By: Ibn Kathir


Important Guidelines About the Authenticity of the Reports and Quotations in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir
Chapter (64) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Taghabun
Chapter (65) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Talaq
Chapter (66) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Tahrim
Chapter (67) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Mulk
Chapter (68) - The Tafsir of Surat Nun
Chapter (69) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Haqqah
Chapter (70) - The Tafsir of Surat Sa'ala Sa'il
Chapter (71) - The Tafsir of Surat Nuh
Chapter (72) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Jinn
Chapter (73) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Muzzammil
Chapter (74) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Muddaththir
Chapter (75) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Qiyamah
Chapter (76) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Insan
Chapter (77) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Mursalat
Chapter (78) - The Tafsir of Surat An-Naba
Chapter (79) - The Tafsir of Surat An-Nazi`at
Chapter (80) - The Tafsir of Surat `Abasa
Chapter (81) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Takwir
Chapter (82) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Infitar
Chapter (83) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Mutaffifin
Chapter (84) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Inshiqaq
Chapter (85) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Buruj
Chapter (86) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Tariq
Chapter (87) - The Tafsir of Surat Sabbih
Chapter (88) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Ghashiyah
Chapter (89) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Fajr
Chapter (90) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Balad
Chapter (91) - The Tafsir of Surat Wash-Shams wa Duhah
Chapter (92) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Layl
Chapter (93) - The Tafsir of Surat Ad-Duha
Chapter (94) - The Tafsir of Surat Alam Nashrah (Surat Ash-Sharh)
Chapter (95) - The Tafsir of Surat Wat-Tin waz-Zaytun
Chapter (96) - The Tafsir of Surat Iqra' (Surat Al-`Alaq)
Chapter (97) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Qadr
Chapter (98) - The Tafsir of Surat Lam Yakun (Al-Bayyinah)
Chapter (99) - The Tafsir of Surat Idha Zulzilat (Az-Zalzalah)
Chapter (100) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-`Adiyat
Chapter (101) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Qari`ah
Chapter (102) - The Tafsir of Surat At-Takathur
Chapter (103) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-`Asr
Chapter (104) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Humazah
Chapter (105) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Fil
Chapter (106) - The Tafsir of Surat Quraysh
Chapter (107) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Ma`un
Chapter (108) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Kawthar
Chapter (109) - The Tafsir of Surat Qul ya Ayyuhal-Kafirun
Chapter (110) - The Tafsir of Surat An-Nasr
Chapter (111) - The Tafsir of Surat Tabbat
Chapter (112) - The Tafsir of Surat Al-Ikhlas
Chapters (113 - 114) - The Tafsir of Al-Mu`awwidhatayn

Islambasics Library: Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Abridged) volume 10

The Tafsir of Surat Al-Insan[1]

(Chapter - 76)

Which was revealed in Makkah

 

The Recitation of Surat As-Sajdah and Al-Insan in the Morning Prayer on Friday

It has been mentioned previously that it is recorded in Sahih Muslim from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah used to recite in the Morning prayer on Friday:

[الم تَنزِيلَ]

(Alif Lam Mim. The revelation...)(32) and;

[هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ]

(Has there not been over man...) (76)[2]

[بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ]

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

[هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ حِينٌ مّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَّذْكُوراً- إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَـهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً- إِنَّا هَدَيْنَـهُ السَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِراً وَإِمَّا كَفُوراً-]

(1. Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning) (2. Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj, in order to try him, so, We made him hearer and seer.) (3. Verily, We guided him to the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful.)

 

Allah created Man after He did not exist

Allah informs that He brought man into existence after he was not even a thing worth mentioning, due to his lowliness and weakness. Allah says,

[هَلْ أَتَى عَلَى الإِنسَـنِ حِينٌ مِّنَ الدَّهْرِ لَمْ يَكُن شَيْئاً مَّذْكُوراً ]

(Has there not been over man a period of time, when he was not a thing worth mentioning)

Then Allah explains this by saying,

 

[إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا الإِنسَـنَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ]

(Verily, We have created man from Nutfah Amshaj,)

meaning, mixed. The words Mashaj and Mashij mean something that is mixed together. Ibn `Abbas said concerning Allah's statement,

[مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ]

(from Nutfah Amshaj,)

"This means the fluid of the man and the fluid of the woman when they meet and mix.''[3] Then man changes after this from stage to stage, condition to condition and color to color. `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas all made statements similar to this. They said, "Amshaj is the mixing of the man's fluid with the woman's fluid.''[4] Concerning Allah's statement,

[نَّبْتَلِيهِ]

(in order to try him,) means, `We test him.' It is similar to Allah's statement,

[لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً]

(That He may test you which of you is best in deed.) (67:2)

Then Allah says,

[فَجَعَلْنَـهُ سَمِيعاً بَصِيراً]

(so, We made him hearer and seer.)

meaning, `We gave him the faculties of hearing and sight so that he would be able to use them for obedience and disobedience.'

