Word by Word
Then surely We will narrate
Then surely We will narrate
And verily, We shall recount their whole story with knowledge, for We were never absent (at any time or place).
And We shall narrate to them with knowledge, We shall inform them, with [previous] knowledge, of what they did; for verily We were not absent, when the messengers were conveying [the Message], nor [were We absent] during the time of bygone communities and what they did.
Tafsir of Surah Al-A'raf
We mentioned before the explanation of the letters (such as, Alif-Lam, that are in the beginning of some Surahs in the Qur'an)
كِتَابٌ أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكَ
(This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you (O Muhammad),
from your Lord,
فَلَ يَكُن فِي صَدۡرِكَ حَرَجٌ مِّنۡهُ
so let not your breast be narrow therefrom,
According to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi,
meaning, having doubt about it.
It was also said that the meaning here is:
`do not hesitate to convey the Qur'an and warn with it,'
فَاصۡبِرۡ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوۡلُواۡ الۡعَزۡمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ
Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will. (46:35)
Allah said here,
that you warn thereby,
meaning, `We sent down the Qur'an so that you may warn the disbelievers with it,'
and a reminder unto the believers.
Allah then said to the world
اتَّبِعُواۡ مَا أُنزِلَ إِلَيۡكُم مِّن رَّبِّكُمۡ
Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord,
meaning, follow and imitate the unlettered Prophet, who brought you a Book that was revealed for you, from the Lord and master of everything.
وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواۡ مِن دُونِهِ أَوۡلِيَاء
and follow not any Awliya', besides Him (Allah),
meaning, do not disregard what the Messenger brought you and follow something else, for in this case, you will be deviating from Allah's judgment to the decision of someone else.
قَلِيلً مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ
Little do you remember!
is similar to,
وَمَأ أَكۡثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُوۡمِنِينَ
And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. (12:103)
وَإِن تُطِعۡ أَكۡثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرۡضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path. (6:116)
وَمَا يُوۡمِنُ أَكۡثَرُهُمۡ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمۡ مُّشۡرِكُونَ
And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him. (12:106)
Nations that were destroyed
وَكَم مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَاهَا
And a great number of towns We destroyed.
for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَلَقَدِ اسۡتُهۡزِىءَ بِرُسُلٍ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ فَحَاقَ بِالَّذِينَ سَخِرُواۡ مِنۡهُمۡ مَّا كَانُواۡ بِهِ يَسۡتَهۡزِءُونَ
And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at. (6:10)
فَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَهۡلَكۡنَـهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ فَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَى عُرُوشِهَا وَبِيۡرٍ مُّعَطَّلَةٍ وَقَصۡرٍ مَّشِيدٍ
And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle! (22:45)
وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةٍ بَطِرَتۡ مَعِيشَتَهَا فَتِلۡكَ مَسَـكِنُهُمۡ لَمۡ تُسۡكَن مِّن بَعۡدِهِمۡ إِلاَّ قَلِيلً وَكُنَّا نَحۡنُ الۡوَرِثِينَ
And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood! And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs. (28:58)
فَجَاءهَا بَأۡسُنَا بَيَاتًا أَوۡ هُمۡ قَأيِلُونَ
Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.
means, Allah's command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement.
Allah also said
أَفَأَمِنَ أَهۡلُ الۡقُرَى أَن يَأۡتِيَهُم بَأۡسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمۡ نَأيِمُونَ
أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهۡلُ الۡقُرَى أَن يَأۡتِيَهُمۡ بَأۡسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمۡ يَلۡعَبُونَ
Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! (7:97-98)
أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواۡ السَّيِّيَاتِ أَن يَخۡسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرۡضَ أَوۡ يَأۡتِيَهُمُ الۡعَذَابُ مِنۡ حَيۡثُ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ
أَوۡ يَأۡخُذَهُمۡ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمۡ فَمَا هُم بِمُعۡجِزِينَ
أَوۡ يَأۡخُذَهُمۡ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمۡ لَرَوُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not! Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them! Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage.
Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (16:45-47)
فَمَا كَانَ دَعۡوَاهُمۡ إِذۡ جَاءهُمۡ بَأۡسُنَا إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواۡ إِنَّا كُنَّا ظَالِمِينَ
No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this:Verily, we were wrongdoers.
This means, when the torment came to them, their cry was that they admitted their sins and that they deserved to be punished.
