Then, it is undertaken by Us to explain it. [75:19]

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Al-Kahf 99-110

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Towards the end of Dhul Qarnain’s story, Dhul Qarnain’s statement was quoted which indicated upon the perishing nature of the wall which also alluded to the Yajooj Majooj breaking free. In the upcoming verses, Haq Ta’aala mentions the specific circumstances associated to the time of this breaking free and (in a general sense) the perishing of the Dunya itself followed by its re-creation. Furthermore the subsequent reward and punishment, and the matters and deeds which are the cause for such reward and punishment, are mentioned briefly.

The upcoming themes are linked to one another and develop successively. In other words, specific perishing led to mention of universal perishing, which led to subsequent remaining. This in turn led to the mention of reward and punishment, which led to mentioning the catalysts of both reward and punishment; each subsequent theme strongly related to the previous.

Perishing and Remaining, Reward and Punishment on the Day of Judgment 


۞ وَتَرَكۡنَا بَعۡضَہُمۡ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ يَمُوجُ فِى بَعۡضٍ۬‌ۖ وَنُفِخَ فِى ٱلصُّورِ فَجَمَعۡنَـٰهُمۡ جَمۡعً۬ا (٩٩) وَعَرَضۡنَا جَهَنَّمَ يَوۡمَٮِٕذٍ۬ لِّلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ عَرۡضًا (١٠٠) ٱلَّذِينَ كَانَتۡ أَعۡيُنُہُمۡ فِى غِطَآءٍ عَن ذِكۡرِى وَكَانُواْ لَا يَسۡتَطِيعُونَ سَمۡعًا (١٠١) أَفَحَسِبَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوٓاْ أَن يَتَّخِذُواْ عِبَادِى مِن دُونِىٓ أَوۡلِيَآءَ‌ۚ إِنَّآ أَعۡتَدۡنَا جَهَنَّمَ لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ نُزُلاً۬ (١٠٢) قُلۡ هَلۡ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِٱلۡأَخۡسَرِينَ أَعۡمَـٰلاً (١٠٣) ٱلَّذِينَ ضَلَّ سَعۡيُہُمۡ فِى ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَهُمۡ يَحۡسَبُونَ أَنَّہُمۡ يُحۡسِنُونَ صُنۡعًا (١٠٤) أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِمۡ وَلِقَآٮِٕهِۦ فَحَبِطَتۡ أَعۡمَـٰلُهُمۡ فَلَا نُقِيمُ لَهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ وَزۡنً۬ا (١٠٥) ذَٲلِكَ جَزَآؤُهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُ بِمَا كَفَرُواْ وَٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ ءَايَـٰتِى وَرُسُلِى هُزُوًا (١٠٦) إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ كَانَتۡ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتُ ٱلۡفِرۡدَوۡسِ نُزُلاً (١٠٧) خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيہَا لَا يَبۡغُونَ عَنۡہَا حِوَلاً۬ (١٠٨)

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On that day wherein the promised time for this wall’s collapse will have arrived and Yajooj and Majooj will have broken free, We will let them loose, surging like waves within one another. This will be on account of their huge number and because they will emerge all at once; and this will occur shortly before the establishment of Judgment Day. After a few days, the preparations for the establishment of the Hour will begin. Hence, The Trumpet will be blown once resulting in the destruction of the entire world. Then The Trumpet will be blown a second time due to which all will be brought back to life. Then We will gather them all, one by one, to the plain of resurrection; and We will present the Hell-fire on that day to the disbelievers whose eyes lay in veils (in the worldly life) from My remembrance (meaning from seeing and understanding the true faith); and just as they would not see the truth, similarly they were also not capable of hearing it. That is to say, they had no intention at all to perceive the Truth. Therefore, since it is established that kufr is worthy of such an intense warning, what, do these disbelievers still think that they should take my servants (meaning those who are under my ownership and control, either voluntarily or involuntarily) in exclusion to me as their protectors, (meaning objects of worship and helpers) which is clearly kufr and shirk? That is to say, even after coming to know of kufr being a cause for punishment, they still choose to disbelieve. Let them do as they please. Regardless of that, We have prepared The Hell-fire for the entertainment of the disbelievers. Entertainment was said sarcastically.

If they are proud upon their deeds, misconceiving them to be righteous, and on account of them they consider themselves protected from punishment and entitled to salvation, then in that regard say to them, Shall we not tell you of such people who in terms of deeds will be in total loss? They are the ones whose ready and done efforts in the worldly life, which they performed as righteous deeds, will be wasted in the Afterlife; and due to ignorance they are still under the impression that they are doing good. In the upcoming verse the individuals to whom this applies are mentioned. The wording used additionally alludes to the reason behind their efforts being wasted. By way of conclusion, the cancellation of their deeds is explicitly re-stated thereafter.

They are those who disbelieve in the verses of their Lord (meaning divine scriptures) and meeting him on Judgment Day. So, for this reason, all their good deeds have become null. Hence, We will not establish on the Day of Judgment for them (meaning for their good deeds) any weight. Rather, that will be their punishment which was mentioned above i.e., the Hellfire for the simple reason that they disbelieved, as the consequence of kufr being the Hell-fire was also understood above; and from the branches of this kufr is also that they made a joke out of my verses and messengers. In contrast to them, what follows is the state of the believers:

Certainly those who bring faith and perform righteous deeds, for their hospitality will be the gardens of Al-Firdaws (meaning Paradise) wherein they will reside forever. Neither will anyone drive them out from there, nor from there will they desire any relocation.


Earlier, we saw punishment-worthiness upon rejecting Tawheed in “…أَفَحَسِبَ الَّذِينَ”, and upon rejecting messengership in “…وَاتَّخَذُوا آيَاتِي وَرُسُلِي”. Likewise, in “…إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا” we saw promise of reward upon believing and obeying.

In the upcoming verses, “…قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ” establishes tawheed and “…قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ” establishes messengership. Similarly, “…فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو” establishes the believer’s reward by way of denotation (mantooqan) and the disbeliever’s punishment by way of connotation (mafhooman). The Surah concludes upon this. This very theme was also present in the beginning of the Surah, as can be discovered by pondering on the verses.

Tawheed and Risalah along with Recompense of Believing and Rejecting


قُل لَّوۡ كَانَ ٱلۡبَحۡرُ مِدَادً۬ا لِّكَلِمَـٰتِ رَبِّى لَنَفِدَ ٱلۡبَحۡرُ قَبۡلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَـٰتُ رَبِّى وَلَوۡ جِئۡنَا بِمِثۡلِهِۦ مَدَدً۬ا (١٠٩) قُلۡ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۟ بَشَرٌ۬ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَـٰهُكُمۡ إِلَـٰهٌ۬ وَٲحِدٌ۬‌ۖ فَمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ لِقَآءَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلۡيَعۡمَلۡ عَمَلاً۬ صَـٰلِحً۬ا وَلَا يُشۡرِكۡ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِۦۤ أَحَدَۢا (١١٠)

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Say to them with regards to the words and expressions of your Lord which indicate upon divine attributes of perfection, If in order to write the sayings of my Lord (meaning the said words and expressions) the sea was to become in place of ink and in this manner the writing process was to begin, then before the sayings of my Lord exhaust, that sea would deplete and the sayings would not be encompassed, even if we were to bring another sea of its like in assistance; even then, the sayings would not exhaust and that second sea would also deplete. Therefore, His acclaim is infinite and the same cannot be said about any fabricated deity. For this reason, worship and Lordship specifically belong to Him. Also say to them, You, who confront me with rejection, keep in mind that I do not claim something impossible or far-fetched. Rather I am but a human like you. I acknowledge this and do not claim to be an angel etc. which would cause alienation. The only revelation that comes to me is that your true focus of worship is only one entity worthy of worship. Therefore, neither is revelation itself strange in the least nor is the revealed theme any cause for alienation. Rather, Tawheed itself is proven through rational proofs.

So, since Tawheed and messengership are established, whoever longs to meet his Lord, then while considering me to be a Prophet and in accordance to my Shari’ah, let him keep performing righteous deeds and not associate anyone in the worship of his Lord. That is to say, let him adopt the beliefs of Tawheed and Risala, as they are the universal prerequisites for salvation itself; and let him continue performing righteous deeds, as this is the dominant prerequisite for perfect salvation. According to the Hadith, hidden shirk (riyaa) is also included within the rubric of shirk. Therefore, in relation to this component, this would be specific mention following a generalization.


Part of divine attributes of perfection is perfection of divine knowledge. Therefore, the infinite nature of divine knowledge is also understood from the above. This serves as a reply to the Jews’ claim that our knowledge is abundant. They uttered this upon hearing the verse which consisted of the response related to the nature of the ruh; “وَمَا أُوتِيتُم مِّن الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً” . That is to say, in comparison to divine knowledge, everything is less. [كذا في اللباب والله أعلم بالصواب]

Written by Yusuf Mullan

September 18th, 2009 at 3:08 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 83-98

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Earlier we saw the question in response to which the story of Ashab al-Kahf was related. The matter of Dhul Qarnain was also inquired about. The upcoming verses relate his story – in response to that inquiry – focusing on three of his expeditions.

The First Expedition


وَيَسۡـَٔلُونَكَ عَن ذِى ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ‌ۖ قُلۡ سَأَتۡلُواْ عَلَيۡكُم مِّنۡهُ ذِڪۡرًا (٨٣) إِنَّا مَكَّنَّا لَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ مِن كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ سَبَبً۬ا (٨٤) فَأَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا (٨٥) حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَغۡرِبَ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَهَا تَغۡرُبُ فِى عَيۡنٍ حَمِئَةٍ۬ وَوَجَدَ عِندَهَا قَوۡمً۬ا‌ۗ قُلۡنَا يَـٰذَا ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ إِمَّآ أَن تُعَذِّبَ وَإِمَّآ أَن تَتَّخِذَ فِيہِمۡ حُسۡنً۬ا (٨٦) قَالَ أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ فَسَوۡفَ نُعَذِّبُهُ ۥ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِۦ فَيُعَذِّبُهُ ۥ عَذَابً۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا (٨٧) وَأَمَّا مَنۡ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَلَهُ ۥ جَزَآءً ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰ‌ۖ وَسَنَقُولُ لَهُ ۥ مِنۡ أَمۡرِنَا يُسۡرً۬ا (٨٨)

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And these people ask you about Dhul Qarnain. Regarding the reason for asking, the books mention that his history was almost entirely lost to the extent that the matters not mentioned in the Quran remain objects of dispute to this very day. It is for this very reason that the Jews chose this story to question about. In this manner, the given response clearly establishes prophethood. Say, I will recite upon you his mention shortly. In the upcoming verses, Allah azza wa jall begins narrating his story that this Dhul Qarnain was such a great king of the times that We gave him reign over the face of the Earth and We gave to him all kinds of sufficient equipment by which he was able to fulfill his royal aspirations.