 

Allah guided Him to the Path, so Man is either Grateful or Ungrateful

Allah says,

[إِنَّا هَدَيْنَـهُ السَّبِيلَ]

(Verily, We guided to him the way,)

meaning, `We explained it to him, made it clear to him and showed it to him.' This is as Allah says,

[وَأَمَّا ثَمُودُ فَهَدَيْنَـهُمْ فَاسْتَحَبُّواْ الْعَمَى عَلَى الْهُدَى]

(And as for Thamud, We guided them but they preferred blindness to guidance.) (41:17)

 Allah also said,

[وَهَدَيْنَـهُ النَّجْدَينِ ]

(And We guided him to the two ways.) (90:10)

meaning, `We explained to him the path of good and the path of evil.' This is the statement of `Ikrimah, `Atiyah, Ibn Zayd and Mujahid from what is well-known from him and the majority. Allah then says,

[إِمَّا شَاكِراً وَإِمَّا كَفُوراً]

(Whether he be grateful or ungrateful.)

This is his decree. Thus, with this he is either wretched or happy. This is like what has been recorded by Muslim in a Hadith from Abu Malik Al-Ash`ari. He said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَهُ، فَمُوبِقُهَا أَوْ مُعْتِقُهَا»

(All of mankind wakes up in the morning the merchant of his own soul. So he either imprisons it or sets it free. )[5]

[إِنَّآ أَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَـفِرِينَ سَلَـسِلَ وَأَغْلَـلاً وَسَعِيراً - إِنَّ الاٌّبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَـفُوراً - عَيْناً يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً - يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَـفُونَ يَوْماً كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيراً - وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِيناً وَيَتِيماً وَأَسِيراً - إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ لاَ نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَآءً وَلاَ شُكُوراً - إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً - فَوَقَـهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَومِ وَلَقَّـهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُوراً - وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ جَنَّةً وَحَرِيراً ]

(4. Verily, We have prepared for the disbelievers iron chains, iron collars, and Sa`ir.) (5. Verily, the Abrar (righteous believers) shall drink of a cup mixed with Kafur.) (6. A spring wherefrom the servants of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly.) (7. They fulfill (their) vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading.) (8. And they give food, inspite of their love for it, to the poor, the orphan and the captive,) (9. (Saying): "We feed you seeking Allah's Face only. We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.'') (10. "Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir.'') (11. So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty) and joy.) (12. And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.)

 

The Recompense of the Disbelievers and the Righteous

Allah informs of what he has waiting for those who disbelieve in Him from His creatures of chains, iron collars and Sa`ir. Sa`ir is the flame and fire of the Hell. This is as Allah says,

[إِذِ الاٌّغْلَـلُ فِى أَعْنَـقِهِمْ والسَّلَـسِلُ يُسْحَبُونَ - فِى الْحَمِيمِ ثُمَّ فِى النَّارِ يُسْجَرُونَ ]

(When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along, in the boiling water, then they will be burned in the Fire.) (40:71,72)

After mentioning the blazing Fire He has prepared for these wretched people, Allah goes on to say,

[إِنَّ الاٌّبْرَارَ يَشْرَبُونَ مِن كَأْسٍ كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا كَـفُوراً ]

(Verily, the Abrar (righteous believers) shall drink of a cup mixed with Kafur.)

The properties of the Kafur (camphor) are well known; cooling, having a nice fragrance and in addition to this its taste will be delicious in Paradise. Al-Hasan said, "The coolness of the camphor will be in the pleasantness of ginger.'' Thus Allah said,

[عَيْناً يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً ]

(A spring wherefrom the servants of Allah will drink, causing it to gush forth abundantly.)

meaning, this (drink) that will be mixed for these righteous people will be taken from Kafur, which is a spring that Allah's close servants will drink directly from, without it being mixed with anything, and they will drink to their fill from it. The word Yashrabu (to drink) includes the meaning of Yarwa (to quench one's thirst). Allah then says,

[يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً]

(causing it to gush forth abundantly (Tafjir).)

meaning, they will have control of it however and wherever they wish. They will have access to it from their castles, their homes, their sitting rooms and their residences. At-Tafjir means to cause to gush forth or flow out. This is as Allah says,

