We have made for every prophet an enemy: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah informs us in surah al-An’aam:

وَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِيٍّ عَدُوًّا شَيَاطِينَ الْإِنسِ وَالْجِنِّ يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَىٰ بَعْضٍ زُخْرُ‌فَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُ‌ورً‌ا ۚ وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَ‌بُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ ۖ فَذَرْ‌هُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُ‌ونَ    وَلِتَصْغَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَ‌ةِ وَلِيَرْ‌ضَوْهُ وَلِيَقْتَرِ‌فُوا مَا هُم مُّقْتَرِ‌فُونَ

And thus We have made for every prophet an enemy – devils from mankind and jinn, inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion. But if your Lord had willed, they would not have done it, so leave them and that which they invent. (And this is in order) that the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter may incline to such (deceit), and that they may remain pleased with it, and that they may commit what they are committing. [6:112-113]

Imam al-Sa’di, in his book of tafsir, wrote about these ayaat by saying:

يقول تعالى ـ مسليا لرسوله محمد ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ وكما جعلنا لك أعداء يردون دعوتك، ويحاربونك، ويحسدونك، فهذه سنتنا، أن نجعل لكل نبي نرسله إلى الخلق أعداء، من شياطين الإنس والجن، يقومون بضد ما جاءت به الرسل‏.‏

Allah the Exalted says – consoling His Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) – that just as We made enemies for you who rebel against your da’wah, and fight you, and envy you, so this is Our sunnah (established way), that We made an enemy for every prophet  who we sent to the creation, from the shayaateen of humankind or jinn, who establishes the opposite of what the messenger was sent with.

‏{‏يُوحِي بَعْضُهُمْ إِلَى بَعْضٍ زُخْرُفَ الْقَوْلِ غُرُورًا‏}‏ أي‏:‏ يزين بعضهم لبعض الأمر الذي يدعون إليه من الباطل، ويزخرفون له العبارات حتى يجعلوه في أحسن صورة، ليغتر به السفهاء، وينقاد له الأغبياء، الذين لا يفهمون الحقائق، ولا يفقهون المعاني، بل تعجبهم الألفاظ المزخرفة، والعبارات المموهة، فيعتقدون الحق باطلا والباطل حقا، ولهذا قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلِتَصْغَى إِلَيْهِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ولتميل إلى ذلك الكلام المزخرف ‏{‏أَفْئِدَةُ الَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْآخِرَةِ‏}‏ لأن عدم إيمانهم باليوم الآخر وعدم عقولهم النافعة، يحملهم على ذلك، ‏{‏وَلِيَرْضَوْهُ‏}‏ بعد أن يصغوا إليه، فيصغون إليه أولا، فإذا مالوا إليه ورأوا تلك العبارات المستحسنة، رضوه، وزين في قلوبهم، وصار عقيدة راسخة، وصفة لازمة، ثم ينتج من ذلك، أن يقترفوا من الأعمال والأقوال ما هم مقترفون، أي‏:‏ يأتون من الكذب بالقول والفعل، ما هو من لوازم تلك العقائد القبيحة، فهذه حال المغترين بشياطين الإنس والجن، المستجيبين لدعوتهم،  ـ

Inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion” – meaning some of them made the false things to which they were calling attractive and appealing to others, and they embellish it with slogans until they form it into a beautiful image, which deceives the foolish ones, and compels the ignorant ones who do not understand the reality of things, nor do the understand [its] meaning, rather they are [merely] amazed by the ornate wordings and misleading slogans, so they believe the truth is false and that falsehood is true. And this is as He said, “And so that they incline towards it” – meaning, to incline towards that decorated speech – “the hearts of those who disbelieve in the Hereafter” because they have no belief in the Last Day and they have no beneficial form of intellect, and along with that, “and that they may remain pleased with it” after they incline towards it, so they inclined towards it first, and when they inclined towards it and they saw that the embellished slogans and phrases pleased them, and it is beautified in their hearts, and became a firm belief (in them). This is a recipe for crisis which then occurs, that they would commit whatever actions and statements they would commit – meaning that they come with false words and actions which are fueled by those reprehensible beliefs, and this is the result of the deception of the human and jinn shayaateen, and those who respond to their call.

وأما أهل الإيمان بالآخرة، وأولو العقول الوافية والألباب الرزينة، فإنهم لا يغترون بتلك العبارات، ولا تخلبهم تلك التمويهات، بل همتهم مصروفة إلى معرفة الحقائق، فينظرون إلى المعاني التي يدعو إليها الدعاة، فإن كانت حقا قبلوها، وانقادوا لها، ولو كسيت عبارات ردية، وألفاظا غير وافية، وإن كانت باطلا ردوها على من قالها، كائنا من كان، ولو ألبست من العبارات المستحسنة، ما هو أرق من الحرير‏.‏

But as for the people who have eemaan in the hereafter, those who have adequate intellects and sober minds, then they are certainly not deceived by those slogans and phrases, nor are they beguiled by the misleading, hidden messages. Rather, they place their utmost import and effort on knowing the reality of things, and looking into the meanings of the things to which their proponents call. So if it is true at its core, and [the shayaateen from mankind and jinn] criticize it, even if it covered with decrepit slogans and faulty wording [they would still believe in it], and if it is false, them they return it [in rejection] to its source, whoever that may be, even if it it clothed with pleasing slogans which are finer than silk.

ومن حكمة الله تعالى، في جعله للأنبياء أعداء، وللباطل أنصارا قائمين بالدعوة إليه، أن يحصل لعباده الابتلاء والامتحان، ليتميز الصادق من الكاذب، والعاقل من الجاهل، والبصير من الأعمى‏.‏

And from the wisdom of Allah the Exalted is that He made enemies for the prophets and supporters of falsehood who establish the call to that, so that there would be trials and tests for His slaves, in order to distinguish the truthful from the liar, and the intelligent from the ignorant, and seeing from the blind.

ومن حكمته أن في ذلك بيانا للحق، وتوضيحا له، فإن الحق يستنير ويتضح إذا قام الباطل يصارعه ويقاومه‏.‏ فإنه ـ حينئذ ـ يتبين من أدلة الحق، وشواهده الدالة على صدقه وحقيقته، ومن فساد الباطل وبطلانه، ما هو من أكبر المطالب، التي يتنافس فيها المتنافسون‏.‏

And from His wisdom is that in that [the presence of an opposition] there is a clarification of the truth, and a clear demonstration of it, for certainly the truth will be illuminated and clarified when falsehood stands to [try and] beat it and resist it. For certainly this manifests the evidence of the truth, and the evidence is supported by its truthfulness and accuracy, [and it also manifestly demonstrates] the depravity of falsehood and its falsity. So which one is greater, when the two contestants face off?

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

For Imam al-Sa’di’s explanation of the ayaat immediately preceding these, see: They would not believe unless Allah should will: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: You will surely hear much abuse: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: Ibn al-Qayyim on the Wisdom and Benefits of the Creation of the Shayaateen

See also: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

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