Hence, intending to conquer the lands of the West, he set off on a path, and continued journeying on this path until when - on the course of his expedition and while conquering all countries and cities which lay in between – he reached the place where the sun sets, meaning the very end of civilization in the West; at that point, the sun appeared for him to be setting in a black-coloured body of water. It is most likely the ocean which is intended by this since its water appears to be black in most places and although the sun was not literally setting in the ocean, it appears as such when ones sight does not reach beyond the ocean. At that juncture he came across a people (upon whose disbelief the upcoming verse “..أَمَّا مَن ظَلَمَ” indicates). By way of inspiration or through the Shari’ah of that time We said, O Dhul Qarnain, Regarding these people you have two options. Either immediately – by way of killing etc. – punish, or adopt a policy of leniency with them. That is to say, begin by inviting them to the true faith. Perhaps the invitation had already reached them and this is why immediate killing was justified. However, since the second option was more preferable it was termed ittikhadh al-husn. Dhul Qarnain spoke, Very well. I will begin by first inviting them. However, after calling to faith, whoever from them remains an oppressor (disbeliever), we people shall punish him by way of killing etc. and this will be the worldly punishment. Then (after death) he will be made to return to his ultimate owner, then He will mete out to him a severe punishment of the Hellfire; and whoever brings faith following my invitation and conforming to sacred injunctions does righteous deeds, then there will be good for him in the afterlife as a reward, and in this life we will also speak to him in our conduct with ease and gentleness. That is to say, even verbal harshness will not be tolerated with him. Let alone physical harshness.


Apparently, it seems that Dhul Qarnain was some pious and righteous king; either a prophet or a wali who was adopting the way of a prophet. Then in the case of being a wali, this conversation was either by way of inspiration or through the informing of a prophet. Perhaps the reason for his title being Dhul Qarnain is because “qarn” means ‘jaanib’ (side, as in this side of the Atlantic) and the duality is indicative upon abundance. Since he achieved dominance over the corners of the earth, he was known as Dhul Qarnain – and Allah knows best.

In Dhul Qarnain’s upcoming two expeditions, the theme of these two options between punishing and adopting leniency is not mentioned. Perhaps by mentioning it on one occasion the purpose is to leave other occasions to the analogical reasoning of the listeners, or the conversation itself was done in order for him (Dhul Qarnain) to act accordingly at other times.

Second Expedition


ثُمَّ أَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا (٨٩) حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ مَطۡلِعَ ٱلشَّمۡسِ وَجَدَهَا تَطۡلُعُ عَلَىٰ قَوۡمٍ۬ لَّمۡ نَجۡعَل لَّهُم مِّن دُونِہَا سِتۡرً۬ا (٩٠) كَذَٲلِكَ وَقَدۡ أَحَطۡنَا بِمَا لَدَيۡهِ خُبۡرً۬ا (٩١)

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Having conquered the lands of the West, now intending to conquer the lands of the East, he then set off on another path and continued traversing the distance until when he reached the place where the sun rises, i.e. when he reached the end of civilization to the East, he saw the sun rising upon a people (meaning [he came accross] a people who resided at that location) for whom we did not place a barrier intervening from the sun. Apparently, this seems to suggest that these people did not know how to construct houses etc. by which refuge from the sun may be sought. Thus is this story; and whatever equipment and forces etc. Dhul Qarnain possessed we are fully aware of it.


This is to strengthen and affirm the theme that whatever we say regarding this story, we say it through knowledge, and our knowledge is based on reality. Regardless of whether the ‘mushaarun ileih’ for dhalika is the Eastern expedition only or both (the Eastern expedition and the previously mentioned Western one), perhaps the purpose here is to draw increased attention to the nubuwwa Muhammadiya. In other words, ‘Notice how accurately he is able to relate untraceable events of the distant past. This is because it is We who inform him.’

Third Expedition


ثُمَّ أَتۡبَعَ سَبَبًا (٩٢) حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغَ بَيۡنَ ٱلسَّدَّيۡنِ وَجَدَ مِن دُونِهِمَا قَوۡمً۬ا لَّا يَكَادُونَ يَفۡقَهُونَ قَوۡلاً۬ (٩٣) قَالُواْ يَـٰذَا ٱلۡقَرۡنَيۡنِ إِنَّ يَأۡجُوجَ وَمَأۡجُوجَ مُفۡسِدُونَ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَهَلۡ نَجۡعَلُ لَكَ خَرۡجًا عَلَىٰٓ أَن تَجۡعَلَ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَهُمۡ سَدًّ۬ا (٩٤) قَالَ مَا مَكَّنِّى فِيهِ رَبِّى خَيۡرٌ۬ فَأَعِينُونِى بِقُوَّةٍ أَجۡعَلۡ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَہُمۡ رَدۡمًا (٩٥) ءَاتُونِى زُبَرَ ٱلۡحَدِيدِ‌ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا سَاوَىٰ بَيۡنَ ٱلصَّدَفَيۡنِ قَالَ ٱنفُخُواْ‌ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا جَعَلَهُ ۥ نَارً۬ا قَالَ ءَاتُونِىٓ أُفۡرِغۡ عَلَيۡهِ قِطۡرً۬ا (٩٦) فَمَا ٱسۡطَـٰعُوٓاْ أَن يَظۡهَرُوهُ وَمَا ٱسۡتَطَـٰعُواْ لَهُ ۥ نَقۡبً۬ا (٩٧) قَالَ هَـٰذَا رَحۡمَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّى‌ۖ فَإِذَا جَآءَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّى جَعَلَهُ ۥ دَكَّآءَ‌ۖ وَكَانَ وَعۡدُ رَبِّى حَقًّ۬ا (٩٨)

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Then having conquered both the East and the West, he set off on yet another path. Since population in the North was greater, it seems likely that it is the intended direction here. The scholars of Tafsir have stated the same. Until when having traversed the path he reached between two mountains, he found on the other side of those mountains a people who due to extreme unfamiliarity of language and poor understanding would not even come close to understanding any speech, meaning they could not understand speech because of being natives of another language, and they could not even come close to understanding on account of their poor intellectual faculties. Otherwise, someone intelligent would be able to understand a great deal through signs and indications. However, with the help of a translator they spoke to Dhul Qarnain. They said, O Dhul Qarnain, The tribe of Gog and Magog (who live on the other side of this valley) enter and spread corruption in this land of ours from time to time. Meaning, they attack us without provocation and we are not capable of putting forth a defense. So should you permit, we will gather for you some funds on the condition that you create between us and between them a barrier, preventing them from continued entry. Dhul Qarnain responded, That wealth upon which my Lord has given me control, it is quite plentiful. Therefore, I do not need your wealth. However, if you help me through man power, then I will build between you and between them a rampart.

Very well. You people bring to me ingots of iron! The costs will be covered by us. He must have requested many other things, but since these sheets were the main constituent and because they were scarce in this uncivilized land, they were accordingly singled out for mention. Thus all the material was gathered; a foundation was dug and filled with rocks etc. Finally, these sheets were arranged over the structure until when the empty space between the two cliffs became equal to the two mountains, he ordered, Blow! They began blowing until when they (after repeated blowing) made it blazing red; he said, Bring to me molten brass, that had probably been prepared prior to this, which I may pour upon it, meaning have poured. Hence the molten brass was brought and by means of machinery it was poured from above in order to fill the gaps between the sheets – thus resulting in a single shield-like, fortified, metal wall. God knows how high and how wide. So due to its extreme elevation and slippery nature neither were Gog and Magog able to climb it and due to its extreme fortification nor were they able to pierce it. During the time when the wall was being constructed, they were very far from the construction site since the land on the other side of the mountains was quite vast. Dhul Qarnain observed this completed wall, the completion of which was no small task. Out of gratitude, he said, This completion of the wall is a mercy from my Lord upon me since I was made a means in its construction, and upon the people living on this side of it since they are now protected from the evil of Gog and Magog. Then when the promise of my Lord arrives (meaning the time of its perishing) He will collapse and make it leveled to the ground; and every promise of my Lord is true and fulfilled at its appointed time.


It is possible that what Hazrat Dhul Qarnain said here was based on the basic principle that everything will eventually perish. Another possibility is that he came to know of the exact time when this collapse will occur, i.e. during the end of times (as is clarified in detail by many Ahadith). This would be based on revelation, if he was a prophet. If he was a wali, it would be through inspiration or through the informing of a prophet.

Perhaps Dhul Qarnain said this to show that the human should never become deluded by any blessing and heedless of Allah Most High. Rather, one should be grateful upon the blessing and keep in mind the perishing nature of all things.

Let it be known that authors and logicians have presented many theories and essays regarding this wall of the Yajooj and Majooj and they have given their personal opinions. However, the attributes which are clear from the Quran and Sunnah are as follows:

  1. Its builder is a righteous and accepted servant.
  2. He is also a mighty king.
  3. The wall is made of iron.
  4. Its two ends meet with the two cliffs.
  5. Yajooj and Majooj, who live on the other side, have been unsuccessful in trying to cross the wall.
  6. During the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) a slight hole had been made in it.
  7. They slice away at it daily and by Allah’s permission it returns back to its previous thickness the next day. In the proximity of Qiyaamah, after slicing the wall, they will say, “Inshallah, tomorrow we will destroy the wall once and for all.” Thereafter, the wall will not be repaired for the day and they will completely destroy the wall the following day and freely roam about.
  8. Yajooj and Majooj, despite being human, are more powerful than ordinary humans and their number is also quite large.
  9. They will appear during the time of Sayidna Easa (عليه السلام) and he, along with certain special people, will ascend Mount Tur. The rest of the people will take refuge in fortified buildings on their own.
  10. They will all die a sudden death by some extraordinary means.

