أَفَمَن وَعَدْنَاهُ وَعْداً حَسَناً فَهُوَ لاَقِيهِ كَمَن مَتَّعْنَاهُ مَتَاعَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ هُوَ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ مِنَ الْمُـحْضَرِينَ
61. “Is he then unto whom We have promised a goodly promise which he shall meet it, similar to him whom We have provided with the provision of the life of this world, then on the Day of Hereafter he shall be of those brought up (for punishment)?”
The promises of Allah are both decisive and certain; and rewards in hereafter are both great and good.
In the previous verses, the words were about the persons who, for the enjoying of the bounties of the world, prefer disbelief to Faith and infidelity to Monotheism. Now, the verse under discussion defines the situation of this group in the Hereafter comparing the true believers.
At first, through a question, the Qur’an wants the conscience of all to judge, when it says:
No doubt every vigilant conscience prefers the Divine goodly promises and His great lasting merits to a few days of enjoying of perishing bounties and fleeting joys which have pain and toil in sequel.
The Qur’anic sentence /fahuwa laqiyah/ (which he shall meet it) is an emphasis on the fact that the promise of Allah does not infringe, and it should be such, because to infringe the promise is either because of ignorance or powerlessness, none of which is found in Divine Essence.
The Qur’anic sentence:
refers to the calling before Allah (s.w.t.) for the reckoning of deeds. Some commentators have rendered it into calling to the Hell Fire, but the first commentary is more suitable. However, this meaning shows that these polluted persons are drawn to this scene unwillingly, and it must be so, because the horror of reckoning and retribution has covered their whole entity.
The application of the Qur’anic phrase /hayat-ud-dunya/ ‘life of this world’, which has repeatedly been mentioned in different Suras of the Qur’an, points the meanness of this mortal life in comparison with the ‘Hereafter life’ which is permanent and perpetual.
The Arabic word /duniya/ is derived from /dunuw/ which originally means: ‘nearness in place, or time, or position’.
Then the terms /duniya/ and /adna/ have sometimes been used for the small creatures which are available, versus huge creatures, and sometimes it has been used for some mean things versus good and exalted things, and sometimes for ‘near’ versus ‘far’.
And, in view of the fact that the life of this world in the face of the life of the next world is both small and worthless, and near, then the appellation of /hayat-ud-duniya/ (the life of this world) is perfectly fitting.
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شرَكَآءِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
قَالَ الَّذِينَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ رَبَّنَا هَؤُلآءِ الَّذِينَ أَغْوَيْنَآ أَغْوَيْنَاهُمْ كَمَا غَوَيْنَا تَبَرَّأْنَآ إِلَيْكَ مَا كَانُوا إِيَّانَا يَعْبُدُونَ
وَقِيلَ ادْعُوا شُرَكَآءَكُمْ فَدَعَوْهُمْ فَلَمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَهُمْ وَرَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ لَوْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا يَهْتَدُونَ
62. “And on the Day (when) He will call them and say: ‘Where are My associates whom you were asserting?’”
63. “Those against whom the sentence has been confirmed will say: ‘Our Lord! These are they whom we led astray; we led them astray, as we were astray ourselves. To You we declare ourselves to be clear (of them). They were not unto us worshipping’.”
64. “And it will be said (unto them): ‘Call your associate (gods)’. So they will call upon them, but they will not answer them, and they will see the punishment and would wish that they had been guided aright.”
Whoever calls others towards himself instead of Allah, the punishment of Allah is certain for him. We must not do something that we remain unable to answer for that thing on the Day of Hereafter.
Through these verses, the Qur’an illustrates the scenes of Resurrection for pagans in a way that its consideration brings horror and causes man’s body to shake.
The verse says:
It is evident that this question is an objurgatory question, for on the Hereafter Day, when the curtains will be removed and everything is manifest, neither paganism is meaningful nor pagans have remained on their belief. So, this question is only a kind of reproach and punishment, or a kind of reprimand and retribution.
But instead of pagans, that must answer this question themselves, their objects of worship will start speaking and express their hatred from them. We know that their objects of worship were sometimes idols made of stone and wood, and sometimes some sacred beings such as angels and Jesus Christ, and sometimes Jinns and Satans.
Here, the third group will speak who will be referred to in this verse, which says:
The abovementioned verse is similar to Surah Yunus, No. 10, verse 28 which says:
Thus, the seductive objects of worship, such as: Pharaoh, Namrud, and Satans and Jinns will proclaim their hatred from such worshippers and defend themselves. They will also negate even aberration from themselves and implicitly say that the worshippers followed them with their own accord.
But it is clear that neither this negation has any effect nor that hatred and repudiation are useful, and they will surely share the sin of their worshippers.
