“Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Sheikh Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote the following in his tafsir of surah al-Naml:

قوله تعالى : ومن جاء بالسيئة فكبت وجوههم في النار هل تجزون إلا ما كنتم تعملون . قال ابن كثير – رحمه الله – في تفسير هذه الآية : وقال ابن مسعود ، وابن عباس ، وأبو هريرة ، وأنس بن مالك – رضي الله عنهم – وعطاء ، وسعيد بن جبير ، وعكرمة ، ومجاهد ، وإبراهيم النخعي ، وأبو وائل ، وأبو صالح ، ومحمد بن كعب ، وزيد بن أسلم ، والزهري ، والسدي ، والضحاك ، والحسن ، وقتادة ، وابن زيد ، في قوله تعالى : ومن جاء بالسيئة ، يعني الشرك . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَكُبَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ‌ هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

And whoever comes with an evil deed – their faces will be overturned into the Fire, [and it will be said], “Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?” [27:90]

Ibn Kathir (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his tafsir of this ayah:

Ibn Mas’ood, ibn ‘Abbaas, Abu Hurayrah, Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with all of them), as well as ‘Ataa’, Sa’eed ibn Jubayr, ‘Ikrimah, Mujaahid, Ibrahim al-Naka’ee, Abu Waa’il, Abu Saalih, Muhammad ibn K’ab, Zayd ibn Aslam, al-Zuhri, al-Suddi, al-Dhihhaak, al-Hasan, Qataadah, and ibn Zayd all said regarding Allah’s statement, “And whoever comes with an evil deed” – meaning: al-shirk.

وهذه الآية الكريمة تضمنت أمرين : ـ

And this noble ayah includes two issues:

الأول : أن من جاء ربه يوم القيامة بالسيئة كالشرك يكب وجهه في النار . ـ

First: That whoever comes to his Lord of the Day of Judgement with an evil deed such as al-shirk then he will be cast down on his face into the Hell-fire.

والثاني : أن السيئة إنما تجزى بمثلها من غير زيادة ، وهذان الأمران جاءا موضحين في غير هذا الموضع ; كقوله تعالى في الأول منهما : إنه من يأت ربه مجرما فإن له جهنم لا يموت فيها ولا يحيا [ 20 \ 74 ] ، وكقوله تعالى في الثاني منهما : ومن جاء بالسيئة فلا يجزى إلا مثلها الآية [ 6 \ 160 ] ، وقوله تعالى : ومن جاء بالسيئة فلا يجزى الذين عملوا السيئات إلا ما كانوا يعملون [ 28 \ 84 ] ، وقوله تعالى : جزاء وفاقا [ 78 \ 26 ] . ـ

Second: That evil deeds are repaid with an equal amount without any addition.

These two issues come clearly in many places in the Qur’an, such as Allah’s statement regarding the first of these two points:

إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَ‌بَّهُ مُجْرِ‌مًا فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لَا يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَىٰ

Indeed, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal – indeed, for him is Hell; he will neither die therein nor live. [20:74]

And such as Allah’s statement regarding the second of these two points:

وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَىٰ إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

and whoever comes with an evil deed will not be recompensed except the like thereof; and they will not be wronged. [6:160]

And His statement:

وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَى الَّذِينَ عَمِلُوا السَّيِّئَاتِ إِلَّا مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ

and whoever comes with an evil deed – then those who did evil deeds will not be recompensed except [as much as] what they used to do. [28:84]

And His statement:

جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا

An appropriate recompense. [78:26]

وإذا علمت أن السيئات لا تضاعف ، فاعلم أن السيئة قد تعظم فيعظم جزاؤها بسبب حرمة المكان ; كقوله تعالى : ومن يرد فيه بإلحاد بظلم نذقه من عذاب أليم [ 22 \ 25 ] ، أو حرمة الزمان ; كقوله تعالى في الأشهر الحرام : فلا تظلموا فيهن أنفسكم [ 9 \ 36 ] . ـ

If you know that sins are not multiplied, then you should also know that a sin could be magnified – and so its recompense would be magnified – due to the sanctity of a place, such as Allah’s statement:

وَمَن يُرِ‌دْ فِيهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُّذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ

And whoever intends any heresy – a wrong – therein [i.e. in Masjid al-Haram], We shall make him taste of a painful punishment [22:25]

or due to the sanctity of a time, such as Allah’s statement regarding the sacred months:

فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنفُسَكُمْ

so do not wrong yourselves therein [9:36]