The first five attributes are taken from the Quran and the others from sound ahaadith. Whoever keeps these attributes in mind will realize that from all the walls people have suggested, the collective attributes are not found in any. This is why these opinions do not seem correct. On the other hand, rejecting sound narrations or making far-fetched interpretations in sacred text is in and of itself contrary to The Deen. Our Muslim authors have attempted to respond to the doubt cast by antagonists, who say that we have travelled the entire earth and have not come across any such wall, by pinpointing locations. The proper response is what the author of Ruh al-Ma’aani has adopted, which is mentioned below.

The main points mentioned by him can be summarized by saying, we do not know its location and it is quite possible that large bodies of water separate us from it. As for the claim that we have encompassed all that exists in terms of land and sea, this is not necessarily accepted. It is rationally possible for islands to exist in the middle of the ocean, large or small, which are yet to be discovered. Lack of discovery does not necessitate lack of existence. Additionally, since a truthful informer (whose truthfulness is established through indisputable proof) has informed about this wall and its attributes, it is incumbent upon us to believe, just as we believe in the case of other possible matters he has informed about. As such, the motive behind paying attention to the doubts raised by these doubt-casters is nothing more than weakness in religion and scarcity of faith.

There not being any mention in the Quran about an expedition to the South is either because he never had an opportunity to make such an expedition, or for some reason it was not given any mention.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

September 18th, 2009 at 2:35 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 71-82

with one comment

Continuation of the Story

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِى ٱلسَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا‌ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقۡتَہَا لِتُغۡرِقَ أَهۡلَهَا لَقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔا إِمۡرً۬ا (٧١) قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُلۡ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا (٧٢) قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرۡهِقۡنِى مِنۡ أَمۡرِى عُسۡرً۬ا (٧٣) فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَـٰمً۬ا فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ قَالَ أَقَتَلۡتَ نَفۡسً۬ا زَكِيَّةَۢ بِغَيۡرِ نَفۡسٍ۬ لَّقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا (٧٤) ۞ قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا (٧٥) قَالَ إِن سَأَلۡتُكَ عَن شَىۡءِۭ بَعۡدَهَا فَلَا تُصَـٰحِبۡنِى‌ۖ قَدۡ بَلَغۡتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذۡرً۬ا (٧٦) فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهۡلَ قَرۡيَةٍ ٱسۡتَطۡعَمَآ أَهۡلَهَا فَأَبَوۡاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيہَا جِدَارً۬ا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ لَوۡ شِئۡتَ لَتَّخَذۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ أَجۡرً۬ا (٧٧) قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيۡنِى وَبَيۡنِكَ‌ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأۡوِيلِ مَا لَمۡ تَسۡتَطِع عَّلَيۡهِ صَبۡرًا (٧٨)

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Hence agreement was reached. Then the two moved forward in a certain direction. Probably, Yusha’ (عليه السلام) accompanied them. However, he was subordinate to Sayidna Musa (عليه السلام) and mention of the one followed relieves from the need to mention the follower; until, while proceeding on their journey they reached a place where the need to board a boat arose. At that time when they boarded the boat, the elder sliced it by removing a plank thereof and then perhaps repaired it. Also, perhaps the occupants of the boat were his devotees and for this reason did not stand in his way. Musa (عليه السلام) said, Did you create this rip in it solely to drown its occupants? That is to say, such harm resulting from this was not far-fetched and although such harm was merely a possibility, but as long as no prevailing benefit justified it, it was also obligatory to refrain from anticipated harm. For now, no prevailing benefit exists. You have done something grave (meaning reckless) indeed! The elder said, Did I not say, You will not be able to maintain patience with me? After all, that is exactly what happened. You were not able to hold to your word. Musa (عليه السلام) said, I did not remember. Therefore, please do not hold me accountable upon my forgetfulness and do not place undue difficulty in my matter of companionship in that even forgetfulness is not pardoned. Let it be.

Having disembarked from the boat, the two then moved forward until when they met an underage boy; the elder killed him. Musa (عليه السلام) panicked and said, You just killed a sinless soul and that too not out of recompense for a soul. This which you have done is something deplorable indeed! Because not only is this the killing of an under-aged boy (even as punishment for murder children are not killed), but the fact that he did not commit any deed worthy of capital punishment at all makes this act graver than the previous. This is because what was done to the boat, though certainly resulting in loss of wealth, contained only a possibility of loss of life. Here, loss of life became certain, and that too of an underage child, as Muslim relates in the Sahih marfoo‘an “… لو أدرك”. Sayidna Khadir’s upcoming excuse also suggests the same. Otherwise, if the boy was pubescent and a robber, as some claimed, then that excuse would have been more understandable. It should have been mentioned. The elder said, Did I not say you will not be able to maintain patience with me?

Musa (عليه السلام) said, Fair enough. Please allow this one also. However, if after this instance I ask you about anything, do not keep me with you. Surely you have reached the extent of excuse on my behalf. That is to say, you have forgiven profusely. Now, if you choose to separate me, it would be understandable. This time, not availing the excuse of forgetfulness suggests that he did not forget. Thereafter, the two proceeded further, until when they came upon the occupants of a town; they sought food from its people that we are guests. So they refused to host them; meanwhile they found a wall there ready to fall. So the elder (with a gesture of the hand, miraculously) set it upright. Musa (عليه السلام) said, If you wanted you could have at least taken a wage upon it. It could suffice for our temporary needs in addition to contributing to the betterment of their behavior. Otherwise, being nice to such people generally increases their bad manners further. The elder said, This is the time of my and your separation, as you yourself stipulated. I will inform you shortly regarding the reality of those matters in which you were unable to practice patience. Accordingly, the upcoming verses mention this reality.


It wouldn’t be surprising if revealing these secrets was a way of fulfilling Musa’s request (أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدً۬ا), though only through a sampling. Had the two remained together the elder probably would have himself disclosed the secrets at some appropriate time and would have done this repeatedly after every subsequent event. Consequently, increased knowledge would have been achieved.1

Similarly, this [attention given to the fulfillment of Musa’s request] was in spite of this particular knowledge not being generally beneficial to the level of Musa’s own knowledge, due to not being actionable. However, there is no question in it being specifically beneficial in the sense that it involved manifestation of detailed points of wisdom, though for the purpose of nearness to Allah a general belief of every event comprising upon wisdom is enough.

When Khadir reprimanded Musa on questioning him, Musa (عليه السلام) did not counter by saying, You’re acting in an unlawful manner. This is because after Musa’s anger subsided, he realized indistinctly that the elder’s actions must be in accordance to Sacred Law for the very reason that Allah Most High directed him here.

Musa’s objecting upon the elder despite having promised to restrain himself was perhaps because Musa (عليه السلام) took upon himself something which Allah Most High had not made an obligation upon him. In fulfilling it was his own benefit, while acting contrary to it resulted in no harm upon Khadir (عليه السلام). This is especially true given that Khadir knew he would not be able to maintain patience. Abandoning such matters which in and of themselves are not religiously mandatory, rather one chooses to take them upon oneself for their own benefit only to later leave them without harming others, does not fall under disobedience.

Therefore, this does not necessitate breaking a promise (which is religiously prohibited). Just as going against such promises is permissible once, similarly, it is permissible multiple times. Hence, the question does not arise of why he did it again and again. Primarily, this returns back to having a good personality which manifests itself in people of perfection also from time to time.

Rest of the Story

أَمَّا ٱلسَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتۡ لِمَسَـٰكِينَ يَعۡمَلُونَ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنۡ أَعِيبَہَا وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌ۬ يَأۡخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصۡبً۬ا (٧٩) وَأَمَّا ٱلۡغُلَـٰمُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤۡمِنَيۡنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرۡهِقَهُمَا طُغۡيَـٰنً۬ا وَڪُفۡرً۬ا (٨٠) فَأَرَدۡنَآ أَن يُبۡدِلَهُمَا رَبُّہُمَا خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡهُ زَكَوٰةً۬ وَأَقۡرَبَ رُحۡمً۬ا (٨١) وَأَمَّا ٱلۡجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيۡنِ يَتِيمَيۡنِ فِى ٱلۡمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحۡتَهُ ۥ كَنزٌ۬ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبۡلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسۡتَخۡرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّن رَّبِّكَ‌ۚ وَمَا فَعَلۡتُهُ ۥ عَنۡ أَمۡرِى‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ تَأۡوِيلُ مَا لَمۡ تَسۡطِع عَّلَيۡهِ صَبۡرً۬ا (٨٢)

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Concerning that boat, it belonged to some poor people who toiled in the sea thereby earning their livelihood. This was their only source of income. So I decided to cause a fault in it. The reason for this was that ahead of them was a tyrant king who would take every well-maintained boat forcefully. Therefore, if a fault was not caused in their boat, it too would have been confiscated resulting in their livelihood being affected. Thus was the benefit in this damage; and regarding the boy, his parents were believers and if this child was to grow older, he would become a disbeliever. Meanwhile, his parents loved him very much. So we became apprehensive (meaning knew with certitude) lest he influence them with rebellion and disbelief. That is to say, in fear that they too adopt his ways of disbelief on account of their love. So we deemed it appropriate that his ‘story’ be concluded. Then their Lord will instead give them such offspring – be it a boy or a girl – who in terms of purity (meaning religion) would be better than him and in love would be superior; and as for that wall, it belonged to two orphan boys who live in this city and under it a treasure of theirs was buried, which had come to them through the inheritance of their father and their father who died was a righteous man. Hence due to his righteousness Allah Most High decided to protect the wealth of his children. Had the wall fallen, people would have looted the wealth. Perhaps the guardian of these children who must have known about the treasure (for some reason) was not available to see to the situation. So your Lord on account of His Mercy willed for them to reach their youthful age and extract their treasure, and all of these actions I carried out based on divine inspiration. No act did I perform of my own accord. There you go. This is the reality of those matters upon which you were incapable of maintaining patience. As promised, I have disclosed their reality.