It is worthy to note that on that Day every one of these sinful deviated persons will repudiate the other one and each of them try to put his own sin on another’s shoulder.
This is just like the thing we see its small example in this world with our own eyes. A group of persons gather with together to commit a crime. Then, after being captured, and attending in the court, they hate each other and try to put the fault on the neck of another one. This is the fate of the criminals and astray ones in this world and the next.
Also, Surah ’Ibrahim, No. 14, verse 22 indicates that, on the Day of Hereafter, Satan will say to his followers as follows:
Concerning pagans, in Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, we recite that they will conflict with each other and every one will count another a guilty one, but those whose work is temptation will explicitly reply them:
However, after that they will be questioned about their objects of worship and they will remain impotent to answer.
Their situation is explained as follows:
They are told to call their gods to help them but they, who know their objects of worship cannot do anything there, as a result of the intense horror and that they find nothing to help them, or because of obeying the command of Allah, Who wants to disgrace such pagans and their astray objects of worship before the public, they will go to their gods and ask them to help them, but it is clear that they will not answer them.
At this time, they will see the chastisement of Allah by their own eyes, and they gain nothing but failure and disgrace, because the only way of salvation is Faith and righteous deed which they do not have.
The verse says:
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ مَاذَآ أَجَبْتُمُ الْمُرْسَلِينَ
فَعَمِيَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الاَنْبَآءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ فَهُمْ لاَ يَتَسَآءَلُونَ
فَاَمَّا مَن تَابَ وءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحاً فَعَسَي أَن يَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُفْلِحِينَ
65. “And on that Day He will call them and say: ‘What was the answer you gave to the messengers?’”
66. “On that Day (all) tidings will be dimmed for them, nor will they ask each other.”
67. “But any that (in this life) repents, and believes, and works righteousness, haply he shall be one of the prosperous ones.”
Every body is responsible before the call and invitation of the Divine prophets.
On the Hereafter Day, people cannot prepare any answer for the just court of Allah (s.w.t.) by means of cooperation, consultation and asking questions from each other.
Next to the question about their objects of worship, the pagans will be asked another question about their reaction before the Divine prophets.
The verse says:
It is certain that, like the first question, they will not have any answer for this question. If they say that they answered their invitation, it will be a lie, and a lie will have no room there.
If they say that they rejected the prophets, denigrated them, called them sorcerers and insane ones, and struggled against them with weapons and killed both them and their followers, their statement will be the cause of their disgrace and misery.
On the Hereafter Day, when the prophets will be questioned that what people did in answer to their invitation and they will answer:
what can these blind-hearted pagans say in answer to this question?
Therefore, in the next verse the Qur’an implicitly says that they will have no answer to deliver, nor can they hear any answer from each other.
The verse says:
It is worthy to note that, in the above verse, blindness and dumbness are attributed to ‘tidings’ not to them. It does not say that they will become blind, but it implies that all tidings will be blind to find them.
The reason is that many times it happens that a person is not aware of something but it seems that the news turns round by tongues and finally comes to him, as many social news are scattered through this very way where neither are persons aware of them, nor are the news worthy of being scattered.
Thus, all tidings will be covered for them, and they will find no answer for the question that what they answered to the Divine prophets and, therefore, there will remain an absolute silence for them as an answer.
And, since the Qur’an always leaves the door open for the sinners and pagans to return to the truth in what stage of mischief and pollution they may be, by the next verse it adds:
Therefore, the way of felicity is summed up in three phrases: returning to Allah, Faith and righteous deeds in this world the result of which will certainly be: deliverance, salvation and prosperity.
Though whoever has true Faith and righteous deed will surely be prosperous, the usage of the word /‘asa/ (haply) in the verse may be for the sake that this prosperity is conditioned to the existence and continuation of this state, and since the existence and continuation of this state is not certain for all the repentant, the word ‘haply’ has been used for it.
Some commentators have also said that when this word, haply, is said by a generous personality, its concept is the certainty of the matter, and Allah is ‘The Most Generous’.
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَآءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَتَعَالَي عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ
وَرَبُّكَ يَعْلَمُ مَا تُكِنُّ صُدُورُهُمْ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ
وَهُوَ اللَّهُ لآ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِي الأُولَي وَالاَخِرَةِ وَلَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَإِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
68. “And your Lord creates whatever He pleases, and He chooses: They have not the choice. Glory be to Allah, and exalted be He above what they associate (with Him)!”
69. “And your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they manifest.”
70. “And He is Allah, there is no god but He! His is all praise in this (life) and the Hereafter, and His is the authority, and unto Him you shall be returned.”
