Category: From Tafseer Ibn Katheer


The Most Unjust among all People

Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer

Allah said,

[وَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللَّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَهُوَ يُدْعَى إِلَى الإِسْلاَمِ]

(And who does more wrong than the one who invents a lie against Allah, while he is being invited to Islam) meaning, none is more unjust than he who lies about Allah and calls upon rivals and associates partners with Him, even while he is being invited to Tawhid and sincerely worshipping Him. This is why Allah said,

[وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(And Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.) Allah said,

[يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُواْ نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَهِهِمْ]

(They intend to put out the Light of Allah with their mouths.) indicating that the disbelievers will try to contradict the truth with falsehood. Their attempts are similar to one’s attempt to extinguish the sun with his mouth, which is impossible. Likewise is the case of their attempt to extinguish truth. So Allah said,

[يُرِيدُونَ لِيُطْفِئُواْ نُورَ اللَّهِ بِأَفْوَهِهِمْ وَاللَّهُ مُتِمُّ نُورِهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَـفِرُونَ – هُوَ الَّذِى أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَى وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ ]

(But Allah will bring His Light to perfection even though the disbelievers hate (it). He it is Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the idolators hate (it).) We explained the meanings of similar Ayat before, in the Tafsir of Surah Bara’ah. All praise and thanks are due to Allah.

Allah’s Love is Attained by Following the Messenger


This honorable Ayah judges against those who claim to love Allah, yet do not follow the way of Muhammad . Such people are not true in their claim until they follow the Shari`ah (Law) of Muhammad and his religion in all his statements, actions and conditions. It is recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ عَمِلَ عَمَلًا لَيْسَ عَلَيْهِ أَمْرُنَا فَهُوَ رَد»

(Whoever commits an act that does not conform with our matter (religion), then it will be rejected of him.)

This is why Allah said here,

[قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ]

(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you…”) meaning, what you will earn is much more than what you sought in loving Him, for Allah will love you. Al-Hasan Al-Basri and several scholars among the Salaf commented, “Some people claimed that they love Allah. So Allah tested them with this Ayah;

[قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِى يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ]

(Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you…”). ”

Allah then said,

[وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ]

(“And forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”) meaning, by your following the Messenger , you will earn all this with the blessing of his mission. Allah next commands everyone,

[قُلْ أَطِيعُواْ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ]

(Say: “Obey Allah and the Messenger.” But if they turn away) by defying the Prophet ,

[فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْكَـفِرِينَ]

(then Allah does not like the disbelievers.) thus, testifying that defiance of the Messenger’s way constitutes Kufr. Indeed, Allah does not like whoever does this, even if he claims that he loves Allah and seeks a means of approach to Him, unless, and until, he follows the unlettered Prophet, the Final Messenger from Allah to the two creations: mankind and the Jinn. This is the Prophet who, if the previous Prophets and mighty Messengers were to have been alive during his time, they would have no choice but to follow, obey him, and to abide by his Law.

Source

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أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِى السَّمَآءِ – تُؤْتِى أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ – وَمَثلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الاٌّرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

24: See you not how Allah sets forth a parable A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky.

25: Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.

26: And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability.


The Parable of the Word of Islam and the Word of Kufr

`Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that `Abdullah bin `Abbas commented that Allah’s statement,

[مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً]

(a parable: a goodly word), refers to testifying to La ilaha illallah, (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) while,

[كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ]

(as a goodly tree), refers to the believer, and that,

[أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ]

(whose root is firmly fixed), indicates that La ilaha illallah, (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) is firm in the believers’ heart,

[وَفَرْعُهَا فِى السَّمَآءِ]

(and its branches (reach) to the sky.) with which the believer’s works are ascended to heaven. Similar is said by Ad-Dahhak, Sa’id bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Mujahid and several others. They stated that this parable describes the believer’s deeds, good statements and good actions. The believer is just like the beneficial date tree, always having good actions ascending at all times, by day and by night. Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said, “We were with the Messenger of Allah when he asked,

«أَخْبِرُونِي عَنْ شَجَرَةٍ تُشْبِهُ أَوْ كَالرَّجُلِ الْمُسْلِمِ لَا يَتَحَاتُّ وَرَقُهَا صَيْفًا وَلَا شِتَاءً، وَتُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا»