Thereafter, Musa (عليه السلام) took leave and left from there. It is related in the Hadith that Musa (عليه السلام) out of embarrassment stipulated that you may let me go, if I further question you. Had he not said this and remained with him longer, they would have witnessed more wondrous things.


All of the points mentioned in the extended translation were taken from narrations related in the Sahihayn, with the exception of those statements in which the following wording occurred: purpose, meaning, probably, perhaps, possibility/possibly, intent (what is intended by), apparently, must have, it is not surprising, and the word ‘or‘.

Some have been deceived by this story into thinking that inner knowledge (‘ilm al-batin) is superior to knowledge of the Shar‘iah. In response, we say that inner knowledge has two branches; knowledge related to divine pleasure which concerns the nafs, and knowledge pertaining to secrets of the creation (asraar kawniya). The first is already a segment of the Shar’iah, and the segment can never be superior to the whole. The second does not contribute to divine nearness and therefore has no possibility of being superior.

The second misconception is in thinking Khadir (عليه السلام) has a higher status than Musa (عليه السلام). In response, we say that these verses establish Khadir (عليه السلام) possessing the second branch of inner knowledge. Concerning it you have just heard that it is not superior to knowledge of the Shari’ah in which Musa (عليه السلام) was a master. As for why, then, was the latter sent to the former? The basis of this is not superiority. Instead, this was done for the purpose of education and discipline in order for him to maintain increased caution when speaking and in the future for him to not speak in absolute terms where conditional wording is more appropriate.

Some have been deceived into saying that one should not criticize their peer (spiritual guide) upon unlawful actions. Hence, regarding this story, the Hadith states that had Musa (عليه السلام) remained quiet, it would have been great. In reply to this, Khadir’s (عليه السلام) perfection was established through divine text. For this reason, remaining quiet was permissible. Others cannot be compared to him.

Others are confused that acting unlawfully based on inspiration (ilhaam) is permissible. The reply is that he was either a prophet, or this was permissible in earlier Sharaai’. In our Shari’ah this is not permissible.

Some people of the book claim that this story is not of the well-known prophet Musa (عليه السلام). Rather, it is some other Musa. Otherwise this would be mentioned in our books. However, the Hadith explicitly states that the prophet mentioned in this story is definitely the same Musa (عليه السلام). Many books of the Jews have been lost. It is possible for the story to be contained within one of these lost books. Even if that is not the case, that which establishes is always preferred over that which negates.

Some have expressed doubt about how and when this story occurred in that it never became popular among the Bani Israeel. Addressing this, we would say that either they did become aware but suppressed the story out of embarrassment thus not allowing it to attain popularity, or Musa (عليه السلام) chose not to inform them in consideration of their dull-wittedness lest they fall into confusion and tribulation. Meanwhile, the Bani Israeel thought he must have set out on some normal travel.

  1. Maulana Thanwi (قدس سره) writes in the footnote regarding the above quoted statement:

    “Most probably the purpose behind this [paragraph and the one following it] is to explain the Hadith wherein the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) expressed desire that if Musa (عليه السلام) would not have spoken, additional incidents would have occurred.

    “The explanation is as follows: Being able to hear further stories was not the point of the desire. Rather, the secrets which would have become revealed through these additional stories are what were being longed for. Khadir (عليه السلام), in the case of [Musa (عليه السلام) maintaining] silence, would have himself disclosed the secrets, and though these secrets are not generally beneficial, however, due to specifying and detailing the points of wisdom, they are definitely beneficial in a specific sense. Obviously, the more incidents occur, the more such wisdom would have a chance of manifesting, resulting in increased knowledge. This is why the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) expressed the desire.

    “The reason I am saying ‘most probably’ is that I am not entirely sure why I added this text at the time of writing the tafsir”. []

Written by Yusuf Mullan

August 30th, 2009 at 3:07 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 60-70

with one comment


Above we saw the request of the prominent disbelievers rejected wherein they sought the removal of the poor believers from the Prophet’s teaching area (صلى الله عليه وسلم). In the upcoming verses this rejection is further clarified with one story of Sayidna Musa (عليه السلام). He saw no shame at all in making one lower than him a teacher in certain specific matters of knowledge. You on the other hand feel ashamed of merely having these poor people as classmates.

In addition to the above purpose, the story also indicates on his Prophethood (صلى الله عليه وسلم), as is quite evident.

The story of Musa (عليه السلام) with Khadir (عليه السلام)

وَإِذۡ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَٮٰهُ لَآ أَبۡرَحُ حَتَّىٰٓ أَبۡلُغَ مَجۡمَعَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَيۡنِ أَوۡ أَمۡضِىَ حُقُبً۬ا (٦٠) فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجۡمَعَ بَيۡنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ سَرَبً۬ا (٦١) فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَٮٰهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدۡ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبً۬ا (٦٢) قَالَ أَرَءَيۡتَ إِذۡ أَوَيۡنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخۡرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلۡحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنۡسَٮٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَنۡ أَذۡكُرَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ عَجَبً۬ا (٦٣) قَالَ ذَٲلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبۡغِ‌ۚ فَٱرۡتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصً۬ا (٦٤) فَوَجَدَا عَبۡدً۬ا مِّنۡ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنۡ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلۡمً۬ا (٦٥)

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And remember that time when Musa (عليه السلام) said to his servant, whose name was Yusha [narrated by al-Bukhari], I will continuously move forward in this journey until I reach the place where the two seas meet. Otherwise, I will keep going for a substantially long time. This meaning is similar to:

دست از طلب ندارم تا کارمن برآید
یا تن رسد بجاناں یا جاں زتن برآید

I will not stop my praying until he accepts my prayer
Either he accepts my body or he accepts my soul

The circumstances behind this journey are as follows. Once Musa (عليه السلام) was exhorting the people and someone asked, Who at this time is the most knowledgeable? Musa (عليه السلام) replied, I am. That is to say, as far as that knowledge is concerned which draws one near to the Almighty, there is no one equal to me. This was a valid thing to say since he was an ulu al-’azam prophet, and evidently none can reach ulu al-’azam anbiya in this category of knowledge.

However, since the apparent words spoken were general, Allah Most High decided to educate Sayidna Musa (عليه السلام) to be more cautious when speaking. Hence he was informed that a servant of ours resides where the two seas meet who has more knowledge than even you; meaning he possesses a higher degree of certain specific points of knowledge, though that knowledge does not contribute to the acquisition of qurb ilallah, as will become clear shortly. Nevertheless, based on this, caution should have been exercised when replying. Describing oneself as being the most knowledgeable in general terms was not appropriate. Thereupon, Musa (عليه السلام) became desirous of meeting him. So he asked how to reach him. He was told to take with him a dead fish on the journey. This person will be found at the location where the fish is lost. Musa (عليه السلام) then set off on the journey with his servant Yusha’ and said what is mentioned in the above verse.

So, while walking, when the two reached the meeting place of the two seas, they fell asleep leaning against some boulder. The fish, by Allah’s permission, came to life and jumped into the sea. Upon waking Yusha’ (عليه السلام) found the fish missing. The intent was to inform Musa (عليه السلام) when he awoke but he totally forgot. Perhaps thoughts of his home and family preoccupied and overwhelmed him to the point where he forgot to mention. Otherwise, forgetting something this amazing is quite unlikely. However, for one who observes miracles all the time, it is not too difficult to conceive such a person occasionally forgetting an odd supernatural event of the lower kind due to becoming preoccupied with other thoughts. Musa (عليه السلام) also did not remember to ask. In this manner the two forgot that fish of theirs; the fish, having come to life prior to this, adopted its path in the sea and departed. Then when they went further from there, leaving it far behind, Musa (عليه السلام) said to his servant, Do bring us our breakfast. We have indeed experienced in this journey of ours, meaning today’s travel, great fatigue. Contrary to this, they had not become tired while travelling in any of the days prior to this. The reason for this is apparently crossing over the destination. The servant said, Here you go. You see, something amazing happened. When we rested near that boulder, something happened to the fish and my intention was to inform you of this story, but I got distracted with some other thoughts, and I forgot to mention that fish, and it was only Shaytan who made me forget to mention it; and that story was that the fish after becoming alive took a path in the sea in an amazing way. One aspect of this amazing way was its very coming to life. The second was that the area of the sea where it penetrated miraculously opened to form the like of a tunnel. (Most probably, it later reverted to its original state.)

Upon hearing the story, Musa said, This was the very place we were in search of. We should definitely return back to it. Then the two returned back following their footsteps. The path was probably not a road which is why they needed to follow their footsteps. Then upon reaching there they found from Our servants a servant, meaning Khadir, to whom we had granted Our special Mercy, meaning acceptance. The meaning of acceptance holds the possibility of both wilayah and nabuwwa; and We had taught him especially from Us, without conventional means of acquisition, a special type of knowledge. This knowledge is referring to certain secrets of creation (asrar kawniya) as can be understood from the upcoming incidents. This knowledge has no bearing on attaining nearness. That which does in fact pertain to attaining nearness is knowledge of divine secrets (asrar ilahiya). Musa (عليه السلام) was superior in this type.