[وَقَالُواْ لَن نُّؤْمِنَ لَكَ حَتَّى تَفْجُرَ لَنَا مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ يَنْبُوعًا ]

(And they say: "We shall not believe in you until you cause a spring to gush forth from the earth for us.) (17:90)

And Allah says,

[وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَـلَهُمَا نَهَراً]

(We caused a river to gush forth in the midst of them.) (18:33)

Mujahid said,

[يُفَجِّرُونَهَا تَفْجِيراً]

(causing it to gush forth abundantly.) "This means that they will divert it to wherever they wish.''[6] `Ikrimah and Qatadah both made similar statements.[7] Ath-Thawri said, "They will cause it to flow wherever they wish.''[8]

 

The Deeds of these Righteous People

Allah says,

[يُوفُونَ بِالنَّذْرِ وَيَخَـفُونَ يَوْماً كَانَ شَرُّهُ مُسْتَطِيراً ]

(They fulfill vows, and they fear a Day whose evil will be wide-spreading.)

meaning, they devote to worship Allah using that which He made obligatory upon them from actions of obligatory obedience that is based on Islamic legislation. They also worship Him by fulfilling their vows. Imam Malik reported from Talhah bin `Abdul-Malik Al-Ayli, who reported from Al-Qasim bin Malik, from `A'ishah that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يُطِيعَ اللهَ فَلْيُطِعْهُ، وَمَنْ نَذَرَ أَنْ يَعْصِيَ اللهَ فَلَا يَعْصِه»

(Whoever makes a vow to obey Allah, then he should obey Him. And whoever makes a vow to disobey Allah, then he should not disobey Him.)[9]

Al-Bukhari also recorded this Hadith from Malik.[10]

These people also abandon those forbidden things which He (Allah) has prohibited for them, due to their fear of having an evil reckoning on the Day of Return. This is the Day when the evil will spread out among all people except for those upon whom Allah has had mercy. Ibn `Abbas said, "Spreading.'' Qatadah said, "By Allah! The evil of that Day will spread until it fills the heavens and the earth.''[11] Concerning Allah's statement,

[وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ]

(And they give food, inspite of their love for it,)

It has been said that this means the love of Allah, the Most High. In their view the pronoun refers to Allah. However, the most apparent meaning is that the pronoun refers to the food. This would mean, they give food while they themselves love it and desire it. This was stated by Mujahid and Muqatil, and it was the preferred opinion of Ibn Jarir.[12] This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَءَاتَى الْمَالَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ]

(And gives his wealth, in spite of love for it.) (2:177)

Allah also says,

[لَن تَنَالُواْ الْبِرَّ حَتَّى تُنفِقُواْ مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ]

(By no means shall you attain Al-Birr[13] unless you spend of that which you love.) (3:92)

In the Sahih, there is a Hadith which states,

«أَفْضَلُ الصَّدَقَةِ أَنْ تَصَدَّقَ وَأَنْتَ صَحِيحٌ شَحِيحٌ، تَأْمُلُ الْغِنَى وَتَخْشَى الْفَقْر»

(The best charity is that which you give while you are healthy, covetous, hoping for wealth and fearing poverty.)[14]

This means in the condition of your love for wealth, your eagerness for it and your need for it. Thus, Allah says,

[وَيُطْعِمُونَ الطَّعَامَ عَلَى حُبِّهِ مِسْكِيناً وَيَتِيماً وَأَسِيراً ]

(And they give food, inspite of their love for it, to the poor, the orphan and the captive,)

 Concerning the poor person and the orphan, an explanation of them and their characteristics has already preceded.[15] In reference to the captive, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan and Ad-Dahhak all said, "He is the captive among the people of the Qiblah (i.e., the Muslims).''[16] Ibn `Abbas said, "At that time (when this Ayah was revealed) their (the Muslims') captives were idolators.''[17] Proof for this is that on the day of Badr the Messenger of Allah commanded his Companions to treat the captives respectfully. They (the Companions) would give them preference over themselves when eating their meals. `Ikrimah said, "They (captives) are the slaves.''[18] Ibn Jarir preferred this opinion since the Ayah generally refers to both the Muslim and the idolators.[19] Sa`id bin Jubayr, `Ata', Al-Hasan and Qatadah all made similar statements. The Messenger of Allah advised treating servants well in more than one Hadith. This held such importance with him that the last statement of advice that he gave (before dying) was his saying,

«الصَّلَاةَ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُم»

(The prayer (As-Salah) and what your right hand possesses (slaves).)[20]

Mujahid said, "He (the captive) is the prisoner.''[21] This means that these (righteous) people give food to others even though they themselves desire it and love it, saying at the same time,

[إِنَّمَا نُطْعِمُكُمْ لِوَجْهِ اللَّهِ]

(We feed you seeking Allah's Face only.)

meaning, hoping for the reward of Allah and His pleasure.