(Tell me about a tree that resembles the Muslim, the leaves of which do not fall in summer or winter and gives its fruit at all times by the leave of its Lord.)” Ibn `Umar said, “I thought of the date palm tree, but felt shy to answer when I saw that Abu Bakr and `Umar did not talk. When they did not give an answer, the Messenger of Allah said,

«هِيَ النَّخْلَة»

(It is the date palm tree.) When we departed, I said to `Umar, `My father, by Allah! I thought that it was the date tree.’ He said, `Why did you not speak then’ I said, `I saw you were silent and I felt shy to say anything.’ `Umar said, `Had you said it, it would have been more precious to me than such things (i.e., would have been very precious to me).”’ `Abdullah bin `Abbas said that,

[كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ]

(as a goodly tree), is a tree in Paradise. Allah said next,

[تُؤْتِى أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ]

(Giving its fruit at all times,) It is said that it means by day and by night. And they say that describes the believer as a tree that always has fruits during summer and winter, by night and by day. This is the parable of the believer whose good works ascend to heaven by day and by night and at all times,

[بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا]

(by the leave of its Lord, ) thus earning perfection and becoming beneficial, plentiful, pure and blessed,

[وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ]

(and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.) Allah said next,

[وَمَثلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ]

(And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree) describing the disbelief of the disbeliever, for it has no basis or stability. It is similar to the colocynth tree (a very bitter, unscented plant) which is also called, `Ash-Shiryan’. Shu`bah narrated that Mu`awiyah bin Abi Qurrah narrated that Anas bin Malik said that it is the colocynth tree. Allah said,

[اجْتُثَّتْ]

(uprooted), meaning, was cutoff from the root,

[مِن فَوْقِ الاٌّرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ]

(from the surface of earth, having no stability.) therefore, existing without basis or stabililty, just like Kufr (disbelief), for it does not have a basis or roots. Surely, the works of the disbelievers will never ascend nor will any of them be accepted.

[يُثَبِّتُ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِالْقَوْلِ الثَّابِتِ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِى الاٌّخِرَةِ وَيُضِلُّ اللَّهُ الظَّـلِمِينَ وَيَفْعَلُ اللَّهُ مَا يَشَآءُ ]

(27. Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world, and in the Hereafter. And Allah will cause the wrongdoers to go astray, and Allah does what He wills.)

Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer

Allah accepts the Invocation

Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer

Imam Ahmad also recorded Abu Sa`id saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيها إِثْمٌ ولَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ، إلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثِ خِصَالٍ: إِمَّا أَنْ يُعَجِّل لَهُ دَعْوَتَهُ، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الأُخْرَى، وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا»

قَالُوا: إذًا نُكْثِرُ؟ قَالَ «اللهُ أَكْثَر:

(No Muslim supplicates to Allah with a Du`a that does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb, but Allah will grant him one of the three things. He will either hasten the response to his supplication, save it for him until the Hereafter, or would turn an equivalent amount of evil away from him.”) They said, “What if we were to recite more (Du`a).” He said, (There is more with Allah.)

`Abdullah the son of Imam Ahmad recorded `Ubadah bin As-Samit saying that the Prophet said:

«مَا عَلى ظَهْرِ الأَرْضِ مِنْ رَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو اللهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ بَدَعْوَةٍ إِلَّا آتَاهُ اللهُ إيَّاهَا، أَوْ كَفَّ عَنْهُ مِنَ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْمٍ أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِم»

(There is no Muslim man on the face of the earth who supplicates to Allah but Allah would either grant it to him, or avert a harm from him of equal proportions, as long as his supplication does not involve sin or cutting the relations of the womb.) At-Tirmidhi recorded this Hadith.

Imam Malik recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«يُسْتَجَابُ لأَحَدِكُمْ مَالَمْ يَعْجَلْ، يَقُولُ: دَعَوْتُ فَلَمْ يُسْتَجَبْ لِي»

(One’s supplication will be accepted as long as he does become get hasty and say, `I have supplicated but it has not been accepted from me.”)

This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs from Malik, and this is the wording of Al-Bukhari.