Allah said in a similar Ayah,
وَكَمۡ قَصَمۡنَا مِن قَرۡيَةٍ كَانَتۡ ظَـلِمَة
How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed, (21:11), until,
فَلَنَسۡأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرۡسِلَ إِلَيۡهِمۡ
Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent,
is similar to the Ayat,
وَيَوۡمَ يُنَـدِيهِمۡ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أَجَبۡتُمُ الۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
And (remember) the Day (Allah) will call them, and say:What answer gave you to the Messengers! (28:65)
يَوۡمَ يَجۡمَعُ اللَّهُ الرُّسُلَ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَا أُجِبۡتُمۡ قَالُواۡ لَا عِلۡمَ لَنَأ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلَّـمُ الۡغُيُوبِ
On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them:What was the response you received!
They will say:We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is unseen. (5:109)
Allah will question the nations, on the Day of Resurrection, how they responded to His Messengers and the Messages He sent them with. He will also question the Messengers if they conveyed His Messages.
So, Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn Abbas, who said commenting on the Ayah:
فَلَنَسۡأَلَنَّ الَّذِينَ أُرۡسِلَ إِلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَنَسۡأَلَنَّ الۡمُرۡسَلِينَ
(Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers). He said;
About what they conveyed.
فَلَنَقُصَّنَّ عَلَيۡهِم بِعِلۡمٍ وَمَا كُنَّا غَأيِبِينَ
Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.
Ibn Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
The Book will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and it will speak, disclosing what they used to do.
وَمَا كُنَّا غَأيِبِينَ
and indeed We have not been absent.
meaning, On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will inform His servants about what they said and did, whether substantial or minor. Certainly, He witnesses to everything, nothing escapes His observation, and He is never unaware of anything. Rather, He has perfect knowledge of what the eyes are deluded by and what the hearts conceal,
وَمَا تَسۡقُطُ مِن وَرَقَةٍ إِلاَّ يَعۡلَمُهَا وَلَا حَبَّةٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتِ الاٌّرۡضِ وَلَا رَطۡبٍ وَلَا يَابِسٍ إِلاَّ فِى كِتَـبٍ مُّبِينٍ
Not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record. (6:59)
The Meaning of weighing the Deeds
وَالۡوَزۡنُ يَوۡمَيِذٍ الۡحَقُّ فَمَن ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوۡلَـيِكَ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُونَ
وَمَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَازِينُهُ فَأُوۡلَـيِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواۡ أَنفُسَهُم بِمَا كَانُواۡ بِأيَاتِنَا يِظۡلِمُونَ
And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful (by entering Paradise). And as for those whose scale will be light, they are those who will lose themselves for their wrongful behavior with Our Ayat.
(And the weighing),
of deeds on the Day of Resurrection,
(will be the true (weighing)),
for Allah will not wrong anyone.
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَنَضَعُ الۡمَوَزِينَ الۡقِسۡطَ لِيَوۡمِ الۡقِيَـمَةِ فَلَ تُظۡلَمُ نَفۡسٌ شَيۡياً وَإِن كَانَ مِثۡقَالَ حَبَّةٍ مِّنۡ خَرۡدَلٍ أَتَيۡنَا بِهَا وَكَفَى بِنَا حَـسِبِينَ
And We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account. (21:47)
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَظۡلِمُ مِثۡقَالَ ذَرَّةٍ وَإِن تَكُ حَسَنَةً يُضَـعِفۡهَا وَيُوۡتِ مِن لَّدُنۡهُ أَجۡراً عَظِيماً
Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward. (4:40)
فَأَمَّا مَن ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَزِينُهُ فَهُوَ فِى عِيشَةٍ رَّاضِيَةٍ وَأَمَّا مَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُمُّهُ هَاوِيَةٌ وَمَأ أَدۡرَاكَ مَا هِيَهۡ نَارٌ حَامِيَةٌ
Then as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise). But as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be light. He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, Hell). And what will make you know what it is (It is) a fiercely blazing Fire! (101:6-11)
فَإِذَا نُفِخَ فِى الصُّورِ فَلَ أَنسَـبَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ يَوۡمَيِذٍ وَلَا يَتَسَأءَلُونَ
فَمَن ثَقُلَتۡ مَوَزِينُهُ فَأُوۡلَـيِكَ هُمُ الۡمُفۡلِحُونَ
وَمَنۡ خَفَّتۡ مَوَزِينُهُ فأُوۡلَـيِكَ الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواۡ أَنفُسَهُمۡ فِى جَهَنَّمَ خَـلِدُونَ
Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. Then, those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose themselves, in Hell will they abide. (23:101-103)
As for what will be placed on the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, it has been said that;
the deeds will be placed on it, even though they are not material objects. Allah will give these deeds physical weight on the Day of Resurrection.
