَتْهُ الْجَنَّةَ:
﴿ تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ

(There is a chapter of the Qur'an that will argue on behalf of its reciter until it causes him to enter into Paradise. (It is): (Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion.))

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

﴿ تَبَـٰرَكَ ٱلَّذِى بِيَدِهِ ٱلۡمُلۡكُ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَيُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلاً۬‌ۚ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ طِبَاقً۬ا‌ۖ مَّا تَرَىٰ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَـٰوُتٍ۬‌ۖ فَٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ هَلۡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬ ثُمَّ ٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيۡنِ يَنقَلِبۡ إِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡبَصَرُ خَاسِئً۬ا وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ۬ وَلَقَدۡ زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَـٰبِيحَ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا رُجُومً۬ا لِّلشَّيَـٰطِينِ‌ۖ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابَ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(1. Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion; and He is Able to do all things.) (2. Who has created death and life that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving;) (3. Who has created the seven heavens one above the other; you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious. Then look again. Can you see any rifts) (4. Then look again and yet again, your sight will return to you Khasi', and worn out.) (5. And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps, and We have made such lamps (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin, and have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.)

Glorification of Allah and mentioning the Creation of Death, Life, the Heavens and the Stars

Allah the Exalted glorifies His Noble Self and informs that the dominion is in His Hand. This means that He deals with all of His creatures however He wishes and there is none who can reverse His decree. He is not questioned concerning what He does because of His force, His wisdom and His justice. For this reason Allah says,

﴿ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ قَدِيرٌ

(and He is Able to do all things.) Then Allah says,

﴿ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَ وَٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ

(Who has created death and life) Those who say that death is an existing creation use this Ayah as a proof because it is something that has been created. This Ayah means that He brought creation into existence from nothing in order to test the creatures. He examines them to see which of them will be best in deeds. This is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَڪُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَٲتً۬ا فَأَحۡيَـٰڪُمۡ‌ۖ

(How can you disbelieve in Allah, seeing that you were dead and He gave you life.) (2:28) In this Ayah Allah named the first stage, which is non-existence, "death.'' Then he named the origin or beginning of existence, "life.'' This is why Allah says,

﴿ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمۡ ثُمَّ يُحۡيِيكُمۡ

(Then He will give death, then again will bring you to life (on the Day of Resurrection)) (2:28). Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ لِيَبۡلُوَكُمۡ أَيُّكُمۡ أَحۡسَنُ عَمَلاً۬‌ۚ

(He may test you which of you is best in deed.) it means best in deeds. This is as Muhammad bin `Ajlan said. It should be noted that Allah did not say "which of you does the most deeds.'' Allah then says,

﴿ وَهُوَ ٱلۡعَزِيزُ ٱلۡغَفُورُ

(And He is the Almighty, the Oft-Forgiving.) This means that He is the Almighty, the Most Great, the Most Powerful and the Most Honorable. However, along with this He is Most Forgiving to whoever turns to Him in repentance and seeks His pardon after having disobeyed Him and opposed His commandment. Even though Allah is Almighty, He also forgives, shows mercy, pardons and excuses. Then Allah says,

﴿ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبۡعَ سَمَـٰوَٲتٍ۬ طِبَاقً۬ا‌ۖ

(Who has created the seven heavens one above the other;) meaning stacked one on top of the other. Are they connected to each other, meaning that they are in elevated ascension, some of them being stacked above others, or separated with space between them There are two views concerning this, and the most correct opinion seems to be the latter as is proven in the Hadith of Isra' (the Prophet's Night Journey) and other narrations. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ مَّا تَرَىٰ فِى خَلۡقِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَـٰوُتٍ۬‌ۖ

(you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious.) means, it (the creation) is done in a flawless manner, and these are connected with each other so as to forms a straight level, having no disunion, conflict, inconsistency, deficiency, flaw or defect. This is the reason that Allah says,

﴿ فَٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ هَلۡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬

(Then look again. Can you see any rifts) meaning, look at the sky and pay close attention to it. Do you see any flaw, deficiency, defect or rifts in it Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Ath-Thawri and others said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ فَٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ هَلۡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬

(Then look again. Can you see any rifts) that it means cracks. As-Suddi said that,

﴿ هَلۡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬

(Can you see any rifts) means any tears. Qatadah said,

﴿ هَلۡ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍ۬

(Can you see any rifts) means, `do you see any defects O Son of Adam (mankind)' In reference to Allah's statement,

﴿ ثُمَّ ٱرۡجِعِ ٱلۡبَصَرَ كَرَّتَيۡنِ

(Then look again and yet again,) Qatadah said, "It means (look) twice.''

