;
The Ability to distinguish between Good and Evil is also a Blessing
﴿ وَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُ ٱلنَّجۡدَيۡنِ

(And shown him the two ways) This refers to the two paths. Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated from `Asim, from Zirr, from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud that he said,

﴿ وَهَدَيۡنَـٰهُ ٱلنَّجۡدَيۡنِ

(And shown him the two ways) "The good and the evil.'' Similar to this has been reported from `Ali, Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Abu Wa'il, Abu Salih, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ad-Dahhak, and `Ata' Al-Khurasani among others. Similar to this Ayah is Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَا ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ أَمۡشَاجٍ۬ نَّبۡتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلۡنَـٰهُ سَمِيعَۢا بَصِيرًا إِنَّا هَدَيۡنَـٰهُ ٱلسَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرً۬ا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا

(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj, in order to try him: so We made him hearer and seer. Verily, We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.) (76:2-3)

﴿ فَلَا ٱقۡتَحَمَ ٱلۡعَقَبَةَ وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا ٱلۡعَقَبَةُ فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ أَوۡ إِطۡعَـٰمٌ۬ فِى يَوۡمٍ۬ ذِى مَسۡغَبَةٍ۬ يَتِيمً۬ا ذَا مَقۡرَبَةٍ أَوۡ مِسۡكِينً۬ا ذَا مَتۡرَبَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡمَرۡحَمَةِ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡمَيۡمَنَةِ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا هُمۡ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡمَشۡـَٔمَةِ عَلَيۡہِمۡ نَارٌ۬ مُّؤۡصَدَةُۢ

(11. But he has not attempted to pass on the path that is steep.) (12. And what will make you know the path that is steep) (13. Freeing a neck) (14. Or giving food in a day full of Masghabah,) (15. To an orphan near of kin.) (16. Or to a Miskin cleaving to dust.) (17. Then he became one of those who believed and recommended one another to patience, and recommended one another to compassion.) (18. They are those on the Right,) (19. But those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, they are those on the Left.) (20. Upon them Fire will Mu'sadah.)

The Encouragement to traverse upon the Path of Goodness

Ibn Zayd said,

﴿ فَلَا ٱقۡتَحَمَ ٱلۡعَقَبَةَ

(But he has not attempted to pass on the path that is steep.) "This means, will he not traverse upon the path which contains salvation and good Then He explains this path by his saying,

﴿ وَمَآ أَدۡرَٮٰكَ مَا ٱلۡعَقَبَةُ فَكُّ رَقَبَةٍ أَوۡ إِطۡعَـٰمٌ۬

(And what will make you know the path that is steep Freeing a neck, or giving food.)'' Imam Ahmad recorded from Sa`id bin Marjanah that he heard Abu Hurayrah saying that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ أَعْتَقَ رَقَبَةً مُؤمِنَةً أَعْتَقَ اللهُ بِكُلِّ إِرْبٍ أَيْ عُضْوٍ مِنْهَا إِرْبًا مِنْهُ مِنَ النَّارِ حَتْى إِنَّهُ لَيُعْتِقُ بِالْيَدِ الْيَدَ، وَبِالرِّجْلِ الرِّجْلَ، وَبِالْفَرْجِ الْفَرْج »

(Whoever frees a believing slave, Allah will free for every limb (of the slave) one of his limbs from the Fire. This is to such an extent that He (Allah) will free a hand for a hand, a leg for a leg, and a private part for a private part.) `Ali bin Al-Husayn then said (to Sa`id), "Did you hear this from Abu Hurayrah'' Sa`id replied, "Yes.'' Then `Ali bin Al-Husayn said to a slave boy that he owned who was the swiftest of his servants, "Call Mutarrif!'' So when the slave was brought before him he said, "Go, for you are free for the Face of Allah.'' Al-Bukhari, Muslim, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i, all recorded this Hadith from Sa`id bin Marjanah. Imam Ahmad recorded from `Amr bin `Abasah that the Prophet said,

