Category Archives: Tafsir

Tafseer (Commentary) of Surah Yaseen (Part 12)

After being reprimanded in this way, Allah will then announce  the painful punishment which He has prepared for them. He will say to them:

36:63

36:64

  1. This is Hell which you were promised!
  2. Burn therein this Day, for that you used to disbelieve.

About the punishment they will be made to enter, Allah will say that such is the blazing fire of Hell which the Messengers had warned them about, and promised that if they did not believe in Allah, they will be made to enter the abode of Hell. Allah will then order them to enter the Fire, and taste the severe and intense heat, and burn in the fire which they denied on the face of the earth.

Having mentioned the state of the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement, Allah continues in verse 65 to describe the manner in which evidences shall be established against the unbelievers on the Day of Reckoning. The verse states:

36:65

  1. This Day, We shall seal up their mouths, and their hands will speak to Us, and their legs will bear witness to what they used to earn.

The commentators have stated that on the Day of Judgement, the unbelievers will deny their kufr and shirk. Their neighbours, family members and household would testify against them, but they will swear oaths that they did not commit shirk. Upon this, their mouths shall be sealed up, and their hands and feet will begin to speak. (Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 78 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

While commenting on this verse, Hafiz IbnKatheer (A.R) has stated, ‘This shall be the state of the unbelievers and hypocrites on the Day of Judgement when they will deny the sins they perpetrated in the world. They will swear that they did not do wrong actions, hence, Allah will seal their mouths and demand their limbs to speak of their deeds’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 289 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya Beirut 2013)

The verse explains that their mouths shall be covered with a seal so that they may not speak, and their limbs will begin to speak. Their hands and feet will bear witness to the bad deeds they did. Another verse of the Quran states, ‘Till when they reach the Hell fire, their ears and their eyes, and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do’. (Sura Fussilat verse 20). This shows that different parts of the body and limbs will be given the power of speech on the Day of Judgement. With this, the limbs will testify to the wrong actions that a person did in the world.

Another verse of the Quran states, ‘The Day when their tongues, their hands and their legs will testify against them with regard to what they did’. (Sura An Nur (24) verse 24). These verses tell us that various limbs will speak and testify to the actions of man at different times. As mentioned by the commentators, there will be various stages on the Day of Judgement, and each verse describes a different stage. Sometimes the mouth (tongue) will be sealed so that other limbs may testify, and at other times, the tongue will be allowed to confess and admit the sins committed.

In a tradition narrated by Abu Moosa Ash’ari (R.A), it is stated that ‘A believer shall be summoned for reckoning on the Day of Judgement. His Lord shall then present his deeds before him which is known between him and Allah. The believer will then confess to all his deeds and say, ‘Yes, O my Lord! I have done such. I have done such. I have done such’. Upon this, Allah will forgive his sins and shall conceal them. No one will be able to see those deeds. Allah will then make his good deeds apparent, and he (the believer) would wish that everyone see his good deeds.

An unbeliever/ hypocrite shall then be called for reckoning, and Allah will present his deeds before him. Upon seeing his deeds, he will deny them and will say, ‘O My Lord, by Your Honour, the angel has written against me actions which I did not do’. The angel will say, ‘Did you not do such, on such day, at such place?’ The person will say, ‘No, by Your Honour, O Lord, I have not done this’. When this will be done, a seal shall be placed over his mouth, and his limbs shall speak’. (Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 31 Dar Ihya At Turath Beirut 2001).

In another tradition, Anas bin Malik (R.A) narrates, ‘We were with the Messenger of Allah ﷺand suddenly he smiled. He then said, ‘Do you know what makes me smile?’ We said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best’. He (the Prophet ﷺ) then said, ‘I smiled on account of the servant’s address to his Lord (on the Day of Judgement). On that Day, the servant will say, ‘O my Lord, have you not granted me protection against injustice? Allah will say, ‘Yes, I have’. The servant will say, ‘Then, I will not allow any witness against me, except from my own self’. Allah will say, ‘Today, you will be sufficient as a witness against your own self, and the Kiraman Kaatibeen (the recording angels) shall be witnesses against you’. Allah will then put a seal on the servant’s mouth, and it shall be said to the limbs, ‘Speak’. The limbs will begin to speak of the deeds of the servant’. (Recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh)

In another tradition narrated by Abu Hurairah (R.A), it states that, ‘then a third person shall be brought. Allah will say to him, ‘What were you upon?’ He will say, ‘I am your servant. I believed in You, Your Prophet and Your Book. I fasted, performed Salaah and gave Sadaqah (charity)’. The man will continue to praise the good things he did as much as he can. It shall then be said, ‘Shall We not raise against you Our witness?’ The servant will begin to ponder as to who will bear witness against him. Allah will then seal his mouth, and say to his thigh, flesh and bones, ‘Speak’. The thigh, flesh and bones will begin to speak of the actions of the servant, and this will make the person incapable. He will be a hypocrite, and one on whom Allah’s anger has descended’. (Recorded by Imam Muslim in his Saheeh – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 45-46 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 290)

In another tradition, Uqba bin Aamir (R.A) states that he heard the Prophet (S.A) saying, ‘Certainly, the first limb of a man which will speak on the Day when mouths shall be sealed will be his thigh from the left foot’. (Ahmad; Ibn Abi Hatim – Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 290 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya; Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 31 Dar Ihya At Turath Al Arabi Beirut 2001; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 36 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

These Ahadith have given a detailed explanation regarding the speaking of the limbs on the Day of Judgement, as mentioned in different verses of the Quran. These limbs will be given the power and ability to speak on that Day, and so, they shall speak of the actions committed by man. In this regard, the Quran states: And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, so they will be collected there (the first and the last).Till, when they reach it (Hell-fire), their hearing (ears) and their eyes, and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.And they will say to their skins, “Why do you testify against us?” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak, as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time, and to Him you are made to return.” (Sura Fussilat verses 19-21)

With respect to the reason for sealing the mouths and ordering the limbs to speak on the Day of Judgement, the commentators have given different reasons for this. Some have stated that this will occur since the unbelievers and mushrikeen (polytheists) will swear oaths that they did not commit shirk. They will say, ‘By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah’. (Sura An’am verse 23). On account of this, Allah will seal their mouths so that their limbs can reveal the truth of what they did. Some commentators have stated that this state will come about so that those gathered on the Day of Judgement will recognize the wickedness and evil deeds of the wrongdoers and will separate themselves from them.

Another explanation which has been given is that this will take place due to the fact that confessions made by the limbs which cannot speak, is stronger in evidence than confessions made by a limb that can speak. Thus, the speaking of the limbs of a person on the Day of Judgement shall be a greater testimony against him than his speaking with the tongue. Some have stated that the speaking of the limbs (besides the tongue) will show that the same limbs which were used by a person as a help for him in committing wrong deeds, shall become a witness against him for Allah on the Day of Judgement. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 46 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

Sura Yaseen goes further in verse 66 and states:

36:66

  1. And if it had been Our Will, We would surely have wiped out (blinded) their eyes, so that they would struggle for the Path, how then would they see?

The verse explains that if Allah had willed, He would have blinded them and then they would have struggled to find a path. But then, how would they be able to see at that time? While commenting on this verse, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) says, it means that Allah is saying, ‘If We had so wished, We could have made them blind to guidance. Then, they would never be able to be guided to the path of truth’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 47 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

Other great commentators like Hasan Basri have stated, it means that if Allah had so wished, He would have blotted out their eyes and leave them in a state of blindness, wobbling and staggering in their movements. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 290 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya Beirut 2013). Qatada has stated, it means that if Allah had so wished, he would have left them in the state of blindness, wavering from side to side. (Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 32)

After quoting various commentaries of the great exegetes of the Quran, Hafiz Ibn Jareer At Tabari (A.R) concludes by saying, ‘The opinions of Hasan Basri and Qatada are closer to the explanation and interpretation of the verse. It is so because (in this verse) Allah has threatened the unbelievers. Hence, there is no reason for Allah to say, ‘If We had so wished We would have misguided them’, when they were already misguided (unbelievers). But the message (of threat) to them is that Allah has stated, ‘If We had so wished, We would have punished them for their disbelief and blotted out their eyes, so they would become blind, not able to see the pathway, nor would they be guided to the right path’. (Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 32 Dar Ihya At Turath Al Arabi Beirut 2001)

This explanation has also been endorsed by Imam Qurtubi in his commentary. While discussing the verse, he said, ‘The meaning of the verse is that Allah has stated, ‘If We had so wished, We would have made them blind. In this way, they would not be able to see the path in discharging their duties and functions by going to their homes or other places’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 47). Thus, the verse sends a message to the unbelievers that Allah is All Powerful over mankind. He can punish people in whatever manner He likes, and besides the punishment in the Hereafter, He can also punish people in this world. Hence, if it is His will, He can obliterate the eyes of the unbelievers for their kufr and shirk, and leave them in total blindness. This is not difficult for Him to do.

Sura Yaseen continues in verse 67 and states:

36:67

  1. And if it had been Our Will, We could have transformed them (into animals or lifeless objects) in their places. Then they should have been unable to go forward (move about) nor they could have turned back.

