|The Reason for the Revelation of These Ayat|
Abu Ja`far bin Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "When Abu Talib fell sick, some of the people of the Quraysh, including Abu Jahl, entered upon him and said, `Your brother's son is insulting our gods; he does such and such and says such and such. Why don't you send for him and tell him not to do that' So he sent for the Prophet and he entered the house. There was space enough for one man to sit between them and Abu Talib, and Abu Jahl, may Allah curse him, was afraid that if ﴿the Prophet ﴾ were to sit beside Abu Talib he would be more lenient with him, so he jumped up and sat in that spot, and the Messenger of Allah could find nowhere to sit near his uncle, so he sat by the door. Abu Talib said to him, `O son of my brother, why are your people complaining about you and claiming that you insult their gods and say such and such' They made so many complaints against him. Thereupon, he said,
«يَا عَمِّ إِنِّي أُرِيدُهُمْ عَلَى كَلِمَةٍ وَاحِدَةٍ يَقُولُونَهَا تَدِينُ لَهُمْ بِهَا الْعَرَبُ، وَتُؤَدِّي إِلَيْهِمْ بِهَا الْعَجَمُ الْجِزْيَة»
(O uncle, all I want from them is one word which, if they say it, the Arabs will become their followers and the non-Arabs will pay Jizyah to them.) They were worried about what he said, so they said, `One word Yes, by your father, (we will say) ten words! What is it' Abu Talib said, `What word is it, O son of my brother' He said,
«لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا الله»
(La ilaha illallah.) They stood up in agitation, brushing down their clothes, saying,
﴿أَجَعَلَ الاٌّلِهَةَ إِلَـهاً وَحِداً إِنَّ هَـذَا لَشَىْءٌ عُجَابٌ ﴾
(Has he made the gods into One God. Verily, this is a curious thing!) Then this passage was revealed, from this Ayah to the Ayah:
﴿بَل لَّمَّا يَذُوقُواْ عَذَابِ﴾
(Nay, but they have not tasted (My) torment!)'' This is the wording of Abu Kurayb. Something similar was also recorded by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa'i, and At-Tirmidhi said, "Hasan.''
﴿مَا سَمِعْنَا بِهَـذَا فِى الْمِلَّةِ الاٌّخِرَةِ﴾
(We have not heard (the like) of this in the religion of these later days.) means, `we have not heard anything like this Tawhid to which Muhammad calls us in the religion of these later days.' Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "`We have not heard of this from the religion of these later days (meaning Christianity); if this Qur'an were true, the Christians would have told us about it.''
﴿إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ اخْتِلاَقٌ﴾
(This is nothing but an invention!) Mujahid and Qatadah said, "A lie.'' Ibn `Abbas said, "A fabrication.''
﴿أَءَنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ مِن بَيْنِنَا﴾
(Has the Reminder been sent down to him (alone) from among us) They thought it unlikely that he would be singled out from among them to receive the Qur'an. This is like the Ayat:
﴿لَوْلاَ نُزِّلَ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانُ عَلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنَ الْقَرْيَتَيْنِ عَظِيمٍ﴾
(And they say: "Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns'') (43:31). Allah said:
﴿أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ مَّعِيشَتَهُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَـتٍ﴾
(Is it they who would portion out the mercy of your Lord It is We Who portion out between them their livelihood in this world, and We raised some of them above others in ranks) (43:32). When they said this, it indicated their ignorance and lack of understanding since they thought it was unlikely that the Qur'an would be revealed to the Messenger and not to somebody else.
﴿بَل لَّمَّا يَذُوقُواْ عَذَابِ﴾
(Nay, but they have not tasted (My) torment!) means, they say this because they have not yet tasted the punishment and vengeance of Allah. But they will come to know the consequences of what they say and what they rejected on the Day when they are herded into the fire of Hell. Then Allah points out that He is the One Who is in control of His Creation and Who does whatever He wills, Who gives whatever He wants to whomever He wants, and honors whomever He wants and humiliates whomever He wants, and guides whomever He wants and misguides whomever He wants, and sends the Ruh (Jibril) by His command upon whomsoever He wants among His servants, and seals the hearts of whomever He wants, so no one can guide him apart from Allah. His servants do not possess any power and have no control over His dominion, not even a speck of dust's weight; they do not possess even a thin membrane over a date stone. Allah says, denouncing them:
﴿أَمْ عِندَهُمْ خَزَآئِنُ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّكَ الْعَزِيزِ الْوَهَّابِ ﴾
(Or have they the treasures of the mercy of your Lord, the Almighty, the Real Bestower) meaning, the Almighty Whose might cannot be overcome, the Bestower Who gives whatever He wills to whomsoever He wills. This Ayah is like the Ayah:
﴿أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذاً لاَّ يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيراً - أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَى مَآ ءَاتَـهُمُ اللَّهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ فَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ ءَالَ إِبْرَهِيمَ الْكِتَـبَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَءَاتَيْنَـهُمْ مُّلْكاً عَظِيماً - فَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ ءَامَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ وَكَفَى بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيراً ﴾
(Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a speck on the back of a date stone. Or do they envy men for what Allah has given them of His bounty Then, We had already given the family of Ibrahim the Book and Al-Hikmah, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. Of them were (some) who believed in him, and of them were (some) who averted their faces from him; and enough is Hell for burning (them).) (4:53-55).
