Then Allah says,
(Except those who are devoted to Salah.) meaning, man is described with blameworthy characteristics except for He whom Allah protects, helps and guides to good, making its means easy for him -- and these are those people who perform Salah.
(Those who with their Salah are Da'imun;) It has been said that this means they guard its times and the elements obligatory in it. This has been said by Ibn Mas`ud, Masruq and Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. It has also been said that it means tranquility and humble concentration (in the prayer). This is similar to Allah's statement,
(Successful indeed are the believers. Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) (23:1-2) This was said by `Uqbah bin `Amir. From its meanings is the same terminology used to describe standing (still) water (Al-Ma' Ad-Da'im). This proves the obligation of having tranquility in the prayer. For verily, the one who does not have tranquility (stillness of posture) in his bowing and prostrating, then he is not being constant (Da'im) in his prayer. This is because he is not being still in it and he does not remain (in its positions), rather he pecks in it (quickly) like the pecking of the crow. Therefore, he is not successful in performing his prayer. It has also been said that the meaning here refers to those who perform a deed and are constant in its performance and consistent in it. This is like the Hadith that has been recorded in the Sahih on the authority of `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said,
(The most beloved deeds to Allah are those that are most consistent, even if they are few.) Then Allah says,
(And those in whose wealth there is a recognized right. For the one who asks, and for the deprived.) meaning, in their wealth is a determined portion for those who are in need. Concerning Allah's statement,
(And those who believe in the Day of Recompense.) meaning, they are sure of the Final Return (to Allah), the Reckoning and the Recompense. Therefore, they perform the deeds of one who hopes for the reward and fears the punishment. For this reason Allah says,
(And those who fear the torment of their Lord. ) meaning, they are fearful and dreadful.
(Verily, the torment of their Lord is that before which none can feel secure.) meaning, no one is safe from it (Allah's torment) of those who understand the command from Allah, except by the security of Allah Himself. Then Allah says,
(And those who guard their private part (chastity).) meaning, they keep their private parts away from that which is forbidden and they prevent their private parts from being put into other than what Allah has allowed them to be in. This is why Allah says,
(Except from their wives or their right hand possessions) meaning, from their female slaves.
(for (then) they are not blameworthy. But whosoever seeks beyond that, then it is those who are trespassers.) The explanation of this has already preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Mu'minun, and therefore does not need to be repeated here. Allah said,
(And those who keep their trusts and covenants.) meaning, if they are given a trust they do not deceit and when they make a covenant they do not break it. These are the characteristics of the believers which are opposite of the characteristics of the hypocrites. This is like what is reported in the authentic Hadith,
(The signs of the hypocrites are three. When he speaks he lies, when he promises he breaks his promise, and when he is given a trust he behaves treacherously (with it).) In another narration it states,
(When he speaks he lies, when he makes a covenant he breaks it, and when he argues he is abusive.) Concerning Allah's statement,
(And those who stand firm in their testimonies.) This means that they guard their testimonies. They do not add or decrease from what they testify to nor do they conceal their testimonies. Allah says in another Ayah,
(Who hides it, surely, his heart is sinful.) (2:283) Then Allah says,
(And those who are with their Salah, Yuhafidhun.) meaning, they maintain its proper times, its pillars, its obligations and its recommended acts. So Allah begins this discussion (of the believers' attributes) with prayer and He concludes it with prayer. This proves the importance of it and the praise of its noble status, just as what preceded at the beginning of Surat Al-Mu'minun. It is exactly the same discussion. This is why Allah says there (in Al-Mu'minun),
(These are indeed the inheritors. Who shall inherit the Firdaws (Paradise). They shall dwell therein forever.) (23:10-11) And He says here,
(Such shall dwell in the Gardens, honored.) meaning, they will be honored with various types of pleasures and delights.
(36. So, what is the matter with those disbelievers, before you Muhti`in) (37. On the right and on the left, `Izin.) (38. Does every man of them hope to enter the Paradise of Delight) (39. But no! Verily, We have created them out of that which they know!) (40. But no! I swear by the Lord of the easts and the wests that surely We are Able) (41. To replace them by (others) better than them; and We are not to be outrun.) (42. So, leave them to plunge in vain talk and play about, until they meet their Day which they are promised.) (43. The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as racing to a Nusub,) (44. With their eyes lowered in fear and humility, ignominy covering them (all over)! That is the Day which they were promised!)