In this verse, Allah explains that He can punish the wrongdoers in different ways, whenever He wishes to do so. In the previous verse, He mentioned that if He wanted, He could have made them blind, and they would not have been able to see anything. In this verse, He mentions that if He wished, He can transform them into other creatures. He has full control over them, and hence, on account of their disbelief and shirk, He can change their appearance and transfigure them into pigs and apes, just as He did with previous nations. In this way, they would be totally deprived of their senses and abilities, and will then be unable to move about.

While commenting on this verse, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) says, ‘It means that if Allah wishes, He can destroy them in their homes and residences’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 48 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan; Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 34 Dar Ihya Turath Al Arabi Beirut). Other commentators have explained that it means that if Allah had wished, He would have transfigured them at the places where they have committed the sins. It is also possible that this may occur on the Day of Judgement when Allah will blot out the eyes of the unbelievers while they are crossing the bridge, as stated by some Scholars. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi – (Al Jami li Ahkaam Al Quran vol.15 pg. 48 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

 

A famous commentary of this verse which has been given by Hasan and Qatada is that Allah says, ‘If it had been Our will, We would have made them sit on their feet. In this way, they would not have been able to move forward or backward’. (Tafseer At Tabari – (Jami Al Bayan an Taweel Aaya Al Quran) vol.23 pg. 33 Dar Ihya At Turath; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 48). The above were threats given by Allah to those who continue to remain upon disbelief.

Sura Yaseen goes further in verse 68 and states:

36:68

  1. And he whom We grant long life, We reverse him in creation (weakness after strength). Will they not then understand?

Here, in this verse Allah gives a clear proof that He is All Able to transfigure people and transform them into different creatures. He also has the ability to blot out their sight and make them blind. The clear proof given in this verse is that Allah shows man that in his lifetime many changes take place which take him to weakness and losing of his faculties. All these changes which reverse man to a state similar to that of a child are done only by Allah. Therefore, He alone has full control and power over His entire creation.

That which is witnessed by man is that he is created in a state where he is weak in body, and devoid of intelligence and knowledge. Allah then increases him in strength, ability and intelligence, and takes him from one state to another, until He reaches him to full maturity and complete strength. Man thus becomes intelligent and knowledgeable, and understands what is beneficial for him and others. However, when he reaches the peak of his strength, intelligence and ability, Allah reverses him in creation. At that time, he gradually begins to decrease; his faculties become weaker, he slowly becomes deaf, weak sighted and weak in physical strength. He eventually loses his understanding and declines to a state similar to that of a child. These are conditions that are witnessed by every human being in their daily lives and they give a clear indication to the fact that just as Allah takes man from one state to another, so too, He can completely transfigure a person and transform him into another creature. (Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 79, 80 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

The verse explains that whomsoever Allah grants long life to, He changes him in stages and reverses him in creation, until he becomes like a child, having no knowledge and understanding. While commenting on this verse, the great Mufassir, Qatada (A.R) says, ‘A man is reversed to old age which resembles the state of childhood. Thus, long life makes the youth an old person. It changes strength into weakness and brings decrease to growth’. (Safwah At Tafaseer vol.13 pg. 60 Dar Al Quran Al Kareem)

Hafiz Ibn Katheer (A.R) has given a beautiful message while explaining this verse (i.e. 68) and has stated, ‘Here, Allah informs about the children of Adam and says that whenever his life is lengthened, he is returned to weakness after possessing strength, and inability after possessing energy. It is the same as Allah has said, ‘Allah is He who created you in (a state of) weakness then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave you weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And it is He who is the All Knowing, the All Powerful’ (Ar Ruum v.54). Allah has also stated, ‘And among you there is he who is brought back to the miserable old age, so that he knows nothing after having known’. (Sura Al Hajj v.5)

(After quoting these) Hafiz Ibn Katheer (A.R) writes, ‘the message of these, and Allah knows best, is to inform (man) that this world is one which is moving and will come to an end. It is not one which will continue (to exist) or remain forever. It is for this reason, Allah says (in verse 68 of Sura Yaseen, after mentioning that man will be reversed in creation), ‘Will they not understand?’ It means that they should ponder over their states in the beginning of their creation. Then they were changed to youth and maturity and then to old age. From this, they must know that they were created for another world. In that world, they would not be moved, nor would they come to an end, and that is the world of the Hereafter’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer (Tafseer Al Quran Al Adheem) vol.5 pg. 291 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi Beirut 2013)

Sura Yaseen continues in verse 69 and states:

  1. And We have not taught him (Muhammad ) poetry, nor is it meet for him. This is only a Reminder and a plain Qur’an.

Here, in this verse Allah makes it abundantly clear that He did not teach the Prophet (S.A) poetry, nor was it fitting for a Prophet. The Quran is a revelation from Allah. It is a message of truth, a Reminder, and a book of guidance which is free from poetry.

While explaining this verse, Imam Qurtubi writes, ‘Allah refutes the statement of the unbelievers who said that the Prophet (S.A) was a poet. He was not a poet and the Quran was not poetry. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 48). The statement of the unbelievers that the Quran was poetry and that the Prophet (S.A) was a poet was done in an effort to deny the Quran as the speech of Allah, and to deny the Prophet (S.A) as a Messenger of Allah with whom Allah communicates. Since poetry was composed of a speech that is beautified and measured, and it was based on baseless thoughts and delusive imaginations, they wanted to tell the Prophet (S.A) that the Quran was nothing but imaginary tales and stories of the old. In the verse, Allah outrightly refuted their false notion about the Holy Quran, and categorically stated that He did not teach the Prophet (S.A) poetry, nor did He reveal poetry to the Prophet (S.A). In truth, it was the Holy Quran, a Reminder to man, which was sent to the Prophet (S.A).

Tafseer (Commentary) of Surah Yaseen (Part 11)

36:51

  1. And the Trumpet will be blown (i.e. the second blowing) and behold! From the graves they will come out quickly to their Lord.

The commentators have stated that this verse speaks about the second sound of the trumpet. When this happens, the graves will open and the dead bodies will rise up and walk quickly to their Lord. While commenting on this verse (v. 51), the great exegete, Imam Qurtubi writes, ‘This is the second blowing of the trumpet. We have already explained in Sura Naml that there are two blowings of the trumpet and not three. This verse gives an evidence for this. Mubarak bin Fadhala has narrated from Hasan that he narrated that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘There will be a span of forty years between the two blowings of the trumpet. Through the first blowing, Allah will cause every living being to die, and with the second blowing, Allah will cause every dead being to live again’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 38 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

Verse 52 goes further to mention what the unbelievers will say when they will come out of their graves. The verse states:

36:52

  1. They will say: “Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of sleep.” (It will be said to them): “This is what the Most Beneficent (Allah) had promised, and the Messengers spoke truth!”

It means that, at that time, they will enquire as to who had raised them and taken them out from their place of sleep. They will be sad that they are out of their graves and will say, ‘Oh! Woe unto us, who has taken us out from our graves’. Here, they will refer to their graves as a place of sleep since they will realize that the punishment that awaits them on the Day of Judgement will be more severe than that which they experienced in their graves. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 286 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya)

In response to their query, the angels or the believers will say to them, ‘This is what the Most Gracious (Allah) had promised, and the Messengers have spoken the truth’. They will be told that what they will experience of the resurrection after death, the accounting and the requital, are from among those matters which Allah had promised, and the Messengers were truthful in conveying such information to them.

SuraYaseen continues in verse 53 and states:

36:53

  1. It will be but a single Saihah (shout, etc.), so behold! They will all be brought up before Us!

Here, Allah makes it clear to the unbelievers that the matter of Resurrection is nothing difficult for Him. It is only one shout which will be given by Israfeel (A.S) and with that, everyone will be gathered before Him.

According to the commentators, the ‘shout’ which is mentioned in the verse refers to the statement of Israfeel (A.S) which he will utter to the dead bodies. He will address the bodies and say, ‘O rotten bones; disconnected joints; separated parts and shredded hairs, your Lord has ordered you to gather for the decision of His decree’. Upon this, he will then blow the trumpet, and with it, all will be gathered on the plain of Reckoning’.

It is about this, Allah says in Sura Qaaf, ‘The Day when they will hear the shout in truth; that will be the Day of coming out (from the graves)’. (Sura Qaaf verse 42)(Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 40, 41; Hashiya As Saawi vol.3 pg. 328; Safwah At Tafaseer vol.13 pg. 56, 57).

SuraYaseen goes further in verse 54 and states:

36:54

  1. This Day (Day of Resurrection), none will be wronged in anything, nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do.

The verse speaks about the Day of Judgement and tells us that on that Day no soul shall be wronged. No injustice and unfairness will be shown to anyone. Whosoever has done an atom’s weight of good shall see it, and whoever has done an atom’s weight of evil/bad/sin shall also see it. No one will pay for the deeds of another, and no one will receive less than what he deserves of rewards and goodness. On that Day, every person shall be requited for what he did of good or bad.

As mentioned by some commentators, the above statement of the verse will be said to the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement when they see the punishment which has been prepared for them. At that time they will be told, ‘This Day none will be wronged in anything, nor will you be requited anything except that which you used to do’. This will be said to them as a confirmation of what they used to hear about the punishment in the Hereafter, and as a rebuke to them. (Safwah At Tafseer vol.13 pg. 57 Dar Al Quran Al Kareem Beirut 1981)

Having mentioned about the Day of Judgement and the nature of justice which will be done on that Day, Allah goes further in SuraYaseen to mention the states of the fortunate believers and the unfortunate unbelievers. He mentions that which will take place in the Hereafter when each group will go towards that which has been prepared for them of rewards (blessings) or punishments. Some commentators have mentioned that these verses bear statements which will be said to the believers and unbelievers on the Day of Judgement. Narrating these statements is meant to increase one’s certainty and belief in the matters of the Hereafter, and an encouragement to do deeds of goodness and righteousness.

