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Frightening the Idolators of Quraysh Print E-mail

Allah threatens the idolators who denied and opposed His Messenger Muhammad and He warns them of the punishment and painful torment He sent upon the previous nations who rejected their Messengers. Allah begins by mentioning Musa, upon him be peace, whom He sent along with his brother Harun as a helper -- i.e., as another Prophet who helped and supported him -- but Fir`awn and his chiefs denied them both:

﴿دَمَّرَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلِلْكَـفِرِينَ أَمْثَـلُهَا﴾

(Allah destroyed them completely, and similar (awaits) the disbelievers) (47:10). And when the people of Nuh denied him, Allah destroyed them likewise, for whoever denies one Messenger denies all the Messengers, because there is no difference between one Messenger and another. If it had so happened that Allah had sent all His Messengers to them, they would have denied them all. Allah says:

﴿وَقَوْمَ نُوحٍ لَّمَّا كَذَّبُواْ الرُّسُلَ﴾

(And Nuh's people, when they denied the Messengers,) although Allah sent only Nuh to them, and he stayed among them for 950 years, calling them to Allah and warning them of His punishment,

﴿وَمَآ ءَامَنَ مَعَهُ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ﴾

(And none believed with him, except a few) (11:40). For this reason Allah drowned them all and left no one among the sons of Adam alive on earth apart from those who boarded the boat,

﴿وَجَعَلْنَـهُمْ لِلنَّاسِ ءَايَةً﴾

(and We made them a sign for mankind.) meaning a lesson to be learned. This is like the Ayah,

﴿إِنَّا لَمَّا طَغَا الْمَآءُ حَمَلْنَـكُمْ فِى الْجَارِيَةِ - لِنَجْعَلَهَا لَكُمْ تَذْكِرَةً وَتَعِيَهَآ أُذُنٌ وَعِيَةٌ ﴾

(Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the boat. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear may understand it) (69:11-12), which means: `We left for you ships that you ride upon to travel across the depths of the seas, so that you may remember the blessing of Allah towards you when He saved you from drowning, and made you the descendants of those who believed in Allah and followed His commandments.'

﴿وَعَاداً وَثَمُودَاْ وَأَصْحَـبَ الرَّسِّ﴾

(And (also) `Ad and Thamud, and the Dwellers of Ar-Rass,) We have already discussed their story, which is referred to in more than one Surah, such as Surat Al-A`raf, and there is no need to repeat it here. As for the Dwellers of Ar-Rass, Ibn Jurayj narrated from Ibn `Abbas about the Dwellers of Ar-Rass that they were the people of one of the villages of Thamud. Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Bukayr from `Ikrimah that Ar-Rass was a well where they buried (Rassu) their Prophet.

﴿وَقُرُوناً بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ كَثِيراً﴾

(and many generations in between. ) means nations, many more than have been mentioned here, whom We destroyed. Allah said:

﴿وَكُلاًّ ضَرَبْنَا لَهُ الاٌّمْثَالَ﴾

(And for each We put forward examples,) meaning, `We showed them the proof and gave them clear evidence,' as Qatadah said, "They had no excuse.''

﴿وَكُلاًّ تَبَّرْنَا تَتْبِيراً﴾

(and each (of them) We brought to utter ruin.) means, `We destroyed them completely.' This is like the Ayah,

﴿وَكَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مِن بَعْدِ نُوحٍ﴾

(And how many generations (Qurun) have We destroyed after Nuh!) (17:17). "Generations'' (Qurun) here refers to nations among mankind. This is like the Ayah,

﴿ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ قُرُوناً ءَاخَرِينَ ﴾

(Then, after them, We created other generations (Qurun).) (23:42) Some defined a generation as being 120 years, or it was said that a generation was one hundred years, or eighty, or forty, etc. The most correct view is that a generation refers to nations who are one another's contemporaries, living at the same time. When they go and others succeed them, this is another generation, as it was recorded in the Two Sahihs:

«خَيْرُ الْقُرُونِ قَرْنِي، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ،ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُم»

(The best of generations is my generation, then the one that follows it, then the one that follows that.)

﴿وَلَقَدْ أَتَوْا عَلَى الْقَرْيَةِ الَّتِى أُمْطِرَتْ مَطَرَ السَّوْءِ﴾

(And indeed they have passed by the town on which was rained the evil rain.) refers to the town of the people of Lut, which was called Sodom, and the way in which Allah dealt with it, when He destroyed it by turning it upside down and by sending upon it the rain of stones of baked clay, as Allah says:

﴿وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَراً فَسَآءَ مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ ﴾

(And We rained on them a rain. And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned!) (26:176),

﴿وَإِنَّكُمْ لَّتَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مُّصْبِحِينَ - وَبِالَّيْلِ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴾

(Verily, you pass by them in the morning. And at night; will you not then reflect) (37:137-138),

﴿وَإِنَّهَا لَبِسَبِيلٍ مُّقِيمٍ ﴾

(And verily, they were right on the highroad.) (15:76),

﴿وَإِنَّهُمَا لَبِإِمَامٍ مُّبِينٍ﴾

(They are both on an open highway, plain to see) (15:79). Allah says:

﴿أَفَلَمْ يَكُونُواْ يَرَوْنَهَا﴾

(Did they not then see it) meaning, so that they might learn a lesson from what happened to its inhabitants of punishment for denying the Messenger and going against the commands of Allah.

﴿بَلْ كَانُواْ لاَ يَرْجُونَ نُشُوراً﴾

(Nay! But they used not to expect any resurrection.) means, the disbelievers who passed by it did not learn any lesson, because they did not expect any resurrection, i.e., on the Day of Judgement.

﴿وَإِذَا رَأَوْكَ إِن يَتَّخِذُونَكَ إِلاَّ هُزُواً أَهَـذَا الَّذِى بَعَثَ اللَّهُ رَسُولاً - إِن كَادَ لَيُضِلُّنَا عَنْ ءَالِهَتِنَا لَوْلاَ أَن صَبْرَنَا عَلَيْهَا وَسَوْفَ يَعْلَمُونَ حِينَ يَرَوْنَ الْعَذَابَ مَنْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً - أَرَءَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَـهَهُ هَوَاهُ أَفَأَنتَ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِ وَكِيلاً - أَمْ تَحْسَبُ أَنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَسْمَعُونَ أَوْ يَعْقِلُونَ إِنْ هُمْ إِلاَّ كَالاٌّنْعَـمِ بَلْ هُمْ أَضَلُّ سَبِيلاً ﴾

(41. And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): "Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger'') (42. "He would have nearly misled us from our gods, had it not been that we were patient and constant in their worship!'' And they will know, when they see the torment, who it is that is most astray from the path!) (43. Have you seen him who has taken as his god his own vain desire Would you then be a guardian over him) (44. Or do you think that most of them hear or understand They are only like cattle -- nay, they are even farther astray from the path.)

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