الآية رقم (42) - أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْكَفَرَةُ الْفَجَرَةُ

(42) - (Those are the disbelievers, the wicked ones (42))

Those who will receive this gloomy fate are the disbelievers and the wicked ones. Allah (swt) has not oppressed them in the very least, but is actually giving them what is due of His Just Repayment. For in Allah’s Sight, what you reap is what you had sown.

الآية رقم (41) - تَرْهَقُهَا قَتَرَةٌ

(41) - Blackness will cover them.

The second group: They are the disbelievers, the disobedient and the wrongdoers who had gone against the true path and the true call. They will be in the opposite state. This is because, they have now witnessed with their very own eyes and have acquired knowledge and certainty that they used to deny the noble Prophet and the verses of Allah (swt). They are thus taken by surprise that the Day of Judgement and Recompense are true.

Thus, their faces blacken. Their faces are covered by dust and blackness due to the great terror.

الآية رقم (40) - وَوُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ عَلَيْهَا غَبَرَةٌ

(40) - And [other] faces, that Day, will have upon them dust.

الآية رقم (38-39) - وُجُوهٌ يَوْمَئِذٍ مُّسْفِرَةٌ - ضَاحِكَةٌ مُّسْتَبْشِرَةٌ

(38-39) - ([Some] faces, that Day, will be bright – (38) Laughing, rejoicing at good news. (39))

The verses here are speaking about the time of Reckoning. After Allah (swt) has settled the issues among His Servants, they will be in one of these two states:

The first group has (bright faces): Their faces are overflowing with delight. These are the faces of the believers. The believer who had believed in Allah (swt), His Prophet and His Book will recall his belief in the world and all that Allah (swt) has promised him. He will also recall that he had believed in the Day of Judgment – which was really happening at that very moment- and the Paradise which would come after it. Thus, he will laugh and rejoice, knowing that his belief in Allah (swt) and his following of the path of His Prophet (saws) have saved him.

الآية رقم (37) - لِكُلِّ امْرِئٍ مِّنْهُمْ يَوْمَئِذٍ شَأْنٌ يُغْنِيهِ

(37) - )For every man, that Day, will be a matter adequate for him (37))

During the Time of Reckoning, every single person will have scriptures which are spread about. Therefore, every person will be in a state of confusion, wondering how to save himself in this great situation.

There is also another interpretation for this fleeing. The brother will flee from his brother because he had misguided him or had fallen short of the rights of brotherhood and had not carried out the due obligations towards him.

The son will flee from his father and mother because he had been negligent in his filial piety. The father and mother will flee from their children because they had been negligent in their upbringing. The husband will flee from his wife because he had neglected her rights, fed her from the unlawful or made her do acts of disobedience.

Therefore, the fleeing on this day will be a natural reaction, as it is the time for reckoning, requital and the reimbursement of rights to their owners. Human beings on this day will either be the creditors or the debtors.

الآية رقم (35-36) - وَأُمِّهِ وَأَبِيهِ - وَصَاحِبَتِهِ وَبَنِيهِ

(35-36) - (And his mother and his father (35) And his wife and his children, (36))

Let us look at this arrangement. We might wonder, how does Allah (swt) arrange these people in these verses?

The Speech of Allah (swt) is miraculous, and it is exact as everyone will be fleeing from everyone else at that moment.

Every human being is a brother to another human being; thus, brotherhood is not only limited to brotherhood through kinship. Therefore, Allah (swt) starts with it.

Next, Allah (swt) mentions the mother before the father as the mother is the immediate reason for the existence of a human being. She is also prioritized in mention due to her status and her role. Moreover, the Prophet (saws) has prioritized the mother thrice over the father when he was asked by a man, “Who among people is most deserving of my fine treatment?”

He (saws) said, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Who next?” “Your mother”, the Prophet (saws) replied again. He asked, “Who next?” He (the Prophet) r said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” Thereupon he (saws) said, “Then your father.”[1]

The wife is given precedence over the children, as she comes first before the children and also because there is a possibility that a person dies without having any children.

[1] Sahih al-Bukhari: The Book of Adab, Chapter: Who is more entitled to the best companionship?, Hadith no. 5626.

الآية رقم (34) - يَوْمَ يَفِرُّ الْمَرْءُ مِنْ أَخِيهِ

(34) - (On the Day a man will flee from his brother (34))

On this day, a person will flee from his brother as he is too occupied with his own self, trying to save himself from the terror of what he sees. In this situation, there remains no room for anything except himself.