In this regard, Allah says about the believers in verses 55-58:

36:55

36:56

36:57

36:58

  1. Verily, the dwellers of the Paradise, that Day, will be busy in joyful things.
  2. They and their wives will be in pleasant shade, reclining on thrones.
  3. They will have therein fruits (of all kinds) and all that they ask for.
  4. (It will be said to them): Salamun (peace be on you), a Word from the Lord (Allah), Most Merciful.

These verses explain the joy and happiness the believers will be in on the Day of  Reckoning. Verse 55 mentions that they will be busy with joyful things. They will have happiness of their hearts and happiness of their surroundings. They will be extremely happy and delighted with the bounties which they will receive from Allah. The fruits, foods and drinks of Paradise will bring joy, felicity and bliss to them. They will be so pre-occupied with the pleasures of Paradise that it will make them totally unaffected by the punishments in the fire of Hell. In Paradise, there will be no pain, grief and worry. They will be free from every thought of being punished in the fire of Hell. Their pre-occupation in the joys of Paradise would make them inattentive and oblivious of what will take place with the dwellers of Hell. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 286 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi; Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 75 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

Verse 56 mentions that while in the eternal bliss of Paradise, the dwellers in Paradise will be with their wives in shade while reclining on thrones. They would be under the shade of the trees in Paradise with their wives (from the world and of Paradise) on raised couches which have been woven with gold and precious stones.

Verse 57 explains that for the people of Paradise, there will be fruits of all kinds and they will have whatever they ask for. Fruits of every type will be made available to them  which they will have full access to. Besides this, whatever they desire, they will get it in Paradise. Another verse explains this and states, ‘And in Paradise, there shall be whatever the hearts desire and whatever pleases the eyes’. (Sura Zukhruf verse 71)

While in Paradise, the dwellers will be honoured to receive the greeting of peace from Allah and from the  angels. Some commentators of the Holy Quran have stated that Allah will greet the people of Paradise with the greetings of peace via the angels, and will also do so directly. This will be done in recognition of their exalted position and will also be the desire of the people in Paradise. Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) says, ‘The angels will come to them with greetings from their Lord’. (Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 76 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

It is also narrated that the Prophet (S.A) said, ‘While the people of Paradise will be engrossed in the bounties of Paradise, a light will suddenly shine above them. They will then lift their heads and to their utter amazement they will behold their Lord, the High, who will look down upon them from above. Allah will say to them, ‘Assalaamu Alaikum O people of Paradise’. This is the verse in which it is stated, ‘Salaam, a word from the Lord, Most Merciful’. The Prophet (S.A) then said, ‘Allah will look at them, and they will look at Him. They will not turn their attention to anything from the bounties of Paradise as long as they keep on looking at Him. This will continue until Allah conceals Himself from them, but His light and barakah (blessings) shall remain with them in their homes in Paradise’. (Ibn Majah, Bazaar, Abu Nu’aim, Baihaqi – Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 287 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi Beirut)

Having mentioned the state of the fortunate, righteous believers and their state of joy in the bounties of Paradise, SuraYaseen goes further in verses 59-62 to highlight the woeful plight of the unbelievers.

 

Verses 59-62 state:

36:59

36:60

36:61

36:62

  1. (It will be said): “And O you AlMujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, disbelievers, wicked evil ones, etc.)! Get you apart this Day (from the believers).
  2. Did I not ordain for you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaitan (Satan). Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.
  3. And that you should worship Me. That is a Straight Path.
  4. And indeed he (Satan) did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did you not, then, understand?

These verses mention the statements which will be said to the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement. These will be said at the time when they will stand for questioning, and the believers will be ordered to go to Paradise. Allah will say to them, ‘O unbelievers and sinners! Separate yourselves and get apart from the believers’. Allah will order them to get apart and stand separate since all will be gathered together on the Day of Hashr (gathering). At that time, Allah will order them to be separate from the believers. When they would separate themselves, Allah will ask them in a rebuking manner, ‘Did I not order you and advised you through My Messengers that you must not obey Satan. You were told that he was your open enemy? Did I not order you to worship Me alone and that you should follow My orders, since this was the right path?’

These are from the statements which will be said to the unbelievers on the Day of Judgement, to reprimand them for having disobeyed Allah and obeyed Satan.

Verse 62 explains that they will further be condemned by Allah for having allowed Satan to misguide  them, and having allowed him to take them away from the path of truth. They will be reproached sternly for not using their intelligence and understanding to protect themselves against Satan. Allah will say to them, ‘And indeed Satan did lead astray a great multitude of you. Did you not, then, understand?’

After being reprimanded in this way, Allah will then announce  the painful punishment which He has prepared for them.

Tafseer Of Surah Yaseen (Part 10)

Sura Yaseen goes further in verse 47 to mention another trait of the unbelievers. The verse states:

36:47

  1. And when it is said to them: “Spend of that with which Allah has provided you,” those who disbelieve say to those who believe: “Shall we feed those whom, if Allah willed, He (Himself) would have fed? You are only in a plain error.”

The verse explains that whenever the unbelievers were exhorted to spend some of that which Allah had given to them to the poor and needy, they would say to the poor believers, ‘Should we spend our wealth on these needy ones whom Allah has made poor?’ After saying this, they would tell the believers that they were in plain error for requesting them to do this.

While explaining this verse, some exegetes have stated that in Makka, when some slaves and poor relatives of the unbelievers accepted Islam, they (the unbelievers) immediately stopped the assistance which they used to give to them before. Upon this, some believers encouraged them to be kind to these poor Muslims, as they were their own slaves and relatives. However, they became annoyed with this advice and retorted, ‘Why should we feed those whom, if Allah willed, He would have fed’. (Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 72)

Regarding the revelation of the verse, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) said, ‘There were some unbelievers who lived in Makka. When they were ordered to give charity to the poor, they said, ‘No, by Allah! (We will not give). Should Allah make them poor and then we must feed them?’ It is stated that they used to hear the believers attaching all the actions of Allah to His wishes. As such, they (the believers) would often say, ‘If Allah wishes, He can make so and so wealthy’. ‘If He wishes, He will grant honour to so and so, and if He wishes He can do so and so’. Therefore, based on these statements, as a mockery to the believers, the unbelievers would say, ‘If Allah wished to make someone poor, why should we feed him’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 36; Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 72)

The objective of the statement of the unbelievers was to refute the belief which the believers had about Allah. It was as if they were saying to the believers, ‘If the matter is as you say, that Allah is the Sustainer and Provider and that He is All Powerful, then He would have fed the poor and needy people. Why are you asking us to feed them?’

In response to this trend of thought, the great commentator, As Sabooni writes, ‘These ignorant and foolish unbelievers could not understand that the treasures of  provisions are in the hands of the Creator, and that He has made some of His creation wealthy and some poor, as a test and trial to everyone. He looks to see how the wealthy will spend his wealth and how grateful he will be, and looks to see how patient and forbearing the poor ones would be. Allah has withheld the worldly goods from the poor, not on account of stinginess, and Has ordered the wealthy  ones to spend their wealth, without having any need for that wealth. Both are trials sent upon man, and Allah does whatever He wishes. No one can object to His decree and His judgement’. (Safwah At Tafaseer vol.13 pg. 55 Dar Al Quran Al Kareem Beirut 1981)

Imam Qurtubi has also explained that such statements made by the unbelievers are absurd. It is so because whenever Allah makes a person the owner of wealth, and then places the right (Haqq) of another person in that wealth, then it means that Allah has already taken (seized) that amount (of the right) from the wealth of the wealthy person. Hence, there cannot be any objection against the law of spending one’s wealth on the poor and needy and giving one’s charity to them, since their rights (of receiving assistance) have already been apportioned in the wealth of the well-to-do persons. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 36 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

SuraYaseen continues in verse 48 and states:

36:48

  1. And they say: “When will this promise (i.e. Resurrection) be fulfilled, if you are truthful?”

Here, Allah mentions that the polytheists rejected the belief in the hereafter, and thought that the Day of Judgement/Reckoning would not come. They would often come to the Prophet (s.a.s) and asked him to tell them when the Judgement Day will come, which he used to warn them about. They also requested him to tell them when the punishment will come which he told  them about. They demanded an answer from him, saying that if he was true in his claim that there will be resurrection, judgement, reckoning and punishment in the hereafter, then he must tell them when these will occur.

The polytheists (Mushrikeen) and unbelievers made those requests to the Prophet (S.A), insisting that he tells them when these matters will occur, in an effort to show that he was fabricating these claims and that they were justified in denying the belief regarding the hereafter.

The commentators have also stated that when they were told in verse 45 to ‘Beware of that which is before you and that which is behind you’, they mockingly said to the Prophet (S.A), ‘When will this promise be fulfilled, if you are truthful’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 36 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan). In other words, they were not interested in finding out the truth regarding these occurrences, nor were they trying to reach the reality of these matters. Instead, it was a way of taunting the Muslims and making fun of them.