[لاَ نُرِيدُ مِنكُمْ جَزَآءً وَلاَ شُكُوراً]

(We wish for no reward, nor thanks from you.)

meaning, `we do not seek any reward from you in return for it. We also are not seeking for you to thank us in front of the people.'

Mujahid and Sa`id bin Jubayr both said, "By Allah! They do not say this with their tongues, but rather, Allah knows it in their hearts and He commends them for it. Every seeker should seek after this.''[22]

[إِنَّا نَخَافُ مِن رَّبِّنَا يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً ]

(Verily, We fear from our Lord a Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir.)

meaning, `we only do this so that perhaps Allah may have mercy on us and treat us with gentleness on the Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir.' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, "`Abus means difficult and Qamtarir means long.''[23] `Ikrimah and others said from Ibn Abbas,

[يَوْماً عَبُوساً قَمْطَرِيراً]

(a Day that is `Abus and Qamtarir (hard and distressful, that will make the faces look horrible from extreme dislike to it.))

"The disbeliever will frown on that day until sweat will flow between his eyes like tar.''[24] Mujahid said, "Abus `Abis means (frowning with) the two lips and Qamtarir means drawing up the face in a scowl.'' Sa`id bin Jubayr and Qatadah said, "Faces will be made to frown due to dismay. Qamtarir is the contraction of the forehead and what is between the two eyes due to dismay.'' Ibn Zayd said, " `Abus is the evil and Qamtarir is the severity.''

 

Some Details concerning the Reward of the Righteous in Paradise and what it contains of Delights

Allah says,

[فَوَقَـهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَومِ وَلَقَّـهُمْ نَضْرَةً وَسُرُوراً ]

(So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day, and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty) and joy.)

This is used as a way of eloquence in stating similarity (i.e., two similar things).

[فَوَقَـهُمُ اللَّهُ شَرَّ ذَلِكَ الْيَومِ]

(So, Allah saved them from the evil of that Day,)

meaning, He protects them from that which they fear of it.

[وَلَقَّـهُمْ نَضْرَةً]

(and gave them Nadrah (a light of beauty))

meaning, in their faces.

[وَسُرُوراً]

(And joy) in their hearts. Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Qatadah, Abu `Aliyah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas all stated this.[25] This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُّسْفِرَةٌ - ضَـحِكَةٌ مُّسْتَبْشِرَةٌ ]

(Some faces that Day will be bright, laughing, rejoicing at good news.)

This is because if the heart is happy, then the face will be enlightened. As Ka`b bin Malik said in his lengthy Hadith about Allah's Messenger , whenever he was happy, then his face will be radiant until it will be as if it is a piece of the moon.[26] `A'ishah said, "The Messenger of Allah entered into my home happy and his facial expression was glowing.'' And the Hadith continues.[27]

Allah then says,

[وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ]

(And their recompense because they were patient)

meaning, due to their patience He will give them, bestow upon them and accommodate them with Paradise and silken garments. This means a home that is spacious, a delightful life and fine clothing. Al-Hafiz Ibn `Asakir said in his biography of Hisham bin Sulayman Ad-Darani, "Surat Al-Insan was recited to Abu Sulayman Ad-Darani, and when the reciter reached the Ayah where Allah says,

[وَجَزَاهُمْ بِمَا صَبَرُواْ جَنَّةً وَحَرِيراً ]

(And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient.)

he (Abu Sulayman) said, `Because they were patient in leaving off their desires in the world.'''

 

 

[مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الاٌّرَائِكِ لاَ يَرَوْنَ فِيهَا شَمْساً وَلاَ زَمْهَرِيراً - وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَـلُهَا وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلاً - وَيُطَافُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِـَانِيَةٍ مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَأَكْوابٍ كَانَتْ قَوَارِيرَاْ - قَوَارِيرَاْ مِن فِضَّةٍ قَدَّرُوهَا تَقْدِيراً - وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْساً كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلاً - عَيْناً فِيهَا تُسَمَّى سَلْسَبِيلاً - وَيَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَنٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤاً مَّنثُوراً - وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ ثَمَّ رَأَيْتَ نَعِيماً وَمُلْكاً كَبِيراً - عَـلِيَهُمْ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضْرٌ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٌ وَحُلُّواْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ وَسَقَـهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَاباً طَهُوراً - إِنَّ هَـذَا كَانَ لَكُمْ جَزَآءً وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُوراً ]

