Word by Word
(as) a witness
and between you
of His slaves
(as) a witness
and between you
of His slaves
Say: "Enough is Allah for a witness between me and you: for He is well acquainted with His servants, and He sees (all things).
Say: 'God suffices as a witness between me and you, of my sincerity. Truly He is Aware, Seer of His servants', Knower of what they hide and what they manifest.
"The Demand of Quraysh for a specific Sign, and the Rejection of that
وَقَالُواۡ لَن نُّوۡمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفۡجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الَارۡضِ يَنبُوعًا
أَوۡ تَكُونَ لَكَ جَنَّةٌ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ وَعِنَبٍ فَتُفَجِّرَ الَانۡهَارَ خِللَهَا تَفۡجِيرًا
And they say:""We shall not believe in you, until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us; Or you have a garden of date palms and grapes, and cause rivers to gush forth in their midst abundantly;""
Ibn Jarir recorded from Muhammad bin Ishaq, ""An old man from among the people of Egypt who came to us forty-odd years ago told me, from Ikrimah, from Ibn Abbas, that;
- Utbah and Shaybah -- the two sons of Rabi'ah,
- Abu Sufyan bin Harb,
- a man from Bani Abd Ad-Dar,
- Abu Al-Bakhtari -- the brother of Bani Asad,
- Al-Aswad bin Al-Muttalib bin Asad,
- Zam`ah bin Al-Aswad,
- Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah,
- Abu Jahl bin Hisham,
- Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah,
- Umayyah bin Khalaf,
- Al-`As bin Wa'il, and
- Nabih and Munabbih - the two sons of Al-Hajjaj As-Sahmin,
gathered all of them or some of them behind the Ka`bah after sunset.
Some of them said to others, `Send for Muhammad and talk with him and argue with him, so that nobody will think we are to blame.'
So they sent for him saying, `The nobles of your people have gathered for you to speak to them.'
So the Messenger of Allah came quickly, thinking that maybe they were going to change their minds, for he was very keen that they should be guided, and it upset him to see their stubbornness. So he came and sat with them, and they said,
`O Muhammad, we have sent for you so that nobody will think we are to blame. By Allah we do not know any man among the Arabs who has brought to his people what you have brought to your people. You have slandered our forefathers, criticized our religion, insulted our reason, slandered our gods and caused division. There is no objectionable thing that you have not brought between us. If you are preaching these things because you want wealth, we will collect some of our wealth together for you and make you the wealthiest man among us. If you are looking for position, we will make you our leader. If you are looking for kingship, we will make you our king. If what has come to you is a type of Jinn that has possessed you, then we can spend our money looking for the medicine that will rid you of it so that no one will think we are to blame.'
The Messenger of Allah said:
مَا بِي مَا تَقُولُونَ مَا جِيۡتُكُمۡ بِمَا جِيۡتُكُمۡ بِهِ أَطۡلُبُ أَمۡوَالَكُمۡ وَلَاا الشَّرَفَ فِيكُمۡ وَلَاا الۡمُلۡكَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ بَعَثَنِي إِلَيۡكُمۡ رَسُولاًا وَأَنۡزَلَ عَلَيَّ كِتَابًا وَأَمَرَنِي أَنۡ أَكُونَ لَكُمۡ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا فَبَلَّغۡتُكُمۡ رِسَالَااتِ رَبِّي وَنَصَحۡتُ لَكُمۡ فَإِنۡ تَقۡبَلُوا مِنِّي مَا جِيۡتُكُمۡ بِهِ فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمۡ فِي الدُّنۡيَا وَالاۡاخِرَةِ وَإِنۡ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصۡبِرۡ لاِاَمۡرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحۡكُمَ اللهُ بَيۡنِي وَبَيۡنَكُم
My case is not as you say. I have not brought what I have brought to you because I want your wealth or to be your leader or king. But Allah has sent me to you as a Messenger and has revealed to me a Book and has commanded me to bring you good news and a warning.
So, I have conveyed to you the Messages of my Lord and have advised you accordingly. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you. or words to that effect.
`O Muhammad, if you do not accept what we have offered you, then you know that there is no other people whose country is smaller, whose wealth is less and whose life is harder than ours, so ask your Lord Who has sent you with what He has sent you, to move away these mountains for us that are constricting us, to make our land wider and cause rivers to gush forth in it like the rivers of Syria and Iraq, and to resurrect for us those of our forefathers who have passed away.
