Word by Word
so he said
to his companion
(was) talking with him
so he said
to his companion
(was) talking with him
(Abundant) was the produce this man had: he said to his companion, in the course of a mutual argument: "more wealth have I than you, and more honour and power in (my following of) men."
And he had, together with his two the Paradises, fruit (read thamar, thumur, or thumr, [all of which constitute] the plural of thamra, [sing.] 'a fruit', similar [in pattern] to shajara [pl.] shajar, khashaba [pl.] khushb, or badana [pl.] budn) and he said to his companion, the believer, as he conversed with him, boasting before him: 'I have more wealth than you and am stronger in respect of men', in respect of clansmen.
The Example of the Rich Idolators and the Poor Muslims
وَاضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَيۡنِ جَعَلۡنَا لاِاَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيۡنِ مِنۡ أَعۡنَابٍ وَحَفَفۡنَاهُمَا بِنَخۡلٍ وَجَعَلۡنَا بَيۡنَهُمَا زَرۡعًا
And put forward to them the example of two men:unto one of them We had given two gardens of grapes, and We had surrounded both with date palms; and had put between them green crops (cultivated fields).
After mentioning the idolators who were too arrogant to sit with the poor and weak among Muslims, showing off before them with their wealth and noble lineage, Allah then gives a parable for them of two men, one of whom Allah gave two gardens of grapes, surrounded with palm trees and cultivated with crops throughout. All of the trees and plants were abundantly fruitful, providing readily accessible, good quality produce.
كِلۡتَا الۡجَنَّتَيۡنِ اتَتۡ أُكُلَهَا
Each of those two gardens brought forth its produce,
meaning, produced its fruits,
وَلَمۡ تَظۡلِمۡ مِنۡهُ شَيۡيًا
and failed not in the least therein,
meaning, nothing at all was diminishing.
وَفَجَّرۡنَا خِلَلَهُمَا نَهَرًا
and We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of both.
means, rivers were flowing through them here and there
وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ
And he had Thamar,
It was said that what was meant here was wealth, and it was said that what was meant were fruits, which is the more apparent meaning here.
This is also supported by the alternative recitation, Thumr, which is the plural of Thamrah (fruit) just as Khushb is the plural of Khashab (wood). Others recite it as Thamar.
and he said
the owner of the two gardens
لِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ
to his companion in the course of discussion,
means, while he was disputing with him and boasting to him and showing off,
أَنَا أَكۡثَرُ مِنكَ مَالاً وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًا
I am greater than you in wealth and have a mightier entourage.
meaning, `I have more servants, attendants and children.'
""This, by Allah, is the wish of the immoral to have a lot of wealth and a large entourage.
وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفۡسِهِ
And he went into his garden having been unjust to himself.
meaning, in his disbelief, rebellion, arrogance and denial of the Hereafter.
قَالَ مَا أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَذِهِ أَبَدًا
He said:""I do not think this will ever perish.""
Thus he was allowing himself to be deceived because of the plants, fruits and trees that he saw, and the rivers flowing through the different parts of his gardens. He thought that it could never come to an end or cease or be destroyed.
This was because of his lack of understanding and the weakness of his faith in Allah, and because he was enamored with this world and its adornments, and because he disbelieved in the Hereafter. So he said
وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَايِمَةً
""And I do not think the Hour will ever come...""
meaning, will ever happen
وَلَيِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَى رَبِّي لَاَجِدَنَّ خَيۡرًا مِّنۡهَا مُنقَلَبًا
and if indeed I am brought back to my Lord, I surely shall find better than this when I return to Him.
meaning, `if there is a Hereafter and a return to Allah, then I will have a better share than this with my Lord, for if it were not that I am dear to Him, He would not have given me all this.'
As Allah says elsewhere:
وَلَيِن رُّجِّعۡتُ إِلَى رَبِّى إِنَّ لِى عِندَهُ لَلۡحُسۡنَى
But if I am brought back to my Lord, surely there will be for me the best with Him. (41:50)
أَفَرَأَيۡتَ الَّذِى كَفَرَ بِـَايَـتِنَا وَقَالَ لاوتَيَنَّ مَالاً وَوَلَداً
Have you seen him who disbelieved in Our Ayat and said:""I shall certainly be given wealth and children (if I will be alive again)."" (19:77)
He took it for granted that Allah would give him this, without any sound evidence for that.