﴿ يَنقَلِبۡ إِلَيۡكَ ٱلۡبَصَرُ خَاسِئً۬ا

(your sight will return to you Khasi',) Ibn `Abbas said that Khasi' means humiliated. Mujahid and Qatadah both said that it means despised.

﴿ وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ۬

(and worn out.) Ibn `Abbas said that this means it will be exhausted. Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi all said that it means broken down fatigue that comes from weakness. Thus, the Ayah means that if you continuously looked, no matter how much you look, your sight will return to you.

﴿ خَاسِئً۬ا

(Khasi') due to the inability to see any flaw or defect (in Allah's creation).

﴿ وَهُوَ حَسِيرٌ۬

(and worn out.) meaning, exhausted and broken down feebleness due to the great amount of repeated looking without being able to detect any deficiency. Then, after Allah negated any deficiency in the creation of the heavens, He explains their perfection and beauty. He says,

﴿ وَلَقَدۡ زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَـٰبِيحَ

(And indeed We have adorned the nearest heaven with lamps,) This refers to the stars which have been placed in the heavens, some moving and some stationary. In Allah's statement,

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰهَا رُجُومً۬ا لِّلشَّيَـٰطِينِ‌ۖ

(and We have made them (as) missiles to drive away the Shayatin,) The pronoun `them' in His statement, "and We have made them'' is the same type of statement as the stars being referred to as lamps. This does not mean that they are actually missiles, because the stars in the sky are not thrown. Rather, it is the meteors beneath them that are thrown and they are taken from the stars. And Allah knows best. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا لَهُمۡ عَذَابَ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire.) means, `We have made this disgrace for the devils in this life and We have prepared for them the torment of the blazing Fire in the Hereafter.' This is as Allah said in the beginning of Surat As-Saffat,

﴿ إِنَّا زَيَّنَّا ٱلسَّمَآءَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا بِزِينَةٍ ٱلۡكَوَاكِبِ وَحِفۡظً۬ا مِّن كُلِّ شَيۡطَـٰنٍ۬ مَّارِدٍ۬ لَّا يَسَّمَّعُونَ إِلَى ٱلۡمَلَإِ ٱلۡأَعۡلَىٰ وَيُقۡذَفُونَ مِن كُلِّ جَانِبٍ۬ دُحُورً۬ا‌ۖ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ۬ وَاصِبٌ إِلَّا مَنۡ خَطِفَ ٱلۡخَطۡفَةَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ۥ شِہَابٌ۬ ثَاقِبٌ۬

(Verily, We have adorned the near heaven with the stars (for beauty). And to guard against every rebellious devil. They cannot listen to the higher group (angels) for they are pelted from every side. Outcast, and theirs is a constant (or painful) torment. Except such as snatch away something by stealing, and they are pursued by a flaming fire of piercing brightness.) (37:6-7) Qatadah said, "These stars were only created for three purposes: Allah created them as adornment for the heaven (sky), as missiles for the devils and as signs for navigation. Therefore, whoever seeks to interpret any other meanings for them other than these, then verily he has spoken with his own opinion, he has lost his portion and burdened himself with that which he has no knowledge of.'' Ibn Jarir and Ibn Abi Hatim both recorded this statement.

﴿ وَلِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّہِمۡ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ إِذَآ أُلۡقُواْ فِيہَا سَمِعُواْ لَهَا شَہِيقً۬ا وَهِىَ تَفُورُ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِ‌ۖ كُلَّمَآ أُلۡقِىَ فِيہَا فَوۡجٌ۬ سَأَلَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَآ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ نَذِيرٌ۬ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ قَدۡ جَآءَنَا نَذِيرٌ۬ فَكَذَّبۡنَا وَقُلۡنَا مَا نَزَّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىۡءٍ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ كَبِيرٍ۬ وَقَالُواْ لَوۡ كُنَّا نَسۡمَعُ أَوۡ نَعۡقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِىٓ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ فَٱعۡتَرَفُواْ بِذَنۢبِہِمۡ فَسُحۡقً۬ا لِّأَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(6. And for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.) (7. When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq while it is simmering.) (8. It almost bursts up with fury. Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you'') (9. They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.''') (10. And they will say: "Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!'') (11. Then they will confess their sin. So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!)