The Absolute Power is Allah’s, and then the creation of existence and the law of life (religion) both belong to Him. Therefore, the choice of heavenly leader is in the hand of Allah, not in the authority of people.
These verses, in fact, are as an evidence for the negation of polytheism and falseness of the belief of polytheists.
The first verse says:
Creation belongs to Him, and administration, authority, and choice are also under His will and commandment.
The verse continues saying:
The authority of creation is with Him, the authority of intercession is in His hand, and the authority of sending prophets is also in His will. Shortly speaking, the authority of all things depends on the Divine providence, His Pure Essence. Therefore, neither can idols do anything, nor even can the angels and prophets, save with His leave.
However, Allah is the possessor of authority both in natural affairs and religious affairs, both of which originate from the rank of His creation.
Yet, how do they pave the path of polytheism, and how do they go towards other than Allah?
Thus, at the end of the verse, the Holy Qur’an says:
In the narrations of Ahl-ul-Bayt (as), the above verse has been rendered into the authority and choice of Immaculate Imam (as) from the side of Allah, and the Qur’anic sentence:
has also been adapted to this very meaning. This, in fact, is of the kind of stating the clear example, because protecting divine religion and choosing the immaculate leader for this aim is impossible but from the side of Allah.2
The next verse, which is about the vast knowledge of Allah, is, indeed, an emphasis, or a reason, upon what was stated in the previous verse concerning the vast authority of Allah.
This His sovereignty over everything is a reason for His authority unto all things, and, in the meantime, it is a threat for the pagans who should not imagine that Allah is not aware of their intentions and plots.
The last verse of the abovementioned verses is, in fact, as a conclusion and explanation for the previous verses in the field of negation of polytheism. It points to four qualities of the Attributes of Allah, all of which are derivatives of His creative power and His Will being independent.
How can an object of worship, except Him, be found while He is the only creator and all authorities belong to Him? Those who, as a pretext of intercession and the like of it, go to idols are seriously in error.
Another thing is that all bounties, whether in this world and the next, are from His side, and this is the requisite of His absolute creative Power.
Therefore, it says:
The third is that He is the Judge in both worlds. The verse continues saying:
The fourth is that the return of all men, for reckoning and receiving rewards and retribution, will be to Him.
The verse says:
It is He Who has created us, and it is He Who is aware of our deeds, and it is He Who is the Judge of the Day of retribution; therefore the reckoning and reward of our deeds are in His hand, too.
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ الَّيْلَ سَرْمَداً إِلَي يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِضِيَآءٍ أَفَلاَ تَسْمَعُونَ
71. “Say: ‘Have you thought, if Allah made the night everlasting for you till the Day of Resurrection, what god other than Allah shall bring you illumination? Will you not hear?”
The Arabic word /sarmad/, mentioned in this verse, means permanent and perpetual.
Among the ways of knowing Allah there is the way of contemplation about extinction or change of bounties. The change of day and night, of course, is one of the greatest Divine bounties and signs.
The verse under discussion points to a great part of Divine bounties, which is both a reason on Monotheism and negation of polytheism.
From this point of view, it completes the previous discussion, and it is an example of the bounties of Allah for which He is eligible of being praised and glorified, a praise that was pointed out in the previous verses. It is also the evidence on His authority in the system of creation and administration of this world.
At first, it points to the great bounty of the light of the day, which is the cause of any movement.
Here, the word /diya’/ (light) has been used, because the main purpose of ‘day’ is ‘light’, the same light that the life and living of all living beings depends on it. If there were not the sunlight, neither would a tree grow, nor could a flower smile, nor might a bird fly, nor would exist a human being, nor would it rain a drop of rain.
قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُمْ إِن جَعَلَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمُ النَّهَارَ سَرْمَداً إِلَي يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَنْ إِلَهٌ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ يَأْتِيكُم بِلَيْلٍ تَسْكُنُونَ فِيهِ أَفَلاَ تُبْصِرُونَ
72. “Say: ‘Have you thought, if Allah made the day everlasting for you till the Day of Resurrection, what god other than Allah shall bring you the night in which you rest? Do you not then see?”
The existing system of the world of existence is arranged from the side of Allah, and if He wills He can change it to another system, because the power of Allah is the same unto all beings.
This verse refers to the bounty of darkness. It, addressing the Prophet (S), commands him to tell the people of Mecca who were busy worshipping idols:
It is evident that they are not able to answer this question except that they say there is not anyone to do it. Consequently, the argument is completed to them and they must confess that there is not anyone eligible for being worshipped but Allah, the One.
Therefore, it says:
That is, do you not obtain knowledge by the way of insight? Do you not observe the day and the night, and do you not contemplate about them so that you know that they both are from the side of a Wise Administrator?