Let there be among those whom He resurrects Qusayy bin Kilab, for he was a truthful old man, and we will ask them whether what you are saying is true or false. If you do what we are asking, and they (the people who are resurrected) say that you are telling the truth, then we will believe you and acknowledge your status with Allah and believe that He has sent you as a Messenger as you say.'
The Messenger of Allah said to them:
مَا بِهَذَا بُعِثتُ إِنَّمَا جِيۡتُكُمۡ مِنۡ عِنۡدِ اللهِ بِمَا بَعَثَنِي بِهِ فَقَدۡ بَلَّغۡتُكُمۡ مَا أُرۡسِلۡتُ بِهِ إِلَيۡكُمۡ فَإِنۡ تَقۡبَلُوهُ فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمۡ فِي الدُّنۡيَا وَالاۡاخِرَةِ وَإِنۡ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصۡبِرۡ لاِاَمۡرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحۡكُمَ اللهُ بَيۡنِي وَبَيۡنَكُم
I was not sent for this purpose. I have brought to you from Allah that with which He has sent me, and I have conveyed to you the Message with which I was sent to you. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you.
`If you will not do this for us, then at least do something for yourself. Ask your Lord to send an angel to confirm that what you are saying is the truth and to speak up on your behalf. Ask Him to give you gardens and treasures and palaces of gold and silver, and to make you independent so that you will not have to do what we see you doing, for you stand in the marketplaces seeking provision just as we do. Then we will know the virtue of your position with your Lord and whether you are a Messenger as you claim.'
The Messenger of Allah said to them:
مَا أَنَا بِفَاعِلٍ مَا أَنَا بِالَّذِي يَسۡأَلُ رَبَّهُ هَذَا وَمَا بُعِثۡتُ إِلَيۡكُمۡ بِهَذَا وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ بَعَثَنِي بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا فَإِنۡ تَقۡبَلُوا مَا جِيۡتُكُمۡ بِهِ فَهُوَ حَظُّكُمۡ فِي الدُّنۡيَا وَالاۡاخِرَةِ وَإِنۡ تَرُدُّوهُ عَلَيَّ أَصۡبِرۡ لاِاَمۡرِ اللهِ حَتَّى يَحۡكُمَ اللهُ بَيۡنِي وَبَيۡنَك
I will not do that, and I will not ask my Lord for this. I was not sent to you for this reason. But Allah has sent me to you to bring you good news and a warning. If you accept what I have brought to you, then this is your good fortune in this world and the Hereafter, but if you reject it, I shall wait patiently for the command of Allah until Allah judges between me and you.
`Then cause the sky to fall upon us, as you claim that if your Lord wills, He can do that. We will not believe in you until you do this.'
The Messenger of Allah said to them:
ذَلِكَ إِلَى اللهِ إِنۡ شَاءَ فَعَلَ بِكُمۡ ذَلِك
That is for Allah to decide. If He wills, He will do that to you.
`O Muhammad, did your Lord not know that we would sit with you and ask you what we have asked and make the requests that we have made He should have told you beforehand and taught you how to reply to us, and informed you what He would do to us if we do not accept what you have brought to us.
We have heard that the one who is teaching you this, is a man in Al-Yamamah called Ar-Rahman. By Allah, we will never believe in Ar-Rahman. We are warning you, O Muhammad, that we will not let you do what you want to do until you or we are destroyed.'
One of them said,
`We worship the angels who are the daughters of Allah.'
`We will never believe in you until you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face.'
When they said this, the Messenger of Allah got up and left them.
Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah bin Al-Mughirah bin Abdullah bin Umar bin Makhzum, the son of his paternal aunt Atikah, the daughter of Abdul-Muttalib, also got up and followed him. He said to him,
`O Muhammad, your people have offered you what they have offered you, and you did not accept it. Then they asked for things for themselves so that they would know your position with Allah, and you did not do that for them. Then they asked you to hasten on the punishments with which you are scaring them. By Allah, I will never believe in you unless you take a ladder to heaven and ascend it while I am watching, then you bring with you an open book and four angels to testify that you are as you say. By Allah, even if you did that, I think that I would not believe you.'
Then he turned away from the Messenger of Allah, and the Messenger of Allah went home to his family, grieving over having missed out on what he had hoped for when his people had called him, because he saw that they were resisting him even more.""
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.""
بَلۡ تَفۡتَحُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ بَابَ التَّوۡبَةِ وَالرَّحۡمَة
Rather, You open for them the gate of repentance and mercy.