The reason why this Ayah was revealed was because of Al-`As bin Wa'il, as we will explain in the appropriate place, if Allah wills. In Allah we put our trust.
The Response of the Poor Believer
قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ
His companion said to him during his discussion:
Allah tells us how the rich man's believing companion replied to him, warning and rebuking him for his disbelief in Allah and allowing himself to be deceived.
أَكَفَرۡتَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ
Do you disbelieve in Him Who created you out of dust...
This is a denunciation, pointing out the seriousness of his rejection of his Lord Who created and formed man out of dust -- that is, referring to Adam --
ثُمَّ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلً
then out of Nutfah, then fashioned you into a man!""
then made his offspring from despised liquid, as Allah says:
كَيۡفَ تَكۡفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمۡ أَمۡوَتًا فَأَحۡيَـكُمۡ
How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. (2:28)
meaning, how can you reject your Lord and His clear signs to you, which every one recognizes in himself, for there is no one among His creatures who does not know that he was nothing, then he came to be, and his existence is not due to himself or any other creature. He knows that his existence is due to his Creator, beside Whom there is no other god, the Creator of all things.
So the believer said
لَّكِنَّا هُوَ اللَّهُ رَبِّي
But as for my part, (I believe) that He is Allah, my Lord,
meaning, `I do not say what you say; rather I acknowledge the Oneness and Lordship of Allah,'
وَلَا أُشۡرِكُ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا
and none shall I associate as partner with my Lord.
meaning, He is Allah, the One Who is to be worshipped Alone, with no partner or associate.
Then he said:
وَلَوۡلَا إِذۡ دَخَلۡتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلۡتَ مَا شَاء اللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ إِن تُرَنِ أَنَا أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالاً وَوَلَدًا
It was better for you to say, when you entered your garden, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!' If you see me less than you in wealth, and children.
Here he was urging and encouraging him to say that, as if he was saying, ""When you entered your garden and looked at it and liked it, why wouldn't you praise Allah for the blessings He gave you and the wealth and children that He has given to you and not to others! Why did you not say `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!""'
One of the Salaf said,
""Whoever is delighted with something in his circumstances or his wealth or his children, let him say, `That which Allah wills! There is no power but with Allah!""'
This is based on this Ayah.
It was reported in the Sahih from Abu Musa that the Messenger of Allah said:
أَلَا أَدُلُّكَ عَلَى كَنۡزٍ مِنۡ كُنُوزِ الۡجَنَّةِ
Shall I not tell you about some of the treasure of Paradise?
لَاا حَوۡلَ وَلَاا قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِالله
There is no power or might but with Allah
فَعَسَى رَبِّي أَن يُوۡتِيَنِ خَيۡرًا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ
It may be that my Lord will give me something better than your garden, (in the Hereafter),
and will send on it,
on your garden in this world, which you think will never come to an end or cease to be,
حُسۡبَانًا مِّنَ السَّمَاء
Husban from the sky,
Ibn Abbas, Ad-Dahhak and Qatadah said -- and Malik narrated that Az-Zuhri said -- a punishment from heaven.
The apparent meaning is that it is a mighty rain which would disrupt his garden and uproot its plants and trees.
As he said:
فَتُصۡبِحَ صَعِيدًا زَلَقًا
then it will be as a barren slippery earth.
meaning, smooth mud in which one cannot get a foothold.
Ibn Abbas said,
""Like land without vegetation, where nothing grows.
أَوۡ يُصۡبِحَ مَاوُهَا غَوۡرًا
Or the water thereof becomes Ghawran,
means, it disappears into the earth, which is the opposite of flowing water that seeks the surface of the earth.
So Gha'ir is to go lower. as Allah says:
قُلۡ أَرَءَيۡتُمۡ إِنۡ أَصۡبَحَ مَأوُكُمۡ غَوۡراً فَمَن يَأۡتِيكُمۡ بِمَأءٍ مَّعِينٍ
Say:""Tell me! If your water were Ghawran, who then can supply you with flowing water!"" (67:30)
meaning, water that flows in all directions.
And here Allah says:
أَوۡ يُصۡبِحَ مَاوُهَا غَوۡرًا فَلَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ لَهُ طَلَبًا
Or the water thereof (of the gardens) becomes deep-sunken (underground) so that you will never be able to seek it.