In response to their request of knowing when the Judgement/Resurrection/Punishment from Allah will come, Allah revealed to the Prophet (S.A):

36:49

  1. They await only but a single Saihah (shout, etc.), which will seize them while they are disputing!

Here, Allah makes it clear to them that their rejection of the Day of Judgement and their not being aware of the time of its coming, will not affect the Day of Judgement from coming. Regardless of their  disbelief in it, the Judgement/Resurrection will surely come, and in a similar manner, all that which have been promised of the punishment of Allah and the matters of the hereafter will take place.

Allah says that ‘they await only but a single shout which will seize them while they are disputing’. It means that while they will be in their state of denial and will be arguing about it and other worldly matters, they will suddenly be seized with a loud violent scream which will bring an abrupt end to them. The sound will be so terrible that it will destroy and end the life of all living things. About their state at that time, Allah says:

36:50

  1. Then they will not be able to make bequest, nor they will return to their family.

It means that they will be dead, lying flat on the ground and motionless. They will not be able to make a bequest of that which they possessed, nor would they be able to return to their family and their homes. With respect to what the loud scream/sound is, the exegetes of the Holy Quran have stated that it is the first blowing of the trumpet (horn).

In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Katheer writes, ‘The trumpet/horn (soor) will be blown and this blowing will be that of Israfeel (A.S), which will strike terror in the hearts of people and make them unconscious (dead). At that time, the people will be in the market places, engaged in their jobs, and will be caught up in their habitual arguments and disputes. At that time, while they will be busy with their affairs, Allah will order Israfeel (A.S) who will then blow the trumpet/horn (soor). He will stretch the sound and will lengthen it. With this terrifying and dreadful sound, no one will remain on the face of the earth except that he will fall dead to the ground. At this time of sudden destruction, no one will be given the respite to return to their families and homes, nor will they be granted the respite to make a will regarding their properties’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 286 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya Beirut 2013)

It is mentioned in a hadith that two men will be busy in buying and selling cloth and they would have already spread out the cloth before them. However, the hour of Judgement will suddenly come upon them even before they can fold it up. Another man will be plastering his water tank in order to give his animals water to drink, but the hour of Judgement will suddenly come upon him before he can give the animals water. Another man will place a morsel of food in his mouth, but the hour of Judgement will suddenly come upon him before he can swallow the food. (Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 37 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

Tafseer Of Surah Yaseen (Part 9)

Having mentioned Allah’s great favours to man by providing conveyances on land and at sea,  verses 43 and 44 go further to explain to man that he is totally dependent on Allah, and even though he may wish to use Allah favours to his advantage and forget about Him, He (Allah) still has full control over him and  can destroy him at any time. The verses state:

36:43

36:44

  1. And if We will, We shall drown them, and there will be no shout (or helper) for them (to hear their cry for help) nor will they be saved.
  2. Unless it be a mercy from Us, and as an enjoyment for a while.

The verse explains that if Allah wishes to drown people when they are at the sea, then He can do so whenever He wishes. No one can stop Him or overturn His decree. At that time, if they shout and cry for help, no one will be able to help them, come to their rescue or save them. In that state, the only One who can help them is Allah. Only if Allah showers His mercy on those who are on the verge of destruction, can they be saved from Him. Besides this, there is no other way of being saved. In this case, if they are saved, then it will be for a while until death overtakes them at its fixed time.

Having presented evidences of His divine power and ability, and shown His kindness to man, Allah goes further in verses 45 and 46 to highlight the state of the unbelievers where they were blind to the truth and were opposed to guidance and faith (Imaan). He says:

36:45

36:46

  1. And when it is said to them: “Beware of that which is before you and that which is behind you, in order that you may receive Mercy.
  2. And never came an Ayah from among the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord to them, but they did turn away from it.

The verses explain that when the unbelievers were told to beware and be afraid of the punishment and wrath of Allah that was before them and that which was behind them, and take a lesson from what came to the nations of the past (on account of their denial of the truth), so that mercy can be shown to them, they turned away from such warnings and became arrogant. It means that if they had taken the warnings given, and had believed in Allah and His Messenger, then Allah would have accepted  their repentance and belief, and would have protected  them from the punishment of this world and the Hereafter. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 285)

However, instead of paying heed to the warnings, the unbelievers turned a ‘blind-eye’ to what was said and remained deep-rooted in their disbelief. In fact, their conduct was such that whenever a warning was given to them, and a sign came to them which had sufficient evidence upon the truth, they turned away in opposition, denial and rejection. (Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 17)

While explaining this verse, some commentators of the Holy Quran have stated that the statement, ‘Beware of  that which is before you’ means ‘fear those punishments and incidents that came to the nations of the past’ and ‘that which is behind you’ means to fear the Hereafter. This explanation has been given by Qatada and Maqatil (A.R).

Other great exegetes like Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A), Ibn Jubair and Mujahid have stated that ‘Beware of  that which is before you’ means ‘fear the sins which you have done in the past’, and ‘Beware of  that which is behind you’ means ‘fear the consequences of the sins which may be committed in the future’. Hasan Basri (A.R) has stated, ‘that which is in front of you’ means ‘the sins which occurred on one’s account’ and ‘that which is behind you’ means ‘that which still remain of one’s sins’.

Some commentators have stated, ‘that which is in front of you’ means ‘that punishment which comes in the world’ and ‘that which is behind you’ means ‘that which is in the Hereafter’. Some have also stated ‘that which is before you’ means ‘the matter of the hereafter and what they (the unbelievers) have done for it’, and ‘that which is behind you’ means ‘the matters of this world which they were supposed to be careful of and should not have been deceived by it’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 35 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan; Tafseer At Tabari vol.23 pg. 17 Dar Ihya At Turath; Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 72 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

All the above explanations are well accepted since the unbelievers were all warned and told to beware of the punishment of this world which may come to them, and that of the Hereafter which they will suffer on account of their kufr (disbelief). They were warned repeatedly about committing sins, and were told that they must not be deceived by the beauties and joy of the worldly life. They were constantly reminded to look at the nations of the past who were punished severely for their disbelief in Allah and His Messengers, and were requested to take lessons from such occurrences. However, notwithstanding the many warnings and reminders which were given, the unbelievers never paid heed to the teachings of Islam, and so they had to suffer the punishment for their deeds.

 

 

Tafseer of Surah Yaseen (Part 8)

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTVnvTIV9u8

 

SuraYaseen continues in verse 39 and states:

36:39

  1. And the moon, We have measured for it mansions (to traverse) till it returns like the old dried curved date stalk.

Here, it is mentioned that Allah has fixed stages for the moon. The moon moves/travels through different points until it completes its orbit. The moon completes its orbit in one month, and on account of the movement of the moon through these stages/mansions,  the different lunar months are recognized. In its orbit, the moon goes through 28 mansions in 28 nights. Every night it reaches to a different mansion (manzil) without straying away from that mansion or crossing its limit. When the moon reaches the last mansion, it becomes thin and curve like a bow. It is about this, the verse refers to when it states, ‘until it returns like the old dried curved date stalk’. This statement describes the state of the moon at the end of the month when it has passed the 28 mansions which Allah has fixed for it as its course. At this time, the moon withdraws from the stage of the full moon to the extent that it becomes in the shape of an old dried date stalk which is curved.

While commenting on the above verse, Hafiz Ibn Katheer has stated that Allah has made another travel/journey for the moon (other than the sun) which serves as a guide for the passing of the months just as the night and the day are known through the sun. Allah has made  the sun with its specific light, and has made  the moon with its unique brightness, and has made a difference between the travel/course of both these bodies.

The Sun rises everyday and sets at the end of the day upon the same one light. However, it moves in its place of rising and setting in summer and winter. On account of this, the day becomes long and the night is short. Then the night becomes long and the day is short. The authority/sway of the sun is therefore at daytime. It is for this reason, the sun is known to be the star of the day. As for the moon, Allah has fixed mansions/stations for it. It rises on the first night of the month being bright with a small amount of light. It then increases in light on the second night and rises to another mansion. Then, when it goes up to another station, it increases in light even though its light is achieved from the sun. This continues until its light/brightness becomes full/complete on the 14th night. After this, it begins to decrease until it becomes like an old dried curved date stalk, then it begins as anew in the beginning of another month. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 284 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiya Beirut 2013)

SuraYaseen continues in verse 40 and states:

36:40

  1. It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.

The verse speaks about the control which Allah has over the celestial bodies and that nothing can stray/move away from the order which He has fixed for it. Allah explains in the verse that it is not possible for the sun to catch up with the moon or meet it, so that it may remove its light. This is impossible, and it cannot happen, since Allah has already stipulated a course for each of these bodies. The night also cannot outstrip/surpass the day so that it takes away its light and brings about total darkness over the earth. Each has its fixed time which it must fulfill.

While commenting on this verse, the great exegete, Ikrimah says, ‘Each one of these bodies has an authority. It therefore cannot happen that the sun rises at night. Similarly, when the night appears, then another night cannot come until a day appears. The authority of the sun is at the day and the authority of the moon is at night’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 284)

At the end of the verse, it states, ‘They all float in an orbit’. It means that each of the heavenly bodies float and swim through space, each moving in its own orbit. While commenting on this, Hasan says, ‘The sun, moon and stars are all in an orbit between the sky and the earth. These are not attached and firmly fixed on anything. If these were firmly attached, they would not move’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 33)

As mentioned by the commentators, ‘the objective of mentioning this verse is to explain and show the power and capability of Allah over these heavenly bodies. The sun, the moon and all stars are in their own motion. They do not exceed their movements nor do they go against their fixed course of travel/journey. Each has a limit and a point which it cannot exceed, nor can it stop short of it in its movements. These celestial bodies will continue on the course which Allah has fixed for them until the day of the destruction of the universe. At that time, life will end on the earthly planet.