﴿قُل لَّوْ أَنتُمْ تَمْلِكُونَ خَزَآئِنَ رَحْمَةِ رَبِّى إِذًا لأمْسَكْتُمْ خَشْيَةَ الإِنفَاقِ وَكَانَ الإنْسَـنُ قَتُورًا ﴾
(Say: "If you possessed the treasure of the mercy of my Lord (wealth), then you would surely hold back for fear of (being exhausted), and man is ever miserly!'') (17:100). This is after Allah tells us the story of how the disbeliever denied the sending of a human Messenger, as He tells us that the people of Salih, peace be upon him, said:
﴿أَءُلْقِىَ الذِّكْرُ عَلَيْهِ مِن بَيْنِنَا بَلْ هُوَ كَذَّابٌ أَشِرٌ - سَيَعْلَمُونَ غَداً مَّنِ الْكَذَّابُ الاٌّشِرُ ﴾
("Is it that the Reminder is sent to him alone from among us Nay, he is an insolent liar!'' Tomorrow they will come to know who is the liar, the insolent one!) (54:25, 26)
﴿أَمْ لَهُم مٌّلْكُ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ وَمَا بَيَنَهُمَا فَلْيَرْتَقُواْ فِى الاٌّسْبَابِ ﴾
(Or is it that the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them is theirs If so, let them ascend up with means.) means, if they have that, then let them ascend up with means. Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah and others said, "The ways to the heaven.'' Ad-Dahhak, said, "Then let them ascend into the seventh heaven.'' Then Allah says,
﴿جُندٌ مَّا هُنَالِكَ مَهْزُومٌ مِّن الاٌّحَزَابِ ﴾
(they will be a defeated host like the Confederates of the old times.) meaning, these hosts of disbelievers who are in false pride and opposition will be defeated and overwhelmed and disgraced, just as the Confederates of the old times were disgraced before them. This Ayah is like the Ayah:
﴿أَمْ يَقُولُونَ نَحْنُ جَمِيعٌ مُّنتَصِرٌ - سَيُهْزَمُ الْجَمْعُ وَيُوَلُّونَ الدُّبُرَ ﴾
(Or say they: "We are a great multitude, victorious'' Their multitude will be put to flight, and they will show their backs.) (54:44-45) -- which is what happened on the day of Badr --
﴿بَلِ السَّاعَةُ مَوْعِدُهُمْ وَالسَّاعَةُ أَدْهَى وَأَمَرُّ ﴾
(Nay, but the Hour is their appointed time, and the Hour will be more grievous and more bitter.) (54:46)
﴿كَذَّبَتْ قَبْلَهُمْ قَوْمُ نُوحٍ وَعَادٌ وفِرْعَوْنُ ذُو الاٌّوْتَادِ - وَثَمُودُ وَقَوْمُ لُوطٍ وَأَصْحَـبُ لـَيْكَةِ أُوْلَـئِكَ الاٌّحْزَابُ - إِن كُلٌّ إِلاَّ كَذَّبَ الرٌّسُلَ فَحَقَّ عِقَابِ - وَمَا يَنظُرُ هَـؤُلآءِ إِلاَّ صَيْحَةً وحِدَةً مَّا لَهَا مِن فَوَاقٍ - وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا عَجِّل لَّنَا قِطَّنَا قَبْلَ يَوْمِ الْحِسَابِ اصْبِر عَلَى مَا يَقُولُونَ﴾
(12. Before them denied -- the people of Nuh; and `Ad; and Fir`awn the man of stakes,) (13. And Thamud, and the people of Lut, and the Dwellers of Al-Aykah; such were the Confederates.) (14. Not one of them but denied the Messengers; therefore My torment was justified.) (15. And these only wait for a single Sayhah there will be no pause or ending thereto. ) (16. They say: "Our Lord! Hasten to us Qittana before the Day of Reckoning!'') (17. Be patient of what they say...)
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