الآية رقم (33) - فَإِذَا جَاءتِ الصَّاخَّةُ

(33) - (But when there comes the Deafening Blast (33))

الصَّاخَّةُ(Deafening Blast): It is one of the names of the Day of Judgement.

Its meaning: A disturbing sound which deafens the ears. As if a rock is broken on a head causing it to bleed. So, the word itself is frightening. When it (The deafening blast) comes, the universe will change totally.

الآية رقم (32) - مَّتَاعًا لَّكُمْ وَلِأَنْعَامِكُمْ

(32) - (Enjoyment for you and your grazing livestock. ((32)

Human beings get pleasure from all the afore-mentioned things directly. As for what the livestock graze on, it will eventually also become the enjoyment of human beings, as they are the ones who eat these livestock

الآية رقم (31) - وَفَاكِهَةً وَأَبًّا

(31) - And fruit and grass

Gardens of dense shrubbery: They are gardens which are filled with huge dense trees.

The wordغُلْبًا  (of dense shrubbery) is used as a metaphor to show hugeness. The original meaning of the Arabic word is the hypertrophy of the neck.

From here, we see that the elements of life are not only limited to food and drink, but there is also a need for forests and wood, as wood is used for many agricultural activities that human life would be unable to go on without.

أَبًّا  (Grass): That livestock graze on.

There is a story concerning this word connected to Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and Sayyidina Umar Ibn al-Khattab (May Allah be pleased with them) who are scholars in understanding the Book of Allah (swt). This story as narrated by Ibrahim At-Tamimi (May Allah be pleased with him):

When Sayyidina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq was questioned regarding the meaning of the word أَبًّا  (Abban) (Grass), he answered: “Which earth will carry me and which sky will shade me, if I say something about the Qur’an according to my own opinion?”[1]

Here, it is as if he did not know so he stops at this point and did not want to go into discussing its meaning. This is a lesson on being trustworthy with regards to knowledge. Sayyidina Umar Ibn al-Khattab, as well, did not answer when asked about it.

This trustworthiness with regards to knowledge has played a very important part in transmission from the Prophet (saws). These great men, such as Sayyidina Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali and the rest of the Companions (May Allah be pleased with them), were loyal trustees over each letter and every word found in the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Prophet (saws).

Whereas, nowadays you may find people who give answers whether they know or not and they say what they do not have knowledge about. We have to take into consideration the Prophet’s saying:

 “Whosoever talks about the Qur’an using his own opinions should prepare his seat in the hellfire”.[2]

[1] Kinz al-Ummal, Chapter 2, surah Abasa, Hadith No. 4688

[2] Sunan at-Tirmizi: The Book of Tafseer, Chapter: The one who interprets the Qur’an with his own opinion, Hadith no. 2951

الآية رقم (30) - وَحَدَائِقَ غُلْبًا

(30) - And gardens of dense shrubbery

الآية رقم (29) - وَزَيْتُونًا وَنَخْلًا

(29) - And olive and palm trees

The grain is mentioned first, as it is the main source of food. Examples of grains are: wheat, rice, beans and lentils.

Next in order of importance are grapes; as they can be consumed as the main nutrition such as wheat and also as a fruit.

Herbage: The fresh plants that human beings eat, such as: Radish, watercress and parsley.

Olives: These are a rich source of oils and fatty substances.

Palm trees: These are a rich source of sugary substances.

In this manner, Allah (swt) combines for you all of these elements of nutrition which the earth produces for you by the Power of Allah (swt).

الآية رقم (28) - وَعِنَبًا وَقَضْبًا

(28) - And grapes and herbage

الآية رقم (27) - فَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا حَبًّا

(27) - (And caused to grow within it grain((27)

The word ‘it’ in the verse refers to the earth.

Germination is a process of creation. Through it, Allah (swt) creates the plant from the seed. This process contains signs and secrets. The seed is made up of two halves. When it is put in water, its size will increase and split into two. Then, a root will emerge and grow towards the bottom to form the roots and sprouts, and grow towards the top to form the stem or trunk. All the while, the seed continues to be the source of nutrition for these two parts until the root grows long enough to be able to absorb its nutrients from the elements in the soil. Then the two halves of the seed will turn into the first two leaves on the stem. Every part of the germination process contains Allah’s (swt) Divine Wisdom, ability, Mercy, Knowledge and Arrangement.

So, when Allah says: ‘grain’, it shows the importance of the grain. This is because, it symbolizes the main and very important source of nutrition for the human being, as it is the structure of his food.