Ghawr is from the same root as Gha'ir and has a similar meaning, but is more intensive
The Evil Results of Kufr
So his fruits were encircled,
meaning his wealth, or according to the other opinion, his crops.
What is meant is that what this disbeliever was afraid of and what the believer had terrified him actually had happened. A storm struck his garden, a garden which he had erroneously thought would last forever, distracting him from thoughts of Allah, may He be glorified.
فَأَصۡبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيۡهِ عَلَى مَا أَنفَقَ فِيهَا
And he began Yuqallibu his hands over what he had spent upon it,
""He was clasping his hands together in a gesture of regret and grief for the wealth he had lost.""
وَهِيَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا
while it was all destroyed on its trellises,
وَيَقُولُ يَا لَيۡتَنِي لَمۡ أُشۡرِكۡ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا
وَلَمۡ تَكُن لَّهُ فِيَةٌ
and he could only say:""Would that I had ascribed no partners to my Lord!"" And he had no group of men,
meaning a clan or children, as he had vainly boasted,
يَنصُرُونَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا
هُنَالِكَ الۡوَلَايَةُ لِلَّهِ الۡحَقِّ
to help him against Allah, nor could he defend himself. There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God.
Here there are differences in recitation. Some of the reciters pause at the word there,
وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا
(nor could he defend himself there), i.e., at that time, when Allah sends the punishment upon him, there will be no one to save him. Then they start the next phrase with Al-Walayah;
(Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God).
Some of them pause at the phrase
وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا
(nor could he defend himself) and start the next phrase;
الۡوَلَايَةُ لِلَّهِ الۡحَقِّ
(There, Al-Walayah will be for Allah, the True God).
There is a further difference in the recitation of the word Al-Walayah. Some read it as Al-Walayah, which gives the meaning that all allegiance will be to Allah,
i.e., on that Day everyone, believer or disbeliever, will return to Allah, for allegiance and submission to Him when the punishment comes to pass.
This is like the Ayah:
فَلَمَّا رَأَوۡاۡ بَأۡسَنَا قَالُواۡ ءَامَنَّا بِاللَّهِ وَحۡدَهُ وَكَـفَرۡنَا بِمَا كُنَّا بِهِ مُشۡرِكِينَ
So when they saw Our punishment, they said:""We believe in Allah Alone and reject (all) that we used to associate with Him as partners."" (40:84)
and Allah says concerning the Fir`awn;
وَجَاوَزۡنَا بِبَنِى إِسۡرَءِيلَ الۡبَحۡرَ فَأَتۡبَعَهُمۡ فِرۡعَوۡنُ وَجُنُودُهُ بَغۡيًا وَعَدۡوًا حَتَّى إِذَا أَدۡرَكَهُ الۡغَرَقُ قَالَ ءَامَنتُ أَنَّهُ لا إِلِـهَ إِلاَّ الَّذِى ءَامَنَتۡ بِهِ بَنواۡ إِسۡرَءِيلَ وَأَنَاۡ مِنَ الۡمُسۡلِمِينَ
ءَالَنَ وَقَدۡ عَصَيۡتَ قَبۡلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ الۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
Till when drowning overtook him, he said:""I believe that none has the right to be worshipped but He in Whom the Children of Israel believe, and I am one of the Muslims."" Now! While you refused to believe before and you were one of the mischief-makers. (10:90-91)
Some others read it as Al-Wilayah,
meaning that on that Day the rule will belong to Allah, the True God.
Some read Haqqu (True) referring to Al-Wilayah, as in the Ayah;
الۡمُلۡكُ يَوۡمَيِذٍ الۡحَقُّ لِلرَّحۡمَـنِ وَكَانَ يَوۡماً عَلَى الۡكَـفِرِينَ عَسِيراً
The sovereignty on that Day will be the true (sovereignty), belonging to the Most Gracious (Allah), and it will be a hard Day for the disbelievers. (25:26)
Others it read Haqqi referring to Allah, may He be glorified, as in the Ayah:
ثُمَّ رُدُّواۡ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَوۡلَـهُمُ الۡحَقِّ
Then they are returned to Allah, their True Protector. (6:62)
So Allah says:
هُوَ خَيۡرٌ ثَوَابًا وَخَيۡرٌ عُقۡبًا
He (Allah) is the best to reward and the best for the final end
for deeds that were done for the sake of Allah, their reward is good and their consequences are all good."
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