This is like the Ayah:
وَمَا مَنَعَنَأ أَن نُّرۡسِلَ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ أَن كَذَّبَ بِهَا الاٌّوَّلُونَ وَءَاتَيۡنَا ثَمُودَ النَّاقَةَ مُبۡصِرَةً فَظَلَمُواۡ بِهَا وَمَا نُرۡسِلُ بِالاٌّيَـتِ إِلاَّ تَخۡوِيفًا
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). (Ayah 59)
And Allah says:
وَقَالُواۡ مَا لِهَـذَا الرَّسُولِ يَأۡكُلُ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمۡشِى فِى الاٌّسۡوَاقِ لَوۡلا أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡهِ مَلَكٌ فَيَكُونَ مَعَهُ نَذِيراً
أَوۡ يُلۡقَى إِلَيۡهِ كَنۡزٌ أَوۡ تَكُونُ لَهُ جَنَّةٌ يَأۡكُلُ مِنۡهَا وَقَالَ الظَّـلِمُونَ إِن تَتَّبِعُونَ إِلاَّ رَجُلً مَّسۡحُوراً
انظُرۡ كَيۡفَ ضَرَبُواۡ لَكَ الاٌّمۡثَـلَ فَضَلُّواۡ فَلَ يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ سَبِيلً
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِى إِن شَأءَ جَعَلَ لَكَ خَيۡراً مِّن ذلِكَ جَنَّـتٍ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِهَا الاٌّنۡهَـرُ وَيَجۡعَل لَّكَ قُصُوراً
بَلۡ كَذَّبُواۡ بِالسَّاعَةِ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا 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)
حَتَّى تَفۡجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الَارۡضِ يَنبُوعًا
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 حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ كَلِمَةُ رَبِّكَ لَا يُوۡمِنُونَ
وَلَوۡ جَأءَتۡهُمۡ كُلُّ ءايَةٍ حَتَّى يَرَوُاۡ الۡعَذَابَ 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:
وَلَوۡ أَنَّنَا نَزَّلۡنَأ إِلَيۡهِمُ الۡمَلَـيِكَةَ وَكَلَّمَهُمُ الۡمَوۡتَى وَحَشَرۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ كُلَّ شَىۡءٍ قُبُلً مَّا كَانُواۡ لِيُوۡمِنُواۡ
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)
أَوۡ تُسۡقِطَ السَّمَاء كَمَا زَعَمۡتَ عَلَيۡنَا كِسَفًا
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 الۡحَقَّ مِنۡ عِندِكَ فَأَمۡطِرۡ عَلَيۡنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَأءِ
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:
فَأَسۡقِطۡ عَلَيۡنَا كِسَفاً مِّنَ السَّمَأءِ 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)
أَوۡ تَأۡتِيَ بِاللّهِ وَالۡمَليِكَةِ قَبِيلً
or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face;""
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
أَوۡ يَكُونَ لَكَ بَيۡتٌ مِّن زُخۡرُفٍ
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.""
أَوۡ تَرۡقَى فِي السَّمَاء
or you ascend up into the sky,
meaning, you climb up on a ladder while we are watching you.
وَلَن نُّوۡمِنَ لِرُقِيِّكَ حَتَّى تُنَزِّلَ عَلَيۡنَا كِتَابًا نَّقۡرَوُهُ
and even then we will put no faith in your ascension until you bring down for us a Book that we would read.
""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.""
قُلۡ سُبۡحَانَ رَبِّي هَلۡ 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.
The refusal of the Idolators to believe because the Messenger was a Human -- and its refutation
وَمَا مَنَعَ النَّاسَ
And nothing prevented men,
means, most of them,
and following the Messengers, except the fact that they found it strange that human beings would be sent as Messengers, as Allah says:
أَكَانَ لِلنَّاسِ عَجَبًا أَنۡ أَوۡحَيۡنَأ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنۡهُمۡ أَنۡ أَنذِرِ النَّاسَ وَبَشِّرِ الَّذِينَ ءامَنُواۡ أَنَّ لَهُمۡ قَدَمَ صِدۡقٍ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ
Is it a wonder for mankind that We have sent Our revelation to a man from among themselves (saying):""Warn mankind, and give good news to those who believe that they shall have with their Lord the rewards of their good deeds."" (10:2)
إِذۡ جَاءهُمُ الۡهُدَى إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواۡ أَبَعَثَ اللّهُ بَشَرًا رَّسُولاً
when the guidance came to them, except that they said:""Has Allah sent a man as (His) Messenger!""
ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُ كَانَت تَّأۡتِيهِمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِالۡبَيِّنَـتِ فَقَالُواۡ أَبَشَرٌ يَهۡدُونَنَا
That was because there came to them their Messengers with clear proofs, but they said:""Shall mere men guide us!"" (64:6)
Fira`wn and his people said:
أَنُوۡمِنُ لِبَشَرَيۡنِ مِثۡلِنَا وَقَوۡمُهُمَا لَنَا عَـبِدُونَ
They said:""Shall we believe in two men like ourselves, and their people are obedient to us with humility!"" (23:47)
Similarly, the nations said to their Messengers:
إِنۡ أَنتُمۡ إِلاَّ بَشَرٌ مِّثۡلُنَا تُرِيدُونَ أَن تَصُدُّونَا عَمَّا كَانَ يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَأوُنَا فَأۡتُونَا بِسُلۡطَـنٍ مُّبِينٍ
""You are no more than human beings like us! You wish to turn us away from what our fathers used to worship. Then bring us a clear authority."" (14:10)
And there are many other similar Ayat.
Then Allah says, pointing out His kindness and mercy towards His servants, that He sends to them Messengers of their own kind so that they will understand what he says and will be able to speak to him directly. If He sent to mankind a Messenger from among the angels, they would not be able to deal with him face to face and learn from him, as Allah says:
لَقَدۡ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الۡمُومِنِينَ إِذۡ بَعَثَ فِيهِمۡ رَسُولاً مِّنۡ أَنفُسِهِمۡ
Indeed, Allah conferred a great favor on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves. (3:164)
لَقَدۡ جَأءَكُمۡ رَسُولٌ مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ
Verily, there has come unto you a Messenger from among yourselves. (10:128)
كَمَأ أَرۡسَلۡنَا فِيكُمۡ رَسُولاً مِّنۡكُمۡ يَتۡلُواۡ عَلَيۡكُمۡ ايَـتِنَا وَيُزَكِّيكُمۡ وَيُعَلِّمُكُمُ الۡكِتَـبَ وَالۡحِكۡمَةَ وَيُعَلِّمُكُم مَّا لَمۡ تَكُونُواۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ
فَاذۡكُرُونِى أَذۡكُرۡكُمۡ وَاشۡكُرُواۡ لِي وَلَا تَكۡفُرُونِ
Similarly, We have sent among you a Messenger of your own, reciting to you Our verses (the Qur'an) and purifying you, and teaching you the Book and the Hikmah, and teaching you that which you used not to know. Therefore remember Me. I will remember you, and be grateful to Me and never be ungrateful to Me. (2:151-152)
Allah says here
قُل لَّوۡ كَانَ فِي الَارۡضِ مَليِكَةٌ يَمۡشُونَ مُطۡمَيِنِّينَ
Say:""If there were on the earth, angels walking about in peace and security,
meaning, just as you do,
لَنَزَّلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِم مِّنَ السَّمَاء مَلَكًا رَّسُولاً
We should certainly have sent down for them from the heaven an angel as a Messenger.
meaning, `one of their own kind. But as you are human, We have sent to you Messengers from yourselves, as a kindness and a mercy.
Allah tells His Prophet:
قُلۡ كَفَى بِاللّهِ شَهِيدًا بَيۡنِي وَبَيۡنَكُمۡ
Say:""Sufficient is Allah for a witness between me and you.
Allah tells His Prophet how to prove that what he has brought is true, saying to him to tell them:""He (Allah) is a witness over me and over you. He knows what I have brought to you. If I were lying to you, He would take revenge on me in the severest manner,"" as Allah says:
وَلَوۡ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيۡنَا بَعۡضَ الاٌّقَاوِيلِ
لاأَخَذۡنَا مِنۡهُ بِالۡيَمِينِ
ثُمَّ لَقَطَعۡنَا مِنۡهُ الۡوَتِينَ
And if he had forged a false saying concerning Us, We surely would have seized him by his right hand, And then We certainly would have cut off his life artery. (69:44-46)
إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرًا بَصِيرًا
Verily, He is Ever the All-Knower, the All-Seer of His servants.
meaning, He knows best who among them deserves blessings, good treatment and guidance, and who deserves to be doomed and led astray."
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