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The Virtues of Surat Al-A`la

This Surah was revealed in Makkah before the migration to Al-Madinah. The proof of this is what Al-Bukhari recorded from Al-Bara' bin `Azib, that he said, "The first people to come to us (in Al-Madinah) from the Companions of the Prophet were Mus`ab bin `Umayr and Ibn Umm Maktum, who taught us the Qur'an; then `Ammar, Bilal and Sa`d came. Then `Umar bin Al-Khattab came with a group of twenty people, after which the Prophet came. I have not seen the people of Al-Madinah happier with anything more than their happiness with his coming (to Al-Madinah). This was reached to such an extent that I saw the children and little ones saying, `This is the Messenger of Allah who has come.' Thus, he came, but he did not come until after I had already recited (i.e., learned how to recite)

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى

(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) (87:1) as well as other Surahs similar to it.'' It has been confirmed in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said to Mu`adh,

« هَلَّا صَلَّيْتَ بِــ
﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى
﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسِ وَضُحَٮٰهَا
﴿ وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَىٰ

(Why didn't you recite "Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High,''; "By the sun and its brightness,'' and "By the night when it envelopes.'') Imam Ahmad recorded from An-Nu`man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah recited

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى
﴿ هَلۡ أَتَٮٰكَ حَدِيثُ ٱلۡغَـٰشِيَةِ

Surat Al-A`la (chapter 87) and Surat Al-Ghashiyh (chapter 88) in the two `Eid prayers. If the `Eid prayer fell on Friday, he would recite them in both prayers (`Eid and Salat Al-Jumu`ah). Muslim also recorded this in his Sahih, as well as Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah. The wording of Muslim and the Sunan compilers says, "He used to recite

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى
﴿ هَلۡ أَتَٮٰكَ حَدِيثُ ٱلۡغَـٰشِيَةِ

Surat Al-A`la (chapter 87) and Surat Al-Ghashiyh (chapter 88) for the two `Eids and Jumu`ah. If they occurred on the same day, he would recite them in both of them.'' In his Musnad, Imam Ahmad recorded on the authority of Ubayy bin Ka`b, Abdullah bin `Abbas, `Abdur-Rahman bin Abza, and the Mother of the believers, `A'ishah, that the Messenger of Allah used to recite

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى
﴿ قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلۡڪَـٰفِرُونَ
﴿ قُلۡ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ

(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) and (Say: `O you who disbelieve.') and (Say: `He is Allah, the One.') `A'ishah added in her version that he would also recite the Mu`awwidhatayn (Al-Falaq and An-Nas).

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

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

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ فَسَوَّىٰ وَٱلَّذِى قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَخۡرَجَ ٱلۡمَرۡعَىٰ فَجَعَلَهُ ۥ غُثَآءً أَحۡوَىٰ سَنُقۡرِئُكَ فَلَا تَنسَىٰٓ إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ يَعۡلَمُ ٱلۡجَهۡرَ وَمَا يَخۡفَىٰ وَنُيَسِّرُكَ لِلۡيُسۡرَىٰ فَذَكِّرۡ إِن نَّفَعَتِ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ سَيَذَّكَّرُ مَن يَخۡشَىٰ وَيَتَجَنَّبُہَا ٱلۡأَشۡقَى ٱلَّذِى يَصۡلَى ٱلنَّارَ ٱلۡكُبۡرَىٰ ثُمَّ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيہَا وَلَا يَحۡيَىٰ

(1. Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) (2. Who has created, and then proportioned it.) (3. And Who has measured; and then guided.) (4. And Who brings out the pasturage,) (5. And then makes it dark stubble.) (6. We shall make you recite, so you shall not forget,) (7. Except what Allah may will He knows what is apparent and what is hidden.) (8. And We shall make easy for you the easy.) (9. Therefore remind in case the reminder profits.) (10. The reminder will be received by him who fears,) (11. But it will be avoided by the wretched,) (12. Who will enter the great Fire.) (13. There he will neither die nor live.)