The Description of Hell and Those Who will enter into it

Allah the Exalted says,

﴿ وُ

(and) meaning, `and We have prepared,'

﴿ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِرَبِّہِمۡ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ‌ۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(for those who disbelieve in their Lord is the torment of Hell, and worst indeed is that destination.) This means that this will be the worst end and a terrible destiny.

﴿ إِذَآ أُلۡقُواْ فِيہَا سَمِعُواْ لَهَا شَہِيقً۬ا

(When they are cast therein, they will hear its Shahiq) Ibn Jarir said, "This means the sound of shouting.''

﴿ وَهِىَ تَفُورُ

(while it is simmering.) Ath-Thawri said, "It will boil them just as a small number of seeds are boiled in a lot of water.'' Then Allah says,

﴿ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِ‌ۖ

(It almost bursts up with fury.) meaning, some parts of it almost break apart from other parts due to the severity of its rage and anger with them.

﴿ تَكَادُ تَمَيَّزُ مِنَ ٱلۡغَيۡظِ‌ۖ كُلَّمَآ أُلۡقِىَ فِيہَا فَوۡجٌ۬ سَأَلَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَآ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ نَذِيرٌ۬ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ قَدۡ جَآءَنَا نَذِيرٌ۬ فَكَذَّبۡنَا وَقُلۡنَا مَا نَزَّلَ ٱللَّهُ مِن شَىۡءٍ إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ كَبِيرٍ۬

(Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you'' They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error.''') In these Ayat Allah reminds of His justice in dealing with His creatures and that He does not punish anyone until the proof has been established against them and a Messenger has been sent to them. This is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا كُنَّا مُعَذِّبِينَ حَتَّىٰ نَبۡعَثَ رَسُولاً۬

(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger.) (17:15) Allah also says,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَآءُوهَا فُتِحَتۡ أَبۡوَٲبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمۡ خَزَنَتُہَآ أَلَمۡ يَأۡتِكُمۡ رُسُلٌ۬ مِّنكُمۡ يَتۡلُونَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ءَايَـٰتِ رَبِّكُمۡ وَيُنذِرُونَكُمۡ لِقَآءَ يَوۡمِكُمۡ هَـٰذَا‌ۚ قَالُواْ بَلَىٰ وَلَـٰكِنۡ حَقَّتۡ كَلِمَةُ ٱلۡعَذَابِ عَلَى ٱلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ

(till when they reach it, the gates thereof will be opened. And its keepers will say, "Did not the Messengers come to you from yourselves, reciting to you the Ayat of your Lord, and warning you of the meeting of this Day of yours'' They will say: "Yes,'' but the Word of torment has been justified against the disbelievers!'') (39:71) Thus, they have no recourse but to blame themselves and they will feel remorseful when such remorse will be of no benefit to them. They will say,

﴿ لَوۡ كُنَّا نَسۡمَعُ أَوۡ نَعۡقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِىٓ أَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) meaning, `if we would have benefited from our intellects or listened to the truth that Allah revealed, we would not have been disbelieving in Allah and misguided about Him. But we did not have understanding to comprehend what the Messengers came with, and we did not have the intelligence to guide us to following them.' Allah then says,

﴿ فَٱعۡتَرَفُواْ بِذَنۢبِہِمۡ فَسُحۡقً۬ا لِّأَصۡحَـٰبِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ

(Then they will confess their sin. So, away with the dwellers of the blazing Fire!) Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Al-Bakhtari At-Ta'i that he heard from one of the Companions that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَنْ يَهْلِكَ النَّاسُ حَتْى يُعْذِرُوا مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِم »

(The people will not be destroyed until they themselves confess their guilt.)

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخۡشَوۡنَ رَبَّهُم بِٱلۡغَيۡبِ لَهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٌ۬ وَأَجۡرٌ۬ كَبِيرٌ۬ وَأَسِرُّواْ قَوۡلَكُمۡ أَوِ ٱجۡهَرُواْ بِهِۦۤ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ عَلِيمُۢ بِذَاتِ ٱلصُّدُورِ أَلَا يَعۡلَمُ مَنۡ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ ٱللَّطِيفُ ٱلۡخَبِيرُ هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ ذَلُولاً۬ فَٱمۡشُواْ فِى مَنَاكِبِہَا وَكُلُواْ مِن رِّزۡقِهِۦ‌ۖ وَإِلَيۡهِ ٱلنُّشُورُ

(12. Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.) (13. And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts.) (14. Should not He Who has created know And He is the Most Kind and Courteous, All-Aware.) (15. He it is Who has made the earth subservient to you; so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be the resurrection.)