« مَنْ بَنَى مَسْجِدًا لِيُذْكَرَ اللْهُ فِيهِ بَنَى اللْهُ لَهُ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَمَنْ أَعْتَقَ نَفْسًا مُسْلِمَةً كَانَتْ فِدْيَتَهُ مِنْ جَهَنَّمَ وَمَنْ شَابَ شَيْبَةً فِي الْإِسْلَامِ كَانَتْ لَهُ نُورًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَة »

(Whoever builds a Masjid so that Allah may be remembered in it, Allah will build a house for him in Paradise; and whoever frees a Muslim person, then it will be his ransom from Hell; and whoever grows grey in Islam, then it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgement.) According to another route of transmission, Ahmad recorded from Abu Umamah, who reported from `Amr bin `Abasah that As-Sulami said to him, "Narrate a Hadith to us that you heard from the Messenger of Allah , without any deficiency or mistakes.'' He (`Amr) said, "I heard him saying,

« مَنْ وُلِدَ لَهُ ثَلَاثَةُ أَوْلَادٍ فِي الْإِسْلَامِ فَمَاتُوا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَبْلُغُوا الْحِنْثَ أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّةَ بِفَضْلِ رَحْمَتِهِ إِيَّاهُمْ، وَمَنْ شَابَ شَيْبَةً فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ كَانَتْ لَهُ نُورًا يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَمَنْ رَمَى بِسَهْم فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ بَلَغَ بِهِ الْعَدُوَّ أَصَابَ أَوْ أَخْطَأَ كَانَ لَهُ عِتْقُ رَقَبَةٍ، وَمَنْ أَعْتَقَ رَقَبَةً مُؤْمِنَـةً أَعْتَقَ اللهُ بِكُلِّ عُضْوٍ مِنْهُ عُضْوًا مِنْهُ مِنَ النَّارِ، وَمَنْ أَنْفَقَ زَوْجَيْنِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ فَإِنَّ لِلْجَنَّةِ ثَمَانِيَةَ أَبْوَابٍ يُدْخِلُهُ اللهُ مِنْ أَيِّ بَابٍ شَاءَ مِنْهَا »

(Whoever has three children born to him in Islam, and they die before reaching the age of puberty, Allah will enter him into Paradise by virtue of His mercy to them. And whoever grows gray in the way of Allah (fighting Jihad), then it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgement. And whoever shoots an arrow in the way of Allah (fighting Jihad) that reaches the enemy, whether it hits or misses, he will get the reward of freeing a slave. And whoever frees a believing slave, then Allah will free each of his limbs from the Fire for every limb that the slave has. And whoever equipped two riding animals in the way of Allah (for fighting Jihad), then indeed Paradise has eight gates, and Allah will allow him to enter any of them he choses.)'' Ahmad recorded this Hadith from different routes of transmission that are good and strong, and all praise is due to Allah. Allah said,

﴿ أَوۡ إِطۡعَـٰمٌ۬ فِى يَوۡمٍ۬ ذِى مَسۡغَبَةٍ۬

(Or giving food in a day full of Masghabah,) Ibn `Abbas said, "Of hunger.'' `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others all said the same. The word `Saghb' means hunger. Then Allah says,

﴿ يَتِيمً۬ا

(To an orphan) meaning, he gives food on a day like this to an orphan.

﴿ ذَا مَقۡرَبَةٍ

(near of kin.) meaning, who is related to him. Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi all said this. This is similar to what was related in a Hadith that was collected by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Salman bin `Amir who said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

« الصَّدَقَةُ عَلَى الْمِسْكِينِ صَدَقَةٌ وَعَلَى ذِي الرَّحِمِ اثْنَتَانِ: صَدَقَةٌ وَصِلَة »

(Charity given to the poor person is counted as one charity, while if it is given to a relative it is counted as two: charity and connecting the ties (of kinship).) At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i both recorded this Hadith and its chain of narration is authentic. Then Allah says,

﴿ أَوۡ مِسۡكِينً۬ا ذَا مَتۡرَبَةٍ۬

(Or to a Miskin cleaving to dust (Dha Matrabah).) meaning, poor, miserable, and clinging to the dirt. It means those who are in a state of destitution. Ibn `Abbas said, "Dha Matrabah is that who is dejected in the street and who has no house or anything else to protect him against the dirt.'' Allah said;