 

(13. Reclining therein on raised couches, they will see there neither the excessive heat, nor the excessive cold.) (14. And the shade thereof is close upon them, and the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.) (15. And among them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal --) (16. (Qawarir) Crystal-clear, made of silver. They will determine the measure thereof.) (17. And they will be given to drink there of a cup (of wine) mixed with Zanjabil (ginger),) (18. A spring there, called Salsabil.) (19. And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.) (20. And when you look there (in Paradise), you will see a delight (that cannot be imagined), and a great dominion.) (21. Their garments will be of fine green silk, and Istabraq. They will be adorned with bracelets of silver, and their Lord will give them a purifying drink.) (22. (And it will be said to them): "Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavor has been accepted.'')

 

The raised Couches and the lack of Heat and Cold

Allah tells us about the people of Paradise and the eternal delights they will experience, as well as the comprehensive favors that they will be given. Allah says,

[مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الاٌّرَائِكِ]

(Reclining therein on raised couches.)

This has already been discussed in Surat As-Saffat and the difference of opinion about the meaning of reclining. Is it lying down, reclining on the elbows, sitting down cross-legged, or being firmly seated We have also mentioned that the Al-Ara'ik are couches beneath curtained canopies. Concerning Allah's statement,

[لاَ يَرَوْنَ فِيهَا شَمْساً وَلاَ زَمْهَرِيراً]

(they will see there neither the excessive heat, nor the excessive bitter cold.)

meaning, there will be no disturbing heat with them, nor any painful cold, rather there will only be one climate that will be always and eternal and they will not want it to be changed.

 

The Shade and Fruit Clusters will be near

[وَدَانِيَةً عَلَيْهِمْ ظِلَـلُهَا]

(And the shade thereof is close upon them.)

meaning, the branches will be close to them.

[وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلاً]

(And the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.)

meaning, whenever he attempts to get any fruit, it will come nearer to him and come down from its highest branch as if it hears and obeys. This is as Allah says in another Ayah,

[وَجَنَى الْجَنَّتَيْنِ دَانٍ]

(And fruits of the two gardens will be near at hand.) (55:54)

Allah also says,

[قُطُوفُهَا دَانِيَةٌ ]

(The fruits in bunches whereof will be low and near at hand.) (69:23)

Mujahid said,

[وَذُلِّلَتْ قُطُوفُهَا تَذْلِيلاً]

(And the bunches of fruit thereof will hang low within their reach.)

"If he stands it will rise with him an equal amount, if he sits it will lower itself for him so that he can reach it and if he lies down it will lower itself for him more so that he can reach it. So this is Allah's statement,

[تَذْلِيلاً]

(will hang low within their reach).[28]

'' Qatadah said, "No thorn or distance will repel their hands away from it (the fruit).''[29]

 

Vessels of Silver and Drinking Cups

Allah says,

[وَيُطَافُ عَلَيْهِمْ بِـَانِيَةٍ مِّن فِضَّةٍ وَأَكْوابٍ]

(And among them will be passed round vessels of silver and cups of crystal)

meaning, servants will go around them with containers of food made of silver and cups of drink. These are drinking vessels that do not have handles or spouts. Then Allah says,

[قَوَارِيرَاْقَوَارِيرَاْ مِن فِضَّةٍ]

((Qawarir) Crystal-clear, made of silver.)

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and others have all said, "It (Qawarir) is the whiteness of silver in the transparency of glass.''[30] Qawarir is only made of glass. So these cups are made of silver, but due to their fine thinness, what is inside of them will be visible from outside of them (as if they are glass). This is among the things of which there is nothing like in this world. Allah said,

[قَدَّرُوهَا تَقْدِيراً]

(They will determine the measure thereof.)

meaning, according to the amount that will quench their thirst. It will not be more than that nor less than it, rather it will be prepared in an amount that is suitable for quenching the thirst of their drinkers. This is the meaning of the statement of Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Abu Salih, Qatadah, Ibn Abza, `Abdullah bin `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Ash-Sha`bi and Ibn Zayd. This was stated by Ibn Jarir and others.[31] This is the most excellent provision, distinction and honor.

 

The Ginger Drink and the Drink of Salsabil

Allah says,

[وَيُسْقَوْنَ فِيهَا كَأْساً كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلاً ]

(And they will be given to drink there of a cup mixed with Zanjabil (ginger),)

meaning, they -- the righteous -- will also be given a drink from these cups.

[كَأْساً]

(a cup) meaning, a drink of wine.