قَالَ لَهُ ۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلۡ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدً۬ا (٦٦) قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا (٦٧) وَكَيۡفَ تَصۡبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمۡ تُحِطۡ بِهِۦ خُبۡرً۬ا (٦٨) قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرً۬ا وَلَآ أَعۡصِى لَكَ أَمۡرً۬ا (٦٩) قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَنِى فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِى عَن شَىۡءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحۡدِثَ لَكَ مِنۡهُ ذِكۡرً۬ا (٧٠)

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Returning back to the story, Musa (عليه السلام) greeted him with Salam and said to him, May I remain with you, meaning do you allow me to stay in your company, on the condition that from the beneficial knowledge which you have been taught (directly from the presence of Allah) you also teach me? The Sheikh replied, While in my company you will not be able to exercise patience upon my actions. That is to say, you will begin criticizing me and a student criticizing his teacher in matters of teaching makes companionship difficult; and tell me how will you be able to restrain yourself from criticism regarding those matters which are out of your realm of understanding? In other words, due to the objectives not being known, apparently, it will seem that these actions are contrary to sacred-law. You will not be able to maintain silence upon such unlawful matters. Musa (عليه السلام) said, No. Allah willing, you will find me to be patient and restrained, and I will not rule against you in any matter. That is to say, for instance if you prohibit questioning, I will refrain from this. Similarly I will not confront you in other matters. He (the Sheikh) said, Fair enough. So if you choose to remain with me, simply keep in mind that you are not to ask me about any matter until I do not first disclose to you regarding its reality.


There are multiple places where two seas meet. This was one such place. No important matter is dependent upon ascertaining this particular place.

If doubt arises that once the place of the two seas meeting was told to them, why did they proceed beyond it? And although they missed the incident of the fish coming to life, they did know that Majm’ al-Bahrain has now arrived. The reply would be: Majm’ al-Bahrain does not need to refer to a particular geographical point. Rather, it is possible for the surrounding area spanning over a considerable area to be called Majm’ al-Bahrain. Due to this very vastness, the story of the fish was made a sign. Hearing this sign, the addressee would surely understand the place to be vast, although according to the speaker it may very well be specific.

Even though the fish regaining life might have occurred upon contact with the water, it was purely as a result of divine intervention because this was determined to be the sign. From it does not follow that the water was the cause, or even if it was, continuous causation does not follow.

If doubt arises that since Yusha’ (عليه السلام) was a prophet, how was it possible for Shaytan to influence him into forgetting? The reply will be as follows that the influence which leads to disobedience is what prophets are established to be protected from. Other types of influence are similar to how a Kafir may throw a rock at a prophet which may result in the prophet becoming wounded.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

August 30th, 2009 at 2:54 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 50-59

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Above, under verse “وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَن ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطاً” we saw indication towards the corrupt character of the elite from the Kuffar, namely boasting and being proud. We also saw indication towards their corrupt beliefs, namely disbelief and rejection. This very sequence has led the discourse to this stage.

In the upcoming verses, related to the same, we are told of the ill fate of Iblis due to arrogance. We also learn of these people being his followers and this followership not benefiting them in the least, rather their being punished due to it. Furthermore, their disputation in the matter of the Qur’an and messengership, their indifference to sound proofs, the declaration of despair from their bringing faith for the purpose of comforting the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the wisdom behind their punishment being delayed in spite of them being punishment-worthy, are all topics addressed in the upcoming ten verses.

Articles of Disbelief and Punishments for those that reject

وَإِذۡ قُلۡنَا لِلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةِ ٱسۡجُدُواْ لِأَدَمَ فَسَجَدُوٓاْ إِلَّآ إِبۡلِيسَ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡجِنِّ فَفَسَقَ عَنۡ أَمۡرِ رَبِّهِۦۤ‌ۗ أَفَتَتَّخِذُونَهُ ۥ وَذُرِّيَّتَهُ ۥۤ أَوۡلِيَآءَ مِن دُونِى وَهُمۡ لَكُمۡ عَدُوُّۢ‌ۚ بِئۡسَ لِلظَّـٰلِمِينَ بَدَلاً۬ (٥٠) ۞ مَّآ أَشۡہَدتُّہُمۡ خَلۡقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَلَا خَلۡقَ أَنفُسِہِمۡ وَمَا كُنتُ مُتَّخِذَ ٱلۡمُضِلِّينَ عَضُدً۬ا (٥١) وَيَوۡمَ يَقُولُ نَادُواْ شُرَڪَآءِىَ ٱلَّذِينَ زَعَمۡتُمۡ فَدَعَوۡهُمۡ فَلَمۡ يَسۡتَجِيبُواْ لَهُمۡ وَجَعَلۡنَا بَيۡنَہُم مَّوۡبِقً۬ا (٥٢) وَرَءَا ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ ٱلنَّارَ فَظَنُّوٓاْ أَنَّہُم مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمۡ يَجِدُواْ عَنۡہَا مَصۡرِفً۬ا (٥٣) وَلَقَدۡ صَرَّفۡنَا فِى هَـٰذَا ٱلۡقُرۡءَانِ لِلنَّاسِ مِن ڪُلِّ مَثَلٍ۬‌ۚ وَكَانَ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنُ أَڪۡثَرَ شَىۡءٍ۬ جَدَلاً۬ (٥٤) وَمَا مَنَعَ ٱلنَّاسَ أَن يُؤۡمِنُوٓاْ إِذۡ جَآءَهُمُ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَيَسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ رَبَّهُمۡ إِلَّآ أَن تَأۡتِيَہُمۡ سُنَّةُ ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ أَوۡ يَأۡتِيَہُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابُ قُبُلاً۬ (٥٥) وَمَا نُرۡسِلُ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ إِلَّا مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ‌ۚ وَيُجَـٰدِلُ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ بِٱلۡبَـٰطِلِ لِيُدۡحِضُواْ بِهِ ٱلۡحَقَّ‌ۖ وَٱتَّخَذُوٓاْ ءَايَـٰتِى وَمَآ أُنذِرُواْ هُزُوً۬ا (٥٦) وَمَنۡ أَظۡلَمُ مِمَّن ذُكِّرَ بِـَٔايَـٰتِ رَبِّهِۦ فَأَعۡرَضَ عَنۡہَا وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتۡ يَدَاهُ‌ۚ إِنَّا جَعَلۡنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمۡ أَڪِنَّةً أَن يَفۡقَهُوهُ وَفِىٓ ءَاذَانِہِمۡ وَقۡرً۬ا‌ۖ وَإِن تَدۡعُهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ فَلَن يَہۡتَدُوٓاْ إِذًا أَبَدً۬ا (٥٧) وَرَبُّكَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ذُو ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ‌ۖ لَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا ڪَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ‌ۚ بَل لَّهُم مَّوۡعِدٌ۬ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَوۡٮِٕلاً۬ (٥٨) وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰٓ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهُمۡ لَمَّا ظَلَمُواْ وَجَعَلۡنَا لِمَهۡلِكِهِم مَّوۡعِدً۬ا (٥٩)

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And that time is also worthy of mention when we commanded the angels to prostrate in front of Adam (عليه السلام). So, all prostrated with the exception of Iblis. He was from the Jinn. Hence, for this reason, he deviated from the command of his Lord, as was the requisite of the dominant element of his creation, namely fire. However, he will not be excused due to this because it was possible for this requisite to be overcome. This is similar to how the nature of many people is inclined towards sin. However, overcoming this remains feasible. So, since Iblis is as mentioned, do you still take him and his posterity - meaning his offspring and followers – as friends excluding Me? That is to say, instead of following Me, in your fundamental beliefs you follow them, resulting in total shirk, whereas they, meaning Iblis and his party, are your enemy in that they constantly pursue your harm. This, taking Iblis and his posterity as friends, for the oppressors is an awful alternative indeed.The term ‘alternative’ was used because it was Me they should have chosen to be a friend. Instead of this, they established the Shayateen as friends. Their being an enemy should have prevented from friendship. In addition, no catalyst even exists for establishing friendship which in essence is establishing a partner for the Almighty. Hence, neither did I call them during the time of creating the heavens and the earth in order to help Me and give Me console, nor at the time of creating their own selves, i.e. I did not call one at the time of creating the other; the intent being that if the Almighty had a partner, even if not sovereign, the minimum degree was for that partner to be subordinate. Moreover, if the partnership was not in the rest of the creation, then at the very least they should have had some say in matters pertaining to their own selves. If not even this, then considering them partners is nothing less than complete absurdity.

And I was not one so helpless as to make anyone and specifically those who lead astray, meaning the Shayateen My friend and arm; meaning a helper is sought by he who himself is incapable and here they are considering them partners in divinity! There, the reality will be known. Hence, remember that day wherein Haq Ta’ala will proclaim, Those whom you deemed to be My partners, call them for your help. Then they will beseech them. So they will not even respond to them, and We will place between them a barrier, as a result of which total despair will be reached. Although desperation would have been reached regardless of the barrier; and at that time the guilty will see the Hellfire. Then they will believe with certitude that they are to fall therein and they will not find from it any path of safety; and We have explained in various ways for the guidance of people every kind of necessary and excellent theme, and in spite of this the state of the rejecting human is such that he is far ahead of all others in terms of unjustified disputation; meaning, of all creation from whom disputation was conceivable e.g. the Jinn and even some animals (if sufficient perception is to be acknowledged for them); and for the people, upon guidance having reached them, (the requirement of which was for them to bring faith) no matter remains an obstacle to them bringing faith and to them seeking forgiveness of their Lord from disbelief etc., except for anticipation of the fact that with them is repeated a prototype in destruction etc. of the predecessors, or that divine punishment confronts them face-to-face.

That is to say, it seems that the reason for their hesitation in bringing faith is that they are waiting for such occurrences; intending that upon such events they will bring faith, as can be inferred from their state. Moreover, they would even say such things from time to time that “Why don’t such events occur?”, and if they actually are conditioning the Messenger’s acceptance with these events, then they should realize that such events have nothing to do with the issue of messengership because only as bearers of good news and warners do We send the Messengers; and for the establishment of this we provide sufficient proof. Requesting anything additional is simply in vain, and with respect to this it is being said that the disbelievers, holding firm to falsehood, create disputation in order to collapse thereby the truth, and they have taken My signs and that punishment, wherewith they are warned, as jest; and who is more oppressive than he who is advised through the verses of his Lord, upon which he turns away from them and forgets the consequence of that sin which his hands collected, which will definitely reach them?

And from comprehending that truthful speech We have placed coverings upon their hearts and a deafness in their ears from hearing it, and for this reason their state is such that if you invite them to the guided path then in such a state (wherein the above is the condition of their hearts and ears) never will they be guided. Hence, why should you grieve?