Muslim recorded that the Prophet said:

«لا يَزَالُ يُسْتَجابُ لِلْعَبْدِ مَا لَمْ يَدْعُ بِإِثْم أَوْ قَطِيعَةِ رَحِمٍ مَا لَمْ يَسْتَعْجِل»

قِيَل: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ، وَمَا الاسْتِعْجَالُ؟ قَالَ:

«يَقُولُ: قَدْ دَعَوْتُ وقَدْ دَعَوْتُ، فَلَمْ أَرَ يُسْتَجَابُ لِي، فَيَسْتَحْسِرُ عِنْدَ ذلِكَ وَيَدَعُ الدُّعَاء»

(The supplication of the servant will be accepted as long as he does not supplicate for what includes sin, or cutting the relations of the womb, and as long as he does not become hasty.) He was asked, “O Messenger of Allah! How does one become hasty” He said, (He says, `I supplicated and supplicated, but I do not see that my supplication is being accepted from me.’ He thus looses interest and abandons supplicating (to Allah).)


Three Persons Whose Supplication will not be rejected

In the Musnad of Imam Ahmad and the Sunans of At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah it is recorded that Abu Hurayrah narrated that Allah’s Messenger said:

«ثَلاَثةٌ لَا تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ: الْإمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَالصَّائِمُ حَتَّى يُفْطِرَ، وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ، يَرْفَعُهَا اللهُ دُونَ الْغَمَامِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، وَتُفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، يَقُولُ: بِعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكَ وَلَوْ بَعْدَ حِين»

(Three persons will not have their supplication rejected: the just ruler, the fasting person until breaking the fast, and the supplication of the oppressed person, for Allah raises it above the clouds on the Day of Resurrection, and the doors of heaven will be opened for it, and Allah says, `By My grace! I will certainly grant it for you, even if after a while.’)

The Order to Fast

Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer

[يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ ]

(O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may have Taqwa).) since the fast cleanses the body and narrows the paths of Shaytan. In the Sahihayn the following Hadith was recorded:

«يَا مَعْشَرَ الشَّبَابِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْكُمُ الْبَاءَةَ فَلْيتَـزَوَّجْ وَمَنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِع فَعَلَيْهِ بِالصَّوْمِ فَإِنَّهُ لَهُ وِجَاء»

(O young people! Whoever amongst you can afford marriage, let him marry. Whoever cannot afford it, let him fast, for it will be a shield for him.)

The Day of Judgement is Near

Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer

Allah said,

[إِنَّآ أَنذَرْنَـكُمْ عَذَاباً قَرِيباً]

(Verily, We have warned you of a near torment) meaning, the Day of Judgement. It is mentioned here to emphasize the fact that its occurrence has become close, because everything that is coming will certainly come to pass.

[يَوْمَ يَنظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ]

(the Day when man will see that which his hands have sent forth,) meaning, all of his deeds will be presented to him — the good and bad, and the old and new. This is similar to Allah’s statement,

[وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرًا]

(And they will find all that they did, placed before them.) (18:49) t It is also similar to His statement,

[يُنَبَّأُ الإِنسَـنُ يَوْمَئِذِ بِمَا قَدَّمَ وَأَخَّرَ ]

(On that Day man will be informed of what he sent forward, and what he left behind.) (75:13) Then Allah says,

[وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَـلَيْتَنِى كُنتُ تُرَباً]

(and the disbeliever will say: “Woe to me! Would that I were dust!”) meaning, the disbeliever on that Day will wish that he had only been dust in the worldly life.

He will wish that he had not been created and that he had never come into existence. This will be when he sees the torment of Allah and he looks at his wicked deeds that will be written down against him by the noble righteous scribes among angels. It has been said that he will only wish for that when Allah passes judgement between all of the animals that were in the worldly life. He will rectify matters between them with His just wisdom that does not wrong anyone. Even the hornless sheep will be allowed to avenge itself against the sheep with horns.

Then, when the judgement between them is finished, He (Allah) will say to them (the animals), “Be dust.” So they will all become dust. Upon witnessing this the disbeliever will say,

[يَـلَيْتَنِى كُنتُ تُرَباً]

(Would that I were dust!) meaning, `I wish I was an animal so that I would be returned to dust.’ Something of similar meaning to this has been reported in the well-known Hadith about the Sur. There are also narrations recorded from Abu Hurayrah, `Abdullah bin `Amr, and others concerning this.