﴿ ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ

(Then he became one of those who believed) meaning, then, along with these beautiful and pure characteristics, he was a believer in his heart, seeking the reward of that from Allah. This is as Allah says,

﴿ وَمَنۡ أَرَادَ ٱلۡأَخِرَةَ وَسَعَىٰ لَهَا سَعۡيَهَا وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ڪَانَ سَعۡيُهُم مَّشۡكُورً۬ا

(And whoever desires the Hereafter and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it while he is believer, then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated.) (17:19) Allah also says,

﴿ مَنۡ عَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا مِّن ذَڪَرٍ أَوۡ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤۡمِنٌ۬

(Whoever works righteousness -- whether male or female -- while being a true believer....) (16:97) Allah says,

﴿ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡمَرۡحَمَةِ

(and recommended one another to patience, and recommended one another to compassion.) meaning, he was from the believers who worked righteous deeds, and advised each other to be patient with the harms of the people, and to be merciful with them. This is similar to what has been related in the noble Hadith,

« الرَّاحِمُونَ يَرْحَمُهُمُ الرَّحْمنُ، ارْحَمُوا مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَرْحَمْكُمْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاء »

(The merciful people will be treated with mercy by the Most Merciful (Allah). Be merciful to those who are on the earth and He Who is above the heavens will be merciful to you.) In another Hadith he said,

« لَا يَرْحَمُ اللهُ مَنْ لَا يَرْحَمِ النَّاس »

(Allah will not be merciful with whoever is not merciful with the people.) Abu Dawud recorded from `Abdullah bin `Amr that he narrated (from the Prophet ),

« مَنْ لَمْ يَرْحَمْ صَغِيرَنَا وَيَعْرِفْ حَقَّ كَبِيرِنَا فَلَيْسَ مِنَّا »

(Whoever does not show mercy to our children, nor does he recognize the right of our elders, then he is not of us.) Then Allah says,

﴿ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡمَيۡمَنَةِ

(They are those on the Right,) meaning, those who have these characteristics are the companions of the Right Hand.

The Companions of the Left Hand and Their Recompense

Then Allah says,

﴿ وَٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا هُمۡ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلۡمَشۡـَٔمَةِ

(But those who disbelieved in Our Ayat, they are those on the Left.) meaning, the companions of the Left Hand.

﴿ عَلَيۡہِمۡ نَارٌ۬ مُّؤۡصَدَةُۢ

(Upon them Fire will Mu'sadah.) meaning, it will be sealed over them and there will be no way for them to avoid it, nor will they have any way out. Abu Hurayrah, Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi, `Atiyah Al-`Awfi, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and As-Suddi, all said,

﴿ مُّؤۡصَدَةُۢ

(Mu'sadah.) "This means shut.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "Its doors will be closed.'' Ad-Dahhak said,

﴿ مُّؤۡصَدَةُۢ

(Mu'sadah.) "It will be sealed over them and it will have no door.'' Qatadah said,

﴿ مُّؤۡصَدَةُۢ

(Mu'sadah.) "It will be shut and there will be no light in it, no crevice (escape), and no way out of it forever.'' This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Balad, and all praise and blessings are due to Allah.

Which was revealed in Makkah

Recitation of Surah Ash-Shams wa Duhaha in the `Isha' Prayer The Hadith of Jabir which was recorded in the Two Sahihs has already been mentioned. In it the Messenger of Allah said to Mu`adh,

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

(Why didn't you pray with (the recitation of) (Glorify the Name of your Lord the Most High) (87), (By the sun and Duhaha) (91), and (By the night as it envelops) (92))

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

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

﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسِ وَضُحَٮٰهَا وَٱلۡقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَٮٰهَا وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا جَلَّٮٰهَا وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَٮٰهَا وَٱلسَّمَآءِ وَمَا بَنَٮٰهَا وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا طَحَٮٰهَا وَنَفۡسٍ۬ وَمَا سَوَّٮٰهَا فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا

(1. By the sun and Duhaha.) (2. By the moon as it Talaha.) (3. By the day as it Jallaha.) (4. By the night as it Yaghshaha.) (5. By the heaven and Ma Banaha.) (6. By the earth and Ma Tahhaha.) (7. By Nafs, and Ma Sawwaha (Who apportioned it).) (8. Then He showed it its Fujur and its Taqwa.) (9. Indeed he succeeds who purifies it.) (10. And indeed he fails who Dassaha.)

