Shu`ayb's threatening of His People When the Prophet of Allah, Shu`ayb, despaired of their response

﴿اعْمَلُواْ عَلَى مَكَانَتِكُمْ﴾

(Act according to your ability,) This means, "Act according to your current ways.'' This is actually a severe threat.

﴿إِنِّى عَـمِلٌ﴾

(I am acting.) according to my way.

﴿سَوْفَ تَعْلَمُونَ مَن يَأْتِيهِ عَذَابٌ يُخْزِيهِ وَمَنْ هُوَ كَاذِبٌ﴾

(You will come to know who it is on whom descends the torment that will cover him with ignominy, and who is a liar!) meaning, between me and you.

﴿وَارْتَقِبُواْ﴾

(And watch you!) This means to wait.

﴿إِنِّى مَعَكُمْ رَقِيبٌ﴾

(I too am watching with you.) Allah then says,

﴿وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا شُعَيْبًا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ بِرَحْمَةٍ مِّنَّا وَأَخَذَتِ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُواْ فِى دِيَـرِهِمْ جَـثِمِينَ ﴾

(And when Our commandment came, We saved Shu`ayb and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us. And As-Sayhah (awful cry) seized the wrongdoers, and they lay (Jathimin) in their homes.) His saying Jathimin means extinct and lifeless without any movement. Here Allah mentions that a loud cry (Sayhah) came to them. In Surat Al-A`raf He says a severe quake (Rajfah) came to them. In Surat Ash-Shu`ara', He said it was a torment of a cloudy day. They were one nation upon which all of these punishments were gathered on the day of their destruction. In each context, Allah only mentioned that which was suitable. In Surat Al-A`raf when they said,

﴿لَنُخْرِجَنَّكَ يـشُعَيْبُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَكَ مِن قَرْيَتِنَآ﴾

(We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu`ayb, and those who have believed with you from our town.)﴿7:88﴾ In this verse it was suitable to mention a tremor, or quake (Rajfah). The earth in which they practiced their wrongdoing and they wanted to expel their Prophet from it, shook them. Here, due to their disrespectful manners in speaking to their Prophet, Allah mentioned the awful cry (Sayhah) which overcame them and killed them. In Surat Ash-Shu`ara' when they said,

﴿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﴾ Allah said in response,

﴿فَأَخَذَهُمْ عَذَابُ يَوْمِ الظُّلَّةِ إِنَّهُ كَانَ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ﴾

(So the torment of the day of Shadow seized them. Indeed that was the torment of a Great Day.)﴿26:189﴾ This is from the intricate secrets and to Allah belongs all praise and much bounty forever. Concerning the statement,

﴿كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْاْ فِيهَآ﴾

(As if they had never lived there!) This means it was as if they had not lived in their homes before that.

﴿أَلاَ بُعْدًا لِّمَدْيَنَ كَمَا بَعِدَتْ ثَمُودُ﴾

(So away with Madyan as just as Thamud went away!) They (Thamud) were their neighbors and they did not live far from the homes of the people of Madyan. They were similar in their disbelief and their highway robbery. They were also both Arabs.

﴿وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا مُوسَى بِآيَـتِنَا وَسُلْطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ - إِلَى فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَلإِيْهِ فَاتَّبَعُواْ أَمْرَ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَآ أَمْرُ فِرْعَوْنَ بِرَشِيدٍ - يَقْدُمُ قَوْمَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ فَأَوْرَدَهُمُ النَّارَ وَبِئْسَ الْوِرْدُ الْمَوْرُودُ - وَأُتْبِعُواْ فِى هَـذِهِ لَعْنَةً وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ بِئْسَ الرِّفْدُ الْمَرْفُودُ ﴾

(96.  And indeed We sent Musa with Our Ayat and a manifest authority.) (97. To Fir`awn and his chiefs, but they followed the command of Fir`awn, and the command of Fir`awn was no right guide.) (98. He will go ahead of his people on the Day of Resurrection, and will lead them into the Fire, and evil indeed is the place to which they are led.) (99. They were pursued by a curse in this (deceiving life of this world) and (so they will be pursued by a curse) on the Day of Resurrection, evil indeed is the gift granted.)