The Respective Means of Destruction: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah mentions some of the previous nations who were destroyed in surah al-‘Ankaboot with his words:

وَعَادًا وَثَمُودَ وَقَد تَّبَيَّنَ لَكُم مِّن مَّسَاكِنِهِمْ ۖ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ أَعْمَالَهُمْ فَصَدَّهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِ‌ينَ * وَقَارُ‌ونَ وَفِرْ‌عَوْنَ وَهَامَانَ ۖ وَلَقَدْ جَاءَهُم مُّوسَىٰ بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ فَاسْتَكْبَرُ‌وا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ وَمَا كَانُوا سَابِقِينَ * فَكُلًّا أَخَذْنَا بِذَنبِهِ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِبًا وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَغْرَ‌قْنَا ۚ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّـهُ لِيَظْلِمَهُمْ وَلَـٰكِن كَانُوا أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ

And [We destroyed] ‘Aad and Thamood, and it has become clear to you from their [ruined] dwellings. And Shaytaan had made pleasing to them their deeds and averted them from the path, and they were endowed with perception.* And [We destroyed] Qaaroon and Fir’awn and Haamaan. And Moosaa had already come to them with clear evidences, and they were arrogant in the land, but they were not outrunners [of Our punishment]. * So each We seized for his sin; and among them were those upon whom We sent a Haasiban, and among them were those who were seized by the blast [from the sky], and among them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow, and among them were those whom We drowned. And Allah would not have wronged them, but it was they who were wronging themselves. [29:38-40]

Commenting on this briefly in his book of tafsir, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

وقد أشار جل وعلا في هذه الآيات الكريمة إلى إهلاك عاد ، وثمود ، وقارون ، وفرعون ، وهامان ، ثم صرح بأنه أخذ كلا منهم بذنبه ، ثم فصل على سبيل ما يسمى في البديع باللف والنشر المرتب أسباب إهلاكهم ، فقال : فمنهم من أرسلنا عليه حاصبا ، [ ص: 160 ] وهي : الريح ، يعني : عادا ، بدليل قوله : وأما عاد فأهلكوا بريح صرصر عاتية [ 69 \ 6 ] ، وقوله : وفي عاد إذ أرسلنا عليهم الريح العقيم [ 51 \ 41 ] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات . وقوله تعالى : ومنهم من أخذته الصيحة ، يعني : ثمود ، بدليل قوله تعالى فيهم : وأخذ الذين ظلموا الصيحة فأصبحوا في ديارهم جاثمين كأن لم يغنوا فيها ألا إن ثمود كفروا ربهم ألا بعدا لثمود [ 11 \ 67 – 68 ] . وقوله : ومنهم من خسفنا به الأرض ، يعني : قارون ، بدليل قوله تعالى فيه : فخسفنا به وبداره الأرض الآية [ 28 \ 81 ] . وقوله تعالى : ومنهم من أغرقنا ، يعني : فرعون وهامان ، بدليل قوله تعالى : ثم أغرقنا الآخرين [ 37 \ 82 ] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات . ـ

In these noble ayaat, Allah has pointed to the destruction of ‘Aad, Thamood, Qaaroon, Fir’awn, and Haamaan, then He clarified that each of them were seized in destruction due to their respective sins, then He detailed the destructions in a manner which, according to the science of rhetoric, is called al-laff wa’l-nashr [literally “coiling and unfurling” – bringing several items together in brief and then expanding on each of them respectively later] order of arranging the means of their respective destructions. So He said:

فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا عَلَيْهِ حَاصِبًا

and among them were some on whom We sent Haasiban [29:40]

and that is a strong wind – referring to ‘Aad, according to His statement:

وَأَمَّا عَادٌ فَأُهْلِكُوا بِرِ‌يحٍ صَرْ‌صَرٍ‌ عَاتِيَةٍ

And as for ‘Aad, they were destroyed by a screaming, violent wind [69:6]

and His statement:

وَفِي عَادٍ إِذْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا عَلَيْهِمُ الرِّ‌يحَ الْعَقِيمَ

And in ‘Aad [was a sign], when We sent against them the barren wind. [51:41]

and the likes of that from other ayaat.