الآية رقم (26) - ثُمَّ شَقَقْنَا الْأَرْضَ شَقًّا

(26) - (Then We broke open the earth, splitting [it with sprouts]((26)

This breaking open of the earth is one of the signs of Allah (swt). It paves the way for the growing of the plant and its emergence into the air. If we were to look at a plant, we would find that it is made up of thin sprouts or leaves. Albeit this, it is able to break open the earth and emerge from it. We might even notice that there are some traces of soil left behind on the small leaves! This phenomenon does not happen except due to the power of Allah (swt) and His Guardianship over His Creation. It may even be that He lays down in this seed of His Power.

Furthermore, the breaking open of the earth is necessary for the fertility of the soil and it is suitable for agriculture. For that, you might see farmers ploughing the soil many times because, ploughing the soil will turn it over and allow air to penetrate into the outer layer, thus making it crumbly. It also exposes it to the sun rays. Hence, when rain falls, the earth will break open and with the permission of its Creator, it is now the turn of the plant to carry out its job.

الآية رقم (25) - أَنَّا صَبَبْنَا الْمَاء صَبًّا

(25) - (How We poured down water in torrents, (25))

صَبَبْنَا (poured down): This word gives a picture of the abundance and large quantity of the water which comes down from the sky by Allah (swt) with strength and plentifulness. Thus, the verb is emphasized with the word “Sab’ban” (torrents) , which is in Arabic a (Cognate Accusative).

الآية رقم (24) - فَلْيَنظُرِ الْإِنسَانُ إِلَى طَعَامِهِ

(24) - (Then let mankind look at his food – (24))

After these verses have spoken to us regarding the origin of the creation, He (swt) continues speaking about the essentials of life and the things that sustain it.

Allah (swt) wills to turn the attention of the human being to the source of his strength, the elements of his life and the strength and guardianship of his God. His God has given him life and provided him with what was necessary to maintain it.

Then, Allah (swt) explains to the human being how his food comes to him through stating the stages that it passes through before finally reaching him. He says:

الآية رقم (22) - ثُمَّ إِذَا شَاء أَنشَرَهُ

(22) - (Then when He wills, He will resurrect him.((22)

This means that he will resurrect him after being buried in the ground. This shows that the burial and being placed in a grave is not the end of the journey, nor is the end of a human being’s connection to existence. Indeed, he will have another existence and another return to the life of the Hereafter.

We can observe here that Allah (swt) did not mention His Will in the previous verses but mentions it only here when speaking of resurrection. This is because, this issue is a secret and a part of the unseen that is not known except by Allah (swt). Therefore, He predetermines it with the word ‘Will’.

﴾كَلَّا لَمَّا يَقْضِ مَا أَمَرَهُ ﴿

(No! Man has not yet accomplished what He commanded him. (23) )

The article (NO) brings the meaning of deterrence and rebuke. It is as if Allah (swt) says: ‘O human being! Stop your disbelief of Allah, The One who has given you all of these blessings! It is not becoming that you disbelieve in your God after all He has informed you regarding the glad tidings.

This verse means that the human being is still neglectful and has not carried out the acts of obedience that Allah (swt) has commanded him to perform

The constant requirement is that the human being performs all that Allah (swt) has commanded him to do even if he had committed any sins and wrongdoings in the past. If he had, he needs to stop committing them and ask forgiveness from Allah (swt).

الآية رقم (21) - ثُمَّ أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ

(21) - (Then He causes his death and provides a grave for him (21)).

When we ponder upon the term ‘death’, we will find that it contains amazing things surpassing any other Arabic term.

Its verb, ‘to die’ is used in Arabic as a transitive and intransitive verb. The doer of this verb is used at one point in the place of the subject and in another in the place of the object, although, in the Arabic language, the doer can never be used in the place of the object, but for this verb, we could say for example, Person so-and-so died. We can also say: Allah (swt) has caused person so-and-so to die. Here, the word ‘person so-and-so’ is used as the doer in the first example and as the object in the latter.

Death means the disunion of the soul from the body. It is also called in Arabic “Wafa”. Allah (swt) says:

﴾اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا﴿

(Allah takes the souls at the time of their death,..) (Az-Zumar : 42)

The soul alone is not called “Nafs” in Arabic. Similarly, the body alone is also not called “Nafs”. Thus, the “Nafs” (soul) mentioned in the verse is a blend made up of the soul and body.

So, when Allah (swt) wills to break this structure He (swt) disunites the soul from the body., then, death happens.