And postponing the punishment misleads them to believing it will not occur. The reason behind this postponement is that your Lord is All-Forgiving and a possessor of great mercy. Therefore respite is given in order for them to embrace Islam, after which I will forgive them. Furthermore, mercy itself advocates that severe punishment in this life not be meted out to them upon rejecting faith. Otherwise the state of their deeds is such that were He to begin punishing them, meaning intend such, He would immediately impose punishment upon them. However, He does not do this. Rather for their punishment He is designating an appointed time (Judgment-day) short of which, i.e. before which, they will not find any place of refuge whereby they would be able to hide and be protected from the punishment.

This exact policy was adopted concerning prior disbelievers. Hence, these townships, meaning their dwellers, We destroyed them when they rebelled. Thus kufr’s being a catalyst for destruction is established; and We assigned for their destruction an appointed time. Likewise an appointed time exists for these people. How then does this postponement necessitate non-occurrence?

Written by Yusuf Mullan

August 14th, 2009 at 2:03 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 45-49

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Just as the earlier verses illustrated the perishing nature and contemptibility of wealth and prestige through an individual similitude, the upcoming verses similarly establish the speedy demise of this world followed by mention of the everlasting nature of righteous deeds through a universal parable. Moreover, through certain events related to the Day of Judgment, the verses move to establish Judgment Day to be worthy of deep consideration and antagonism in this regard to be worthy of caution.

Perishing of the Dunya, Lasting of the ‘Uqbaa and Awesomeness of Judgment Day

وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلَ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ أَنزَلۡنَـٰهُ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَٱخۡتَلَطَ بِهِۦ نَبَاتُ ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَأَصۡبَحَ هَشِيمً۬ا تَذۡرُوهُ ٱلرِّيَـٰحُ‌ۗ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىۡءٍ۬ مُّقۡتَدِرًا (٤٥) ٱلۡمَالُ وَٱلۡبَنُونَ زِينَةُ ٱلۡحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنۡيَا‌ۖ وَٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ أَمَلاً۬ (٤٦)

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And clarify for these people the state of the worldly life. It is as though We have brought down rain from the sky, then through it the vegetation of the earth has become nice and dense then having dried up after being green and lush; it becomes like chaff such that the wind is blowing with it. Such is the state of the dunya. Today it seems to be flourishing and thriving. Ultimately, there won’t even be any trace or any mention left of it, and Allah Most High has full control over everything; whenever He wishes he brings into existence and causes to thrive. When he wishes, He destroys. Since this is the state of the world itself and wealth and children are an adornment for (and subordinate to) the worldly life, then the demise of wealth and children will be even more swift, and the righteous deeds which will endure forever and ever, they (the righteous deeds) according to your Lord (in the Afterlife) are infinitely better than this world in terms of reward, and infinitely better in terms of expectation also. That is to say, expectations based on righteous deeds in the Afterlife will reach fruition and still much more will be given in reward. Contrary to worldly possessions which even in this world fall short of expectations and in the Afterlife do not even hold possibility of fulfillment. For this reason it is not befitting for one to be prideful of the Dunya or to hold it close to his heart. Instead, one must strive and make effort for the Afterlife.

وَيَوۡمَ نُسَيِّرُ ٱلۡجِبَالَ وَتَرَى ٱلۡأَرۡضَ بَارِزَةً۬ وَحَشَرۡنَـٰهُمۡ فَلَمۡ نُغَادِرۡ مِنۡہُمۡ أَحَدً۬ا (٤٧) وَعُرِضُواْ عَلَىٰ رَبِّكَ صَفًّ۬ا لَّقَدۡ جِئۡتُمُونَا كَمَا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُمۡ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةِۭ‌ۚ بَلۡ زَعَمۡتُمۡ أَلَّن نَّجۡعَلَ لَكُم مَّوۡعِدً۬ا (٤٨) وَوُضِعَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبُ فَتَرَى ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَ مُشۡفِقِينَ مِمَّا فِيهِ وَيَقُولُونَ يَـٰوَيۡلَتَنَا مَالِ هَـٰذَا ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ لَا يُغَادِرُ صَغِيرَةً۬ وَلَا كَبِيرَةً إِلَّآ أَحۡصَٮٰهَا‌ۚ وَوَجَدُواْ مَا عَمِلُواْ حَاضِرً۬ا‌ۗ وَلَا يَظۡلِمُ رَبُّكَ أَحَدً۬ا (٤٩)

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That day should be remembered when we will move the mountains from their place. This will occur in the initial stages, then they will be reduced to the like of finely cut straw and because there will be no mountains, trees or buildings left you will see the earth reduced to a clear plain and, extracting all of them from the graves, We will gather them to the mawqif and we will not leave anyone from them such that he is not brought there; and each and every one will be presented and made to stand orderly in front of your Lord. It will not even be possible for anyone to hide behind another. Those who rejected resurrection from among them will be told: See for yourselves, after all, you did come to Us, brought to life a second time, as We created you in the world the first time. However, in spite of witnessing the first creation you did not believe in the second creation. Rather all you kept thinking was that We will not assign for your second creation a promised time; and the book of deeds, whether given in the right hand or in the left, will be placed open in front of him as mentioned in another verse ” وَنُخْرِجُ لَهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كِتَاباً يَلْقَاهُ مَنشُوراً “. Then you will see the guilty, of whatever is written in it, upon seeing it (and its punishment) will be frightened and they will be saying, O Woe to us, This book of deeds is quite astonishing such that without recording everything it has not left any minor sin nor has it left any major sin; and whatever they did in the world, they will find it all present written in front of them, and your Lord will not oppress anyone by recording a sin which was never committed or failing to record a good deed when performed along with its prerequisites.

To summarize, the polytheist leaders have now heard the state and fate of what they prided themselves on, and they have come to know of (in the form of ٱلۡبَـٰقِيَـٰتُ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتُ ) the everlasting nature of the great wealth which is due to the poor folk who they deem inferior. If they still cannot comprehend, they might as well kill themselves.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 27th, 2009 at 1:17 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 32-44

with one comment


Above, while explaining the etiquettes of propagation, we saw the request of the Kuffar rejected when they asked for the removal of the poor Muslims from the Prophet’s gathering (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and conditioned their entry upon that. In the upcoming verses, the motives and objectives behind this request – pride and arrogance upon worldly wealth, looking down upon and belittling the poor believers on account of their poverty – are destroyed by degrading wealth and elevating faith by means of a story.

This story has come very brief in the Quran. No details of name and place have been provided about the people in the story. Consequently, some have taken it to be hypothetical. However, in al-Durr al-Manthoor the saying of Abu Amr al-Shaibaani with respect to determining the location of the river mentioned in the story has been narrated. It is a river located in the City of Ramala in the Levant region. This suggests that the story is real and since the purpose behind the story does not depend on ascertaining the location, vagueness in this regard is not harmful – Allah knows best.

Just as this story refutes the Kuffar, it also comforts and assures the poor believers that they should not be upset over poverty, rather be grateful on acquiring the true wealth of the Afterlife.

Story with regards to degrading wealth and elevating actions

۞ وَٱضۡرِبۡ لَهُم مَّثَلاً۬ رَّجُلَيۡنِ جَعَلۡنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيۡنِ مِنۡ أَعۡنَـٰبٍ۬ وَحَفَفۡنَـٰهُمَا بِنَخۡلٍ۬ وَجَعَلۡنَا بَيۡنَہُمَا زَرۡعً۬ا (٣٢) كِلۡتَا ٱلۡجَنَّتَيۡنِ ءَاتَتۡ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمۡ تَظۡلِم مِّنۡهُ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا‌ۚ وَفَجَّرۡنَا خِلَـٰلَهُمَا نَہَرً۬ا (٣٣) وَكَانَ لَهُ ۥ ثَمَرٌ۬ فَقَالَ لِصَـٰحِبِهِۦ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ ۥۤ أَنَا۟ أَكۡثَرُ مِنكَ مَالاً۬ وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرً۬ا (٣٤) وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ ۥ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ۬ لِّنَفۡسِهِۦ قَالَ مَآ أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَـٰذِهِۦۤ أَبَدً۬ا (٣٥) وَمَآ أَظُنُّ ٱلسَّاعَةَ قَآٮِٕمَةً۬ وَلَٮِٕن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّى لَأَجِدَنَّ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡهَا مُنقَلَبً۬ا (٣٦)

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And in order to elaborate upon the perishing nature of this world and the everlasting nature of the Afterlife, relate to the people the state of two men, between whom there was association of either acquaintance or relation, in order to invalidate the false understanding of the Kuffar and to comfort the believers. So We had given to one of them (who happened to be irreligious) two gardens of grape-vines, and we had encircled the two gardens with date-palms, meaning the fence was comprising of date-palms; and We had also placed between the two gardens a field of crops. Both gardens brought forth abundant produce, and there was no decrease in the fruit of either, as opposed to the majority of gardens wherein some trees at times bare little fruit, and some years the entire garden falls short, and We had caused a river to flow between the two gardens, and this person had other sources of wealth.

So one day while casually talking with that other associate of his, he said, I am more than you in wealth and my reserve is also mightier. That is to say, it is you who constantly says my way is false and unacceptable in the eyes of Allah and your own way is true and favoured with Allah. So, look at the fruits of both of our paths. If your claim was correct, the reality would be totally opposite, because no one favours the enemy and harms the friend, and (for some reason) taking his associate with him, he arrived at his garden, thereby establishing guilt of disbelief upon himself. He said, based on potential for growth and obvious factors of longevity, I do not assume that this garden will ever deteriorate in my lifetime.

Here, he spoke in the matter of Tawheed: You, who believe in a Creator for the world and establish for Him power etc., I do not believe that anyone can suspend the natural laws of cause and effect. As such, take for instance this garden for which all conventional means are gathered and secured. It has its own river. The workers are present. Enough capital is present to maintain it. In addition, that capital itself is secure. I do not believe that it is susceptible to ruin, and likewise I do not think Judgment Day has to come and assuming, for the sake of argument, if Judgment Day does arrive and I am returned to my Lord (as you claim), assuredly I will find a much better place of return than this garden. That is to say, Paradise in the Afterlife being better than the gardens of this world is something you already claim. That in turn is reserved for the accepted ones. My being an accepted one is established through what you see. Look how well I am kept here in a state of comfort and honour. Therefore, if Judgment Day is established, there too I will be given Paradise.

