A Discussion of the People of Jannah: Tafsir al-Qurtubi & Tafsir al-Sa’di

In surah al-Tur, Allah describes the situation of the believers in Jannah by saying:

وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ * قَالُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا قَبْلُ فِي أَهْلِنَا مُشْفِقِينَ * فَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْنَا وَوَقَانَا عَذَابَ السَّمُومِ * إِنَّا كُنَّا مِن قَبْلُ نَدْعُوهُ ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْبَرُّ الرَّحِيمُ

And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other. * They will say, “Indeed, we were previously among our people, fearful. * So Allah conferred favor upon us and protected us from the punishment of al-samoom. * Indeed, we used to supplicate Him before. Indeed, it is He who is al-Barr, al-Raheem.” [52:25-28]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam al-Qurtubi wrote:

قوله تعالى : وأقبل بعضهم على بعض يتساءلون قال ابن عباس : إذا بعثوا من قبورهم سأل بعضهم بعضا . وقيل : في الجنة يتساءلون أي يتذاكرون ما كانوا فيه في الدنيا من التعب والخوف من العاقبة ، ويحمدون الله تعالى على زوال الخوف عنهم . وقيل : يقول بعضهم لبعض بم صرت في هذه المنزلة الرفيعة ؟ قالوا إنا كنا قبل في أهلنا مشفقين أي قال كل مسئول منهم لسائله : إنا كنا قبل أي في الدنيا خائفين وجلين من عذاب الله . ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَأَقْبَلَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ يَتَسَاءَلُونَ

And they will approach one another, inquiring of each other

ibn ‘Abbaas said: when they are raised from their graves they will ask one another.

But others explained it to mean that they will ask one another in Jannah, meaning they will discuss the hard work and fear of the ultimate outcomes that they had during the worldly life and they will praise Allah for removing that fear from them.

Still others said: They will say to one another, “How did you get to this elevated station?” They will say, Continue reading

The reward of an action is of the same category as the action itself: Tafsir ibn Kathir

Ibn Kathīr mentions the following point in the beginning of his tafsīr of surah al-Tūr:

ثبت في الصحيحين أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال في حديث الإسراء – بعد مجاوزته إلى السماء السابعة – : ” ثم رفع بي إلى البيت المعمور ، وإذا هو يدخله في كل يوم سبعون ألفا لا يعودون إليه آخر ما عليهم ” يعني : يتعبدون فيه ويطوفون ، كما يطوف أهل الأرض بكعبتهم كذلك ذاك البيت ، هو كعبة أهل السماء السابعة ; ولهذا وجد إبراهيم الخليل عليه السلام مسندا ظهره إلى البيت المعمور ; لأنه باني الكعبة الأرضية ، والجزاء من جنس العمل ، وهو بحيال الكعبة ، وفي كل سماء بيت يتعبد فيه أهلها ، ويصلون إليه ، والذي في السماء الدنيا يقال له : بيت العزة . والله أعلم .

It is firmly establish in the two Ṣaḥeeḥ collections that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said in the adeeth of the Night Journey (al-Isrā’) – after his entrance into the Seventh Heaven – “Then he raised me to the Bait al-Ma’mūr, where every day seventy thousand angels enter and they do not return again” – meaning, for the purpose of worshipping therein and making tawaaf. Just as the inhabitants of the earth make tawaaf of their Ka’bah, so it is also done of that place, which is the Ka’bah of the inhabitants of the Seventh Heaven. And for that reason he found Ibrahim, the Khalīl (‘alaihis salaam), reclining against Bait al-Ma’mūr, and that is because he was the builder of the Ka’bah of the earth, and the reward of an action is of the same category as the action itself, and it corresponds to the Ka’bah. And in each (level) of the heavens there is a house of worship in which it’s inhabitants worship and towards which they face during alaah, and the one which is in the lowest Heaven is called Bait al-‘Izzah, and Allah knows best.

[Tafsir ibn Kathir 7/427-428]