Allah rebukes the disbelievers who, in the time of the Prophet , saw him and the guidance Allah sent him with. They witnessed the magnificent miracles Allah aided him with. Then, after all of this they fled from him and separated themselves from him. They fled right and left, group by group and party by party. This is as Allah says,
(Then what is wrong with them that they run away from admonition As if they were (frightened) wild donkeys. Fleeing from a beast of prey.) (74:49-51) This is the example of disbeliever. And this Ayah is similar. As Allah says,
(So what is the matter with those disbelievers, before you Muhti`in) meaning, `what is wrong with these disbelievers who are with you, O Muhammad Why are they Muhti`in, meaning hastily running away from you' This is as Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Muhti`in means departing.''
(On the right and on the left, `Izin.) The singular of `Izin is `Izah, which means separating. meaning in their separating and their differing. Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas about the Ayah;
(So what is the matter with those disbelievers, before you Muhti`in.) "They are looking in your direction.'' Then the Ayah;
(On the right and on the left, `Izin.) he (Ibn `Abbas) said, "Al-`Izin is a group among the people. On the right and on the left means they are turning away (right and left) from him (the Prophet ) and mocking him.'' Jabir bin Samurah narrated that the Messenger of Allah came out to them while they were sitting in circles. So the Messenger of Allah said,
(Why do I see you all `Izin (in groups).) Ahmad, Muslim, Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Jarir all recorded this Hadith. Then, concerning Allah's statement,
(Does every man of them hope to enter the Paradise of Delight But no!) meaning, is this their wish, yet they flee from the Messenger in aversion to the truth Are they hoping that they will be admitted into the Gardens of Delight Nay, rather their abode is Hell. Then Allah affirms the occurrence of the Final Abode and the torment that will befall them that they are denying its existence and claiming it to be something farfetched. As a proof against them, Allah mentions the initiation of creation, and that repeating the process is something easier than performing it the first time. This is something that they themselves confess to. Allah says,
(Verily, We have created them out of that which they know!) meaning, from despised semen. This is as Allah says,
(Did We not create you from a despised water (semen)) (77:20) Allah also says,
(So let man see from what he is created! He is created from a water gushing forth. Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs. Verily He is able to bring him back! The Day when all the secrets will be examined. Then he will have no power, nor any helper.) (86:5-10) Then Allah says,
(But no! I swear by the Lord of the easts and the wests) meaning, the One Who created the heavens and the earth and made the east and the west. He is the One Who subjected the stars causing them to appear in the eastern parts of the sky and vanish in the western parts of it. The point of this statement is that the matter is not as the disbelievers claim: that there is no final return, no reckoning, no resurrection and no gathering. Rather all of this will occur and come to pass. There is no way of avoiding it. This is the reason that Allah has stated a negation at the beginning of this oath. This shows that He is swearing by a denial of their claim. This is a refutation of their false claim of rejecting the Day of Judgement. They already witnessed the greatness of Allah's power in what is more convincing than the Day of Judgement, that is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the subjection of the creatures in them, the animals, the inanimate objects and the other types of creatures that exist. This is why Allah says,
(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; yet, most of mankind know not.) (40:57) Allah also says,
(Do they not see that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth, and was not wearied by their creation, is able to give life to the dead Yes, He surely is Able to do all things.) (46:33) Allah says in another Ayah,
(Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth, able to create the like of them Yes, indeed! He is the All-Knowing Supreme Creator. Verily, His command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!''-- and it is!) (36:81,82) So here He says,
(But no! I swear by the Lord of the easts and the wests that surely We are Able --to replace them by (others) better than them..) meaning, `on the Day of Judgement We will bring them back (to life) in bodies that are better than these bodies that they have now.' For verily, Allah's power is suitable (able) to do that.