Tafseer of verses 1-11 of Surat al-Mu’minoon

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer


The Success is for the believers whose qualities are described here

[قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ ]

(Successful indeed are the believers) means, they have attained victory and are blessed, for they have succeeded. These are the believers who have the following characteristics:

[الَّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلاَتِهِمْ خَـشِعُونَ ]

(Those who with their Salah are Khashi`un.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said:

[خَـشِعُونَ]

“(Khashi`un) means those with fear and with tranquillity.” This was also narrated from Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Qatadah and Az-Zuhri. It was reported from `Ali bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, that Khushu` means the Khushu` of the heart. This was also the view of Ibrahim An-Nakha`i. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “Their Khushu` was in their hearts.” So they lowered their gaze and were humble towards others. Khushu` in prayer is only attained by the one who has emptied his heart totally, who does not pay attention to anything else besides it, and who prefers it above all else. At that point it becomes a delight and a joy for eyes, as in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa’i from Anas, who said that the Messenger of Allah said:

«حُبِّبَ إِلَيَّ الطِّيبُ وَالنِّسَاءُ، وَجُعِلَتْ قُرَّةُ عَيْنِي فِي الصَّلَاة»

(Fragrance and women have been made dear to me, and Salah was made the joy of my eye.)

[وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنِ اللَّغْوِ مُّعْرِضُونَ ]

(And those who turn away from Al-Laghw.) refers to falsehood, which includes Shirk and sin, and any words or deeds that are of no benefit. As Allah says:

[وَإِذَا مَرُّواْ بِاللَّغْوِ مَرُّواْ كِراماً]

(And if they pass by Al-Laghw, they pass by it with dignity)[25:72]. Qatadah said: “By Allah, there came to them from Allah that which kept them away from that (evil).”

[وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِلزَّكَـوةِ فَـعِلُونَ ]

(And those who pay the Zakah.) Most commentators say that the meaning here is the Zakah that is paid on wealth, even though this Ayah was revealed in Makkah, and Zakah was ordained in Al-Madinah in the year 2 H. The apparent meaning is that the Zakah that was instituted in Al-Madinah is the one based upon the Nusub and the specific amounts, apart from which it seems that the basic principle of Zakah was enjoined in Makkah. As Allah says in Surat Al-An`am, which was also revealed in Makkah:

[وَءَاتُواْ حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ]

(but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest, ) [6:141] It could be that what is meant here by Zakah is purification of the soul from Shirk and filth, as in the Ayah:

[قَدْ أَفْلَحَ مَن زَكَّـهَا – وَقَدْ خَابَ مَن دَسَّـهَا ]

(Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself (Zakkaha). And indeed he fails who corrupts himself.) [91:9-10] It could be that both meanings are intended, purification of the soul and of one’s wealth, because that is part of the purification of the soul, and the true believer is one who pays attention to both matters. And Allah knows best.

[وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لِفُرُوجِهِمْ حَـفِظُونَ – إِلاَّ عَلَى أَزْوَجِهِمْ أَوْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَـنُهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَ – فَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَآءَ ذلِكَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ ]

(And those who guard their private parts. Except from their wives and their right hand possessions, for then, they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that, then those are the transgressors.) means, those who protect their private parts from unlawful actions and do not do that which Allah has forbidden; fornication and homosexuality, and do not approach anyone except the wives whom Allah has made permissible for them or their right hand possessions from the captives. One who seeks what Allah has made permissible for him is not to be blamed and there is no sin on him. Allah says:

[فَإِنَّهُمْ غَيْرُ مَلُومِينَفَمَنِ ابْتَغَى وَرَآءَ ذلِكَ]

(they are free from blame. But whoever seeks beyond that) meaning, other than a wife or slave girl,

[فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْعَادُونَ]

(then those are the transgressors.) meaning , aggressors.

[وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ لاًّمَـنَـتِهِمْ وَعَهْدِهِمْ رَعُونَ ]

(Those who are faithfully true to their Amanat and to their covenants) When they are entrusted with something, they do not betray that trust, but they fulfill it, and when they make a promise or make a pledge, they are true to their word. This is not like the hypocrites about whom the Messenger of Allah said:

«آيَةُ الْمُنَافِقِ ثَلَاثٌ: إِذَا حَدَّثَ كَذَبَ، وَإِذَا وَعَدَ أَخْلَفَ، وَإِذَا اؤْتُمِنَ خَان»

(The signs of the hypocrite are three: when he speaks he lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is entrusted with something he betrays that trust.)

[وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلَوَتِهِمْ يُحَـفِظُونَ ]

(And those who strictly guard their Salawat.) means, they persistently offer their prayers at their appointed times, as Ibn Mas`ud said: “I asked the Messenger of Allah , `O Messenger of Allah, which deed is most beloved to Allah’ He said,

«الصَّلَاةُ عَلَى وَقْتِهَا»

(Prayer at the appointed time.) I said, `Then what’ He said,

«بِرُّ الْوَالِدَيْن»

(Kindness to one’s parents. ) I said, `Then what’ He said,

«الْجِهَادُ فِي سَبِيلِ الله»

(Jihad in the way of Allah.) It was recorded in the Two Sahihs. Qatadah said: “At the fixed times, with the proper bowing and prostration.” Allah begins and ends this list of praiseworthy qualities with Salah, which is indicative of its virtue, as the Prophet said:

«اسْتَقِيمُوا وَلَنْ تُحْصُوا، وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ خَيْرَ أَعْمَالِكُمُ الصَّلَاةُ، وَلَا يُحَافِظُ عَلَى الْوُضُوءِ إِلَّا مُؤْمِن»

(Adhere to righteousness, you will never be able encompass it all. Know that the best of your deeds is Salah. None will preserve his Wuddu’ except the believer.) Having described them with these praiseworthy characteristics and righteous deeds, Allah then says:

[أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْوَرِثُونَ – الَّذِينَ يَرِثُونَ الْفِرْدَوْسَ هُمْ فِيهَا خَـلِدُونَ ]

(These are indeed the heirs. Who shall inherit Firdaws. They shall dwell therein forever.) It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ الْجَنَّةَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْسَ، فَإِنَّهُ أَعْلَى الْجَنَّةِ وَأَوْسَطُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَمِنْهُ تَفَجَّرُ أَنْهَارُ الْجَنَّةِ، وَفَوْقَهُ عَرْشُ الرَّحْمن»

(If you ask Allah for Paradise, then ask him for Al-Firdaws, for it is the highest part of Paradise, in the middle of Paradise, and from it spring the rivers of Paradise, and above it is the (Mighty) Throne of the Most Merciful.) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Hurayrah said, “The Messenger of Allah said:

مَا مِنْكُمْ مِنْ أَحَدٍ إِلَّا وَلَهُ مَنْزِلَانِ: مَنْزِلٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ، وَمَنْزِلٌ فِي النَّارِ، فَإِنْ مَاتَ فَدَخَلَ النَّارَ وَرِثَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ مَنْزِلَهُ، فَذَلِكَ قَوْلُهُ

[أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْوَرِثُونَ ]

(There is not one among you who does not have two homes, a home in Paradise and a home in Hell. If he dies and enters Hell, the people of Paradise will inherit his home, and this is what Allah said: (These are indeed the heirs.) Ibn Jurayj narrated from Layth from Mujahid:

[أُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْوَرِثُونَ ]

(These are indeed the heirs.) “The believers will inherit the homes of the disbelievers because they were created to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate. So when these believers did what was enjoined on them of worship, and the disbelievers neglected to do that which they were commanded to do and for which they had been created, the believers gained the share that they would have been given if they had obeyed their Lord. Indeed, they will be given more than that as well.” This is what was reported in Sahih Muslim from Abu Burdah, from his father, from the Prophet who said:

«يَجِيءُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ نَاسٌ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ بِذُنُوبٍ أَمْثَالِ الْجِبَالِ،فَيَغْفِرُهَا اللهُ لَهُمْ وَيَضَعُهَا عَلَى الْيَهُودِ وَالنَّصَارَى»

(Some of the Muslims will come on the Day of Resurrection with sins like mountains, but Allah will forgive them and put (their burden of sin) on the Jews and Christians.) According to another version: the Messenger of Allah said:

«إِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ الْقِيَامَةِ دَفَعَ اللهُ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ يَهُودِيًّا أَوْ نَصْرَانِيًّا، فَيُقَالُ: هَذَا فِكَاكُكَ مِنَ النَّار»

