Even if they heard, they would not respond to you: Imam al-Qurtubi on 35:14

Allah addresses the mushrikoon in His Book when He says:

إِن تَدْعُوهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُوا دُعَاءَكُمْ وَلَوْ سَمِعُوا مَا اسْتَجَابُوا لَكُمْ ۖ وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُ‌ونَ بِشِرْ‌كِكُمْ ۚ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثْلُ خَبِيرٍ

If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication; and if they heard, they would not respond to you. And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association. And none can inform you like [one] Acquainted [with all matters].‌ [35:14]

Imam al-Qurtubi explains this in his tafsir by saying:

قوله تعالى‏ (‏إن تدعوهم لا يسمعوا دعاءكم‏)‏ أي إن تستغيثوا بهم في النوائب لا يسمعوا دعاءكم؛ لأنها جمادات لا تبصر ولا تسمع‏.‏ ‏(‏ولو سمعوا ما استجابوا لكم‏)‏ إذ ليس كل سامع ناطقا‏.‏ وقال قتادة‏:‏ المعنى لو سمعوا لم ينفعوكم‏.‏ وقيل‏:‏ أي لو جعلنا لهم عقولا وحياة فسمعوا دعاءكم لكانوا أطوع لله منكم، ولما استجابوا لكم على الكفر‏.‏ (‏ويوم القيامة يكفرون بشرككم‏)‏ أي يجحدون أنكم عبدتموهم، ويتبرؤون منكم‏.‏ ثم يجوز أن يرجع هذا إلى المعبودين مما يعقل؛ كالملائكة والجن والأنبياء والشياطين أي يجحدون أن يكون ما فعلتموه حقا، وأنهم أمروكم بعبادتهم؛ كما أخبر عن عيسى بقوله‏ (‏ما يكون لي أن أقول ما ليس لي بحق‏) [‏المائدة‏:‏ 116‏]‏ ويجوز أن يندرج فيه الأصنام أيضا، أي يحييها الله حتى تخبر أنها ليست أهلا للعبادة‏.‏ ‏(‏ولا ينبئك مثل خبير‏)‏ هو الله جل وعز؛ أي لا أحد يخبر بخلق الله من الله، فلا ينبئك مثله في عمله‏.‏

Allah’s statement “If you invoke them, they do not hear your supplication” – meaning if you appeal to them for help in times of crisis they do not hear your supplication. “And if they heard, they would not respond to you” for not every hearer is able to speak. And Qataadah said, ‘the meaning is that even if they hear, they cannot benefit you.’ And it is said, ‘if We were to give them intellects and life so they could hear your supplication, then they would be more obedient to Allah than you,  and they would not respond to your kufr.’

And on the Day of Resurrection they will deny your association” – meaning they will deny that you worshiped them, and they will declare themselves innocent of you. Then it is possible that this will return the worshipers to their senses. And the angels, jinn, prophets and shayaateen will deny that they really did this [i.e. that they were really worshipped], and that they commanded them to worship them. This is like what Allah informs us about what ‘Eesaa (Jesus) said, “It was not for me to say that to which I have no right” [5:116], and idols may also be included among those who will deny worship directed towards them – Allah may give them life so that they can announce that they are not worthy of worship.

And none can inform you like [one] Acquainted [with all matters]” – that is Allah, meaning that there is no one who is intimately acquainted with the creation of Allah more than Allah, and none who will inform you [of your deeds, on the Day of Resurrection] like Him.

[Jaami’ li-Ahkaam al-Qur’an]

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One thought on “Even if they heard, they would not respond to you: Imam al-Qurtubi on 35:14

  1. Pingback: Surely either we or you are upon right guidance, or in clear error | Tulayhah

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