“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: Continue reading

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“Blessed is whoever is at the fire and whoever is around it” : Tafsir al-Baghawi

While recounting the story of Moosaa approaching the burning bush in surah al-Naml, Allah says:

إِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِأَهْلِهِ إِنِّي آنَسْتُ نَارً‌ا سَآتِيكُم مِّنْهَا بِخَبَرٍ‌ أَوْ آتِيكُم بِشِهَابٍ قَبَسٍ لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَصْطَلُونَ * فَلَمَّا جَاءَهَا نُودِيَ أَن بُورِ‌كَ مَن فِي النَّارِ‌ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّـهِ رَ‌بِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

[Mention] when Moosaa said to his family, “Indeed, I have perceived a fire. I will bring you from there information or will bring you a burning torch that you may warm yourselves.” * But when he came to it, he was addressed, “Blessed is whoever is at (lit. “in”) the fire and whoever is around it. And exalted is Allah, Lord of the worlds. [27:7-8]

Commenting on the second ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Baghawi wrote:

ـ ( فَلَمَّا جَاءَهَا نُودِيَ أَنْ بُورِكَ مَنْ فِي النَّارِ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا ) أَيْ : بُورِكَ عَلَى مَنْ فِي النَّارِ أَوْ مَنْ فِي النَّارِ ، وَالْعَرَبُ تَقُولُ : بَارَكَهُ اللَّهُ وَبَارَكَ فِيهِ ، وَبَارَكَ عَلَيْهِ ، بِمَعْنًى وَاحِدٍ . ـ

فَلَمَّا جَاءَهَا نُودِيَ أَن بُورِ‌كَ مَن فِي النَّارِ‌ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا

But when he came to it, he was addressed, ‘Blessed is whoever is at (lit. “in”) the fire and whoever is around it’ [27:8]

Meaning: Blessings upon those at (lit. “in”) the fire. And the Arabs say, “baarak Allaahu” (God bless), “baarak feehi” (blessings ‘in’ him) and “baarak ‘alaihi” (blessings on him) all with the same meaning.

وَقَالَ قَوْمٌ : الْبَرَكَةُ رَاجِعَةٌ إِلَى مُوسَى وَالْمَلَائِكَةِ ، مَعْنَاهُ : بُورِكَ فِي مَنْ طَلَبَ النَّارَ ، وَهُوَ مُوسَى عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ ) ( وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا ) وَهُمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ الَّذِينَ حَوْلَ النَّارِ ، وَمَعْنَاهُ : بُورِكَ فِيكَ يَا مُوسَى وَفِي الْمَلَائِكَةِ الَّذِينَ حَوْلَ النَّارِ ، وَهَذَا تَحِيَّةٌ مِنْ عِنْدِ اللَّهِ – عَزَّ وَجَلَّ – لِمُوسَى بِالْبَرَكَةِ ، كَمَا حَيَّا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَى أَلْسِنَةِ الْمَلَائِكَةِ حِينَ دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَقَالُوا : رَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ . ـ

A people said, “the barakah (blessings) refers to Moosaa and the angels”, meaning blessings on the one who sought the fire, and that is Moosaa (‘alaihis salaam).

وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا

Whoever is around it

and they are the angels who were around the fire, meaning ‘blessings on you, O Moosaa, and on the angels who were around the fire’, and this is a greeting of blessings from Allah to Moosaa, just as He greeted Ibrahim via the tongues of the angels when they entered upon him and said,

رَ‌حْمَتُ اللَّـهِ وَبَرَ‌كَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ

May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house [11:73] Continue reading

“To divide the people with the truth is better than having them unite upon falsehood.”

Allah, Exalted is He, informs us in surah al-Naml about the story of the Prophet Saalih (‘alaihis salaam) and his people when He says:

وَلَقَدْ أَرْ‌سَلْنَا إِلَىٰ ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّـهَ فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِ‌يقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

“And We had certainly sent to Thamūd their brother Ṣāliḥ, saying, ‘Worship Allah alone,’ and at once they became two parties quarreling with each other.” [27:45]

Imam al-Suyooti writes in his tafsir:

عن قتادة في قوله: {فإذا هم فريقان يختصمون} قال: إن القوم بين مصدق ومكذب. مصدق بالحق ونازل عنده، ومكذب بالحق تاركه. في ذلك كانت خصومة القوم

Qataada said about His statement, “and at once they became two parties quarreling with each other” – the people were divided by either affirmation of denial (of Saalih’s call to tawheed). Affirmation of the truth and living according to it, or denial of the truth and abandoning it. That was the heart of the people’s quarreling.

[Tafsir al-Jalaalayn]

Imam al-Sa’di said in his tafsir:

ولقد أرسلنا إلى ثمود أخاهم صالحًا‏:‏ أن وحِّدوا الله‏,‏ ولا تجعلوا معه إلهًا آخر‏,‏ فلما أتاهم صالحٌ داعيًا إلى توحيد الله وعبادته وحده صار قومه فريقين‏:‏ أحدهما مؤمن به‏,‏ والآخر كافر بدعوته‏,‏ وكل منهم يزعم أن الحق معه‏.‏

And We had certainly sent to Thamūd their brother Ṣāliḥ” to single out Allah for worship, and to not make any other gods along with him. And when Saalih came to them calling to the tawheed of Allah and His worship exclusively, then the people became two parties: one of them believing in it, and the other disbelieving in his call, and each of them asserted that the truth was with them.”

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman]

Imam al-Qurtubi, in his tafsir, writes:

{فَإِذا هُمْ فَرِيقانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ} قال مجاهد: أي مؤمن وكافر، قال: والخصومة ما قصه الله تعالى في قوله: {أَتَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّ صالِحاً مُرْسَلٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ} إلى قوله: {كافِرُونَ}.

and at once they became two parties quarreling with each other“. Mujaahid said, “meaning mu’min and kaafir.” And he said, “And the quarreling is what Allah, Exalted is He, narrated when He said:

The leaders who were arrogant among his people said to those who were oppressed – to those who believed among them, “Do you [actually] know that Saalih is sent from his Lord?” They said, “Indeed we, in that with which he was sent, are believers.” Those who were arrogant said, “Indeed we are disbelievers in that which you have believed.” So they hamstrung the she-camel and were insolent toward the command of their Lord and said, “O Saalih, bring us what you promise us, if you should be of the messengers.” [7:75-77]

وقيل: تخاصمهم أن كل فرقة قالت: نحن على الحق دونكم.

And it is said that “their quarrel was what every group says, ‘We are upon the truth to the exclusion of you.'”

[Jaami’ al-Ahkam al-Qur’an 13/198]

And Sheikh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz al-Tarefe drew the following benefit from this ayah, saying:

تفريق الناس بالحق، خيرٌ من اجتماعهم على الباطل (ولقد أرسلنا إلى ثمود أخاهم صالحا أن اعبدوا الله فإذا هم فريقان يختصمون) فرقهم صالح بالإيمان

To divide the people with the truth is better than having them unite upon falsehood:

And We had certainly sent to Thamūd their brother Ṣāliḥ, saying, ‘Worship Allah alone,’ and at once they became two parties quarreling with each other.

Saalih divided them with eemaan.

For more on the story of Saalih, see also: “We guided them, but they preferred blindness over guidance”