The Command to pronounce Tasbih and its Response

Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Abbas that whenever the Messenger of Allah would recite

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى

(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) he would say,

« سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْأَعْلَى »

(Glory to my Lord, the Most High.) Ibn Jarir recorded from Ibn Ishaq Al-Hamdani that whenever Ibn `Abbas would recite

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى

(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) he would say, "Glory to my Lord, the Most High,'' and whenever he would recite

﴿ لَآ أُقۡسِمُ بِيَوۡمِ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ

(I swear by the Day of Resurrection.) (75:1) and then reach the end of it

﴿ أَلَيۡسَ ذَٲلِكَ بِقَـٰدِرٍ عَلَىٰٓ أَن يُحۡـِۧىَ ٱلۡمَوۡتَىٰ

(Is not He able to give life to the dead) (75:40) he would say, "Glory to You, of course.'' Qatadah said,

﴿ سَبِّحِ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡأَعۡلَى

(Glorify the Name of your Lord, the Most High.) "It has been mentioned to us that whenever the Prophet of Allah used to recite it he would say,

« سُبْحَانَ رَبِّيَ الْأَعْلَى »

(Glory to my Lord, the Most High.)''

The Creation, the Decree, and the bringing forth of Vegetation

Allah says,

﴿ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ فَسَوَّىٰ

(Who has created, and then proportioned it.) meaning, He created that which has been created, and He fashioned every creation in the best of forms. Then Allah says,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِى قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ

(And Who has measured; and then guided.) Mujahid said, "He guided man to distress and happiness, and he guided the cattle to their pastures.'' This Ayah is similar to what Allah has said about Musa's statement to Fir`awn,

﴿ رَبُّنَا ٱلَّذِىٓ أَعۡطَىٰ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ خَلۡقَهُ ۥ ثُمَّ هَدَىٰ

(Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.) (20:50) meaning, He decreed a set measure and guided the creation to it. This is just as is confirmed in Sahih Muslim on the authority of `Abdullah bin `Amr that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِنَّ اللهَ قَدَّرَ مَقَادِيرَ الْخَلَائِقِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَخْلُقَ السَّمَواتِ وَالْأَرْضَ بِخَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ وَكَانَ عَرْشُهُ عَلَى الْمَاء »

(Verily, Allah ordained the measure of all creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, and His Throne was over the water.) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِىٓ أَخۡرَجَ ٱلۡمَرۡعَىٰ

(And Who brings out the pasturage,) meaning, all types of vegetation and crops.

﴿ فَجَعَلَهُ ۥ غُثَآءً أَحۡوَىٰ

(And then makes it dark stubble.) Ibn `Abbas said, "Dried up and altered.'' It has been narrated that Mujahid, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd, all made similar statements.

The Prophet does not forget the Revelation

Allah says,

﴿ سَنُقۡرِئُكَ

(We shall make you to recite,) meaning, `O Muhammad.'

﴿ فَلَا تَنسَىٰٓ

(so you shall not forget (it),) This is Allah informing and promising him (the Prophet ) that He will teach him a recitation that he will not forget.

﴿ إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ‌ۚ

(Except what Allah may will.) Qatadah said, "The Prophet did not forget anything except what Allah willed.'' It has been said that the meaning of Allah's statement,

﴿ فَلَا تَنسَىٰٓ

(so you shall not forget,) is, "do not forget'' and that which would be abrogated, is merely an exception to this. Meaning, `do not forget what We teach you to recite, except what Allah wills, which He removes and there is no sin on your leaving it off (not retaining it).' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ يَعۡلَمُ ٱلۡجَهۡرَ وَمَا يَخۡفَىٰ

(He knows what is apparent and what is hidden.) meaning, He knows what the creatures do openly and what they hide, whether it be statements or deeds. None of that is hidden from Him. Then Allah says,

﴿ وَنُيَسِّرُكَ لِلۡيُسۡرَىٰ

(And We shall make easy for you the easy.) meaning, `We will make good deeds and statements easy for you, and We will legislate such Law for you that is easy, tolerant, straight and just, with no crookedness, difficulty or hardship in it.'