Al-Baghawi said that this was reported from Ibn Abbas.
It is recorded in the Sahih that;
Al-Baqarah (Surah 2) and Al Imran (Surah 3) will come on the Day of Resurrection in the shape of two clouds, or two objects that provide shade, or two lined groups of birds.
It is also recorded in the Sahih that;
the Qur'an will come to its companion (who used to recite and preserve it) in the shape of a pale-faced young man. He will ask (the young man), Who are you?
He will reply, I am the Qur'an, who made you stay up sleeplessly at night and caused you thirst in the day.
The Hadith that Al-Bara' narrated about the questioning in the grave states,
فَيَأۡتِي الۡمُوۡمِنَ شَابٌّ حَسَنُ اللَّوۡنِ طَيِّبُ الرِّيحِ فَيَقُولُ مَنۡ أَنۡتَ
فَيَقُولُ أَنَا عَمَلُكَ الصَّالِح
A young man with fair color and good scent will come to the believer, who will ask, `Who are you?'
He will reply, `I am your good deeds'.
The Prophet mentioned the opposite in the case of the disbeliever and the hypocrite.
It was also said that;
the Book of Records that contains the deeds will be weighed.
A Hadith states that;
a man will be brought forth and ninety-nine scrolls containing errors and sins will be placed on one side of the balance each as long as the sight can reach. He will then be brought a card on which `La ilaha illallah' will be written. He will say, O Lord! What would this card weigh against these scrolls?
Allah will say, You will not be wronged.
So the card will be placed on the other side of the Balance, and as the Messenger of Allah said,
فَطَاشَتِ السِّجِلَّتُ وَثَقُلَتِ الۡبِطَاقَة
Behold! The (ninety-nine) scrolls will go up, as the card becomes heavier.
At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for this Hadith and said that it is authentic.
It was also said that the person who performed the deed will be weighed.
A Hadith states,
يُوۡتَى يَوۡمَ الۡقِيَامَةِ بِالرَّجُلِ السَّمِينِ فَلَ يَزِنُ عِنۡدَ اللهِ جَنَاحَ بَعُوضَة
On the Day of Resurrection, a fat man will be brought forth, but he will not weigh with Allah equal to the wing of a mosquito.
He then recited the Ayah,
فَلَ نُقِيمُ لَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ الۡقِيَـمَةِ وَزۡناً
And on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them. (18:105)
Also, the Prophet said about Abdullah bin Mas`ud,
أَتَعۡجَبُونَ مِنۡ دِقَّةِ سَاقَيۡهِ وَالَّذِي نَفۡسِي بِيَدِهِ لَهُمَا فِي الۡمِيزَانِ أَثۡقَلُ مِنۡ أُحُد
Do you wonder at the thinness of his legs? By He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are heavier on the Balance than (Mount) Uhud.
It is also possible to combine the meanings of these Ayat and Hadiths by stating that all this will truly occur, for sometimes the deeds will be weighed, sometimes the scrolls where they are recorded will be weighed, and sometimes those who performed the deeds will be weighed.
Allah knows best.
All Bounties in the Heavens and Earth are for the Benefit of Mankind
وَلَقَدۡ مَكَّنَّاكُمۡ فِي الَارۡضِ وَجَعَلۡنَا لَكُمۡ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ قَلِيلً مَّا تَشۡكُرُونَ
And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little thanks do you give.
Allah reminds of His favor on His servants in that He made the earth a fixed place for dwelling, placed firm mountains and rivers on it and made homes and allowed them to utilize its benefits. Allah made the clouds work for them (bringing rain) so that they may produce their sustenance from them. He also created the ways and means of earnings, commercial activities and other professions. Yet, most of them give little thanks for this.
Allah said in another Ayah,
وَإِن تَعُدُّواۡ نِعۡمَةَ اللَّهِ لَا تُحۡصُوهَا إِنَّ الانۡسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
And if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed a wrongdoer, an ingrate. (14:34)
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