Allah swears by His Creation that the Person Who purifies Himself will be Successful and the Person Who corrupts Himself will fail

Mujahid said,

﴿ وَٱلشَّمۡسِ وَضُحَٮٰهَا

(By the sun and Duhaha.) "This means, by its light.'' Qatadah said,

﴿ وَضُحَٮٰهَا

(wa Duhaha.) "The whole day.'' Ibn Jarir said, "The correct view is what has been said, `Allah swears by the sun and its daytime, because the clear light of the sun is daytime.'''

﴿ وَٱلۡقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَٮٰهَا

(By the moon as it Talaha.) Mujahid said, "It follows it (the sun).'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

﴿ وَٱلۡقَمَرِ إِذَا تَلَٮٰهَا

(By the moon as it Talaha.) "It follows the day.'' Qatadah said, "`as it Talaha (follows it)' is referring to the night of the Hilal (the new crescent moon). When the sun goes down, the Hilal is visible.'' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا جَلَّٮٰهَا

(By the day as it Jallaha.) Mujahid said, "When it illuminates.'' Thus, Mujahid said,

﴿ وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا جَلَّٮٰهَا

(By the day as it Jallaha.) "This is similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ

(By the day as it Tajalla.) (92:2)'' And they have said concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَٮٰهَا

(By the night as it Yaghshaha.) meaning, when it covers the sun, which takes place when sun disappears and the horizons become dark. Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلسَّمَآءِ وَمَا بَنَٮٰهَا

(By the heaven and Ma Banaha.) The meaning here could be for descriptive purposes, meaning "By the heaven and its construction.'' This was said by Qatadah. It could also mean "By the heaven and its Constructor.'' This was stated by Mujahid. Both views are interrelated, and construction means raising. This is as Allah says,

﴿ وَٱلسَّمَآءَ بَنَيۡنَـٰهَا بِأَيۡيْدٍ۬

(With Hands did We construct the heaven.) (51:47) meaning, with strength.

﴿ وَٱلسَّمَآءَ بَنَيۡنَـٰهَا بِأَيۡيْدٍ۬ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ وَٱلۡأَرۡضَ فَرَشۡنَـٰهَا فَنِعۡمَ ٱلۡمَـٰهِدُونَ

(Verily, We are able to extend the vastness of space thereof. And We have spread out the earth: how excellent a spreader are We!) (51:47-48) This is also similar to Allah's statement,

﴿ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَمَا طَحَٮٰهَا

(By the earth and Ma Tahaha.) Mujahid said, "Tahaha means He spread it out.'' Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,

﴿ وَمَا طَحَٮٰهَا

(and Ma Tahaha.) "This means what He created in it.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said, "Tahaha means that He proportioned it.'' Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi, Ath-Thawri, Abu Salih and Ibn Zayd all said that

﴿ طَحَٮٰهَا

(Tahaha) means, He spread it out. Allah then says,

﴿ وَنَفۡسٍ۬ وَمَا سَوَّٮٰهَا

(By Nafs, and Ma Sawwaha (Who apportioned it).) meaning, He created it sound and well-proportioned upon the correct nature (Al-Fitrah). This is as Allah says,

﴿ فَأَقِمۡ وَجۡهَكَ لِلدِّينِ حَنِيفً۬ا‌ۚ فِطۡرَتَ ٱللَّهِ ٱلَّتِى فَطَرَ ٱلنَّاسَ عَلَيۡہَا‌ۚ لَا تَبۡدِيلَ لِخَلۡقِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ

(So set you your face towards the religion, Hanif. Allah's Fitrah with which He has created mankind. No change let there be in the Khalqillah.) (30:30) The Messenger of Allah said,

« كُلُّ مَوْلُودٍ يُولَدُ عَلى الْفِطْرَةِ فَأَبَوَاهُ يُهَوِّدَانِهِ أَوْ يُنَصِّرَانِهِ أَوْ يُمَجِّسَانِهِ، كَمَا تُولَدُ الْبَهِيمَةُ بَهِيمَةً جَمْعَاءَ، هَلْ تُحِسُّونَ فِيهَا مِنْ جَدْعَاءَ؟ »

(Every child that is born, is born upon the Fitrah, but his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Zoroastrian. This is just as the animal is born, complete with all of its parts. Do you notice any mutilation in it) Both Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith from Abu Hurayrah. In Sahih Muslim, it has been narrated from `Iyad bin Himar Al-Mujashi`i that the Messenger of Allah said,

« يَقُولُ اللهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ: إِنِّي خَلَقْتُ عِبَادِي حُنَفَاءَ فَجَاءَتْهُمُ الشَّيَاطِينُ فَاجْتَالَتْهُمْ عَنْ دِينِهِم »

(Allah the Mighty and Majestic says, "Verily I created My servants Hunafa' (as monotheists), but then the devils came to them and distracted them from their religion.)'' Then Allah says,

﴿ فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا

(Then He showed it its Fujur and its Taqwa.) meaning, He showed him to his transgression and his Taqwa. This means that He clarified that for it and He guided it to what has been ordained for him. Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا

(Then He showed it its Fujur and its Taqwa.) "He explained the good and the evil to it (the soul).'' Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Ath-Thawri all said the same. Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "He gave him inspiration (to see what was) good and evil.'' Ibn Zayd said, "He made its Fujur and its Taqwa inside of it.'' Ibn Jarir recorded from Abul-Aswad Ad-Dili that he said, "`Imran bin Husayn said to me, `Do you think that what the people do, and what they strive for is a thing that is pre-ordained and predestined for them, or is it a thing which is only written after the Message comes to them from the Prophet, when there will be an evidence against them' I said, `Rather it is something preordained upon them.' Then he said, `Is that an injustice' Then I became extremely frightened of him (due to what he was saying), and I said to him, `There is nothing except that He (Allah) created it and possesses it in His Hand. He is not asked about what He does, while they (His creation) will be asked.' He (`Imran) then said, `May Allah guide you! I only asked you about that in order to inform you that a man from Muzaynah or Juhaynah tribe came to the Allah's Messenger and asked him: "O Messenger of Allah! Do you consider the actions of mankind and their struggles to be preordained for them and written for them from Qadr, or something written for them only after the Message came to them from their Prophet, when there will be an evidence against them'' He (the Prophet ) replied:

« بَلْ شَيْءٌ قَدْ قُضِيَ عَلَيْهِم »

(Rather it is something preordained for them.) So the man said, "Then what is the point of our actions'' The Prophet replied,

« مَنْ كَانَ اللهُ خَلَقَهُ لإِحْدَى الْمَنْزِلَتَيْنِ يُهَيِّئُهُ لَهَا، وَتَصْدِيقُ ذَلِكَ فِي كِتَابِ اللهِ تَعَالَى:
﴿ وَنَفۡسٍ۬ وَمَا سَوَّٮٰهَا فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا

(Whoever Allah created for one of the two positions (Paradise or Hell), He makes it easy for him (to attain). The proof of that is in the Book of Allah (By Nafs, and Ma Sawwaha (Who apportioned it). Then He showed it its Fujur and its Taqwa).)'' Ahmad and Muslim both recorded this Hadith. Allah then says,

﴿ قَدۡ أَفۡلَحَ مَن زَكَّٮٰهَا وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا

(Indeed he succeeds who purifies it. And indeed he fails who Dassaha.) This could mean that whoever purifies himself by obedience to Allah, then he will be successful. This is as Qatadah said, "He cleanses it from the lowly and despicable characteristics.'' Similar to this has been reported from Mujahid, `Ikrimah and Sa`id bin Jubayr.