The Command to remind

Allah then says,

﴿ فَذَكِّرۡ إِن نَّفَعَتِ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ

(Therefore remind in case the reminder profits.) meaning, remind where reminding is beneficial. From here we get the etiquette of spreading knowledge, that it should not be wasted upon those who are not suitable or worthy of it. The Commander of the believers, `Ali said, "You do not tell people any statement that their intellects do not grasp except that it will be a Fitnah (trial) for some of them.'' He also said, "Tell people that which they know. Would you like for Allah and His Messenger to be rejected'' Allah said:

﴿ سَيَذَّكَّرُ مَن يَخۡشَىٰ

(The reminder will be received by him who fears,) meaning, `he whose heart fears Allah and who knows that he is going to meet Him, will receive admonition from what you convey to him, O Muhammad.'

﴿ وَيَتَجَنَّبُہَا ٱلۡأَشۡقَى ٱلَّذِى يَصۡلَى ٱلنَّارَ ٱلۡكُبۡرَىٰ ثُمَّ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيہَا وَلَا يَحۡيَىٰ

(But it will be avoided by the wretched, who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die nor live.) meaning, he will not die and thus be allowed to rest, nor will he live a life that is beneficial to him. Instead, his life will be harmful to him, because it will be the cause of his feeling of the pain of torment and various types of punishments what he is being punished with. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَمَّا أَهْلُ النَّارِ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَهْلُهَا لَا يَمُوتُونَ وَلَا يَحْيَوْنَ، وَأَمَّا أُنَاسٌ يُرِيدُ اللهُ بِهِمُ الرَّحْمَةَ فَيُمِيتُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الشُّفَعَاءُ فَيَأْخُذُ الرَّجُلُ الضِّبَارَةَ فَيُنْبِتُهُمْ أو قال: يَنْبُتُونَ فِي نَهْرِ الْحَيَا، أو قال: الْحَيَاةِ، أو قال: الْحَيَوَانِ أو قال: نَهْرِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَنْبُتُونَ نَبَاتَ الْحِبَّةِ فِي حَمِيلِ السَّيْل »

(Concerning the people of the Fire who are deserving of it, they will not die nor will they live. Regarding the people that Allah wants mercy for, He will cause them to die in the Fire. Then He will allow the intercessors to come to them, and a man will take his groups of supporters and plant them (or he said (they will be planted) in the River of Al-Haya (or he said (Al-Hayah, or Al-Hayawan, or Nahr Al-Jannah). Then they will sprout up like the sprouting of the seed on the moist bank of a flowing stream.) Then the Prophet said,

« أَمَا تَرَوْنَ الشَّجَرَةَ تَكُونُ خَضْرَاءَ، ثُمَّ تَكُونُ صَفْرَاءَ، ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خَضْرَاءَ؟ »

(Haven't you all seen the tree that is green, then it turns yellow, then it turns green (again)) Abu Sa`id then said that some of those present said, "It is as if the Prophet used to live in the desert wilderness (i.e., due to his parables of nature).'' Ahmad also recorded from Abu Sa`id that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَمَّا أَهْلُ النَّارِ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَهْلُهَا فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يَمُوتُونَ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَوْنَ، وَلَــكِنْ أُنَاسٌ أو كما قال تُصِيبُهُمُ النَّارُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ أو قال: بِخَطَايَاهُمْ فَيُمِيتُهُمْ إِمَاتَةً حَتْى إِذَا صَارُوا فَحْمًا أُذِنَ فِي الشَّفَاعَةِ، فَجِيءَ بِهِمْ ضَبَائِرَ ضَبَائِرَ فَبُثُّوا عَلى أَنْهَارِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْهِمْ، فَيَنْبُتُونَ نَبَاتَ الْحِبَّةِ تَكُونُ فِي حَمِيلِ السَّيْل »