وقد دلت آيات من كتاب الله أن العذاب يعظم بسبب عظم الإنسان المخالف ; كقوله تعالى في نبينا – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : ولولا أن ثبتناك لقد كدت تركن إليهم شيئا قليلا إذا لأذقناك ضعف الحياة وضعف الممات [ 17 \ 74-75 ] ، وقوله تعالى : ولو تقول علينا بعض الأقاويل لأخذنا منه باليمين ثم لقطعنا منه الوتين الآية [ 69 \ 44 – 46 ] ، [ ص: 148 ] وكقوله تعالى في أزواجه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – : يانساء النبي من يأت منكن بفاحشة مبينة يضاعف لها العذاب ضعفين الآية [ 33 \ 30 ] ، وقد قدمنا طرفا من الكلام على هذا ، في الكلام على قوله تعالى : إذا لأذقناك ضعف الحياة وضعف الممات [ 17 \ 75 ] ، مع تفسير الآية ، ومضاعفة السيئة المشار إليها في هاتين الآيتين ، إن كانت بسبب عظم الذنب ، حتى صار في عظمه كذنبين ، فلا إشكال ، وإن كانت مضاعفة جزاء السيئة كانت هاتان الآيتان مخصصتين للآيات المصرحة ، بأن السيئة لا تجزى إلا بمثلها ، والجميع محتمل ، والعلم عند الله تعالى . ـ

And multiple ayaat from the Book of Allah have demonstrated that punishment is magnified due to greatness of the person who is in the wrong, such as Allah’s statement regarding our prophet (ﷺ):

وَلَوْلَا أَن ثَبَّتْنَاكَ لَقَدْ كِدتَّ تَرْ‌كَنُ إِلَيْهِمْ شَيْئًا قَلِيلًا * إِذًا لَّأَذَقْنَاكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَاةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ

And if We had not strengthened you, you would have almost inclined to them a little. * Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death. [17:74-75]

As well as His statement:

وَلَوْ تَقَوَّلَ عَلَيْنَا بَعْضَ الْأَقَاوِيلِ * لَأَخَذْنَا مِنْهُ بِالْيَمِينِ * ثُمَّ لَقَطَعْنَا مِنْهُ الْوَتِينَ

And if Muhammad had made up about Us some [false] sayings, * We would have seized him by the right hand; * Then We would have cut from him the aorta. [69:44-46]

And such as Allah’s statement regarding the wives of the Prophet (ﷺ):

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَاعَفْ لَهَا الْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ ۚ وَكَانَ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ يَسِيرً‌ا

O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality – for her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that easy for Allah [33:30]

And we have already discussed this in a side note while speaking about Allah’s statement:

إِذًا لَّأَذَقْنَاكَ ضِعْفَ الْحَيَاةِ وَضِعْفَ الْمَمَاتِ

Then [if you had], We would have made you taste double [punishment in] life and double [after] death [17:75]

along with the tafsir of that ayah*. And the multiplication of a sin indicated in these two ayaat [i.e. 17:74-75] – if it due to the graveness of the sin, such that it is so grave that it becomes as if it were two sins, then there is no problem. And it could be that the multiplication of the recompense of sins is limited to these two ayaat specifically, since a sin is only recompensed with an equal amount. And both of these explanations are possible, and the knowledge is with Allah.

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 6/148-149]

*Translator’s Note: al-Shinqitee mentioned this further point of elucidation in his explanation of this ayah [17:75]:

وهذا الذي دلت عليه هذه الآية من أنه إذا كانت الدرجة أعلى كان الجزاء عند المخالفة أعظم – بينه في موضع آخر ; كقوله : يانساء النبي من يأت منكن بفاحشة مبينة يضاعف لها العذاب ضعفين الآية [ 33 \ 30 ] . ، ولقد أجاد من قال : وكبائر الرجل الصغير صغائر وصغائر الرجل الكبير كبائر ـ

And one of the things which this ayah shows is that if one’s level is higher, then the recompense for opposing what is correct is more severe. And this is clarified elsewhere, such as Allah’s statement:

يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ مَن يَأْتِ مِنكُنَّ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُّبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَاعَفْ لَهَا الْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ

O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality – for her the punishment would be doubled two fold [33:30]

until the end of the ayah. And the one who said the following said it well, “The major sins of a minor man are minor, while the minor sins of a great man are major.”

[Adhwaa’ al-Bayaan 3/180]

See also: Whoever is guided or errs, it is only for or against himself: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

See also: The Multiplication of Rewards and its Causes: Imam al-Sa’di

See also: The Multiplication of Rewards during Ramadan: ibn Rajab

See also: Remaining eternally in the Hell-fire and its causes: Imam al-Sa’di

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4 thoughts on ““Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?”: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

  1. Pingback: Whoever is guided or errs, it is only for or against himself: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: The Multiplication of Rewards during Ramadan: Ibn Rajab | Tulayhah

  3. Pingback: The Multiplication of Rewards and its Causes: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  4. Pingback: Inheriting al-Jannah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee | Tulayhah

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