This person made 4 claims:

  1. That disbelief is not blameworthy (in أَنَا أَكْثَرُ),
  2. Rejecting Tawheed (in مَا أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ),
  3. Rejecting Judgment Day (in وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ),
  4. His being an honourable one with Allah (in وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ), which is a branch of the first claim.
قَالَ لَهُ ۥ صَاحِبُهُ ۥ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ ۥۤ أَكَفَرۡتَ بِٱلَّذِى خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ۬ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطۡفَةٍ۬ ثُمَّ سَوَّٮٰكَ رَجُلاً۬ (٣٧) لَّـٰكِنَّا۟ هُوَ ٱللَّهُ رَبِّى وَلَآ أُشۡرِكُ بِرَبِّىٓ أَحَدً۬ا (٣٨) وَلَوۡلَآ إِذۡ دَخَلۡتَ جَنَّتَكَ قُلۡتَ مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِن تَرَنِ أَنَا۟ أَقَلَّ مِنكَ مَالاً۬ وَوَلَدً۬ا (٣٩) فَعَسَىٰ رَبِّىٓ أَن يُؤۡتِيَنِ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّن جَنَّتِكَ وَيُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡہَا حُسۡبَانً۬ا مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَتُصۡبِحَ صَعِيدً۬ا زَلَقًا (٤٠) أَوۡ يُصۡبِحَ مَآؤُهَا غَوۡرً۬ا فَلَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ لَهُ ۥ طَلَبً۬ا (٤١)

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Upon hearing these points from him, His associate (who happened to be poor but righteous) said to him in the form of a response, What, by rejecting Tawheed and Judgment Day are you disbelieving in that sacred Being who first created you from dust which by way of the Prophet Adam (alaihis salaam) is your distant substance, then through a sperm-drop (which is your immediate source) made you in the womb of your mother, i.e. grew your body parts, then He fashioned you as a proper and intact man; meaning made you capable with respect to your arms and legs etc.. The intent here is that rejecting Tawheed and Judgment Day is disbelief in Allah. In the case of Tawheed this is true at the rational level also and in the case of Judgment Day, only through rejection of scripture. In any case, if you choose to disbelieve, that is your call. However, I am of the belief that He, meaning Allah, is my true Lord and I do not associate with my Lord anyone.

He did not say anything regarding this disbeliever’s children. According to me, the effortless explanation for this would be to say that the comfort of children is tied to wealth. If no wealth, children instead become a calamity upon one’s self and a means for one’s punishment. The field was also not mentioned in the verses for its dependence is on the water. If there is no water, it too will be devastated or because the field was subordinate. Finally, the gardens were two. Mention of only one in every place is because the intent is the genus which incorporates both.

In this reply Tawheed is explicitly established, as وَلَا أُشْرِكُ indicates. Judgment Day is also established, though by way of implication. This is understood from rabbi, because the one who is incapable of resurrection is helpless (aajiz). The aajiz in turn is not worthy of true Lordship. Since Tawheed is established and from the necessarily understood characteristics of it is absolute power, and from the branches of this is the possibility of natural means being rendered ineffective, for this reason it was incumbent upon you to look further towards the Creator of the means. And when you entered your garden why did you not say, Only what Allah wills occurs. Without Allah’s help there is no power in anyone. Hence, as long as Allah wills, He will leave this garden intact. If and when He wills, it will be destroyed. In front of His will, all conventional means are ineffective and without his help no means can benefit. Through this also the theme of Tawheed is strengthened.

This leaves two points, the first being what was mentioned initially, i.e. the deduction on kufr not being reprehensible through abundance of wealth and children etc., and the second (which is a branch of the first) being the deduction upon honourability in the sight of Allah Most High through the same. The following verse responds to these deductions: If you see me less in wealth and children (understood from the generalness of nafaran), and due to this you are confused regarding you and your path being reprehensible in the sight of Allah, then that time seems close for me wherein my Lord will grant me a garden superior to your garden, be it in this world or in the next. In it will be all possible sources of pleasure and comfort.

This also serves as a response to the abundance of gathering and children etc., since the purpose behind wanting children is increased comfort and relaxation of the heart. So, in this superior garden there will be all kinds of comfort and luxury, be it through the means of children or through means even better than children, and He will send upon this garden of yours some ordained calamity from the sky, i.e. through unseen judgment without the medium of natural causes, as a result of which suddenly that garden will turn into a level plain, or as a result of which its water flowing from the river will totally recede into the earth and dry up; then you will not even be capable of any efforts towards its recovery or extraction. Never mind actual recovery.

The gist of the above is that the source of your confusion is wealth and material things which you happen to have and I do not possess. However, it is possible for the situation to turn around even in this world, therefore its consideration as a source is incorrect.  Additionally, all these things will definitely perish one day or another; while on the contrary the blessings of the Afterlife will never perish. This is why consideration should be for there, not here.

By مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ according to the above interpretation allusion was made thus that if the calamity befalls in an extraordinary manner this will further illustrate the ineffectiveness of conventional means. By it the theme of Tawheed is further strengthened, and after this conversation the following incident occurred:

وَأُحِيطَ بِثَمَرِهِۦ فَأَصۡبَحَ يُقَلِّبُ كَفَّيۡهِ عَلَىٰ مَآ أَنفَقَ فِيہَا وَهِىَ خَاوِيَةٌ عَلَىٰ عُرُوشِہَا وَيَقُولُ يَـٰلَيۡتَنِى لَمۡ أُشۡرِكۡ بِرَبِّىٓ أَحَدً۬ا (٤٢) وَلَمۡ تَكُن لَّهُ ۥ فِئَةٌ۬ يَنصُرُونَهُ ۥ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَمَا كَانَ مُنتَصِرًا (٤٣) هُنَالِكَ ٱلۡوَلَـٰيَةُ لِلَّهِ ٱلۡحَقِّ‌ۚ هُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ ثَوَابً۬ا وَخَيۡرٌ عُقۡبً۬ا (٤٤)

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A calamity surrounded his sources of wealth. We have no idea what kind of calamity it was. Apparently, its vagueness, indicated upon by the passive voice of أُحِيطَ, suggests that it was a great calamity. Keeping in mind that something extraordinary is the highest degree of great, it is not far-fetched to believe that it was something of a supernatural nature. Hence, it is written in al-Khazin that it was a fire which descended from the sky burning the entire garden and field and drying up the water source. In addition, some have interpreted حُسْبَان itself to mean fire. [أخرج ذلك ابن أبي شيبة وابن أبي حاتم  عن الضحاك كذا في الروح]

Even if this did not actually happen, the above interpretation of مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ would still be acceptable, because this was the prediction of the believer. Its definite fulfillment was never necessary.

So he was left wringing his hands upon all he had invested in it, and the garden lay fallen upon its trellises, regardless of whether they too were burned or all was semi-burned. The specific mention of the garden was because it was what he had invested the most in and it was also the most beloved. There was no mention about anguish upon the garden’s destruction since that was obvious. Instead the investment was specifically noted, illustrating the double anguish on the present and also on the past, directly and also indirectly; and he began saying, Would that I had not associated with my Lord anyone! (i.e., had he not disbelieved and rejected the Afterlife). Since Tawheed was the greatest of all, it was singled out for mention.

It seems he understood that this calamity came in punishment of kufr; for this reason, he was regretful upon disbelieving. In other words, had he not done so, the calamity would not have struck, and if it did he would have received compensation in the Afterlife. Now, all that is left is the theme of خسر الدنيا والآخرة. All of these consequences of kufr etc. must have reached his ear through the believer. In any case, from the above, it does not follow that this person became a believer since the regret is due to the harm suffered. It is not established that it is resulting from kufr being detestable to him; and he had no such reserve that could help him in exclusion to Allah Most High by preventing the calamity from reaching him or removing it after reaching. Instead, all pride and arrogance associated to the reserve was no more, nor was he able to avenge himself from Us. In such a situation helping is the sole dominion of Allah, the true God. It is His reward which is the best in the Afterlife and in this world also, it is His consequence which is the best; meaning if his accepted servants receive any harm, they will receive a righteous reward in both worlds. As opposed to the disbeliever who remains in utter loss.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 26th, 2009 at 3:37 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Maryam 34-40

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The upcoming verses draw the conclusion of monotheism from the story of Eisa (alaihis salam) and threaten those that reject Tawheed, by mentioning Judgment Day.

Conclusion of Tawheed and Scolding the Obstinate Disbeliever


ذَٲلِكَ عِيسَى ٱبۡنُ مَرۡيَمَ‌ۚ قَوۡلَ ٱلۡحَقِّ ٱلَّذِى فِيهِ يَمۡتَرُونَ (٣٤) مَا كَانَ لِلَّهِ أَن يَتَّخِذَ مِن وَلَدٍ۬‌ۖ سُبۡحَـٰنَهُ ۥۤ‌ۚ إِذَا قَضَىٰٓ أَمۡرً۬ا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ ۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ (٣٥) وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمۡ فَٱعۡبُدُوهُ‌ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطٌ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٌ۬ (٣٦) فَٱخۡتَلَفَ ٱلۡأَحۡزَابُ مِنۢ بَيۡنِہِمۡ‌ۖ فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشۡہَدِ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ (٣٧) أَسۡمِعۡ بِہِمۡ وَأَبۡصِرۡ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتُونَنَا‌ۖ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬ (٣٨) وَأَنذِرۡهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡحَسۡرَةِ إِذۡ قُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ وَهُمۡ فِى غَفۡلَةٍ۬ وَهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ (٣٩) إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَرِثُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَنۡ عَلَيۡہَا وَإِلَيۡنَا يُرۡجَعُونَ (٤٠)

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This is Eisa, son of Maryam; whose speech and attributes have been mentioned, from which his being a favoured servant is known. Not as claimed by the Nasaara (Christians), who removed him from servitude and elevated him to divinity, nor as described by the Jews, who degraded him from being an accepted one and laid upon him (and his mother) various blames and accusations. I speak the absolute truth in which these people of excess and degradation (ifraat and tafreet) quarrel.