(Concerning the people of the Fire who will be dwellers of it, they will not die in it nor will they live. However, there will be a group of people - or as he said -( whom the Fire will burn due to their sins - or he said - (their wrongdoings. So, He will cause them to die until they become burnt coal. Then the intercession will be allowed and they will be brought group after group, and they will be scattered over the rivers of Paradise. Then it will be said: "O people of Paradise! Pour down upon them.'' Then they will sprout like the growing of the seed that is upon the moist bank of the flowing stream.'' Then, a man from among the people present said, "It is as if the Messenger of Allah used to live in the desert wilderness.'' Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ بَلۡ تُؤۡثِرُونَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَفِى ٱلصُّحُفِ ٱلۡأُولَىٰ صُحُفِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ

(14. Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success.) (15. And remembers the Name of his Lord, and performs Salah.) (16. Rather you prefer the life of this world.) (17. Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.) (18. Verily, this is in the former Scriptures) (19. The Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa.)

A Statement concerning the People of Success

Allah says,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success.) meaning, he purifies himself from despised characteristics and he follows what Allah has revealed to the Messenger .

﴿ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ

(And remembers the Name of his Lord, and performs Salah.) meaning, he establishes the prayer in its appointed time, seeking the pleasure of Allah, obedience to His command, and implementation of His Law. We have already reported from the Commander of the believers, `Umar bin `Abdul-`Aziz, that he used to command the people to give the Sadaqat Al-Fitr, and he would recite this Ayah:

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers the Name of his Lord, and performs Salah.) Abu Al-Ahwas said, "If someone comes to any of you begging, and he wants to pray, then he should give charity (Zakah) before he prays. For verily, Allah the Exalted says,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers the Name of his Lord, and performs Salah.)'' Qatadah said concerning this Ayah,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers the Name of his Lord, and performs Salah (Fasalla).) "He purifies his wealth and pleases his Creator.''

This World is Worthless in Comparison to the Hereafter

Then Allah says,

﴿ بَلۡ تُؤۡثِرُونَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا

(Rather you prefer the life of this world.) meaning, `you give it precedence over the matter of the Hereafter, and you prefer it because of what it contains of usefulness and benefit for you in livelihood, and your returns (i.e., income, profitable gain).'

﴿ وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ

(Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.) meaning, the reward of the final abode is better than the worldly life, and it is more lasting. For indeed, this worldly life is lowly and temporal, whereas the Hereafter is noble and eternal. Thus, how can an intelligent person prefer that which is short-lived over that which is eternal. How can he give importance to that which will soon pass away from him, while ignoring the importance of the abode of eternity and infinity. Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ أَحَبَّ دُنْيَاهُ أَضَرَّ بِآخِرَتِهِ، وَمَنْ أَحَبَّ آخِرَتَهُ أَضَرَّ بِدُنْيَاهُ، فَآثِرُوا مَا يَبْقَى عَلَى مَا يَفْنَى »

(Whoever loves his worldly life, will suffer in his Hereafter, and whoever loves his worldly life, will suffer in his Hereafter, and whoever loves his Hereafter, will suffer in his worldly life. Therefore, chose that which is everlasting over that which is temporal.) Ahmad was alone in recording this Hadith.

The Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa

Allah then says,

﴿ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَفِى ٱلصُّحُفِ ٱلۡأُولَىٰ صُحُفِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ

(Verily, this is in the former Scriptures -- the Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa.) This Ayah is similar to Allah's statement in Surat An-Najm,

﴿ أَمۡ لَمۡ يُنَبَّأۡ بِمَا فِى صُحُفِ مُوسَىٰ وَإِبۡرَٲهِيمَ ٱلَّذِى وَفَّىٰٓ أَلَّا تَزِرُ وَازِرَةٌ۬ وِزۡرَ أُخۡرَىٰ وَأَن لَّيۡسَ لِلۡإِنسَـٰنِ إِلَّا مَا سَعَىٰ وَأَنَّ سَعۡيَهُ ۥ سَوۡفَ يُرَىٰ ثُمَّ يُجۡزَٮٰهُ ٱلۡجَزَآءَ ٱلۡأَوۡفَىٰ وَأَنَّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ ٱلۡمُنتَہَىٰ