SuraYaseen continues in verse 41 and states:

36:41

  1. And an Ayah (sign) for them is that We bore their offspring in the laden ship [of Nuh (Noah)].

Here, Allah places another manifest sign of His great power and ability for man to consider. The sign given is that of carrying the progeny of Adam (A.S) in the boat/ship. This refers to the favour of Allah which He bestowed upon Nuh (A.S) and his followers when He saved them from the destruction of the flood. At that time, in order to grant protection to Prophet Nuh (A.S) and the believers, Allah ordered Nuh (A.S) to build an ark in which he was ordered to place the believers and a pair of each of the animals and birds. Through this, they were all protected from the severe Azab (punishment) from Allah which destroyed everyone and everything besides those who were protected in the ark of Prophet Nuh (A.S).

The verse indicates to the Divine power and ability Allah has over the sea, in that He has created boats and ships which  sail on the surface of the water. Through this, man can travel across the water at sea and  be protected from the danger of drowning. This is the mode of transport which Allah ordered Nuh (A.S) to build in order to protect himself and the believers at his time. Through this incident, Allah has inspired man to build boats and ships of all sizes and types, for the sake of transporting people and goods. For centuries, this remained as the only means of transport  through which people  travelled from one city/country to another. Until today, humans depend upon this mode of transport for many things. Man is therefore required to recognize this as a great favour from Allah and a sign of His existence and Omnipotence.

SuraYaseen continues in verse 42 and states:

36:42

  1. And We have created for them of the like thereunto, so on them they ride.

Here, Allah explains that besides the boat/ark which He created and inspired man to build, He  further created many different modes of transport like that of the boats/ships which they ride and use. These are all His favours which humans ought to recognize and show gratitude for. These are also signs of Allah’s great power and ability that He has not only created one type/mode of transport, but has created many types which man can access with ease.

By saying ‘And We have created for them of the like thereunto’, it means that just as Allah has inspired man to build boats/ships (after He had shown Nuh (A.S) the way it should be built) which were to be used on water, He has also inspired man to build means of transport for the land. On account of this inspiration, man has been able to build many different types of transport which he has used over the ages on land. Besides these, Allah has created animals which provide transportation for man on the land. It is about these, the verse refers to when it states, ‘And We have created for them of the like thereunto, on which they ride’. It means that just like the boat/ship which Allah created, He has also created similar means of transport which people ride as their conveyance.

While commenting on this verse, great commentators like Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A), Mujahid, Qatada and others have stated that the verse means that Allah has created the camels as a means of transport on the land, just as He has created the boat as a transport of the sea’. Some commentators have stated that the verse means that Allah has created the camels, other animals and all that can be ridden as modes of transport. Other commentators have explained that the verse means that Allah has created (inspired man) to make other boats and ships. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 34 Mataba Rasheediya Pakistan)

 

 

Tafseer Of Surah Yaseen (Part 7)

 

While commenting on the word  ‘pairs’ as used in the verse, some commentators have stated that Allah has made many things to exist in a manner that one is a match for the other. Hence, among humans, animals and  the botanical/vegetation kingdom, the concept of male and female exist among them. Thus, the word ‘pairs’ in this respect, refers to the understanding that Allah Has created  males and females among human beings, the animals, birds, reptiles and insects, and Has also created the same in the plant kingdom.

Scholars have also explained that ‘pairs’ also refer to contrasting things which Allah has created. Hence, from among that which exists in this world, many things fall into the category of being pairs. For example, night and day, light and darkness, cold and hot, land and water, sadness and happiness, health and sickness, big and small, tall and short etc. are all referred to as being ‘pairs’.

In brief, all things that exist in the world have been created by Allah. Allah’s great power, control and might are clearly evident from the fact that He has made all things of different types and species so that man may benefit from His favours and bounties.

SuraYaseen goes further in verse 37 and states:

36:37

  1. And a sign for them is the night, We withdraw therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness.

This is another verse  which provides sufficient evidence for man to recognize Allah’s absolute and Divine power and control over the universe. In the verse, Allah explains that man should ponder and look at the night to see what takes place with it. The verse states, ‘And a sign for them is the night’. It means that by looking carefully at the alternation of the night and the day, one will understand that Allah Alone is in full control of time. Allah says that He withdraws therefrom the day, and behold, they are in darkness. It means that when Allah extracts the light of the day, the darkness of the night appears which is known as ‘night’.

While commenting on this, the scholars have stated that, ‘In the verse, there is an indication to the fact that the real and original state is that of darkness, and light is temporary. When the sun sets, the day is stripped from the night and the light goes away. With this, the real state becomes apparent, which is darkness’. (Safwah At Tafaseer vol.13 pg. 52)

The author of Ma’ariful Quran has also indicated to this and said, ‘Allah Ta’ala has, in this similitude (of the verse), pointed out that the real element in this world is darkness. Light is transitory, for it spreads over the earth through planets and stars. In a pre-determined system, at a fixed time, this light that spreads over the darkness of the world is removed from on top. What remains is darkness. This, in common parlance is called night’. (Ma’ariful Quran vol.7 pg. 386).

SuraYaseen goes further in verse 38 and states:

36:38
  1. And the sun runs on its fixed course for a term (appointed). That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.

In this verse, another proof and evidence of Allah’s power and capability is mentioned. The verse explains that Allah has not only created the luminous celestial body known as the sun, and created in it the ability to produce heat and light to the earth, but He has also taken full control over its movements and has appointed a fixed course for it. As a result, the sun does not exceed, cross or stray from the orbit and motion which Allah has fixed for it in space. It also cannot advance nor can it delay  the timings which Allah has fixed for it in its rising, setting and movements while in orbit.

Some commentators have translated the verse as, ‘And the sun travels towards its destination’, and others have stated, ‘And the sun proceeds to its resting place’. In all these translations, the statements ‘run on its fixed course for a term appointed’, ‘travels towards its destination’ and ‘proceeds to its resting place’ all give a clear indication that while in its orbit, the sun moves in a pattern which carries it or is carrying it to its destination, resting place or the fixed course/appointed term that Allah has decreed for it.

With respect to what the destination/resting place/ fixed course of the sun is, some commentators have stated that it is the annual pattern that the sun follows in its orbit. Some have mentioned that the sun traverses a certain limit in the west, and after this, it goes to another limit in the east. Each limit is referred to as a destination. Some other commentators have stated that the destination refers to the position of the sun as it reaches each of the twelve zodiac stars and moves to the other. (Anwarul Bayaan vol.4 pg. 331 Darul Ishaat Karachi 2005)

 

While commenting on this verse, the great exegete, Kalbi (A.R) has stated, ‘The meaning is that the sun proceeds to its furthest point in setting, then it returns to its closest point. Its destination therefore, is the furthest point it goes to after which it cannot go, but returns to where it started’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 29 Mataba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

While explaining its resting place/destination, the great companion, Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A) stated, ‘When the sun sets and reaches a station which it cannot go beyond, it goes to rest beneath the Arsh until it rises’. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 29 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

The above explanation shows that the resting place/destination of the sun is beneath the Arsh of Allah. This has been accepted by many commentators and is based upon authentic and sound traditions of the Prophet (S.A). In this regard, it is narrated that Abu Dharr (R.A) said, ‘I asked the Messenger of Allah (S.A) about the statement of Allah, ‘And the sun travels towards its destination’. The Prophet (S.A) said, ‘The destination of the sun is beneath the Arsh’. (Sahih Muslim)

It is also narrated from Abu Dharr (R.A) that the Prophet (S.A) once said to the companions, ‘Do you know where the sun goes?’ They said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best’. He (the Prophet) said, ‘Verily the sun proceeds until it goes to its destination beneath the Arsh. It then prostrates (making sajdah) and remains prostrating to Allah until it is said, ‘Rise and return to where you came from. It then returns and rises in the morning from the place of its rising. The sun then continues in this manner to run its course and the people are  not be disturbed about anything. This  occurs until the sun  goes to its resting place/destination beneath the Arsh and it shall be said to it, ‘Rise from your setting place’. It will then rise from the west’. The Prophet (S.A) then said, ‘Do you know when this will occur? It will take place at a time when…(he then recited the verse of the Quran which said, ‘The Day that some of the signs of your Lord would come, no good will it do to a person to believe then, if he believed not before, nor earned good through his faith’.( Sura An’am verse 158) (Sahih Muslim; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 28; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282).

In the narration of Bukhari, it is stated that the Prophet (S.A) once said to Abu Dharr (R.A) when the sun had set, ‘Do you know where the sun goes?’ Abu Dharr (R.A) said, ‘I said, Allah and His Messenger know best’. The Prophet (S.A) then said, ‘It travels until it prostrates beneath the Arsh. It then seeks permission (to rise) and permission is granted to it. Soon it shall prostrate, but it shall not be accepted from it. It shall seek permission (to rise) but permission will not be granted. It shall be said ‘Return to where you have come from’. The sun will then rise from the west. It is about this, Allah says, ‘The sun travels towards its destination’. (Sahih Al Buhari – Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 28; Tafseer  Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282)

Some scholars of the Holy Quran have also stated that ‘destination’ in the verse refers to a ‘fixed time’ that has been ordained for the sun to travel and orbit. This ‘fixed time’ (term appointed) as mentioned by these scholars refers to the Day of Judgement. It means that the Day of Judgement will be the limit of the sun’s movements and travels. At that time, the sun will no longer be able to move on its course. It would be still, and shall come to an end just as everything in the world will come to an end. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 282 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabiyah Beirut 2013).