And His statement:

وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَخَذَتْهُ الصَّيْحَةُ

and among them were those who were seized by the blast [29:40]

– referring to Thamood, according to His statement in regards to them:

وَأَخَذَ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا الصَّيْحَةُ فَأَصْبَحُوا فِي دِيَارِ‌هِمْ جَاثِمِينَ * كَأَن لَّمْ يَغْنَوْا فِيهَا ۗ أَلَا إِنَّ ثَمُودَ كَفَرُ‌وا رَ‌بَّهُمْ ۗ أَلَا بُعْدًا لِّثَمُودَ

And the blast seized those who had wronged, and they became within their homes [corpses] fallen prone * As if they had never prospered therein. Unquestionably, Thamood denied their Lord; then, away with Thamood. [11:67-68]

And His statement:

وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ خَسَفْنَا بِهِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ

and among them were those whom We caused the earth to swallow [29:40]

– referring to Qaaroon, according to His statement in regards to him:

فَخَسَفْنَا بِهِ وَبِدَارِ‌هِ الْأَرْ‌ضَ

And We caused the earth to swallow him and his home… [28:81]

until the end of the ayah. And His statement:

 وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ أَغْرَ‌قْنَا

and among them were those whom We drowned [29:40]

– referring to Fir’awn and Haamaan, according to His statement:

ثُمَّ أَغْرَ‌قْنَا الْآخَرِ‌ينَ

Then We drowned the others [37:82]

and the likes of these from other ayaat.

والأظهر في قوله في هذه الآية : وكانوا مستبصرين ، أن استبصارهم المذكور هنا بالنسبة إلى الحياة الدنيا خاصة ; كما دل عليه قوله تعالى : يعلمون ظاهرا من الحياة الدنيا وهم عن الآخرة هم غافلون [ 30 \ 7 ] ، وقوله تعالى : وقالوا لو كنا نسمع أو نعقل ما كنا في أصحاب السعير [ 67 \ 10 ] ، ونحو ذلك من الآيات . وقوله : وما كانوا سابقين ، كقوله تعالى : أم حسب الذين يعملون السيئات أن يسبقونا ساء ما يحكمون [ 29 \ 4 ] . ـ

And what is most clear in regards to the ayah:

وَكَانُوا مُسْتَبْصِرِ‌ينَ

and they were endowed with perception [29:38]

is that their perceptiveness mentioned here is exclusively in relation to the life of this dunya, as His statement demonstrates:

يَعْلَمُونَ ظَاهِرً‌ا مِّنَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَهُمْ عَنِ الْآخِرَ‌ةِ هُمْ غَافِلُونَ

They know what is apparent of the worldly life, but they, of the Hereafter, are unaware. [30:7]

And (also) His statement:

وَقَالُوا لَوْ كُنَّا نَسْمَعُ أَوْ نَعْقِلُ مَا كُنَّا فِي أَصْحَابِ السَّعِيرِ‌

And they will say, “If only we had been listening or reasoning, we would not be among the companions of the Blaze.” [67:10]

and the likes of that from other ayaat. And His statement:

وَمَا كَانُوا سَابِقِينَ

but they were not outrunners (of Our punishment) [29:39]

is like His statement:

أَمْ حَسِبَ الَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَسْبِقُونَا ۚ سَاءَ مَا يَحْكُمُونَ

Or do those who do evil deeds think they can outrun Us? Evil is what they judge. [29:4]

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 6/160-161]

See also: I will mislead them all, except Your chosen servants: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: “Except the people of Yunus”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The supplications of four prophets for or against people: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Story of the Town by the Sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on “The Respective Means of Destruction: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: The Story of the Town by the Sea: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The supplications of four prophets for or against their people: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Story of Qarun: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: The Understanding of the Disbelievers is Limited to this Life: Imam al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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