Word by Word
Repel evil with that which is best: We are well acquainted with the things they say.
Ward off with that which is better, that is to say, with the [better] trait of pardoning and shunning them, the evil [act], the hurt they cause you - this was [revealed] before the command to fight [them]. We know best what they allege, [what] they invent of lies and [what they] say and so We will requite them for it.
Allah has no Partner or Associate
Allah declares Himself to be above having any child or partner in dominion, control and worship.
مَا اتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ مِن وَلَدٍ وَمَا كَانَ مَعَهُ مِنۡ إِلَهٍ إِذًا لَّذَهَبَ كُلُّ إِلَهٍ بِمَا خَلَقَ وَلَعَلَا بَعۡضُهُمۡ عَلَى بَعۡضٍ
No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him. (If there had been many gods), then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others.
meaning, if it were decreed that there should be a plurality of deities, each of them would have exclusive control over whatever he had created, so there would never be any order in the universe. But what we see is that the universe is ordered and cohesive, with the upper and lower realms connected to one another in the most perfect fashion.
مَّا تَرَى فِى خَلۡقِ الرَّحۡمَـنِ مِن تَفَـوُتٍ
you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious. (67:3)
Moreover, if there were a number of gods, each of them would try to subdue the other with enmity, and one would prevail over the other.
This has been mentioned by the scholars of Ilm-ul-Kalam, who discussed it using the evidence of mutual resistance or counteraction.
This idea states that if there were two or more creators, one would want to make a body move while the other would want to keep it immobile, and if neither of them could achieve what they wanted, then both would be incapable, but the One Whose existence is essential (i.e., Allah) cannot be incapable. It is impossible for the will of both to be fulfilled because of the conflict.
This dilemma only arises when a plurality of gods is suggested, so it is impossible for there to be such a plurality, because if the will of one is fulfilled and not the other, the one who prevails will be the one whose existence is essential (i.e., God) and the one who is prevailed over will be merely possible (i.e., he is not divine), because it is not befitting for the one to be defeated whose existence is essential.
وَلَعَلَ بَعۡضُهُمۡ عَلَى بَعۡضٍ
سُبۡحَانَ اللَّهِ عَمَّا يَصِفُونَ
and some would have tried to overcome others!
Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!
meaning, high above all that the stubborn wrongdoers say when they claim that He has a son or partner
عَالِمِ الۡغَيۡبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ
All-Knower of the unseen and the seen!
means, He knows what is hidden from His creatures and what they see.
فَتَعَالَى عَمَّا يُشۡرِكُونَ
Exalted be He over all that they associate as partners to Him!
means, sanctified and glorified and exalted be He above all that the wrongdoers and liars say
The Command to call on Allah when Calamity strikes, to repel Evil with that which is better, and to seek refuge with Allah
Allah commands His Prophet Muhammad to:
Allah commands His Prophet Muhammad to call on Him with this supplication when calamity strikes:
رَّبِّ إِمَّا تُرِيَنِّي مَا يُوعَدُونَ
My Lord! If You would show me that with which they are threatened.
رَبِّ فَلَ تَجۡعَلۡنِي فِي الۡقَوۡمِ الظَّالِمِينَ
My Lord! Then, put me not amongst the people who are the wrongdoers.
meaning, `if You punish them while I am witnessing that, then do not cause me to be one of them.'
As was said in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih:
وَإِذَا أَرَدۡتَ بِقَومٍ فِتۡنَةً فَتَوفَّنِي إِلَيۡكَ غَيۡرَ مَفۡتُون
If You want to test people, then take me to You (cause me to die) without having to undergo the test.
وَإِنَّا عَلَى أَن نُّرِيَكَ مَا نَعِدُهُمۡ لَقَادِرُونَ
And indeed We are able to show you that with which We have threatened them.
means, `if We willed, We could show you the punishment and test that We will send upon them.'
Then Allah shows him the best way to behave when mixing with people, which is to treat kindly the one who treats him badly, so as to soften his heart and turn his enmity to friendship, and to turn his hatred to love.
ادۡفَعۡ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحۡسَنُ السَّيِّيَةَ
Repel evil with that which is better.