(Or is he not informed with what is in the Scriptures of Musa. And of Ibrahim who fulfilled (or conveyed) all that (Allah ordered him to do or convey): that no burdened person (with sins) shall bear the burden (sins) of another. And that man can have nothing but what he does. And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense. And that to your Lord is the End (Return of everything).) (53:36-42) And so forth, until the end of these Ayat. Abu `Aliyah said, "The story of this Surah is in the earlier Scriptures.'' Ibn Jarir preferred the view that the meaning of Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا

(Verily, this) is referring to His previous statement,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن تَزَكَّىٰ وَذَكَرَ ٱسۡمَ رَبِّهِۦ فَصَلَّىٰ بَلۡ تُؤۡثِرُونَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةَ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأَخِرَةُ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَبۡقَىٰٓ

(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers the Name of his Lord, and offers Salah. Rather you prefer the life of this world. Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.) Then Allah says,

﴿ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا

(Verily, this) meaning, the content of this discussion,

﴿ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَفِى ٱلصُّحُفِ ٱلۡأُولَىٰ صُحُفِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ

(in the former Scriptures, the Scriptures of Ibrahim and Musa.) This view that he (At-Tabari) has chosen is good and strong. Similar to it has been reported from Qatadah and Ibn Zayd. And Allah knows best. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-A`la (Sabbih). All praise and blessings are due to Allah, and He is the Giver of success and protection from error.

Reciting Surat Al-A`la and Al-Ghashiyah in the Friday Prayer

It has already been mentioned on the authority of An-Nu`man bin Bashir that the Messenger of Allah used to recite Surat Al-A`la (87) and Al-Ghashiyah in the `Id and Friday prayers. Imam Malik recorded that Ad-Dahhak bin Qays asked An-Nu`man bin Bashir, "What else did the Messenger of Allah recite on Friday along with Surat Al-Jumu`ah'' An-Nu`man replied, "Al-Ghashiyah (88).'' This narration has been recorded by Abu Dawud, An-Nasa'i, Muslim and Ibn Majah.

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

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

﴿ هَلۡ أَتَٮٰكَ حَدِيثُ ٱلۡغَـٰشِيَةِ وُجُوهٌ۬ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ خَـٰشِعَةٌ عَامِلَةٌ۬ نَّاصِبَةٌ۬ تَصۡلَىٰ نَارًا حَامِيَةً۬ تُسۡقَىٰ مِنۡ عَيۡنٍ ءَانِيَةٍ۬ لَّيۡسَ لَهُمۡ طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ۬ لَّا يُسۡمِنُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى مِن جُوعٍ۬

(1. Has there come to you the narration of Al-Ghashiyah (the overwhelming)) (2. Some faces that Day will be Khashi`ah.) (3. Laboring, weary.) (4. They will enter into Fire, Hamiyah.) (5. They will be given to drink from a boiling (Aniyah) spring,) (6. No food will there be for them but from Dari`,) (7. Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger.)

The Day of Judgement and what will happen to the People of the Fire during it Al-Ghashiyah is one of the names of the Day of Judgement.

This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah and Ibn Zayd. It has been called this because it will overwhelm the people and overcome them. Allah then says,

﴿ وُجُوهٌ۬ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ خَـٰشِعَةٌ

(Some faces that Day will be Khashi`ah.) meaning, humiliated. This was said by Qatadah. Ibn `Abbas said, "They will be humble but this action will be of no benefit to them.'' Then Allah says,

﴿ عَامِلَةٌ۬ نَّاصِبَةٌ۬

(Laboring, weary.) meaning, they did many deeds and became weary in their performance, yet they will be cast into a blazing Fire on the Day of Judgement. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Burqani narrated from Abu `Imran Al-Jawni that he said, " `Umar bin Al-Khattab passed by the monastery of a monk and he said: `O monk!' Then the monk came out, and `Umar looked at him and began to weep. Then it was said to him: `O Commander of the faithful! Why are you weeping' He replied: `I remembered the statement of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, in His Book,