(and We are not to be outrun.) meaning, `We are not unable.' This is as Allah says,
(Does man think that We shall not assemble his bones Yes, We are able to put together in perfect order the tips of his fingers.) (75:3,4) Allah also says,
(We have decreed death to you all, and We are not outstripped. To transfigure you and create you in (forms) that you know not.) (56:60,61) Ibn Jarir preferred the meaning to be: `a nation who will obey Us and not disobey Us.' He (Ibn Jarir) interpreted it in the same way as Allah's statements,
(To replace them by (others) better than them..) and:
(And if you turn away, He will exchange you for some other people and they will not be like you.) (47:38) However, the first interpretation is more obvious since the other Ayat support that, and Allah the Most High knows best. Then Allah says,
(So leave them) meaning, `O Muhammad!'
(to plunge in vain talk and play about,) meaning, leave them in their denial, disbelief and obstinance.
(until they meet their Day which they are promised.) meaning, they are going to know the outcome of that and taste its evil consequences.
(The Day when they will come out of the graves quickly as racing to a Nusub.) meaning, they will stand up out of their graves when the Lord, Blessed be He the Most High, calls them to the place of the reckoning. They will rise up quickly as if they were rushing towards some monumental object. Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak, all said, "As if they were rushing towards a flag.'' Abu `Aliyah and Yahya bin Abi Kathir both said, "As if they were rushing towards a goal.'' The majority of reciters recited this word as "Nasb'' (instead of Nusub) with a Fathah over the letter Nun and a Sukun over the letter Sad. This (Nasb) is a verbal noun meaning something that is erected. Al-Hasan Al-Basri recited it as "Nusub'' with a Dammah over both the letter Nun and Sad. This (Nusub) means an idol. With this recitation the Ayah means, as if their rushing to this place was like when they used to hurry in the worldly life to the idol when they saw it. They would rush hurriedly to see who would be the first of them to touch it. This has been reported from Mujahid, Yahya bin Abi Kathir, Muslim Al-Batin, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas, Abu Salih, `Asim bin Bahdalah, Ibn Zayd and others. Concerning Allah's statement,
(With their eyes lowered in fear) meaning humbled.
(covering them with humility.) meaning, in return for how they behaved arrogantly in the worldly life by refusing to be obedient (to Allah).
(That is the Day which they were promised!) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Sa'ala Sa'il. And all praise and thanks are due to Allah.
(In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Verily, We sent Nuh to his people (saying): "Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.'') (2. He said: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you,'') (3. "That you should worship Allah, and have Taqwa of Him, and obey me,'') (4. "He will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but know.'')
Allah says concerning Nuh that He sent him to his people commanding him to warn them of the punishment of Allah before it befell them. He was to tell them that if they would repent and turn to Allah, then the punishment would be lifted from them. Due to this Allah says,
("Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.'' He said: "O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you.'') meaning, clarity of the warning, making the matter apparent and clear.
(That you should worship Allah, and have Taqwa of Him,) meaning, `abandon those things that He has forbidden and avoid that which He has declared to be sinful.'
(and obey me,) `In that which I command you to do and that which I forbid you from.'
(He will forgive you of your sins) meaning, `if you do what I command you to do and you believe in what I have been sent with to you, then Allah will forgive you for your sins. '
(and respite you to an appointed term.) meaning, `He will extend your life span and protect you from the torment that He would have made befall you if you did not stay away from His prohibitions.' This Ayah is used as proof by those who say that obedience (to Allah), righteousness and maintaining the family ties truly increase the life span of a person. This is like that which has been reported in the Hadith,
(Maintaining the family ties increases the life span.) Concerning Allah's statement,
(Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but know.) means, hasten to the obedience (of Allah) before the coming of His vengeance. For verily, if He commands that to happen, it cannot be repulsed or prevented. For He is the Great One Who compels everything, and He is the Almighty Whose might all of creation succumbs to.
(5. He said: O my Lord! Verily, I have called to my people night and day,) (6. But all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight.) (7. And verily, every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted, and magnified themselves in pride.) (8. Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud).) (9. Then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private.) (10. I said (to them): Ask forgiveness from your Lord, verily, He is Oft-Forgiving;) (11. He will send rain to you Midrar,) (12. And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.) (13. What is the matter with you, that you do not hope for any Waqar from Allah) (14. While He has created you (in) Atwar (stages).) (15. See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens in tiers) (16. And has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp) (17. And Allah has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth) (18. Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth.) (19. And Allah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.) (20. That you may go about therein in broad roads.)