Hence, the statements of the Jews and Christians are understood from the above. The claim of the Jews has not been addressed here since their claim even outwardly implied detracting from the rank of a Prophet, which is self-evidently false.

The belief of the Christians, on the other hand, implies excessive and unwarranted perfection. In addition to Prophethood, they established the rank of being offspring of the Almighty which, due to contradicting the fundamentals of monotheism, necessitates detraction from Allah, Almighty. This is refuted in the upcoming verse.

It is not befitting for Allah to take unto Himself a son. He is absolutely pure from all faults. This is because when He decrees a matter, He merely says to it ‘Be’: and it is. Rationally, for such Perfection to bear children is a deficiency.

O Prophet, in order to establish tawheed, say to the people such that the polytheists hear, Verily Allah is my Lord as well as your Lord. So worship Him alone. This exclusive worship of Allah (monotheism) is the straight path of religion. In spite of these textual and rational proofs which establish Tawheed, various factions have caused division amongst themselves. By rejecting Tawheed they have invented many different religious paths.

So woe to these disbelievers from the coming of an awesome Day! (Referring to the Day of Judgment, which with respect to its length and intensity will be awesome.) The day in which they will come to Us, how strong will their hearing and vision be! On Judgment Day such realities will become manifest and all misguidance and misconceptions will be removed. However, these oppressors are in clear error today, in this world.

Warn them, O Prophet, from the day of remorse when the final judgment of Heaven and Hell will be made, as mentioned in the Hadith of al-Bukhari, Muslim and at-Tirmidhi – death will be brought in the form of a spotted ram which will then be slaughtered in front of the people of Hell and Heaven. Thereupon both groups will be made aware of the judgment of eternity, the limitless remorse resulting from which is obvious, while they are in heedlessness, and they are not believing today, in this world. But one day they too will die along with everyone else. We, and only We, will remain the inheritors (ultimate owners) of the earth and all who are on it, and to Us they will be returned. Then they will endure the punishment for their disbelief and association.


A very similar verse occurred at the ¾ mark of the first juz, under the ruku of ‘وَقَالَتِ ٱلۡيَهُودُ’, explaining how the impossibility of divine offspring was deduced from “… إِذَا قَضَىٰٓ أَمۡرً۬ا”.

Though remorse will occur several times before this event, this will be the most severe.

Based on the verses of Surah Zukhruf, “وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمۡ” can also be understood to be from the speech of Hazrat Maseeh PBUH, in which case a “qaala” would be assumed prior to it. That is to say, he said the previous while a child and he said this after becoming a Prophet.

What is meant by “ٱلۡأَحۡزَابُ” are those factions which occurred after Sayidna Eisa (alaihis salam) – and Allah knows best.

اللغات في القاموس المرية الشك والجدل فمعنى يمترون يتنازعون أو يشكون قوله من بينهم في الروح معناه أن الاختلاف لم يخرج عنهم بل كانوا هم المختلفين وبين ظرف استعمل إسما بدخول من عليه ونقل في البحر القول بزيادة من قوله من مشهد مصدر بمعنى الشهود ١٢

النحو قوله قول الحق في الروح قيل نصب على المصدر أي أقول الحق قوله يوم الحسرة إذ مبدل منه وبدل

البلاغة قوله لكن الظالمون فيه وضع المظهر موضع المضمر ١٢

اختلاف القراءة قوله وان الله في قراءة بفتح الهمزة بتقدير الجار أي اللام متعلق بقوله فاعبدوه أي فاعبدوه لان الله ربي وربكم

الروايات ذكرت في المتن من قصة ذبح الموت وفي هذه الرواية قراءته صلى الله عليه وسلم هاتيك الآية حينئذ ١٢

Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 19th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 27-31

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The discussion of messengership is ongoing from the beginning of the Surah. The story of Ashab al-Kahf was presented to strengthen this very theme. In the upcoming verses as well, some rights and etiquettes of messengership are being mentioned. The fundamental meaning of these verses is to propagate the deen self-sufficiently and to give preference to the poor, in spite of their poverty-stricken state, over the rejecters, in spite of their affluence. Hence, the circumstances behind this revelation are narrated similarly: the elite from the disbelievers before entering the Prophet’s gathering requested the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to excuse the poor and destitute believers. The details of this have passed under the Tafsir of “… وَأَنذِرۡ بِهِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَخَافُونَ” and “… وَلَا تَطۡرُدِ ٱلَّذِينَ يَدۡعُونَ رَبَّهُم “, which occurred slightly after the half-way point of the seventh juz.

Some Etiquettes of Propagation

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Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 19th, 2009 at 2:29 am

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf

Al-Kahf 13-26 Final Notes

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Further Benefits

An interesting point is related in Madarik from Ibn Abbas (ra) with respect to their being seven (in number). He says, When they awoke from the sleep one person asked the question (قال قائل). This was followed by “قالوا”, indicating on three, and again “قالوا” indicating on three more. Three is the bare minimum for a plural in Arabic and intending more would require proof, since the default is absence of any increase upon three. Therefore, the total is seven. I say this interesting point may be presented to support existing evidence, but cannot be considered independent evidence, as is obvious.

The detailed rulings of saying “insha Allah” are mentioned in the books of Fiqh. The point of the above verse is simply to emphasize the importance of attaching insha Allah as a form of delegating the matter to Allah (tafweedh). A gap in this regard is not harmful. The verse is not discussing the mention of insha Allah in order to affect the ruling of a prior statement (tatheer fi al-hukm). Generally speaking, the combining of insha Allah verbally is at most mustahab. The matter of the khawaas (people of distinction), and more so the Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, who happens to be akhas al-khawaas is more high and elevated. For this reason, revelation was delayed even upon the disregard of the mustahab.

Apparently, in “… ولبثوا” Allah Most High informed of the duration of their stay. Some have related from Ibn Abbas (ra) that similar to the issue of their number, here too, the intent is to quote an opinion and then refute it by saying “قل الله أعلم”. In this case سيقولون would be assumed before the statement or it would be considered extended from the previous quoted statements. However, there is no proof for this interpretation. If “قل الله أعلم” is presented as proof, which is exactly the same deduction made in the narration from Ibn Abbas (ra), then it will be necessary to understand قل ربي أعلم above in the same light; whereas the position of Ibn Abbas (ra) himself in this regard has been quoted above, in which he adopts specification with respect to their number being seven. This is why it seems this narration from Ibn Abbas, and the deduction contained therein, is not established. The proper meaning of “قل الله أعلم” was given in the extended translation above.

In regards to the above explanation, what remains in question is that Allah Ta’ala specified their exact number through gesture and subtle signals while He mentioned the duration of their sleep in the cave explicitly – what is the reason for this distinction? It would not be surprising if the reason for this is that the lengthy sleep, due to being a simulation of the Afterlife, is a greater signification of Allah’s Omnipotence and contingency of the Afterlife as compared to their exact numbers. The polytheists of Arabia were in more need of this theme. For this reason, specific mention was made (about the length of their sleep), as opposed to the issue of their number being seven – Allah knows best.

Finally, even if the narration from Ibn Abbas (ra) is accepted as unproblematic, all it implies is that this specific number of 309 is not correct. However, at the beginning of the story سنين عددا in clear terms already established that the sleep continued for a great number of years. Therefore, for some contemporary rejecters of supernatural events to deduce from this narration that the sleep was not for a great number of years is totally unfounded, not to mention the attempt at distorting the meaning (tahreef ma’nawi) of سنين عددا, which is far worse.

As for why brief wording was not employed – ‘ثلاثمئة وتسع سنين’. I reason that this would have separated the ثلاثمئة and سنين, thus reducing the explicitness of the indication; keeping in mind that this explicit indication was purposeful in itself to illustrate Allah’s Power to the Kuffaar. Mentioning it twice would have resulted in prolonging of the text. If it is claimed that not having سنين attached to the number 9 causes the same issue in that respect – though the context does remove the vagueness – firstly, this is not harmful in light of the purpose, and secondly, 9 is a small number compared to 300. Furthermore, ازدادوا indicates clearly on its being extra and incremental, and Allah knows best.

Not bringing يسألونك in the prelude to this story, while bringing it in the other two, was perhaps because the ruh, due to being a hidden reality, and the matter of dhul qarnain, due to the length of time which had elapsed since his events, were matters worthy of asking about as opposed to the current story in which neither of the two points exist (and therefore it was not worthy of being asked). Due to occurring in the physical realm, the lack of being a hidden reality is obvious, and the time when this story occurred is also near, as will be mentioned shortly. Therefore, not bringing يسألونك here is to show that this question was not even worthy of being posed. This absence of يسألونك, therefore, conveys the same negation of self-proclaimed wonder in relation to the ahl al-kitaab that “… أم حسبت” and later “… قل عسى ربي” conveyed.

Four matters remain regarding this story. Firstly, the Christian religion had become distorted. How, then, was it considered sufficient for their salvation. In response, it is possible that the true teachings of Christianity existed within small pockets of scholars and people of knowledge. Secondly, in which century did these events occur? Tafseer Haqqaani relates that the era of this oppressive king was some time during the mid-third century according to the Christian calendar. Adding 300 years to this brings us to the middle of the sixth century. The birth of the Holy Prophet, upon him be blessings and peace, occurred approximately in 570 CE. Therefore, their awakening would have occurred 2 decades prior to the birth of the Prophet, peace be upon him. Thirdly, are they still alive or have they passed away? The vast majority of narrations suggest that they died shortly after the time of their awakening – and Allah knows best. Finally, the fourth matter is where did these events occur? Haqqaani mentions the name of the place as Ephesus, which is a city on the West coast of Anatolia. The cave itself was several miles deep and located on the slopes of a mountain approximately 20 kilometers away from the city, and Allah knows best.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

July 13th, 2009 at 11:14 pm

Posted in Surah Al-Kahf