This is like the Ayah:
ادۡفَعۡ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيۡنَكَ وَبَيۡنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌوَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواۡ
Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient.
meaning, nobody will be helped or inspired to follow this advice or attain this quality,
إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواۡ
(except those who are patient),
meaning, those who patiently bear people's insults and bad treatment and deal with them in a good manner when they are on the receiving end of bad treatment from them,
وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَأ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ
and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion.
means, in this world and the Hereafter. (41:34-35)
نَحۡنُ أَعۡلَمُ بِمَا يَصِفُونَ
We are best-acquainted with the things they utter.
And Allah says:
وَقُل رَّبِّ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ
And say:My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin.
Allah commanded him to seek refuge with Him from the Shayatin, because no trick could help you against them and you cannot protect yourself by being kind to them.
We have already stated, when discussing Isti`adhah (seeking refuge), that the Messenger of Allah used to say,
أَعُوذُ بِاللهِ السَّمِيعِ الۡعَلِيمِ مِنَ الشَّيۡطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ مِنۡ هَمۡزِهِ وَنَفۡخِهِ وَنَفۡثِه
I seek refuge with Allah, the All-Hearing, All-Seeing, from the accursed Shayatin, from his whisperings, evil suggestions and insinuations.
وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ رَبِّ أَن يَحۡضُرُونِ
And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.
means, in any issue of my life.
So we are commanded to mention Allah at the beginning of any undertaking, in order to ward off the Shayatin at the time of eating, intercourse, slaughtering animals for food, etc.
Abu Dawud recorded that the Messenger of Allah used to say:
إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الۡهَرَمِ
وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الۡهَدۡمِ وَمِنَ الۡغَرَقِ
وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنۡ أَنۡ يَتَخَبَّطَنِي الشَّيۡطَانُ عِنۡدَ الۡمَوۡت
I seek refuge with You from old age,
I seek refuge with You from being crushed or drowned, and
I seek refuge with you from being assaulted by the Shayatin at the time of death.
The Disbelievers' Hope when death approaches
حَتَّى إِذَا جَاء أَحَدَهُمُ الۡمَوۡتُ قَالَ
Until, when death comes to one of them, he says:
Allah tells us about what happens when death approaches one of the disbelievers or one of those who have been negligent with the commands of Allah. He tells us what he says and how he asks to come back to this world so that he can rectify whatever wrongs he committed during his lifetime.
لَعَلِّي أَعۡمَلُ صَالِحًا فِيمَا تَرَكۡتُ كَلَّ
My Lord! Send me back, so that I may do good in that which I have left behind!
This is like the Ayat:
وَأَنفِقُواۡ مِن مَّا رَزَقۡنَـكُمۡ مِّن قَبۡلِ أَن يَأۡتِىَ أَحَدَكُمُ الۡمَوۡتُ
And spend of that with which We have provided you before death comes to one of you, until His saying:
وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ
(And Allah is All-Aware of what you do. (63:10-11)
وَأَنذِرِ النَّاسَ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِيهِمُ الۡعَذَابُ
And warn mankind of the Day when the torment will come unto them upto His saying;
مَا لَكُمۡ مِّن زَوَالٍ
(that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter). (14:44)
And His saying:
يَوۡمَ يَأۡتِى تَأۡوِيلُهُ يَقُولُ الَّذِينَ نَسُوهُ مِن قَبۡلُ قَدۡ جَأءَتۡ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالۡحَقِّ فَهَل لَّنَا مِن شُفَعَأءَ فَيَشۡفَعُواۡ لَنَأ أَوۡ نُرَدُّ فَنَعۡمَلَ غَيۡرَ الَّذِى كُنَّا نَعۡمَلُ
On the Day the event is finally fulfilled, those who neglected it before will say:Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf Or could we be sent back so that we might do deeds other than those deeds which we used to do. (7:53)
وَلَوۡ تَرَى إِذِ الۡمُجۡرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواۡ رُءُوسِهِمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ رَبَّنَأ أَبۡصَرۡنَا وَسَمِعۡنَا فَارۡجِعۡنَا نَعۡمَلۡ صَـلِحاً إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ
And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying):Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back, that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty. (32:12)
وَلَوۡ تَرَى إِذۡ وُقِفُواۡ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواۡ يلَيۡتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلَا نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا
If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say:Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord. .. until His saying;
(And indeed they are liars). (6:27-28)
وَتَرَى الظَّـلِمِينَ لَمَّا رَأَوُاۡ الۡعَذَابَ يَقُولُونَ هَلۡ إِلَى مَرَدٍّ مِّن سَبِيلٍ
And you will see the wrongdoers, when they behold the torment, they will say:Is there any way of return! (42:44)
قَالُواۡ رَبَّنَأ أَمَتَّنَا اثۡنَتَيۡنِ وَأَحۡيَيۡتَنَا اثۡنَتَيۡنِ فَاعۡتَرَفۡنَا بِذُنُوبِنَا فَهَلۡ إِلَى خُرُوجٍ مِّن سَبِيلٍ
They will say:Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out! (40:11)
and the Ayah after it:
وَهُمۡ يَصۡطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَأ أَخۡرِجۡنَا نَعۡمَلۡ صَـلِحاً غَيۡرَ الَّذِى كُـنَّا نَعۡمَلُ أَوَلَمۡ نُعَمِّرۡكُمۡ مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَأءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ فَذُوقُواۡ فَمَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ
Therein they will cry:Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not what we used to do.
(Allah will reply:) Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers there is no helper. (35:37)
Allah says that they will ask to go back, when death approaches, on the Day of Resurrection, when they are gathered for judgment before the Compeller (Allah) and when they are in the agonies of the punishment of Hell, but their prayer will not be answered.
Here Allah says:
كَلَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَايِلُهَا
No! It is but a word that he speaks;
The word Kalla (No!) is a word that is used to rebuke, and the meaning is:
No, We will not respond to what he asks for and We will not accept it from him.
كَلَّ إِنَّهَا كَلِمَةٌ هُوَ قَايِلُهَا
It is but a word that he speaks,
refers to his asking to go back so that he can do righteous deeds;
this is just talk on his part, it would not be accompanied by any action. If he were to go back, he would not do any righteous good deeds, he is merely lying, as Allah says:
وَلَوۡ رُدُّواۡ لَعَـدُواۡ لِمَا نُهُواۡ عَنۡهُ وَإِنَّهُمۡ لَكَـذِبُونَ
But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars. (6:28)
By Allah, he will not wish to go back to his family and tribe, or to accumulate more of the things of this world or satisfy his desires, but he will wish that he could go back to do acts of obedience to Allah. May Allah have mercy on a man who does that which the disbeliever will wish he had done when he sees the punishment of Hell.
Barzakh and Punishment therein
وَمِن وَرَايِهِم بَرۡزَخٌ إِلَى يَوۡمِ يُبۡعَثُونَ
and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected.
Abu Salih and others said that:
(and in front of them),
means before them.
Al-Barzakh is a barrier between this world and the Hereafter.
Muhammad bin Ka`b said,
Al-Barzakh is what is between this world and the Hereafter, neither they are the people of this world, eating and drinking, nor are they with the people of the Hereafter, being rewarded or punished for their deeds.
Abu Sakhr said,
Al-Barzakh refers to the graves. They are neither in this world nor the Hereafter, and they will stay there until the Day of Resurrection.
وَمِن وَرَايِهِم بَرۡزَخٌ
and in front of them is Barzakh.
In these words is a threat to those wrongdoers at the time of death, of the punishment of Barzakh.
This is similar to the Ayat:
مِّن وَرَايِهِمۡ جَهَنَّمُ
In front of them there is Hell. (45:10)
وَمِن وَرَايِهِ عَذَابٌ غَلِيظٌ
and in front of him will be a great torment. (14:17)
إِلَى يَوۡمِ يُبۡعَثُونَ
until the Day when they will be resurrected.
means, he will be punished continually until the Day of Resurrection, as it says in the Hadith:
فَلَ يَزَالُ مُعَذَّبًا فِيهَا
He will continue to be punished in it.
meaning, in the earth.
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