[كَانَ مِزَاجُهَا زَنجَبِيلاً]

(mixed with Zanjabil (ginger),)

So on one occasion they will be given a drink that is mixed with camphor, and it is cool. Then on another occasion they will be given a drink mixed with ginger, and it is hot. This is so that their affair will be balanced. However, those who are nearest to Allah, they will drink from all of it however they wish, as Qatadah and others have said.[32] The statement of Allah has already preceded which says,

[عَيْناً يَشْرَبُ بِهَا عِبَادُ اللَّهِ]

(A spring wherefrom the servants of Allah will drink.) (76:6)

And here Allah says,

[عَيْناً فِيهَا تُسَمَّى سَلْسَبِيلاً ]

(A spring there, called Salsabil.)

meaning, the ginger will be in a spring in Paradise that is called Salsabil . `Ikrimah said, "It (Salsabil) is the name of a spring in Paradise.'' Mujahid said, "It is called this due to its continuous flowing and the severity of its current.''[33]

 

The Boys and Servants

Allah says,

[وَيَطُوفُ عَلَيْهِمْ وِلْدَنٌ مُّخَلَّدُونَ إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤاً مَّنثُوراً ]

(And round about them will (serve) boys of everlasting youth. If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.)

meaning, young boys from the boys of Paradise will go around serving the people of Paradise.

[مُّخَلَّدُونَ]

(everlasting youth.)

meaning, in one state forever which they will be never changing from, they will not increase in age. Those who have described them as wearing earings in their ears have only interpreted the meaning in such a way because a child is befitting of this description and not an adult man. Concerning Allah's statement,

[إِذَا رَأَيْتَهُمْ حَسِبْتَهُمْ لُؤْلُؤاً مَّنثُوراً]

(If you see them, you would think them scattered pearls.)

meaning, when you see them dispersing to fulfill the needs of their masters, their great number, their beautiful faces, handsome colors, fine clothing and ornaments, you would think that they were scattered pearls. There is no better quality than this, nor is there anything nicer to look at than scattered pearls in a beautiful place. Allah says,

[وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ]

(And when you look)

meaning, `when you see it, O Muhammad.'

[ثُمَّ]

(there)

meaning, there. This refers to Paradise and its beauty, its vastness, its loftiness and the joy and happiness it contains.

[رَأَيْتَ نَعِيماً وَمُلْكاً كَبِيراً]

(You will see a delight, and a great dominion.)

meaning, there will be a great kingdom that belongs to Allah and a dazzling, splendid dominion. It has been confirmed in the Sahih that Allah will say to the last of the people of the Fire to be taken out of it, and the last of the people to enter into Paradise,

«إِنَّ لَكَ مِثْلَ الدُّنْيَا وَعَشَرَةَ أَمْثَالِهَا»

(verily, you will have similar to the world and ten worlds like it (in addition to it).'')[34]

If this is what He will give to the least of those who will be in Paradise, then what do you think about the one who will have a higher status and will be favored even more by Allah?

 

The Garments and Ornaments

Allah says,

[عَـلِيَهُمْ ثِيَابُ سُندُسٍ خُضْرٌ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٌ]

(Their garments will be of fine green silk, and Istabraq.)

meaning, among the garments of the people of Paradise is silk and Sundus, which is a high quality silk. These garments will be shirts and similar clothing from the undergarments. Concerning Istabraq (velvet), from it there is that which has a glitter and shimmer to it, and it is that which is worn as outer clothes, just as is well-known in clothing.

[وَحُلُّواْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن فِضَّةٍ]

(They will be adorned with bracelets of silver,)

This is a description of the righteous. In reference to those who will be near to Allah, then their description is as Allah says,

[يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَلُؤْلُؤاً وَلِبَاسُهُمْ فِيهَا حَرِيرٌ]

(Wherein they will be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls and their garments therein will be of silk.) (22:23)

After Allah mentions the outward beautification with silk and ornaments, He then says,

[وَسَقَـهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ شَرَاباً طَهُوراً]

(and their Lord will give them a purifying drink.)

meaning, it will purify their insides of envy, despise, hatred, harm and the other reprehensible character traits. This is just as we have recorded from the Commander of the believers, `Ali bin Abi Talib, that he said, "When the people of Paradise come to the Gate of Paradise, they will find two springs there. Then it will be as if they were inspired with what to do, so they will drink from one of them and Allah will remove whatever harmfulness there may be within them. Then they will bathe in the other spring and a glow of delight will run all over them. Thus, Allah informs of their outward condition and their inner beauty.''[35] Allah then says,

[إِنَّ هَـذَا كَانَ لَكُمْ جَزَآءً وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُوراً ]

(Verily, this is a reward for you, and your endeavor has been accepted.)

meaning, this will be said to them in honor of them and as a goodness towards them. This is as Allah says,

[كُلُواْ وَاشْرَبُواْ هَنِيئَاً بِمَآ أَسْلَفْتُمْ فِى الاٌّيَّامِ الْخَالِيَةِ ]

(Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent forth before you in days past!) (69:24)

 Allah also says,

[وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ]

(And it will be cried out to them: "This is the Paradise which you have inherited for what you used to do.'') (7:43)

Then Allah says,

[وَكَانَ سَعْيُكُم مَّشْكُوراً]

(and your endeavor has been accepted) mean- ing, `Allah the Exalted will reward you for a small amount (of deeds) with a large amount (of reward).'

[إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْقُرْءَانَ تَنزِيلاً - فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلاَ تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ ءَاثِماً أَوْ كَفُوراً - وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً - وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَاسْجُدْ لَهُ وَسَبِّحْهُ لَيْلاً طَوِيلاً - إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ يُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرُونَ وَرَآءَهُمْ يَوْماً ثَقِيلاً - نَّحْنُ خَلَقْنَـهُمْ وَشَدَدْنَآ أَسْرَهُمْ وَإِذَا شِئْنَا بَدَّلْنَآ أَمْثَـلَهُمْ تَبْدِيلاً إِنَّ هَـذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ فَمَن شَآءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً يُدْخِلُ مَن يَشَآءُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّـلِمِينَ أَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً ]

(23. Verily, it is We Who have sent down the Qur'an to you by stages.) (24. Therefore be patient with constancy to the command of your Lord, and obey neither a sinner nor a disbeliever among them.) (25. And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon.) (26. And during the night, prostrate yourself to Him, and glorify Him a long night through.) (27. Verily, these love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day.) (28. It is We Who created them, and We have made them of strong build. And when We will, We can replace them with others like them with a complete replacement.) (29. Verily, this is an admonition, so whosoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord.) (30. But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) (31. He will admit to His mercy whom He wills and as for the wrongdoers -- He has prepared a painful torment.)

 

Mention of the Qur'an's Revelation and the Command to be Patient and remember Allah

Allah reminds His Messenger of how He blessed him by revealing the Magnificent Qur'an to him.

[فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ]

(Therefore be patient with constancy to the command of your Lord.,)

meaning, `just as you have been honored by what has been revealed to you, then be patient with His decree and decision and know that He will handle your affairs in a good manner.'

[وَلاَ تُطِعْ مِنْهُمْ ءَاثِماً أَوْ كَفُوراً]

(And obey neither a sinner (Athim) nor a disbeliever (Kafur) among them.)

meaning, `do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites if they wish to deter you from what has been revealed to you. Rather convey that which has been revealed to you from your Lord and put your trust in Allah, for verily, Allah will protect you from the people.' The Athim is the sinner in his deeds and the Kafur is the disbeliever in his heart.

[وَاذْكُرِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلاً ]

(And remember the Name of your Lord every morning and afternoon.)

meaning, at the beginning of the day and at its end.

[وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَاسْجُدْ لَهُ وَسَبِّحْهُ لَيْلاً طَوِيلاً ]

(And during the night, prostrate yourself to Him, and glorify Him a long night through.)

 This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَمِنَ الَّيْلِ فَتَهَجَّدْ بِهِ نَافِلَةً لَّكَ عَسَى أَن يَبْعَثَكَ رَبُّكَ مَقَاماً مَّحْمُودًا ]

(And in some parts of the night offer the Salah with it (the Qur'an), as an additional prayer (Tajhajjud) for you. It may be that you Lord will raise you to Maqam Mahmud.) (17:79)

Similarly, Allah also says,

[يأَيُّهَا الْمُزَّمِّلُ - قُمِ الَّيْلَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً - نِّصْفَهُ أَوِ انقُصْ مِنْهُ قَلِيلاً - أَوْ زِدْ عَلَيْهِ وَرَتِّلِ الْقُرْءَانَ تَرْتِيلاً ]

(O you wrapped! Stand all night, except a little. Half of it or a little less than that, or a little more. And recite the Qur'an Tartil.) (73:1-4)

 

 

 

The Censure of Love for the World and informing about the Day of the Final Return

Allah reprimands the disbelievers and those similar to them who love the world and are devoted and dedicated to it, who put the abode of the Hereafter behind them in disregard. He says;

[إِنَّ هَـؤُلاَءِ يُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ وَيَذَرُونَ وَرَآءَهُمْ يَوْماً ثَقِيلاً ]

(Verily, these love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day.)

meaning, the Day of Judgement. Then Allah says,

[نَّحْنُ خَلَقْنَـهُمْ وَشَدَدْنَآ أَسْرَهُمْ]

(It is We Who created them, and We have made them of strong build.)

Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and others have said, "This means their creation.''[36]

[وَإِذَا شِئْنَا بَدَّلْنَآ أَمْثَـلَهُمْ تَبْدِيلاً]

(And when We will, We can replace them with others like them with a complete replacement.)

meaning, `when We wish, We will resurrect them on the Day of Judgement and change them, repeating their creation in a new form.' Here the beginning of their creation is a proof for the repetition of their creation. Ibn Zayd and Ibn Jarir both said,

[وَإِذَا شِئْنَا بَدَّلْنَآ أَمْثَـلَهُمْ تَبْدِيلاً]

(And when We will, We can replace them with others like them with a complete replacement.)

"This means, if We wish We can bring another group of people besides them (in their place).''[37] This is like Allah's statement,

[إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ وَيَأْتِ بِـاخَرِينَ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلَى ذلِكَ قَدِيراً ]

(If He wills, He can take you away, O people, and bring others. And Allah is capable over that.) (4:133)

This is also like His statement,

[إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُـمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ بِعَزِيزٍ ]

(If He wills, He can remove you and bring a new creation! And for Allah that is not hard or difficult.) (14:19-20)

 

 

 

The Qur'an is a Reminder, and Guidance comes from the Help of Allah

Allah then says,

[إِنَّ هَـذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ]

(Verily, this is an admonition,)

meaning, this Surah is a reminder.

[فَمَن شَآءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَى رَبِّهِ سَبِيلاً]

(so whosoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord.)

meaning, a path and a way. This means, whoever wishes to be guided by the Qur'an. This is similar to Allah's statement,

[وَمَاذَا عَلَيْهِمْ لَوْ ءَامَنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]

(And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day.) (4:39)

Then Allah says,

[وَمَا تَشَآءُونَ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ]

(But you cannot will, unless Allah wills.)

meaning, no one is able to guide himself, enter into faith or bring about any benefit for himself,

[إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(Unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

meaning, He is Most Knowledgeable of who deserves to be guided. So, He makes guidance easy for him and He predestines for him that which will be a cause for it. However, whoever deserves misguidance, He averts guidance from him. Unto Him belongs the most excellent wisdom and the most irrefutable argument. Thus, He says,

[إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً]

(Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.)

Then He says,

[يُدْخِلُ مَن يَشَآءُ فِى رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّـلِمِينَ أَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَاباً أَلِيماً ]

(He will admit to His mercy whom He wills and as for the wrongdoers -- He has prepared a painful torment.)

meaning, He guides whomever He wishes and He leads astray whomever He wishes. Whoever He guides, there is no one who can lead him astray; and whoever He leads astray, there is no one who can guide him.

This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Insan. And all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

 



[1] This Surah is also known as Surat Ad-Dahr.

[2] Muslim 2:599.

[3] At-Tabari 24:89.

[4] At-Tabari 24:89, 90.

[5] Muslim 1:203.

[6] At-Tabari 24:94.

[7] Ad-Durr Al-Manthur 8:369.

[8] At-Tabari 24:95.

[9] Muwatta’ 2:476.

[10] Fath Al-Bari 11:589.

[11] At-Tabari 24:96.

[12] At-Tabari 24:96.

[13] See volume two, the Tafsir of Surat Al ‘Imran (3:92)

[14] Fath Al-Bari 3:334.

[15] See volume one, the Tafsir of Surat Al-Baqarah (2:177) and volume four, the Tafsir of Surat At-Tawbah (9:60).

[16] At-Tabari 24:97.

[17] ‘Abdur-Razaaq 3:337.

[18] Al-Qurtubi 19:129.

[19] At-Tabari 24:98.

[20] An-Nasai in Al-Kubra 4:258.

[21] At-Tabari 24:98.

[22] At-Tabari 24:98.

[23] At-Tabari 24:100.

[24] At-Tabari 24:99.

[25] At-Tabari 24:101.

[26] Fath Al-Bari 6:653.

[27] Fath Al-Bari 6:653.

[28] At-Tabari 24:103.

[29] At-Tabari 24:103.

[30] At-Tabari 24:105, 106.

[31] At-Tabari 24:106, 107, and Al-Qurtubi 19:141.

[32] At-Tabari 24:107.

[33] At-Tabari 24:108.

[34] Muslim 1:173.

[35] Al-Qurtubi 19:47.

[36] At-Tabari 24:118.

[37] At-Tabari 24:118, 119.


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