From the above explanations, it becomes clear that the Sun is not immovable and motionless, instead, it continues to be in motion. The verse states, ‘The sun runs on its fixed course for a term appointed’. The verse establishes the fact that the sun moves on a course which Allah has fixed for it. This verse clearly refutes the theory which states that the sun has no movement at all.

 

Tafseer Of Surah Yaseen (Part 6)

 

 

 

 

 

36:28

36:29

  1. And We sent not against his people after him a host from heaven, nor do We send (such a thing).
  2. It was but one Saihah (shout) and lo! They (all) were silent (dead-destroyed).

These verses mention that for the destruction of the people, Allah did not send an army of angels from the heaven, nor was there a need to do so. Instead, Allah instructed Jibraeel (A.S) to give a loud scream which destroyed all of the unbelievers.

While explaining these verses, the commentators have stated that the verses indicated to the fact that the destruction of these people  was a very light and petty matter for Allah. There was no need to send an army of angels to destroy them. Only one loud scream from an angel was sufficient to destroy all the people.

Having destroyed the people for their conduct towards the messengers and prophets, Allah says:

36:30

  1. Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to mock at him.

Here, Allah states that those who disbelieve and deny His prophets should express sadness, sorrow and disappointment over their own state. It is unfortunate on their part, and a matter of grief and sorrow for them since they will be made to suffer the punishment of Allah for their denial and disbelief. No prophet came to them except that they denied him and ridiculed him. This was the conduct of the people to whom the messengers came, and is the conduct of the unbelievers in every era and every place. For this, the unbelievers will suffer a grievous punishment in this world and the next.

The above verses sent a message to the unbelievers of the Quraish who disbelieved in the Prophet ﷺ. They should take a lesson from what happened to the people of the city when they denied their messengers, and should accept the path of guidance before the punishment of Allah dawns upon them.

SuraYaseen goes further in verse 31 and states:

36:31

  1. Do they not see how many of the generations We have destroyed before them? Verily, they will not return to them.

Here, Allah informs man that He has destroyed many nations in the past for their disbelief and their wrong doings. Hence, the unbelievers should take note of this and protect themselves from being destroyed in a similar manner. They should also know that those who were destroyed were not able to return to the world to make amends for their deeds. The destruction of Allah came to them suddenly while they were rejoicing in their disbelief and in ridiculing and taunting the prophets. They were ruined and were removed from the face of the earth, and did not get the chance to return to the world.

This was a clear message given to the Quraish of Makka. They were requested to look at what happened to the disbelievers of the past and follow the path of guidance brought by the Prophet ﷺ.

SuraYaseen continues in verse 32 and states:

36:32

  1. And surely, all, everyone of them will be brought before Us.

Here, Allah informs everyone that each and every person, past and present, shall return to Him. All shall be presented before Him for reckoning and requital on the Day of Judgement. At that time, rewards shall be given to those who did good deeds, and each person will have a retribution for the wrongs he did.

All the nations of the past and those yet to come in the future, shall be brought before Allah for accounting on the Day of Judgement.

While commenting on this verse, the great exegete Abu Hayyan writes, ‘This verse was mentioned after highlighting the destruction which came to the people, as an indication to the fact that in the hereafter, those who were punished in this world would not be spared. They also would have to face the reckoning and accounting, and will be further subjected to the terrible punishment in the hereafter. (Tafseer Al Bahr Al Muheet vol.9 pg. 64 Dar Al Fikr Beirut 1992)

The above explanation goes to show that those who received (or may receive the punishment of Allah in this world), will also have to face the punishment in the hereafter. Their punishment will not be limited only to the worldly punishment, instead, it will also be extended to the hereafter.

SuraYaseen goes further in verses 33-35 and states:

 36:33

36:34

36:35

  1. And a sign for them is the dead land. We gave it life, and We brought forth from it grains, so that they eat thereof.
  2. And We have made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein.
  3. So that they may eat of the fruit thereof, and their hands made it not. Will they not, then, give thanks?

The above verses place before man signs to show and prove that Allah is All Powerful over everything. It is He who has created all things, and just as He gives life to the barren/dead land, He also gives life to the dead. He therefore, has complete control in resurrecting man and bringing him back to life on the Day of Judgement.

As evidences for His Divine power, Allah places before man the condition of the dry and dead land which has no vegetation and crops. It is lifeless and parched, and nothing can be seen growing on it. However, Allah revives it, and  sends rain upon it, which brings it back to life  after it was dead. Crops, grass and vegetation begin to grow and flourish. Foods, fruits and vegetables of all kinds begin to grow, thus providing food for men, birds, animals and every living creature. Pure and fresh water also comes from the heavens and gushes from the earth for the livelihood of all creatures. These are from the favours and bounties of Allah which He provides for man. He gives them to eat and drink in abundance, and does not deprive them from their sustenance.

About this, verse 35 stated, ‘so that they may eat of the fruit thereof and their hands made it not’. It means that Allah has provided everything from the grains, dates, grapes, foods, vegetables and water for the benefit of man. As for man, he did not create these, and he had no power to restore life to the dead earth, to cause crops and vegetation to grow and to cause them to flourish. It is Allah alone, who, out of His Divine power, will, compassion and kindness has provided all these favours for man. Therefore, in return for these, man is required to be grateful to Him, to worship Him as the only God, and to believe that he will be resurrected and brought back to life  to account for his deeds.

As mentioned by Imam Qurtubi, ‘In these verses, Allah draws man’s attention to the fact that He revives the dead (and so, He will revive him also after his death). He reminds him that He is One and Alone, who is All Powerful over everything. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 26 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan)

SuraYaseen continues in verse 36 and states:

36:36

  1. Glory be to Him, Who has created all the pairs of that which the earth produces, as well as of their own (human) kind (male and female), and of that which they know not.

Like the previous verse, this verse also provides evidence to show that absolute power belongs to Allah alone. He is so great and powerful that nothing is difficult for Him. All glory, praise and honour belong to Him. He is pure and free from all defects and deficiencies which the unbelievers attribute to Him. He alone deserves to be glorified and magnified for the beauty and marvel which He has placed in His creation. Out of  His complete wisdom and understanding, He has created all the pairs of that which comes from the earth, human beings and from things that are unknown to man.

‘Pairs’ as mentioned by many commentators refer to all the different species and types of things which Allah has created. Thus, it means that in any specific creation, Allah has created all the different types that are connected to it. Hence, Allah has created all the different colours that exist. He has created all the varying tastes, and has created every form, shape and figure. The statement mentioned in the verse which states, ‘From that which the earth produces’ refers to the fact that Allah has created every and all the different things that can be produced from the earth. This includes the date palms, trees, crops, fruits etc.

Further it is mentioned, ‘of their own human kind’. This means that from among humans, Allah has created different types, like the male and the female. The verse also states, ‘and of that which they know not’. This means that there are many different things which Allah has created in the land, sea, skies and earth which man do not know about. Thus, it is Allah alone who has created all things, and designed these with different shapes, colours, tastes, and types for the benefit of man. As such, no partner must be associated with Him. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 27; Tafseer Mazhari vol.9 pg. 368; Tafseer Al Baghwi vol.4 pg. 12)

 

Tafseer Of Surah Yaseen (Part 5)

Their disbelief, sins and bad actions were causes for their troubles and difficulties. Their statement that the Messengers were evil omens was due to their intense love which they had for kufr, shirk and sins. It was on account of these, they opposed the Messengers and developed a hatred for their message.

Hence, their share of good and bad were with them, and the decree which has been made for them will come about. The Prophets also rebuked them and said, ‘because you are admonished’. It means ‘are you saying that we are a bad omen only because you are admonished?’ Or ‘have you threatened to stone us because you are admonished?’ The Prophets went on to tell them that ‘if this be the case, then they are open transgressors’. I t means that they have crossed all limits by disobeying Allah and committing sins.

SuraYaseen goes further in verse 20 and states:36:20

  1. And there came running from the farthest part of the town, a man, saying: “O my people! Obey the Messengers;

The verse explains that when the people of the town threatened to kill the Messengers, a man came running from the farthest part of the town in order to stop them from committing this heinous act.

According to many commentators, the name of this man was Habib, the carpenter (An Najar). It is narrated that Habib An Najar was a leper whose house was situated at the farthest gate of the city. He remained in the worship of idols for seventy years, supplicating to them and hoping that they may have mercy on him and remove his disease. However, they did not answer his supplications. When the Messengers entered the city, he saw them and they invited him to Allah. Upon this, he said to them, ‘Is there any proof (or sign) (that this is the truth)?’ They said, ‘Yes, we will supplicate to our Lord who is All Powerful, and He will remove from you what has touched you’. Habib said, ‘This is very strange. I have been calling on these ‘gods’ for seventy years to remove this harm from me and they were not able to do so. How can your Lord remove it in one day?’ They said, ‘Yes, our Lord is All Powerful over everything He wishes, and these ‘gods’ cannot benefit you in anything, neither can they harm you’. Upon this, Habib believed in Allah and the Messengers prayed for him. Allah answered their supplications and removed his disease from him. Thus, when the people of the town intended to harm the Messengers, he (Habib) came running from the farthest part of the city (where he lived) and began to speak to his people so that they may stop their evil action. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol. 15 pg. 20-21)

He pleaded with the people and said, ‘O my people, follow the Messengers who are calling you to the Oneness of Allah’. He further said:

36:21

  1. “Obey those who ask no wages of you (for themselves), and who are rightly guided.

