|The Reason why the Idolators' Demands were refused|
In the case of this gathering where the Quraysh came together to speak with the Messenger of Allah , if Allah knew that they were making these requests in order to be guided, they would have been granted, but He knew that they were making these demands out of disbelief and stubbornness. It was said to the Messenger of Allah , "If you wish, We will give them what they are asking, but if they then disbelieve, I will punish them with a punishment that I have never imposed upon anyone else in the universe; or if you wish, I will open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.'' He said:
«بَلْ تَفْتَحُ عَلَيْهِمْ بَابَ التَّوْبَةِ وَالرَّحْمَة»
(Rather, You open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.) This is like the Ayah:
﴿وَمَا مَنَعَنَآ أَن نُّرْسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ وَءَاتَيْنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبْصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواْ بِهَا وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا ﴾
(And nothing stops Us from sending the Ayat but that the people of old denied them. And We sent the she-camel to Thamud as a clear sign, but they did her wrong. And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction).) (17:59) And Allah says:
﴿وَقَالُواْ مَا لِهَـذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأْكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشِى فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ لَوْلا أُنزِلَ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيراً - أَوْ يُلْقَى إِلَيْهِ كَنْزٌ أَوْ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأْكُلُ مِنْهَا وَقَالَ الظَّـلِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلاً مَّسْحُوراً - انظُرْ كَيْفَ ضَرَبُواْ لَكَ الاٌّمْثَـلَ فَضَلُّواْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلاً - تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى إِن شَآءَ جَعَلَ لَكَ خَيْراً مِّن ذلِكَ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ وَيَجْعَل لَّكَ قُصُوراً - بَلْ كَذَّبُواْ بِالسَّاعَةِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيراً ﴾
(And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets (as we). Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat'' And the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a man bewitched.'' See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray, and they cannot find a path. Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than that - Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces. Nay, they deny the Hour, and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire.) (25:7-11) Allah's saying,
﴿حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا﴾
(until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us) refers to a spring of flowing water. They asked him to bring forth springs of fresh water in the land of Al-Hijaz, here and there. This is easy for Allah, may He be glorified and exalted; if He willed, He could do that. He could have responded to all their demands, but He knew that they would not be guided by that, as He says:
﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِمْ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ - وَلَوْ جَآءَتْهُمْ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاْ الْعَذَابَ الاٌّلِيمَ ﴾
(Truly, those, against whom the Word (wrath) of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) (10:96-97) And Allah says:
﴿وَلَوْ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الْمَوْتَى وَحَشَرْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ قُبُلاً مَّا كَانُواْ لِيُؤْمِنُواْ﴾
(And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them, and We had gathered together all things before their very eyes, they would not have believed) ﴿6:111﴾ His saying;
﴿أَوْ تُسْقِطَ السَّمَآءَ كَمَا زَعَمْتَ﴾
(Or you cause the heaven to fall upon us in pieces, as you have pretended,) means, `you promised us that on the Day of Resurrection the heavens will be split asunder, being broken and torn up, with parts of it falling down, so do that in this world and make it fall in pieces.' This is like when they said:
﴿اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ﴾
(O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky.) ﴿8:32﴾ Similarly, the people of Shu`ayb asked him:
﴿فَأَسْقِطْ عَلَيْنَا كِسَفاً مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ ﴾
(So cause a piece of the heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!) (26:187) So Allah punished them with the punishment of the day of Shadow (a gloomy cloud), which was the torment of a Great Day. ﴿26:189﴾ As for the Prophet of Repentance and Mercy, who was sent as a mercy to the worlds, he asked Allah to delay their punishment, in the hope that Allah would bring forth from their offspring people who would worship Allah Alone, with no partner or associate. This is what indeed did happen, for among those who are mentioned above were some who later embraced Islam and became good and sincere Muslims, even `Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah, who followed the Prophet (out of that meeting) and spoke to him as he did. He became a sincere Muslim and turned to Allah in repentance.
﴿أَوْ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيْتٌ مِّن زُخْرُفٍ﴾
(Or you have a house of Zukhruf.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah said, "This is gold.'' This was also what was said in the recitation of Ibn Mas`ud, "Or you have a house of gold.''
﴿أَوْ تَرْقَى فِى السَّمَآءِ﴾
(or you ascend up into the sky,) meaning, you climb up on a ladder while we are watching you.
﴿وَلَن نُّؤْمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيْنَا كِتَابًا نَّقْرَءُهُ﴾
(and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.) Mujahid said, "This means a book in which there would be one page for each person, on which would be the words: `This is a book from Allah to so-and-so the son of so-and-so, which he would find by his head when he woke up in the morning.''
﴿قُلْ سُبْحَـنَ رَبِّى هَلْ كُنتُ إَلاَّ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً﴾
(Say: "Glorified be my Lord! Am I anything but a man, sent as a Messenger'') meaning, `Glorified, exalted and sanctified be He above the notion that anyone would come before Him concerning any matter pertaining to His authority and sovereignty. He is the One Who does what He wills. If He willed, he could have given you what you asked for, or if He willed, he could have refrained. I am only a Messenger to you, sent to convey the Messages of my Lord and advise you. I have done that, and the response to what you have asked is to be decided by Allah, may He be glorified.'
﴿وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ أَن يُؤْمِنُواْ إِذْ جَآءَهُمُ الْهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ أَبَعَثَ اللَّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً - قُل لَوْ كَانَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ مَلَـئِكَةٌ يَمْشُونَ مُطْمَئِنِّينَ لَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ مَلَكًا رَّسُولاً ﴾
(94. And nothing prevented men from believing when the guidance came to them, except that they said: "Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger'') (95. Say: "If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security, We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.'')
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