اَفَمَنۡ اَسَّسَ بُنۡیَانَہٗ عَلٰی تَقۡوٰی مِنَ اللّٰہِ وَ رِضۡوَانٍ خَیۡرٌ اَمۡ مَّنۡ اَسَّسَ بُنۡیَانَہٗ عَلٰی شَفَا جُرُفٍ ہَارٍ فَانۡہَارَ بِہٖ فِیۡ نَارِ جَہَنَّمَ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ لَا یَہۡدِی الۡقَوۡمَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۹﴾
أَفَمَنۡ أَسَّسَ بُنۡيَٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ تَقۡوَىٰ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٍ خَيۡرٌ أَم مَّنۡ أَسَّسَ بُنۡيَٰنَهُۥ عَلَىٰ شَفَا جُرُفٍ هَارٖ فَٱنۡهَارَ بِهِۦ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهۡدِي ٱلۡقَوۡمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
1258. Important Words:
جرف (water-worn bank) is derived from جرف. They say جرف الشیء i.e. he carried away or removed the whole or greater part of the thing. The Arabs say جرفه الدھر i.e. time (fortune) destroyed his wealth and reduced him to poverty. جرف means, a bank of a valley, the lower part of which is excavated by water and hollowed out by torrents so that it remains unsound or weak with its upper part overhanging; an abrupt water-worn bank or ridge; the side of the bank of a river that has been eaten by the water so that parts of it continually fall down (Lane & Aqrab).
ھار (tottering) is the active participle from ھار which is both transitive and intransitive and means, he demolished, or pulled down or pulled to pieces, a building; or it (building) fell to pieces or broke down and collapsed. ھار which is originally ھاری therefore, means, falling or tumbling down; or cracking without falling; or cracking in its hinder part, remaining yet in its place; tottering to fall (Lane & Aqrab).
The verse most vividly contrasts the two buildings, "the Mosque of the Prophet" and the "Harmful Mosque." Whereas the former is founded on the firm bed-rock of piety and of God’s own pleasure, the other rests on the water-worn tottering bank of hypocrisy and disbelief. (close)
لَا یَزَالُ بُنۡیَانُہُمُ الَّذِیۡ بَنَوۡا رِیۡبَۃً فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِہِمۡ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوۡبُہُمۡ ؕ وَ اللّٰہُ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۰﴾٪
لَا يَزَالُ بُنۡيَٰنُهُمُ ٱلَّذِي بَنَوۡاْ رِيبَةٗ فِي قُلُوبِهِمۡ إِلَّآ أَن تَقَطَّعَ قُلُوبُهُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
The words, unless their hearts be torn to pieces, are intended to hint that as the hearts of the hypocrites will never be cut into pieces, so the disquietude of their hearts will continue forever. Or, the words signify that the disquietude of their hearts will cease only when they repent so deeply that their hearts are, as it were, torn up with regret and repentance. (close)
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ اشۡتَرٰی مِنَ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ اَنۡفُسَہُمۡ وَ اَمۡوَالَہُمۡ بِاَنَّ لَہُمُ الۡجَنَّۃَ ؕ یُقَاتِلُوۡنَ فِیۡ سَبِیۡلِ اللّٰہِ فَیَقۡتُلُوۡنَ وَ یُقۡتَلُوۡنَ ۟ وَعۡدًا عَلَیۡہِ حَقًّا فِی التَّوۡرٰٮۃِ وَ الۡاِنۡجِیۡلِ وَ الۡقُرۡاٰنِ ؕ وَ مَنۡ اَوۡفٰی بِعَہۡدِہٖ مِنَ اللّٰہِ فَاسۡتَبۡشِرُوۡا بِبَیۡعِکُمُ الَّذِیۡ بَایَعۡتُمۡ بِہٖ ؕ وَ ذٰلِکَ ہُوَ الۡفَوۡزُ الۡعَظِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۱﴾
۞إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ ٱشۡتَرَىٰ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ أَنفُسَهُمۡ وَأَمۡوَٰلَهُم بِأَنَّ لَهُمُ ٱلۡجَنَّةَۚ يُقَٰتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَيَقۡتُلُونَ وَيُقۡتَلُونَۖ وَعۡدًا عَلَيۡهِ حَقّٗا فِي ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةِ وَٱلۡإِنجِيلِ وَٱلۡقُرۡءَانِۚ وَمَنۡ أَوۡفَىٰ بِعَهۡدِهِۦ مِنَ ٱللَّهِۚ فَٱسۡتَبۡشِرُواْ بِبَيۡعِكُمُ ٱلَّذِي بَايَعۡتُم بِهِۦۚ وَذَٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ
a. 4:75; 61:11-12. (close)
b. 3:196; 61:5. (close)
1219. Torah (Deut. 6:3-5) and Gospel (Matt. 19:21 & 27-29). (close)
a. 4:75; 61:11-12. (close)
b. 3:196; 61:5. (close)
The words, an unfailing promise that He has made incumbent on Himself in the Torah and the Gospel and the Quran, mean that the Torah, the Gospel and the Quran contain clear promises of divine favour and assistance for those who strive in the cause of God with their persons and property. The promise is general, but was to apply to Muslims alone after Islam had abrogated other religions. These words may also mean that the people of whom God purchased their lives and property in exchange for Heaven, viz. the Companions of the Holy Prophet of Islam, have been spoken of and commended in all the three Books, i.e. not only in the Quran, but in the Torah and the Gospels as well. (close)
اَلتَّآئِبُوۡنَ الۡعٰبِدُوۡنَ الۡحٰمِدُوۡنَ السَّآئِحُوۡنَ الرّٰکِعُوۡنَ السّٰجِدُوۡنَ الۡاٰمِرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ النَّاہُوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ الۡحٰفِظُوۡنَ لِحُدُوۡدِ اللّٰہِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۱۲﴾
ٱلتَّـٰٓئِبُونَ ٱلۡعَٰبِدُونَ ٱلۡحَٰمِدُونَ ٱلسَّـٰٓئِحُونَ ٱلرَّـٰكِعُونَ ٱلسَّـٰجِدُونَ ٱلۡأٓمِرُونَ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِ وَٱلنَّاهُونَ عَنِ ٱلۡمُنكَرِ وَٱلۡحَٰفِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ ٱللَّهِۗ وَبَشِّرِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
c. 33:36. (close)
d. 3:105, 111, 115; 7:158; 9:71; 31:18. (close)
a. 33:36. (close)
b. 3:105,111,115; 7:158; 9:71; 31:18. (close)
1261. Important Words:
سائحون (who go about in the land serving Him) is the plural of سائح which is the active participle from ساح which means, it flowed. They say ساح الماء علی وجه الارض i.e. the water flowed or ran freely on the surface of the earth. ساح فی الارض means, he went or journeyed through the land for the purpose of devoting himself to the service of religion, etc. سائح means, one who journeys through or goes about the land as a devotee or otherwise; one who goes forth or journeys through the land to war against disbelievers or to seek knowledge; one who fasts much and keeps to the mosques (Lane).
The present verse, which is a continuation of the previous one, shows that it is the Companions of the Holy Prophet and those who follow them righteously that are meant here.
The noble qualities of believers, as mentioned in the verse under comment, have been put in order of merit. The first stage of spiritual development is that of توبة i.e. repentance of one’s sins. The second stage is that of عبادة i.e. Divine worship, which implies that after having repented of his sins, a Muslim becomes resigned to the Will of God. The third stage is that of حمد i.e. glorifying God, which means that a Muslim is not only resigned to the will of God, but he praises and glorifies Him even in adversity.
The fourth stage pertains to the attribute of سائح which means that in this stage a believer forsakes his home for the sake of God and devotes his whole attention to Him. The fifth spiritual stage which a Muslim attains is that of راکع which signifies that he begins to serve God with all his soul and body, every part of his body being dedicated to His service. See also note on 2:44. In the sixth stage the believer becomes a ساجد (one who falls prostrate before God) which symbolizes the highest stage of nearness to God, when a believer not only severs, as it were, his connection with the world, but also loses his ownself, and throws himself on the earth, mixing with the dust. The Holy Prophet is reported to have said that in the attitude of prostration a believer is in a position of extreme nearness to God.
When a true believer has reached the stage of ساجد i.e. close nearness to God, his next duty is to bring the straying sheep into the fold of the Master. So now he becomes God’s preacher, enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. This is the seventh stage to which a true Muslim can and should rise. The next, and in a way the final, stage is that of God’s Khalifah, i.e. Divine Reformer, which is referred to in the words, "Who watch the limits set by God," i.e. those who are, as it were, the guardians of the Law of God. The expression الحافظون لحدود اللّٰه may also mean, those who strictly observe the ordinances of God. (close)
مَا کَانَ لِلنَّبِیِّ وَ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اَنۡ یَّسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡا لِلۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ وَ لَوۡ کَانُوۡۤا اُولِیۡ قُرۡبٰی مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَیَّنَ لَہُمۡ اَنَّہُمۡ اَصۡحٰبُ الۡجَحِیۡمِ ﴿۱۱۳﴾
مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِيِّ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَن يَسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ لِلۡمُشۡرِكِينَ وَلَوۡ كَانُوٓاْ أُوْلِي قُرۡبَىٰ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُمۡ أَنَّهُمۡ أَصۡحَٰبُ ٱلۡجَحِيمِ
When a true believer is he who possesses the qualities mentioned in the preceding verse, he can never hesitate to sever his connection with disbelievers, if and when called upon to do so. It is in two ways that it can become "plain" that an idolater or a disbeliever is an inmate of Hell: firstly, if and when God informs His Prophet through some revelation that a certain idolater will not believe and will die as a disbeliever; secondly, when an idolater actually dies without repenting of idolatry. In either case, it is not permissible to pray for such idolaters. In ordinary circumstances, however, it is not disallowed to pray for disbelievers. The Holy Prophet is reported to have once said, "There lived a Prophet who, even though he was severely wounded by his people, went on praying to God, saying, 'My Lord, forgive my people, for they know not what they are doing.'" It was really to himself that the Holy Prophet referred in this saying. He was referring to the treatment he received at the hands of the people of Ta’if, and to the prayer that he, while bleeding and wounded, offered for them. (close)
وَ مَا کَانَ اسۡتِغۡفَارُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لِاَبِیۡہِ اِلَّا عَنۡ مَّوۡعِدَۃٍ وَّعَدَہَاۤ اِیَّاہُ ۚ فَلَمَّا تَبَیَّنَ لَہٗۤ اَنَّہٗ عَدُوٌّ لِّلّٰہِ تَبَرَّاَ مِنۡہُ ؕ اِنَّ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ لَاَوَّاہٌ حَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۴﴾
وَمَا كَانَ ٱسۡتِغۡفَارُ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ إِلَّا عَن مَّوۡعِدَةٖ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُۥٓ أَنَّهُۥ عَدُوّٞ لِّلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنۡهُۚ إِنَّ إِبۡرَٰهِيمَ لَأَوَّـٰهٌ حَلِيمٞ
1220. See 19:48. (close)
a. 19:48; 26:87; 60:5. (close)
b. 11:76. (close)
1263. Important Words:
اوّاہ (most tender-hearted) is the intensive adjective from اوہ. They say, اوہ or تأوہ i.e. he said, Ah! or Alas! he moaned or uttered a moan; or he gave prolonged utterance to distress or complaint. اواہ means, one who is often saying, Ah! or Alas! from a motive of love or pity or fear; one often moaning or mourning or sorrowing; compassionate or tender-hearted; one often praying; one who praises God greatly or glorifies Him much; one who addresses himself with earnest supplication to God, confident that his prayer will be accepted; one inviting much or often to what is good (Lane).
The preceding verse declares that praying for disbelievers, after it has become clear that they are inmates of Hell, is forbidden. The present verse explains a prayer which Abraham offered for his idolatrous father on the basis that he had made a promise to do so. Abraham, however, was not slow in dissociating himself from his father as soon as it became clear to him that he was an enemy of God. The verse ends with words expressive of high praise for Abraham. See also 6:75. (close)
وَ مَا کَانَ اللّٰہُ لِیُضِلَّ قَوۡمًۢا بَعۡدَ اِذۡ ہَدٰٮہُمۡ حَتّٰی یُبَیِّنَ لَہُمۡ مَّا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ بِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۵﴾
وَمَا كَانَ ٱللَّهُ لِيُضِلَّ قَوۡمَۢا بَعۡدَ إِذۡ هَدَىٰهُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يُبَيِّنَ لَهُم مَّا يَتَّقُونَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِكُلِّ شَيۡءٍ عَلِيمٌ
اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَہٗ مُلۡکُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ؕ یُحۡیٖ وَ یُمِیۡتُ ؕ وَ مَا لَکُمۡ مِّنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ وَّلِیٍّ وَّ لَا نَصِیۡرٍ ﴿۱۱۶﴾
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَهُۥ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۖ يُحۡيِۦ وَيُمِيتُۚ وَمَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مِن وَلِيّٖ وَلَا نَصِيرٖ
b. 11:76; 39:45; 57:3. (close)
a. 39:45; 57:3. (close)
لَقَدۡ تَّابَ اللّٰہُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ وَ الۡمُہٰجِرِیۡنَ وَ الۡاَنۡصَارِ الَّذِیۡنَ اتَّبَعُوۡہُ فِیۡ سَاعَۃِ الۡعُسۡرَۃِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ مَا کَادَ یَزِیۡغُ قُلُوۡبُ فَرِیۡقٍ مِّنۡہُمۡ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ بِہِمۡ رَءُوۡفٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱۷﴾ۙ
لَّقَد تَّابَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَى ٱلنَّبِيِّ وَٱلۡمُهَٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُ فِي سَاعَةِ ٱلۡعُسۡرَةِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيغُ قُلُوبُ فَرِيقٖ مِّنۡهُمۡ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيۡهِمۡۚ إِنَّهُۥ بِهِمۡ رَءُوفٞ رَّحِيمٞ
1221. The word Taba also signifies "bestowing favour upon a person or being gracious to him," for in the case of the Holy Prophet and his faithful followers it was no occasion for granting forgiveness but for bestowing reward. (close)
1222. As it was an "hour of distress" for the Muslims, the expedition to Tabuk is rightly known as Ghazwatul-‘Usrah, i.e. the expedition of distress. (close)
It is clear from this verse that the word تاب (turned with mercy) does not necessarily mean "turning with mercy by way of accepting repentance." It also means, as in the present verse, "bestowing favour upon a person, or being gracious to him," for it has been used here with regard to the Holy Prophet and those who cheerfully followed him in the hour of distress. Indeed, in the case of the Holy Prophet and his faithful followers it was not an occasion for granting forgiveness but for bestowing reward. As it was an "hour of distress" for the Muslims, the expedition to Tabuk is rightly known as غزوة العسرة (Ghazwatul-‘Usrah), i.e. the Expedition of Distress. (close)
وَّ عَلَی الثَّلٰثَۃِ الَّذِیۡنَ خُلِّفُوۡا ؕ حَتّٰۤی اِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمُ الۡاَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَ ضَاقَتۡ عَلَیۡہِمۡ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنۡ لَّا مَلۡجَاَ مِنَ اللّٰہِ اِلَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ ؕ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَیۡہِمۡ لِیَتُوۡبُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ ہُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۱۱۸﴾٪
وَعَلَى ٱلثَّلَٰثَةِ ٱلَّذِينَ خُلِّفُواْ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا ضَاقَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلۡأَرۡضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتۡ وَضَاقَتۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ أَنفُسُهُمۡ وَظَنُّوٓاْ أَن لَّا مَلۡجَأَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّآ إِلَيۡهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيۡهِمۡ لِيَتُوبُوٓاْۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
1223. Ka‘b bin Malik, Hilal bin Umayyah and Murarah bin Rabi‘ah (9:106). They were sincere Muslims but failed to join the expedition to Tabuk, and therefore on his return to Medina, the Holy Prophet ordered their complete social ostracism so that they were even separated from their wives. They continued under this interdiction for no less than fifty days, when on their sincere repentance, they were granted pardon. They unreservedly confessed their guilt and offered no excuse. Being sincere and honest believers they severely took to heart the Divine punishment. They grieved and pined, till the earth for all its vastness became too strait for them (Bukhari, ch. on Maghazi (close)
a. 9:106. (close)
The reference here is to Ka‘b bin Malik, Hilal bin Umayya and Murarah bin Rabi‘a already referred to in 9:106. These were sincere Muslims but failed to join the expedition to Tabuk, and therefore the Holy Prophet, on his return to Medina, ordered their complete social ostracism. They continued under this interdiction for no less than fifty days, when on their sincere repentance, and after they had come out of this severe ordeal successfully, they were granted pardon, as mentioned in this verse. One of these three men, Ka‘b bin Malik, relates his own story, which may be summed up as follows "Hitherto it had been a custom with the Holy Prophet to conceal the object of an intended expedition to the very last. But the journey now to be undertaken was so distant and the heat of the season so excessive and the enemy against whom he was called upon to march so powerful that he thought it necessary to give his followers a timely warning so that they might be able to make the necessary preparation.
"I went to the market everyday to make the needful purchases, but came back without doing anything, thinking that I would do the necessary preparation next day, for I was well able to do so. In this way I went on postponing from day to day until the army started from Medina. Even then I thought I would be able to make the necessary arrangements next day and join the army on the way. But the next day also I did nothing and put off till the day following. The result of this procrastination was that the army had travelled such a long distance from Medina that I had to give up the idea of making any attempt to join it from behind.
"When I heard that the Holy Prophet was coming back to Medina, grief seized me. On his return to Medina, those who had remained behind came to him and offered false excuses for their absence. He accepted their excuses, pardoned them, and left their cases in the hand of God. I also went to him and saluted him and he smiled with the smile of one who is angry and asked me the reason of my absence. I replied, 'By God, if there had been another person in your place, O Prophet of God, I think I might have escaped his anger by offering an excuse, for I am clever in argument. But, by God, I know that if I tell you a false story, you will be pleased with me, but in that case the All-Knowing God will bring about circumstances which will make you angry with me; and if I speak to you the truth, you may feel angry, but I hope God will pardon me. 'By God, I have no pretext to offer for my absence; I was never stronger and never better off than I was at the time when I stayed behind.' The Holy Prophet said, 'As for this man, he has spoken the truth.' Then he said to me 'Go away, until God gives His decision about you.' On enquiry I learnt that the Holy Prophet had said the same thing to two other persons, Murarah bin Rabi‘a and Hilal bin Umayya. He laid all the three of us under an interdict, forbidding the Faithful to hold any intercourse with us. My two companions, who were old and weak, did not leave their homes. I was strong and healthy and went about from place to place but no one spoke to me. Everybody shunned me or regarded me with an altered mien. I sought the Mosque, sat down near the Prophet, and saluted him, but my salutation was not returned. While I was in this predicament, there came to me a messenger with an epistle from the King of the Banu Ghassan, expressing his sympathy with me in my present plight and inviting me to his court, where he promised to treat me with respect and honour. 'This is another trial', said I to myself, and repairing to a burning oven, I cast the King’s letter into the fire, saying to the messenger, 'This is my reply to the letter.'
"On the forty-first day came the further command that we should separate even from our wives, whereupon I sent away my wife to her parents, and was left all alone to undergo in its severest rigour the punishment meted out to us. My heart was dying away and the whole world appeared to grow narrow to me. My other companions also were in a pitiable condition. They kept weeping day and night in their homes. At last, on the fifty-first day, the Prophet of God received a revelation bringing the welcome news that God had turned to us with mercy and had accepted our repentance. A friend on horseback came galloping to me to be the first to convey to me the happy news, but another friend forestalled him by ascending the nearest hill and crying therefrom at the top of his voice; 'Rejoice, O Ka‘b bin Malik.' I concluded that I was pardoned and hastened to the Holy Prophet and found him in the Mosque. He received me with a radiant countenance and said 'Rejoice, O Ka‘b, for this is the happiest day that has ever dawned upon you since you were born.' My soul was lifted up from the depths of despondency and in the transports of gratitude, I offered my whole wealth in atonement of my error. 'Nay,' said the Holy Prophet, 'Keep a part of your wealth and give away the rest to be spent in the cause of God.' I also said to the Holy Prophet, 'It is through my speaking the truth that God has done me this favour. So I make a solemn promise that I will never speak but the truth so long as I live.' And by God, I have strictly adhered to this promise to the present day and hope God will help me to observe this promise in future as well" (Bukhari, ch. on Maghazi).
The above narration forcefully leads one to the conclusion that:
(1) The Holy Prophet kept strict discipline among his followers but this discipline was tempered with mercy;
(2) In spite of this discipline the Holy Prophet was loved and revered by his followers to an extraordinary degree;
(3) His true followers always strove their best to set an unparalleled example of sacrifice, devotion and piety. (close)