﴿ وَقَدۡ خَابَ مَن دَسَّٮٰهَا

(And indeed he fails who Dassaha.) meaning, to conceal it. This means that he makes it dull, and he disregards it by neglecting to allow it to receive guidance. He treats it in this manner until he performs acts of disobedience and he abandons obedience of Allah. It also could mean that he is indeed successful whose soul Allah purifies, and he has failed whose soul Allah corrupts. This is like what was reported by Al-`Awfi and `Ali bin Abi Talhah from Ibn `Abbas. At-Tabarani recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "The Messenger of Allah used to stop whenever he recited this Ayah,

﴿ وَنَفۡسٍ۬ وَمَا سَوَّٮٰهَا فَأَلۡهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقۡوَٮٰهَا

(By Nafs, and Ma Sawwaha (Who apportioned it). Then He showed it its Fujur and its Taqwa.) Then he would say,

« اللْهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا، أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلَاهَا، وَخَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا »

(O Allah! Give my soul its good. You are its Guardian and Master, and the best to purify it.)'' Another Hadith Imam Ahmad recorded that Zayd bin Arqam said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« اللْهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْعَجْز وَالْكَسَلِ، وَالْهَرَمِ وَالْجُبْنِ وَالْبُخْلِ وَعَذَابِ الْقَبْرِ. اللْهُمَّ آتِ نَفْسِي تَقْوَاهَا، وَزَكِّهَا أَنْتَ خَيْرُ مَنْ زَكَّاهَا، أَنْتَ وَلِيُّهَا وَمَوْلَاهَا. اللْهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ قَلْبٍ لَا يَخْشَعُ، وَمِنْ نَفْسٍ لَا تَشْبَعُ، وَعِلْمٍ لَا يَنْفَعُ، وَدَعْوَةٍ لَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهَا »

(O Allah! Verily, I seek refuge with You from weakness, laziness, senility (of old age), cowardliness, stinginess and the torment of the grave. O Allah! Give my soul its good and purify it, for You are the best to purify it. You are its Guardian and Master. O Allah! Verily, I seek refuge with You from a heart that is not humble, a soul that is not satisfied, knowledge that does not benefit and a supplication that is not answered.) Zayd then said, "The Messenger of Allah used to teach us these (words) and we now teach them to you.'' Muslim also recorded this Hadith.

﴿ كَذَّبَتۡ ثَمُودُ بِطَغۡوَٮٰهَآ إِذِ ٱنۢبَعَثَ أَشۡقَٮٰهَا فَقَالَ لَهُمۡ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ نَاقَةَ ٱللَّهِ وَسُقۡيَـٰهَا فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا فَدَمۡدَمَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ رَبُّهُم بِذَنۢبِهِمۡ فَسَوَّٮٰهَا وَلَا يَخَافُ عُقۡبَـٰهَا

(11. Thamud denied through their transgression.) (12. When their most wicked went forth.) (13. But the Messenger of Allah said to them: "Be cautious! That is the she-camel of Allah! (Do not harm it) and (bar it not from having) its drink!'') (14. Then they denied him and they killed it. So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin, Fasawwaha!) (15. And He feared not the consequences thereof.)

The Rejection of Thamud and Allah's Destruction of Them

Allah informs that Thamud rejected their Messenger because of the injustice and transgression they practiced. This was said by Mujahid, Qatadah and others. Therefore, this resulted in a rejection in their hearts for the guidance and conviction their Messenger came to them with.