﴿ عَامِلَةٌ۬ نَّاصِبَةٌ۬ تَصۡلَىٰ نَارًا حَامِيَةً۬

(Laboring, weary. They will enter into Fire, Hamiyah.) So that is what has made me cry. ''' Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ عَامِلَةٌ۬ نَّاصِبَةٌ۬

(Laboring, weary.) "The Christians.'' It is narrated that `Ikrimah and As-Suddi both said, "Laboring in the worldly life with disobedience, and weariness in the Fire from torment and perdition.'' Ibn `Abbas, Al-Hasan, and Qatadah all said,

﴿ تَصۡلَىٰ نَارًا حَامِيَةً۬

(They will enter into Fire, Hamiyah) meaning, hot with intense heat.

﴿ تُسۡقَىٰ مِنۡ عَيۡنٍ ءَانِيَةٍ۬

(They will be given to drink from a boiling (Aniyah) spring.) meaning, its heat has reached its maximum limit and boiling point. This was said by Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and As-Suddi. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ لَّيۡسَ لَهُمۡ طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ۬

(No food will there be for them but from Dari`,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "A tree from the Hellfire.'' Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Abu Al-Jawza' and Qatadah, all said, "It is Ash-Shibriq (a type of plant).'' Qatadah said, "The Quraysh called it Ash-Shabraq in the spring and Ad-Dari` in the summer.'' `Ikrimah said, "It is a thorny tree which reaches down to the ground.'' Al-Bukhari related that Mujahid said, "Ad-Dari` is a plant that is called Ash-Shibriq. The people of the Hijaz call it Ad-Dari` when it dries, and it is poisonous.'' Ma`mar narrated that Qatadah said,

﴿ لَّيۡسَ لَهُمۡ طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ۬

(No food will there be for them but from Dari`,) "This is Ash-Shibriq. When it dries it is called Ad-Dari`.'' Sa`id narrated from Qatadah that he said,

﴿ لَّيۡسَ لَهُمۡ طَعَامٌ إِلَّا مِن ضَرِيعٍ۬

(No food will there be for them but Dari`,) "This is of the worst, most disgusting and loathsome of foods.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ لَّا يُسۡمِنُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى مِن جُوعٍ۬

(Which will neither nourish nor avail against hunger.) This means that the intent in eating it will not be achieved, and nothing harmful will be repelled by it.

﴿ وُجُوهٌ۬ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ نَّاعِمَةٌ۬ لِّسَعۡيِہَا رَاضِيَةٌ۬ فِى جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ۬ لَّا تَسۡمَعُ فِيہَا لَـٰغِيَةً۬ فِيہَا عَيۡنٌ۬ جَارِيَةٌ۬ فِيہَا سُرُرٌ۬ مَّرۡفُوعَةٌ۬ وَأَكۡوَابٌ۬ مَّوۡضُوعَةٌ۬ وَنَمَارِقُ مَصۡفُوفَةٌ۬ وَزَرَابِىُّ مَبۡثُوثَةٌ

(8. Faces that Day will be joyful,) (9. Glad with their endeavor.) (10. In a lofty Paradise.) (11. Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood.) (12. Therein will be a running spring.) (13. Therein will be thrones raised high.) (14. And cups set at hand.) (15. And Namariq, set in rows.) (16. And Zarabi, spread out (Mabthuthah).)

The Condition of the People of Paradise on the Day of Judgement

After mentioning the situation of the wretched people, Allah changes the discussion to mention those who will be happy. He says,

﴿ وُجُوهٌ۬ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬

(Faces that Day.) meaning, on the Day of Judgement.

﴿ نَّاعِمَةٌ۬

(will be joyful,) meaning, pleasure will be noticeable in them (those faces). This will only occur due to their striving. Sufyan said,

﴿ لِّسَعۡيِہَا رَاضِيَةٌ۬

(Glad with their endeavor.) "They will be pleased with their deeds.'' Then Allah says,

﴿ فِى جَنَّةٍ عَالِيَةٍ۬

(In a lofty Paradise.) meaning, elevated and brilliant, secure in their dwellings.