(When the Day of Resurrection comes, Allah will appoint for every Muslim a Jew or Christian, and it will be said, “This is your ransom from the Fire.”) `Umar bin `Abd Al-`Aziz asked Abu Burdah to swear by Allah besides Whom there is no other God, three times, that his father told him that from the Prophet , and he swore that oath. I say: this Ayah is like Allah’s saying:

[تِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِى نُورِثُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا مَن كَانَ تَقِيّاً ]

(Such is the Paradise which We shall give as an inheritance to those of Our servants who have had Taqwa.) [19:63]

[وَتِلْكَ الْجَنَّةُ الَّتِى أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ]

(This is the Paradise which you have been made to inherit because of your deeds which you used to do.) [43:72]

Tafseer of verses 1-3 of Surat al-Ankaboot

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer


The Believers are tested so that it may be known Who is Sincere and Who is Lying

In the beginning of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah, we discussed the letters which appear at the beginning of some Surahs.

[أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُواْ أَن يَقُولُواْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمْ لاَ يُفْتَنُونَ ]

(Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested.) This is a rebuke in the form of a question, meaning that Allah will inevitably test His believing servants according to their level of faith, as it recorded in the authentic Hadith:

«أَشَدُّ النَّاسِ بَلَاءً الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، ثُمَّ الصَّالِحُونَ، ثُمَّ الْأَمْثَلُ فَالْأَمْثَلُ، يُبْتَلَى الرَّجُلُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ، فَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ صَلَابَةٌ زِيدَ لَهُ فِي الْبَلَاء»

(The people most severly tested are the Prophets, then the righteous, then the next best and the next best. A man will be tested in accordance with the degree of his religious commitment; the stonger his religious commitment, the stronger his test.) This Ayah is like the Ayah,

[أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَـهَدُواْ مِنكُمْ وَيَعْلَمَ الصَّـبِرِينَ ]

(Do you think that you will enter Paradise without Allah knowing those of you who fought (in His cause) and knowing those who are the patient) (3:142) There is a similar Ayah in Surat At-Tawbah. And Allah says:

[أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُواْ الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْاْ مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَآءُ وَالضَّرَّآءُ وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ ]

(Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah” Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!) (2:214) Allah says here:

[وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَـذِبِينَ ]

(And We indeed tested those who were before them so that Allah will know those who are true, and will know those who are liars.) meaning, He will make know which are sincere in their claim to be believers from those who are lying. Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, knows what has happened in the past and what is yet to come, and He knows how that which will not happen would have happened if it were to happen. All the Imams of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah are agreed on this. This is the view of Ibn `Abbas and others concerning phrases such as the Ayah,

[إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ]

(only that We know) (2:143). Meaning, only to see — because seeing has to do with what is there, but knowledge is broader than seeing, since it includes what is not present as well as what is.

[وَقَالَ الشَّيْطَـنُ لَمَّا قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ وَوَعَدتُّكُمْ فَأَخْلَفْتُكُمْ وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى فَلاَ تَلُومُونِى وَلُومُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ مَّآ أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ وَمَآ أَنتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِىَّ إِنِّى كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ – وَأُدْخِلَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَـمٌ ]

(22. And Shaytan will say when the matter has been decided: “Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the wrongdoers.”) K(23. And those who believed and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow, – to dwell therein for ever (i.e. in Paradise), with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: “Salam (peace!).”)

Shaytan disowns His Followers on the Day of Resurrection

Allah narrates to us what Iblis will say to his followers after Allah finishes with the judgement between His servants, sending the believers to the gardens of Paradise and the disbelievers to the lows (of the Fire). Iblis, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the latter, in order to add depression to their depression, sorrow to their sorrow and grief to their grief. He will declare,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَعَدَكُمْ وَعْدَ الْحَقِّ]

`(Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth.) by the words of His Messengers that if you follow them, you will gain safety and deliverance. Truly, Allah’s promise was true and correct news, while I promised you then betrayed you.’ Allah said in another Ayah,

[يَعِدُهُمْ وَيُمَنِّيهِمْ وَمَا يَعِدُهُمْ الشَّيْطَـنُ إِلاَّ غُرُوراً ]

(He (Shaytan) makes promises to them, and arouses in them false desires; and Shaytan’s promises are nothing but deceptions.) [4:120]

[وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ]

(I had no authority over you) Shaytan will say, `I had no proof for what I called you to, nor evidence for what I promised you,


[إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى]

(except that I called you, and you responded to me.) even though the Messengers establish the proof and unequivocal evidences against you and affirmed the truth of what they were sent to you with. But you disobeyed the Messengers and ended up earning this fate,


[فَلاَ تَلُومُونِى]

(So blame me not,) today,


[وَلُومُواْ أَنفُسَكُمْ]

(but blame yourselves.), because it is your fault for defying the proofs and following me in the falsehood that I called you to.’ Shaytan will say next,


[مَّآ أَنَاْ بِمُصْرِخِكُمْ]

(I cannot help you), I cannot benefit, save, or deliver you from what you are suffering,


[وَمَآ أَنتُمْ بِمُصْرِخِىَّ]

(nor can you help me.), nor can you save me and deliver me from the torment and punishment I am suffering,


[إِنِّى كَفَرْتُ بِمَآ أَشْرَكْتُمُونِ مِن قَبْلُ]

(I deny your former act of associating me (Shaytan) as a partner with Allah.) or because you associated me with Allah before,’ according to Qatadah. Ibn Jarir commented; “I deny being a partner with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.” This opinion is the most plausible, for Allah said in other Ayat,


[وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ – وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ ]

(And who is more astray than one who calls on others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls to them And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.)[46:5-6] and,


[كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً ]

(Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them.)[19:82] Allah said next,


[إِنَّ الظَّـلِمِينَ]

(Verily, the wrongdoers), who deviate from truth and follow falsehood, will earn a painful torment. It appears that this part of the Ayah narrates the speech that Shaytan will deliver to the people of the Fire after they enter it, as we stated. `Amir Ash-Sha`bi said, “On the Day of Resurrection, two speakers will address the people. Allah the Exalted will say to `Isa, son of Maryam,


[أَءَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِى وَأُمِّىَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ]

(Did you say unto men: “Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah”) [5:116] until,


[قَالَ اللَّهُ هَـذَا يَوْمُ يَنفَعُ الصَّـدِقِينَ صِدْقُهُمْ]

(Allah will say: “This is a Day on which the truthful will profit from their truth.”)[5:119] Shaytan, may Allah curse him, will stand and address the people,


[وَمَا كَانَ لِىَ عَلَيْكُمْ مِّن سُلْطَـنٍ إِلاَّ أَن دَعَوْتُكُمْ فَاسْتَجَبْتُمْ لِى]

(I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me.) Allah next mentioned the final destination of the miserable ones, who earned the disgrace and torment and having to listen to Shaytan address them, then He mentioned the final destination of the happy ones,


[وَأُدْخِلَ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـلِحَاتِ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الأَنْهَـرُ]

(And those who believed and did righteous deeds, will be made to enter Gardens under which rivers flow,) wherever they wish them to flow and wherever they may be,


[خَـلِدِينَ فِيهَآ]

(to dwell therein for ever,) and will never transfer or be transferred from it,


[بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِمْ تَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَـمٌ]

(with the permission of their Lord. Their greeting therein will be: “Salam (peace!). ”) Allah said in other Ayat,


[حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءُوهَا وَفُتِحَتْ أَبْوَبُهَا وَقَالَ لَهُمْ خَزَنَتُهَا سَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُـمْ]

(Till, when they reach it, and its gates will be opened and its keepers will say: “Salamun `Alaykum (peace be upon you!)”) [39:73]


[وَالمَلَـئِكَةُ يَدْخُلُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ مِّن كُلِّ بَابٍسَلَـمٌ عَلَيْكُمُ]

(And angels shall enter unto them from every gate (saying): “Salamun `Alaykum (peace be upon you!).”) [13:23-24]


[وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَـماً]

(Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.) [25:75]


[دَعْوَهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَـنَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلاَمٌ وَءَاخِرُ دَعْوَاهُمْ أَنِ الْحَمْدُ للَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَـلَمِينَ ]

(Their way of request therein will be Subhanaka Allahumma (glory to you, O Allah) and Salam (peace!) will be their greetings therein (Paradise)! And the close of their request will be: Al-Hamdu Lillahi Rabbil-‘Alamin [all praise to Allah the Lord of that exists].)[10:10]


[أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلاً كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِى السَّمَآءِ – تُؤْتِى أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ – وَمَثلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الاٌّرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ ]

(24. See you not how Allah sets forth a parable A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky.) (25. Giving its fruit at all times, by the leave of its Lord, and Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may remember.) (26. And the parable of an evil word is that of an evil tree uprooted from the surface of earth, having no stability.)