Grammatically, the doer is the one who carries out an action or he is intended for it. Therefore, when we say: ‘Person so-and-so died’, does this mean that he made himself die, or did Allah (swt) make him die?

Here, the one who died is intended for the action which is death, he is put in the place of the subject although in actual fact, he is not the one who did it.

As for when we say: ‘Person so-and-so committed suicide’, this person is really the doer as he has caused himself to die. We can also say: ‘So-and-so killed so-and-so’ in the Arabic Language to show a picture of a disastrous happening.

From here, you can see that there are three ways of putting an end to life: Death, killing or suicide.

Death: It is the one which comes naturally without the interference of anyone.

Suicide: It is when a person hastens his death by destroying his body such that the soul leaves it. In actual fact, this happens at the moment of death that has been decreed for him. However, he has hurried to it by committing a forbidden act that Allah (swt) has prohibited.

Killing: It is also done by destroying the structure. When a person kills another, he is doing something that Allah (swt) forbids. Thus, when Allah (swt) says:

﴾ثُمَّ أَمَاتَهُ فَأَقْبَرَهُ ﴿

(Then He causes his death and provides a grave for him (21))

It is a reminder from Allah (swt) to His Servants of some of His blessings on them.

Death is a blessing as it makes the human being- whom Allah (swt) has created from an insignificant sperm- halt upon his limits and returns him to his original state.  Similarly, of the blessings of Allah (swt) on His slaves is the legislation to bury their deceased in graves.

فَأَقْبَرَهُ (provide a grave for him): This means that He placed him in the grave, covered his body and honoured him by being buried in the depths of the earth, as this is the best for him, as Allah (swt) says:

  ﴾مِنْهَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ وَفِيهَا نُعِيدُكُمْ وَمِنْهَا نُخْرِجُكُمْ تَارَةً أُخْرَىٰ﴿

Thereof (the earth) We created you, and into it We shall return you, and from it We shall bring you out once again. (Thaha : 55)

Due to all of this, we say that “the honouring of a deceased is by burying him.”

If Allah (swt) had not taught us to bury human being, he would be -God forbid!- like the rest of the animals whose carcasses remain in open space and are, subsequently, eaten by dogs and wild beasts.

Here, let us ponder upon the accuracy of the Quranic expression:  Allah (swt) did not say: ‘He causes his death and buries him.’ This is because, the one who buries him is the one who actually carries out the burial, and this is the job of mankind. As for Allah (swt), He is the One who causes his death and taught humans how to bury.

Allah (swt) had taught His Creation this topic through a famous story in Surah Al-Maidah. It is the story of the two sons of Adam (PBUH) when one of them killed the other. The killer noticed that his brother had become a still and motionless body which did not answer him nor talk to him, so he was confused and did not know what to do. Then Allah (swt) sent a crow who scratched the ground to show him how to hide the dead body of his brother. This was the first murder amongst humanity

الآية رقم (20) - ثُمَّ السَّبِيلَ يَسَّرَهُ

(20) - Then, He eased the way (20)

This is another one of the blessings that Allah (swt) has bestowed the human being with after the blessing of creating him from nonbeing.

After his God (swt) had created him from a sperm-drop, He did not leave him without any purpose. Rather, He (swt) had eased the way for him to live in the abundance of the world with what He (swt) had provided for him of the elements of life, from His Guardianship, Exalted is He.

Allah (swt) did not say: ‘Then He eases his way’.

There is a big difference between the two expressions.

The word “way” here refers to the way in general. Hence, it includes both the way of good and the way of evil. Therefore, the human being is given ease towards both ways. He is created suitable for both goodness and evil. Therefore, Allah (swt) has given him the intellect in order for him to use it to differentiate between these two ways and weigh the available choices. Thus, the tongue which says ‘There is no God but Allah’ would also be given ease – Allah forbid- to say ‘There is no god’. According to this meaning, the Prophet (saws) said:

“Carry on doing good deeds. For every person will find it easy to do such deeds for which he has been created”

So, no one has the reason after this to go against the path of Allah (swt), as Allah (swt) has made the path easy for you.

However, if Allah (swt) had said: “He eases his way”, it would have meant that every one of us has his own personal way. Thus, if he commits evil, he could easily say: “This is my way that Allah has made easy for me.”

In summary, we are given ease to perform all deeds and are given a choice regarding them. We have complete freedom to do something or to not do it. Thus, here lies the cornerstone of accountability. From this verse, the man has to know that Allah (swt) has made easy for him both the way of good and the way of evil and has commanded him to walk in the path of good. Accordingly, Allah (swt) will put His Creations to account for their choices.