﴿ لَّا تَسۡمَعُ فِيہَا لَـٰغِيَةً۬

(Where they shall neither hear harmful speech nor falsehood.) meaning, they will not hear in the Paradise that they will be in, any foolish word. This is as Allah says,

﴿ لَّا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوًا إِلَّا سَلَـٰمً۬ا‌ۖ

(They shall not hear therein any Laghw, but only Salam.) (19:62) Allah also says,

﴿ لَّا لَغۡوٌ۬ فِيہَا وَلَا تَأۡثِيمٌ۬

(Free from any Laghw, and free from sin.) (52:23) and He says,

﴿ لَا يَسۡمَعُونَ فِيہَا لَغۡوً۬ا وَلَا تَأۡثِيمًا إِلَّا قِيلاً۬ سَلَـٰمً۬ا سَلَـٰمً۬ا

(No Laghw will they hear therein, nor any sinful speech. But only the saying of: "Salam! Salam!'' ) (56:25-26) Then Allah continues,

﴿ فِيہَا عَيۡنٌ۬ جَارِيَةٌ۬

(Therein will be a running spring.) meaning, flowing freely. This is mentioned with the intent of emphasizing affirmation. It is not intended to mean that there is only one spring. So here it refers to springs collectively. Thus, the meaning is that in it (Paradise) are flowing springs. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,

« أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ تَفَجَّرُ مِنْ تَحْتِ تِلَالِ أَوْ مِنْ تَحْتِ جِبَالِ الْمِسْك »

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

﴿ فِيہَا سُرُرٌ۬ مَّرۡفُوعَةٌ۬

(Therein will be thrones raised high.) meaning, lofty, delightful, numerous couches, with elevated ceilings. Upon which will be seated wide-eyed, beautiful maidens. They have mentioned that whenever the friend of Allah wishes to sit on these lofty thrones, they (the thrones) will lower themselves for him.

﴿ وَأَكۡوَابٌ۬ مَّوۡضُوعَةٌ۬

(And cups set at hand.) meaning, drinking containers that are prepared and presented for whoever among their masters (i.e., the people of Paradise) wants them.

﴿ وَنَمَارِقُ مَصۡفُوفَةٌ۬

(And Namariq set in rows.) Ibn `Abbas said, "An-Namariq are pillows.'' This was also said by `Ikrimah, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri and others. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَزَرَابِىُّ مَبۡثُوثَةٌ

(And Zarabi, spread out (Mabthuthah).) Ibn `Abbas said, "Az-Zarabi are carpets.'' This was also said by Ad-Dahhak and others. Here the word Mabthuthah means placed here and there for whoever would like to sit upon them.

﴿ أَفَلَا يَنظُرُونَ إِلَى ٱلۡإِبِلِ ڪَيۡفَ خُلِقَتۡ وَإِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ ڪَيۡفَ رُفِعَتۡ وَإِلَى ٱلۡجِبَالِ كَيۡفَ نُصِبَتۡ وَإِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ كَيۡفَ سُطِحَتۡ فَذَكِّرۡ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُذَڪِّرٌ۬ لَّسۡتَ عَلَيۡهِم بِمُصَيۡطِرٍ إِلَّا مَن تَوَلَّىٰ وَكَفَرَ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ ٱلۡأَكۡبَرَ إِنَّ إِلَيۡنَآ إِيَابَہُمۡ ثُمَّ إِنَّ عَلَيۡنَا حِسَابَہُم

(17. Do they not look at the camels, how they are created) (18. And at the heaven, how it is raised) (19. And at the mountains, how they are rooted) (20. And at the earth, how it is outspread) (21. So remind them -- you are only one who reminds.) (22. You are not a Musaytir over them.) (23. Save the one who turns away and disbelieves.) (24. Then Allah will punish him with the greatest punishment.) (25. Verily, to Us will be their return;) (26. Then verily, for Us will be their reckoning.)