The Reason behind revealing Surat Al-Fath

Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer

This honorable Surah was revealed after the Messenger of Allah returned from the area of Al-Hudaybiyyah, during the month of Dhul-Qa`dah, in the sixth year of Hijrah. This is when the idolators prevented him from reaching Al-Masjid Al-Haram to perform the `Umrah he intended. They stopped the Prophet from reaching Makkah at that time, but then were prone to peace negotiations. A peace treaty was conducted stipulating that the Messenger would return this year and then come back for `Umrah the following year. The Messenger agreed. However, some of the Companions disliked these terms, including `Umar bin Al-Khattab, as we will mention in detail, Allah willing, while explaining this Surah. After the Prophet slaughtered his sacrificial animals in the area where he was stopped and headed back to Al-Madinah, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored revealed this Surah about what occurred between him and the idolators. Allah declared the Al-Hudaybiyyah peace treaty a manifest victory, because of the benefits peace would carry and the good results that did originate from it. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud and other Companions said, “You consider the conquering of Makkah to be Al-Fath (the victory), while to us, Al-Fath is the treaty conducted at Al-Hلudaybiyyah.” Jabir (bin `Abdullah) said, “We only considered Al-Fath to be the day of Hudaybiyyah!” Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ (bin `Azib) said, “You consider Al-Fath to be the conquest of Makkah, which was indeed a victory. However, we consider Al-Fath to be the pledge of Ar-Ridwan on the Day of Al-Hudaybiyyah. Then, we were fourteen hundred with the Messenger of Allah . Al-Hudaybiyyah had a well, whose water we consumed, not leaving a drop of water in it. When the news of what happened reached the Messenger of Allah , he came towards us and sat on the edge of the well. Then he asked to be brought a bucket of water and used it for ablution. He next rinsed his mouth, invoked Allah and poured that water into the well. Soon after, that well provided us, as well as our animals, with sufficient water, in whatever amount of water we wished. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “We were with the Messenger of Allah on a trip, and I asked him about a matter three times, but he did not answer me. So I said to myself, `May your mother lose you, O son of Al-Khattab! You were stubborn in repeating your question three times to the Messenger of Allah ; each time he did not respond to you.’ So I mounted my animal, my camel, and went ahead for fear that a part of the Qur’an might be revealed in my case. Suddenly, I heard a caller calling, `O `Umar!’ So, I went to the Messenger while fearing that part of the Qur’an was revealed about me. The Prophet said,

«نَزَلَ عَلَيَّ الْبَارِحَةَ سُورَةٌ هِيَ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا:

[إِنَّا فَتَحْنَا لَكَ فَتْحاً مُّبِيناً لِّيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ]»

(Last night, a Surah was revealed to me that is dearer to me than this life and all that it contains: (Verily, We have given you a manifest victory. That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future.)) Al-Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i collected this Hadith from several chains of narration through Malik, may Allah grant him His mercy. `Ali bin Al-Madini commented, “This is a good chain of narration consisting of the scholars of Al-Madinah.” Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas bin Malik said, “This Ayah was revealed to the Prophet ,

[لِّيَغْفِرَ لَكَ اللَّهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِن ذَنبِكَ وَمَا تَأَخَّرَ]

(That Allah may forgive you your sins of the past and the future,) on his return from Al-Hudaybiyyah. The Prophet said,

«لَقَدْ أُنْزِلَتْ عَلَيَّ اللَّيْلَةَ آيَةٌ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا عَلَى الْأَرْض»

(Tonight, an Ayah, that is dearer to me than all that the earth carries, was revealed to me.) The Prophet recited the Ayah to them. They said, `Congratulations, O Allah’s Messenger! Allah the Exalted and Most Honored has stated what He will do with you. So what will He do with us’ These Ayat were revealed to the Prophet ,

[لِّيُدْخِلَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَـتِ جَنَّـتٍ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَـرُ]

(That He may admit the believing men and the believing women to Gardens under which rivers flow. ..), until,

[فَوْزاً عَظِيماً]

(…a supreme success.)” This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.