وَمِن رَحْمَتِهِ جَعَلَ لَكُمُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ لِتَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
73. “And it is out of His Mercy that He has made for you the night and the day, that you may rest therein, and that you may seek of His grace, and that you may give thank.”
In the verses of the holy Qur’an, the word ‘night’ is always mentioned before the word ‘day’. It may be for the reason that the darkness of the night substantially belongs to the earth and it is from the earth itself, but the light of the day is from the sun which comes to the earth.
This verse, which is, in fact, the conclusion of the previous two verses, says:
Yes, the vastness of the expanse of Allah’s Mercy requires that He provides all the means of your life. From one side, we need to work, struggle, and run, which is not possible without the light of the day; and from another side, we need to rest and to have tranquility, which naturally does not complete without the darkness of the night.
Today, it has scientifically been proved that, because of light, all organs of the body of man become active and alive, such as: circulation of the blood, respiratory organs, the work of the heart, as well as other organs.
And if light is too much, the cells will become tired and joy and cheerfulness gives its place to weariness. On the contrary, at night, the organs of the body go into a deep tranquility and rest, and get strength and joy by it.
It is interesting that when in verse 71 it speaks of the lasting night, at the end of verse it says:
while at the end of verse 72 it says:
This variation of meaning may be for the reason that the sense proportional to night is hearing and the sense proportional to day is sight. To this extreme the Qur’an uses exactness and precision.
This is also noteworthy that at the end of this verse the subject of thanksgiving is mentioned; giving thank for the accurate system of light and darkness, a thanksgiving that causes man to know the Benefactor, and a thanksgiving which is the motive of Faith in the doctrinal subjects.
وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ فَيَقُولُ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآءِيَ الَّذِينَ كُنتُمْ تَزْعُمُونَ
74. “And on the day when He shall call them and say: ‘Where are My partners whom you used to assert?’”
Allah, the Almighty, has no partner. Whatever is counted as a partner for Him, is naught but an imagination and unfounded assumption. Therefore, those who associate anything with Allah (s.w.t.) must prepare themselves to have an answer on the Day of Hereafter.
The commentary of this verse, of course, was explained formerly and its repetition is for the sake that in the first time the aim was that they would confess their aberration, and here the aim is that they might be made understand that they are unable to bring any reasoning.
Thus, Hereafter is the Day when the futility of the objects of worship and frustration of polytheists will appear. It is a Day when all objects of worship in their vanity and all polytheists in their being unable to give answer are equal.
However, it is cited in the commentary of Jawami‘-ul-Jami’that Allah, the Glorified, repeats the scorn of pagans for their disbelief in order to claim that paganism causes the Wrath of Allah more than any other sin, as Monotheism is the most inclusive thing for gaining the consent and pleasure of Allah.
وَنَزَعْنَا مِن كُلِّ اُمَّةٍ شَهِيداً فَقُلْنَا هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ فَعَلِمُوا أَنَّ الْحَقَّ لِلَّهِ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُوا يَفْتَرُونَ
75. “And We will draw forth from every nation a witness, and say: ‘Bring you your proof!’ Then shall they know that the Truth is Allah’s, and that which they used to forge shall depart from them.”
Pagans have not any logic and demonstrative proof.
On the Day of Hereafter, the witnesses come out from their own nations. On that Day, the sinful persons will think of denying their crimes, but the existence of witnesses cause them not to do anything.
So, this verse says:
It is at this time that everything will be manifested, and as the verse says:
According to some other verses of the Holy Qur’an, these witnesses will be the Divine prophets, and every prophet is the witness of his own nation, while the Prophet of Islam (S), who is the seal of the prophets, will be a witness over all prophets and nations, as Surah An-Nisa’, No. 4, verse 41 says:
Thus, there will be held a meeting at the presence of prophets and Messengers. In this great meeting, those blind-hearted arrogant pagans will be put under judgment. It is at that time that they will be acquainted with the depth of the calamity of paganism and will understand the rightfulness of the Lord and futility of the idols clearly.
It is interesting that the Qur’an in the above mentioned verse says:
That is, their baseless imaginations about idols will completely be dismissed from their minds, because resurrection plain is the place of Truth and there is no room for falsehood there. In that place, falsehood will be lost and disappear.
If in this world falsehood hides itself under the curtain of truth and is busy with deceit for a few days, in Hereafter the curtains of deceit and trick will disappear and there will remain nothing but the Truth.
Upon the commentary of the Qur’anic sentence:
Imam Baqir (as) in a tradition has said:
“And from this nation there will also be chosen its Imam.”3
This noble statement refers to this fact that in any age there will be necessary to exist an immaculate witness, and the abovementioned tradition is of the kind of statement of the extension of this meaning.