﴿ إِذِ ٱنۢبَعَثَ أَشۡقَٮٰهَا

(When their most wicked went forth.) meaning, the most wicked person of the tribe, and he was Qudar bin Salif, the one who killed the she-camel. He was leader of the tribe of Thamud, and he is the one whom Allah refers to in His saying,

﴿ فَنَادَوۡاْ صَاحِبَهُمۡ فَتَعَاطَىٰ فَعَقَرَ

(But they called their comrade and he took (a sword) and killed (her).) (54:29) This man was mighty and respected among his people. He was of noble lineage and a leader who was obeyed. This is just as Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah bin Zam`ah. He said that the Messenger of Allah gave a sermon in which he mentioned the she-camel and he mentioned the man who killed her. Then he said,

﴿ إِذِ ٱنۢبَعَثَ أَشۡقَٮٰهَا
انْبَعَثَ لَهَا رَجُلٌ عَارِمٌ عَزِيزٌ مَنِيعٌ فَي رَهْطِهِ مِثْلُ أَبِي زَمْعَة »

((When their most wicked went forth.) (A strong and mighty man who was invincible among his tribe, like Abu Zam`ah, went forth to her.) This Hadith was recorded by Al-Bukhari in his Book of Tafsir, and Muslim in his Book of the Description of the Hellfire. At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa'i both recorded it in their Sunans in their Books of Tafsir.

The Story of Salih's She-Camel

Allah then says,

﴿ فَقَالَ لَهُمۡ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ

(But the Messenger of Allah said to them) referring to Salih.

﴿ نَاقَةَ ٱللَّهِ

(That is the she-camel of Allah!) meaning, `beware of touching the she-camel of Allah with any harm.'

﴿ وَسُقۡيَـٰهَا

(and its drink!) meaning, `do not transgress against her in her drinking, for she has been allocated a day to drink and you have been allocated a day to drink, as is known to you.' Then Allah says,

﴿ فَكَذَّبُوهُ فَعَقَرُوهَا

(Then they denied him and they killed it.), which means they rejected what he came with. This resulted in them killing the she-camel that Allah had brought out of the rock as a sign for them and a proof against them.

﴿ فَدَمۡدَمَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ رَبُّهُم بِذَنۢبِهِمۡ

(So their Lord destroyed them because of their sin,) meaning, He became angry with them and He annihilated them.

﴿ فَسَوَّٮٰهَا

(Fasawwaha!) meaning, He made the punishment descend upon them all equally. Qatadah said, "It has reached us that the leader of tribe of Thamud did not kill the she-camel until their youth, their elderly, their males and their females all pledged allegiance to him. So when the people cooperated in killing her, Allah destroyed them all with the same punishment due to their sin.'' Allah said,

﴿ وَلَا يَخَافُ

(And He feared not) it has also been recited as (فَلَا يَخَافُ) (So He feared not)

﴿ عُقۡبَـٰهَا

(the consequences thereof.) Ibn `Abbas said, "Allah does not fear any consequences from anyone else.'' Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Bakr bin `Abdullah Al-Muzani and others all said the same. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ash-Shams, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

The Recitation of Surat Al-Layl in the `Isha' Prayer

The statement of the Prophet to Mu`adh has already preceded, where he said,

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

(Why did you not pray with (the recitation of) (Glorify the Name of your Lord the Most High) (87), and (By the sun and Duhaha) (91), and (By the night as it envelops) (92))

﴿ بِسۡمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

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

﴿ وَٱلَّيۡلِ إِذَا يَغۡشَىٰ وَٱلنَّہَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّىٰ وَمَا خَلَقَ ٱلذَّكَرَ وَٱلۡأُنثَىٰٓ إِنَّ سَعۡيَكُمۡ لَشَتَّىٰ فَأَمَّا مَنۡ أَعۡطَىٰ وَٱتَّقَىٰ وَصَدَّقَ بِٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ ۥ لِلۡيُسۡرَىٰ وَأَمَّا مَنۢ بَخِلَ وَٱسۡتَغۡنَىٰ وَكَذَّبَ بِٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ ۥ لِلۡعُسۡرَىٰ وَمَا يُغۡنِى عَنۡهُ مَالُهُ ۥۤ إِذَا تَرَدَّىٰٓ

(1. By the night as it envelops.) (2. By the day as it appears.) (3. By Him Who created male and female.) (4. Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse.) (5. As for him who gives and has Taqwa,) (6. And believes in Al-Husna.) (7. We will make smooth for him the path of ease.) (8. But he who is greedy and thinks himself self-sufficient,) (9. And denies Al-Husna.) (10. We will make smooth for him the path to evil.) (11. And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction))