Section 5 : Every People Had an Apostle From Allah Commentary : Verse 41
The rejecters of the Truth and their punishment Every people had an apostle from Allah.
(41) وَ إِنْ كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُلْ لي عَمَلي وَ لَكُمْ عَمَلُكُمْ أَنْتُمْ بَريئُونَ مِمَّا أَعْمَلُ وَ أَنَا بَريءٌ مِمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
- " And if they belie you, say: 'For me is my work and for you is your work. You are quit of what I do, and I am quit of what you do'. "
A leader must prepare himself for a party of the people to oppose him, and he must not feel defeated when he is confronted the rejecters because he will benefit from the guidance he provides them under every circumstance. Opponents also will meet their fate, resulting from their rejection and obstinacy. The winner in this scene will be the one who provides guidance. The verse says:
" And if they belie you, say: 'For me is my work and for you is your work. ..."
Incidentally, Islam is the religion of reason and ethics; it is not a religion of reconciliation with the idolaters. Were they not to answer the call of Allah(s. w. t.), you should express your abhorrence towards their ideas and behaviour. The verse continues saying:
"... You are quit of what I do, and I am quit of what you do'. "
Commentary : Verse 42
(42) وَ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَسْتَمِعُونَ إِلَيْكَ أَ فَأَنْتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ وَ لَوْ كانُوا لا يَعْقِلُونَ
- " And(when you recite the Qur'an)some of them(pretend to)listen to you, but can you make the deaf to hear, even though they are without understanding ?"
The Qur'an addresses the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) and implies that when you are reading the Qur'an and teaching the Divine commandments, there are some people who listen to you but do not accept what you have to say and do not reflect upon them. And there are some people who look toward you and take your guidance, contemplating and paying more attention to the symbols of your appointment to prophecy, yet they do not testify them. The verse says:
" And(when you recite the Qur'an)some of them(pretend to)listen to you, ..."
Then the verse implies whether he is able to make himself be heard when he as faced with those who are deaf, especially, when in addition to being deaf reason does not prevail. For a deaf wise man may sometimes pay attention to reasoning. The verse continues saying:
"... but can you make the deaf to hear, even though they are without understanding ? "
Commentary : Verse 43
(43) وَ مِنْهُمْ مَنْ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْكَ أَ فَأَنْتَ تَهْدِي الْعُمْيَ وَ لَوْ كانُوا لا يُبْصِرُونَ
- " And some of them look at you, but can you guide the blind even though they will not see(inwardly)"
Not all kinds of observation always take place with insight and not every observer is attracted by the truth. Even the prophets could not affect those who were blind- hearted. That is why the Qur'an inquires whether he wish to be able to guide a blind man who is not only blind but also is lacking in insight; in addition to his blindness. The verse says:
" And some of them look at you, but can you guide the blind even though they will not see(inwardly)?"
The objective of this question is that such people lack wisdom and insight like the deaf and the blind from the point of view of their obstinacy in accepting the truth and adhering to it.
Commentary Verse 44
(44) إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَظْلِمُ النَّاسَ شَيْئاً وَ لكِنَّ النَّاسَ أَنْفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ
- " Verily Allah does not any injustice to people but people to their own selves do injustice. "
Allah has sent the best school, the best Book and the best leader for the people. If they do not accept them, they in fact inflict oppression upon themselves. That is, Allah does not hinder anyone from benefiting from the Qur'an and other divine proofs. However, it is the people themselves who allow themselves to be oppressed because of abandoning their reason, and therefore, they make themselves deserving for retribution. The verse says:
" Verily Allah does not any injustice to people but people to their own selves do injustice. "
Commentary : Verse 45
(45) وَ يَوْمَ يَحْشُرُهُمْ كَأَنْ لَمْ يَلْبَثُوا إِلاَّ ساعَةً مِنَ النَّهارِ يَتَعارَفُونَ بَيْنَهُمْ قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذينَ كَذَّبُوا بِلِقاءِ اللَّهِ وَ ما كانُوا مُهْتَدينَ
- " And on the Day He will muster them, as if they had tarried but an hour of the day, they will recognize each other. Those will verily have perished who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided a right. "
The greatness of the Day of Judgment is such that ones entire life prior to it will seem as if it lasted only a short time. The Qur'an commands us to remember the Day when Allah will make them all rise from the dead and assemble them and they will have a feeling that their entire lives in this world had not exceeded more than one single day, so much that they would get to see and to know one another. The verse in this regard says:
" And on the Day He will muster them, as if they had tarried but an hour of the day, they will recognize each other. ..."
Therefore, the real losers are those people whose negation of the Resurrection deprives them from the eternal benefits of the life of Hereafter, and are content with worldly pleasures. On the contrary, the believers enjoy both worldly divine blessings and a share in the Hereafter as well. The verse continues saying:
"... Those will verily have perished who denied the meeting with Allah and were not guided a right. "
Commentary : Verse 46
(46) وَ إِمَّا نُرِيَنَّكَ بَعْضَ الَّذي نَعِدُهُمْ أَوْ نَتَوَفَّيَنَّكَ فَإِلَيْنا مَرْجِعُهُمْ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ شَهيدٌ عَلى ما يَفْعَلُونَ
- " Whether We show you(realized in your lifetime)some part of what We promise them, or We take your soul, to Us is their return. Then Allah is witness to(all)what they do. "
The punishment of some of the infidels took place during the Badr, Hunayn, Ahzab and the conquest of Mecca. After the death of the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) , Allah's Power is extended to apply punishment upon those who deserve it.
Therefore, Allah takes note of the acts of the disbelievers and punishes them, whether at the present time or at other times. Hence, Muslims need not despair because of the delay in the Divine Judgment concerning these people. The verse says:
" Whether We show you(realized in your lifetime)some part of what We promise them, or We take your soul, ..."
At any rate, the return of all beings terminates in Him and nobody is able to flee the divine court of justice. The holy verse continues saying:
"... to Us is their return. Then Allah is witness to(all)what they do. "
Commentary : Verse 47
(47) وَ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَسُولٌ فَإِذا جاءَ رَسُولُهُمْ قُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ وَ هُمْ لا يُظْلَمُونَ
- " And for every people there is a Messenger. Then when their Messenger comes,(on the Day of Judgment), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be dealt with unjustly. "
That is, for every group which follows a prescribed Path and has a common religion, like the nation(ummah)of Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) , the nation of Moses(a. s.)and that of Jesus(a.s.), there is a messenger and a prophet, whom Allah(s. w. t.)has appointed for them and has commissioned them to convey His message.
And when their prophet came and successfully conveyed His message, some denied him and others accepted him, and those who denied and refuted Him met their destruction and those who were believers were saved. The verse says:
" And for every people there is a Messenger. Then when their Messenger comes,(on the Day of Judgment), the matter will be judged between them with justice, and they will not be dealt with unjustly. "
Commentary : Verse 48
(48) وَ يَقُولُونَ مَتى هذَا الْوَعْدُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صادِقينَ
48."They say:'When will this promise be, if you are truthful'"
The idolaters, ridiculing the prophets(a.s.), used to ask them that if they were right, when the time would come for Allah's punishment. This humiliating way of asking questions was a sort of reinforcement for those individuals who might be affected by them. However, in order to realize that an action will occur, should one necessarily know it's timing.
The verse says:
" They say: 'When will this promise be, if you are truthful ?"
Commentary : Verse 49
(49) قُلْ لا أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسي ضَرًّا وَ لا نَفْعاً إِلاَّ ما شاءَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ أَجَلٌ إِذا جاءَ أَجَلُهُمْ فَلا يَسْتَأْخِرُونَ ساعَةً وَ لا يَسْتَقْدِمُون
- " Say: 'I do not possess any harm or profit for myself except as Allah wills. To every people is a term appointed. When their term comes, then they shall neither put(it)off an hour, nor hasten(it). '"
Facing this question, Allah orders His Prophet to provide them with an answer in several ways. The first step is that he should tell them that the timing for such a thing is not at his disposal. He is not the author or proprietor of any profit or loss for himself(much less for them)except those ordained or predetermined by Him. The verse says:
" Say: 'I do not possess any harm or profit for myself except as Allah wills. ..."
Muhammad(p.b.u.h.) should announce that he is His sole and only Messenger and Prophet. It is He who fixes the timing of the punishment which is within His power.
The above sentence alludes to the unity of actions which pre- supposes that all and every thing in this world eventually returns to Him, and when deviators are being punished with His justice, it is He Who sets the course of action.
Obviously, this does not contradict the stipulation that Allah has bestowed upon us powers and abilities by which we are entitled to partly gain or lose and to be able to make decisions regarding our own destiny.
Then, the Qur'an, referring to another issue, declares that each community and every tribe has a predetermined time of death and a point of its termination, which, when it comes, there will be no delay or advancement in its occurrence. The verse continues saying:
"... To every people is a term appointed. When their term comes, then they shall neither put(it)off an hour, nor hasten(it). '"
In fact, the Qur'an warns the polytheists not to hasten and jump unduly to conclusions. When the timing of their death comes no delays or advances will happen.
Commentary : Verse 50
(50) قُلْ أَ رَأَيْتُمْ إِنْ أَتاكُمْ عَذابُهُ بَياتاً أَوْ نَهاراً ما ذا يَسْتَعْجِلُ مِنْهُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ
- " Say: 'Have you considered If His punishment comes upon you by night or by day, what portion of it will the sinners wish to hasten ?"
The Qur'an raises the third answer in this verse. It orders the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to tell the infidels that it is not improbable for Allah's punishment to come to them during the day- time or at night. Then, are they in a position to repel such a sudden punishment from themselves ? The verse says:
" Say: 'Have you considered If His punishment comes upon you by night or by day, what portion of it will the sinners wish to hasten ?"
In this case, under what pretexts do the culprits and sinners make haste.
Upon this meaning, Sura An- Naml, No. 72, verse 17 says:
"And they say: 'when will this threat come to pass, if you are truthful ?"
Commentary : Verse 51
(51) أَ ثُمَّ إِذا ما وَقَعَ آمَنْتُمْ بِهِ آلْآنَ وَ قَدْ كُنْتُمْ بِهِ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ
- " Is it when it(the punishment)comes to pass, you will believe in it ? Ah! Now ? And you wanted(aforetime)to hasten it on ? "
The Qur'an provides the fourth answer for them in this noble verse, asking them whether they intend to believe in Him once the punishment emerges.(Faith established under such circumstances is fruitless). They would be told implying that: 'Now, that the punishment has come, you have faith and supplicate and you repent while before this you were ridiculing and were hastily asking for the punishment. '
The verse says:
" Is it when it(the punishment)comes to pass, you will believe in it ? Ah! Now ? And you wanted(aforetime)to hasten it on ? "
Commentary : Verse 52
(52) ثُمَّ قيلَ لِلَّذينَ ظَلَمُوا ذُوقُوا عَذابَ الْخُلْدِ هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلاَّ بِما كُنْتُمْ تَكْسِبُون
- " Then it will be said to those who were unjust: 'Taste you the enduring punishment! Are you requited aught save what you used to earn ?"
Those who have oppressed themselves will be told on the Day of Resurrection that they should suffer eternal punishment in the Hereafter following their sufferings afflictions in the world. The verse declares:
" Then it will be said to those who were unjust: 'Taste you the enduring punishment! Are you requited aught save what you used to earn ?"
It signifies that they have been called to accept the truth and they have been guided, after firm proofs were offered to them, removing all their pretexts and excuses.
They will be told that: they kept on insisting upon their infidelity and denial, and not abandoning their misleading course. Now, it is time for they to receive punishment for their acts.
The reason why the term "taste" has been employed in connection with suffering punishment is that this sense has a stronger effect on man than the other senses.
Commentary : Verse 53
(53) وَ يَسْتَنْبِئُونَكَ أَ حَقٌّ هُوَ قُلْ إي وَ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ لَحَقٌّ وَ ما أَنْتُمْ بِمُعْجِزينَ
- " And they ask you to inform them saying: 'Is that true ? Say: 'You! by my Lord! Verily it is the truth; and you cannot frustrate(Him)'. "
The words in the foregoing holy verses were about the punishment and suffering of the wrongdoers both in this world and in the world hereafter. This verse also follows that same topic.
At first, the Qur'an implies that the wrongdoers and the idolaters regard the Prophet(p.b.u.h.) with astonishment as to whether the promise of the divine punishment in this world and the Hereafter is true. The verse says:
"And they ask you to inform them saying: 'Is that true ? ..."
Allah commands His Prophet(p.b.u.h.) to answer them emphatically saying that his answer is positive and he swears by his Lord that this is a reality and there is no doubt about it.
And if they think, they can escape the divine punishment, they have committed a grave mistake, for they will never be able(to prevent it)and make Him unable to act. The verse continues saying:
"... Say: 'You! by my Lord! Verily it is the truth; and you cannot frustrate(Him)'. "