Habib An Najar continued to exhort them by telling them to obey and listen to the Messengers, for they are people of truth and guidance, who did not seek a wage or compensation for what they did. At this time, while encouraging the people of the town to obey the Messengers, the people said to Habib, ‘Have you become an opposer of our religion and adopted the religion of the Messengers?’ Habib replied and said to them:

36:22

  1. “And why should I not worship Him (Allah Alone) Who has created me and to Whom you shall be returned.

In this response, Habib posed a question to the people, so that they may understand that like him, they also must worship the One who created them. He said to them, ‘Why should I not worship the One who created me and the One to whom I must return’.

In this way, he rebuked them for having neglected the worship of their Creator, and made it clear to them that nothing can prevent him from worshipping his Creator, when he knows that Allah is the One who created him, and he must return to Him when he dies. Habib An Najar then placed a question to his people which was meant to condemn and reprimand them for having taken others besides Allah as their god. He said:

36:23

  1. “Shall I take besides Him aliha (gods), if the Most Beneficent (Allah) intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use for me whatsoever, nor can they save me?

He posed the question to his people so that they may ask themselves the same question. His message to them was, ‘How can I take other gods besides Allah? These ‘gods’ cannot hear nor can they benefit anyone’. He went further to show the weak, inconsiderable and poor nature of their gods and said, ‘If the Most Gracious (Allah) intends me any harm, their intercession will be of no use to me whatsoever, nor can they save me’. In this statement, he showed that ‘gods’ and beings that are taken as objects of worship besides Allah are so insignificant, despicable and mean that if Allah intends to cause harm and suffering to a person, then these gods/objects of worship will not be able to save that person, nor will they be able to intercede on behalf of the person. They are nothing but stones and images, which could neither hear, give benefit or intercede for anyone.

Habib further advised his people and said:

36:24

  1. “Then verily, I should be in plain error”.

Here, he told them that if he worshipped anyone besides Allah and took idols as gods, then he will be in manifest error and misguidance, and will be in a state of total loss.

In this statement, there was a message for the people also. He indicated to them that if they worshipped others besides Allah, then they will be in clear misguidance and in a state of being ruined. Having advised them and exhorted them to believe in the Messengers, Habib then openly declared his Imaan (faith) to his people and said:

36:25

  1. Verily! I have believed in your Lord, so listen to me!”

He made it clear to them that he believed in Allah, the One God. He is their Lord who  created them and all things on earth. They should therefore listen to him, take his advice and also believe in Allah, just as he believed.

The preaching and good counsel given by Habib did not do any good to his people. They became aggravated with his message and were annoyed with him. Further, when he openly declared his faith in one God, Allah, they became enraged and immediately attacked him. They fell on him from all sides and began to beat him. They trampled upon him with their feet, kicked him, threw stones at him and continued to beat him until he was killed and martyred. Some scholars have stated that they buried him alive. Others have said that they threw him in a well and killed him in this way, and some have stated that they burnt him to death. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 21)

SuraYaseen goes further in verses 26 and 27 and states:

36:26

36:27

  1. It was said (to him when the disbelievers killed him): “Enter Paradise.” He said: “Would that my people knew!
  2. “That my Lord (Allah) has forgiven me, and made me of the honoured ones!”

The above verses speak about what happened to Habib An Najar (the carpenter). It is narrated  that upon his martyrdom, Allah ordered him to enter Jannah (Paradise), and so, when his soul came out from his body, it went straight to Jannah. Allah honoured him to be together with the righteous martyrs as a reward for his truthfulness and faith, and for giving his life for His cause. When he entered Paradise and saw the lofty status and honour given to him on account of his Imaan (faith) and patience, he expressed a desire that his people should know about his state. In this way, they would know that Allah had forgiven him and had honoured him with Paradise.

Some commentators have stated that Habib wanted his people to know his good state (in Paradise), so that this may induce them to belief, and may be an encouragement for them to earn rewards and blessings by giving up disbelief (kufr) and accepting the true faith (Imaan).

After Habib was martyred, Allah’s wrath and anger came over the people, and He ordered that the people be destroyed.

Tafseer of Surah Yaseen (Part 4)

 

Is is also narrated from Thabit Al Bunani (A.R) that he said, ‘I once walked with Anas (R.A) for Salaah and I walked very fast. Anas (R.A) held my hand and we walked for a short while. When we had completed Salaah, Anas (R.A) said, ‘Once I walked hurriedly with Zaid Ibn Thabit (R.A) and he said, ‘O Anas! Don’t you know that the traces of the footsteps are recorded? Don’t you know that the traces of the footsteps are recorded?’ (Tafseer At Tabari vol.22 pg. 182 Dar Ihya At Turath Al Arabi Beirut; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 15-16; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 275-276; Tafseer Mazhari vol.9 pg. 360)

Both explanations given above by the great commentators of the Holy Quran are sound and authentic, and are accepted by all scholars to be proper explanations of the verse. The fact that the footsteps taken while walking to the Masjid are recorded, are well established from many authentic traditions. These are from the good deeds of a man, and are from the actions which should be followed by others. In this way, all other actions are treated. Thus, while the second interpretation speaks of the recording of the footsteps taken while going to the Masjid, the first interpretation generalizes all good deeds (including the steps taken to the Masjid), and also all bad deeds done by a person, when these were left behind (after a person’s death) as practices and traits that were practiced and followed by others.

The great Mufassir (exegete) Hafiz Ibn Katheer has explained this in his famous commentary and said, ‘There is no contradiction/inconsistency between both statements. Instead, from the second explanation, a clear warning and indication is given to the first explanation. For certainly, when the (physical) traces of the footsteps are recorded, then to a greater extent, the good and bad deeds of a man which he left behind as practices and traits to be followed, would be recorded. And Allah knows best’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 276 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi Beirut 2013)

SuraYaseen continues in verses 13 and 14 and states:

36:13

36:14

  1. And put forward to them a similitude; the (story of the) dwellers of the town, when there came Messengers to them.
  2. When We sent to them two Messengers, they belied them both, so We reinforced them with a third, and they said: “Verily! We have been sent to you as Messengers.”

Here, the Prophet ﷺ was asked to rehearse to his people who disbelieved in him, the incident of the ‘people of the town’, since in this narration there were lessons to be learnt and warnings to be taken. Allah sent Messengers to this town to invite its people to the message of truth, and to warn them of His punishment if they did not believe in Him.

Verse 14 went on to state that two messengers were sent to the people of the town, but when they were denied, Allah sent a third prophet as a support and strength to the previous two.

While commenting on these verses, the great exegetes have stated that this was the town of Antakiyah (Antioch) according to the opinions of all the Mufasireen (commentators). In this town, there was a Pharoah who worshipped idols. Allah sent three messengers to these people whose names were Sadiq, Saduq and Shalom (the third one). Allah ordered the Prophet ﷺ to warn the polytheists at his time, by rehearsing this narration to them, lest the same punishment comes to them as it came to the ‘dwellers of the town’. This is the commentary given by Abdullah bin Abbas (R.A), Kaab Al Ahbar and Wahb bin Munabih. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 17-18 Mataba Rasheediya; Tafseer At Tabari vol.22 pg. 184 Dar Ihya At Turath Al Arabi; Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 276 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi Beirut)

Some commentators have stated that these three messengers were not prophets (as deputed by Allah), but were disciples of Isa (A.S) who were sent by him to convey the message of his religion to the people of the town. This explanation has been given by Qatada as narrated by Ibn Jareer. Imam Qurtubi has also indicated to this opinion and said, ‘It has been stated that it was Isa (A.S) who sent these messengers to Antakiyah (Antioch) to call towards Allah. This occurred at the time when Isa (A.S) was taken up to the heavens’. (Tafseer At Tabari vol.22 pg. 183; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 18)

The majority of the commentators however, have stated that the three Messengers were prophets of Allah.

Verse 14 mentions that when the Messengers came to them, they said, ‘Verily, we have been sent to you as Messengers’. In response to this, the unbelieving people of the town said:

36:15

  1. They (people of the town) said: “You are only human beings like ourselves, and the Most Beneficent (Allah) has revealed nothing, you are only telling lies.”

The people, while denying them as Messengers, told them that they were humans just as they were. They did not have anything that made them special or worthy of being above them. In addition, they told the Messengers that Allah has not revealed anything to them that made them messengers, nor did he convey a message to them. In fact, they believed that they were lying with respect to the claim of being Messengers. Upon this statement made by the unbelievers, the Messengers replied:

36:16

36:17

  1. The Messengers said: “Our Lord knows that we have been sent as Messengers to you,
  2. “And our duty is only to convey plainly (the Message).”

The Messengers made it clear to them that Allah knows very well that they are His Messengers and that He has sent them to the town. Allah’s knowledge of them that they were upon the truth and that they were not liars is sufficient. In addition, the Messengers told them that their task was simply to convey a plain message to them. They were not responsible for anything besides that. Hence, whether they accept them as Messengers or not, their job was only to deliver a message, which they will do. Benefits and harms were connected to their acceptance and non-acceptance of the message. Furthermore, rejection of their message cannot cause harm to them.

When the Messengers spoke in this manner, the people of the town retorted and said:

36:18

  1. They (people) said: “For us, we see an evil omen from you, if you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful torment will touch you from us.”

They said to the Messengers, ‘We see an evil omen from you’. It means that they said, ‘We do not see any good in your faces when you are living amongst us’. Qatada (A.R) said, ‘They were saying, ‘If bad touches us, then it is because of you’. Mujahid (A.R) said, ‘They were saying, ‘People like you have never entered into a city except that the dwellers were punished’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg. 277  Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi)

They considered the presence of the Messengers to be a cause for their troubles and difficulties. Maqatil said that rainfall was withheld from them for a period of three years, and they said that this was on account of the presence of the Messengers. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 19)

As mentioned by the commentators, the reason that the people of the town considered the Messengers to be a bad omen was that they (the Messengers) invited them to a religion which they were not practicing. They saw it as being strange, and considered it to be bad. Hence, they disliked what they were called towards and saw it to be an evil omen.

This however, has been the way/conduct of the ignorant and arrogant people. They love that which their hearts are inclined towards, and they hate/detest that which their hearts are averse to. Thus, they were totally opposed to the teachings of the Messengers, and for this reason, they saw the Messengers as an evil omen. Having accused the prophets as being a sign of an evil omen, they then threatened them and said, ‘If you cease not, we will surely stone you, and a painful punishment will touch you from us’.

They issued a threat to the Messengers that if they did not stop their speeches and their mission of propagating their religion, they will stone them to death and will make them suffer a painful torment. In response to their threat and false statement, the Messengers replied:

36:19

  1. They (Messengers) said: “Your evil omens be with you! (Do you call it “evil omen”) because you are admonished? Nay, but you are a people Musrifun (transgressing all bounds by committing all kinds of great sins).

Here, the Messengers told them clearly that their evil omens were with them. It means that they were the cause of their evil/bad state.

Tafseer of Surah Yaseen (Part 3)

 

Sura Yaseen continues in verse 10 and states:

36:10

  1. It is the same to them whether you warn them or you warn them not, they will not believe.

Here, Allah informs the Prophet (S.A) that it is equal to the unbelievers if he warns them or he does not warn them. In both cases, his teaching, preaching, exhortations and reminders will not benefit them. They have covered their intellect and minds with the darkness of misguidance, and have absorbed into their hearts the desires for sins and transgressions, hence, rebukes and warnings will not benefit them.

On account of their actions, Allah has sealed their hearts with misguidance, hence, warnings shall not benefit them, nor would these have an effect on them. They would therefore continue to disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers.

As for those who will benefit from the warnings, Allah highlights this in verse 11 and says:

36:11

 

  1. You can only warn him who follows the Reminder (the Qur’an), and fears the Most Beneficent (Allah) unseen. Bear you to such one the glad tidings of forgiveness, and a generous reward (i.e. Paradise).

The verse explains that the warnings given by the Prophet (S.A) will be beneficial to those who believe in the Quran and follow its teachings, and fear Allah even though they have not seen Him. These are such servants who will pay heed to the message of the Prophet (S.A) and will benefit from the warnings he has given. They are those who believe in Allah, hope for His mercy and fear His punishment. They fear Him both in public and in private. Seeing that these servants have benefitted from the warnings and teachings of the Prophet (S.A), the Prophet (S.A) was ordered by Allah to announce glad tidings to them of His forgiveness and His generous reward. They have been informed that Allah will forgive their sins and grant them everlasting gardens in Paradise.

SuraYaseen continues in verse 12 and states:

36:12

  1. Verily, We give life to the dead, and We record that which they send before (them), and their traces, and all things We have recorded in a Clear Book.

Here, in this verse, Allah refutes the statement of the unbelievers who said that there will be no resurrection after death. Allah makes it clear to the entire mankind that He will surely give life to the dead and shall resurrect them for the ‘Day of Reckoning’.

Allah then informs mankind in the verse that ‘He writes everything that they send ahead of them and their traces  (effects)’. This part of the verse explains that there are two types of deeds (of a man) that are recorded by Allah. One is with respect to what he sends ahead for himself, and the other is that which he leaves behind.. As for that which a man sends ahead for himself, it refers to everything that a man does on the face of the earth, good or bad, for which he will be rewarded or punished in the hereafter. These are all recorded by Allah, and none of man’s deeds will be left out. If he does good, he shall be rewarded with good, and if he does bad, he shall be requited with bad.

With respect to the deeds that are referred to (in the verse) as ‘their traces’ or ‘their effects’ (that is, those deeds that are referred to as what man has left behind and are recorded by Allah), the exegetes and great commentators of the Holy Quran have given various explanations.

Some of them (the commentators) have stated that it refers to the good and bad deeds which were done by a person during his lifetime and were then followed and practiced upon by others after his death. These deeds which are practiced upon by others shall be recorded in favour of the deceased person. If people practice upon the good deeds which he did or taught to others, then he (the deceased) shall be rewarded for these; and if people practice upon his bad deeds or the wrong things which he taught to others, then he (the deceased) shall be punished for these. In both cases, the deeds done by others shall also come into the record of the deceased person since he was the one who had shown it to someone, or may have taught it to another. Hence, such deeds are known as ‘his traces’, ‘his effects’ or ‘that which he left behind’.

It is in this regard, the Prophet ﷺhas said, ‘Whoever started a good practice in Islam, for him shall be the reward of it and the reward of those who practice upon it after him, without any decrease in their rewards. And whoever started a bad practice in Islam, upon him shall be its sin and the sin of those who practice upon it after him, without any decrease in their sins’. (Muslim) (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.5 pg.272 Dar Al Kitab Al Arabi; Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 15 Makataba Rasheediya Queta Pakistan; Tafseer Mazhari vol.9 pg. 359-360 Darul Ishaat Karachi; Tafseer Al Baghwi vol.4 pg. 7 Idara Taleefaat Ashrafiya Multan Pakistan)

It is also narrated that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘When the son of Adam (a man) dies, all his actions come to an end except three. Knowledge from which others benefit, a righteous child who supplicates for him and Sadaqa Jaariya (continuous charity) after him’.(Muslim). A similar narration has been mentioned in the Sunan of Ibn Majah in which it is stated that the following deeds continue to bring rewards for a person even after his death. These are:

1) Knowledge which he acquired and disseminated.

2) Pious children which he left behind.

3) A copy of the Quran which he left behind.

4) Building a place of rest for travellers.

5) Digging a well and making water available for people.

6) Spending in charity while one was in health or in sickness.

While explaining the verse, the great exegete, Imam Qurtubi writes, ‘The ‘traces’ or ‘effects’ of a man are those deeds/actions which remain and are remembered after his death, whether they are good or bad. A man shall be rewarded for the ‘traces/effects’ of good. It can be the knowledge which he taught, a book which he wrote, a building which he built like a masjid or a bridge. In a like manner, a person will be punished for the evils and wrongs he introduced and practiced, which  remained among the people. (Tafseer Al Qurtubi vol.15 pg. 15)

The great scholar and commentator of the Holy Quran Allama Qadhi Muhammad Thana’ullah (A.R) has also given a similar explanation which has been adopted by the leading exegetes. He writes, ‘The ‘traces’ or ‘effects’ of a man (mentioned in the verse) includes such good deeds like knowledge which he disseminated, endowments (Waqf) which he gave, a forgotten Sunnah of the Prophet ﷺwhich he revived, and a good path which he showed to others. It also includes such bad deeds like introducing a custom based on falsehood, establishing injustice, helping kufr and initiating innovations’. (Tafseer Mazhari vol.9 pg. 359 Darul Ishaat Karachi 2010)

The gist of the above mentioned explanations of verse 12 (of SuraYaseen) which mentions ‘their traces’ or ‘their effects’ is that the deeds referred to, are such good or bad deeds of a man which continued to be practiced upon and followed by people after his demise. Besides the fact that these actions will be written in the records of those who do these deeds, they will also be written in the record of the deceased person.

Another explanation given by other commentators is that ‘traces/effects’ refer to the traces and effects of the footsteps taken towards the obedience of Allah or His disobedience. Hence, it refers to the traces of the footsteps taken while walking to the masjid and other places of goodness. All these footsteps and their traces are written in the record of a person. In this regard, it is narrated that the Prophet ﷺsaid, ‘One good deed is written and one bad deed is removed for every step taken by a person who is going to and returning from the Masjid’. (Ahmad, Ibn Hibban)

It is narrated by Jabir bin Abdullah (R.A) that there was an empty piece of land close to the Masjid of the Prophet ﷺ. Banu Salma (an Ansari tribe) who lived at a distance away from the Prophet , ﷺintended to leave where they were living and come closer to the Prophet ﷺ. When this information reached the Prophet ﷺ, he called them and said, ‘It has reached me that you intend to relocate close to the Masjid?’ They said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah. This is what we intended’. Upon this, the Prophet ﷺsaid, ‘O Banu Salma, remain at your houses, for the traces of your footsteps are recorded. Remain at your houses for the traces of your footsteps are recorded’. (Muslim)