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Section 3: The Disbelievers Punished

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 13

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِرُسُلِهِمْ لَنُخْرِجَنَّكُم مِنْ أَرْضِنَآ أَوْ لَتَعُودُنَّ فِي مِلَّتِنَا فَاَوْحي إِلَيْهِمْ رَبُّهُمْ لَنُهْلِكَنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ

13. “And those who disbelieved told their messengers: ‘We will certainly expel you from our land, or else you return to our creed.’ Then their Lord revealed to them: ‘Certainly We will perish the unjust’.”

Question: Were the prophets pagan before the onset of their mission when they were requested by the pagans to return to the previous beliefs of pagans.

Answer: Firstly, perhaps the objective in mind of the disbelievers was the return of the prophets to be under to their own control. That is, they used to suggest supposedly you are believers, but you must not stand up against us and you, as well as your companions, deviate from our path.

Secondly, the Arabic word /‘aud/ when is followed with /’il a/ it means return to the prior condition. However, now that it is followed by /fi/, it denotes change and not returning to the previous condition, which implies change of ideas into their creed.

Thirdly, the idea of returning to paganism probably implies the return of the prophets’ companions and not of the prophets themselves.

Anyway, as is usually the case with the way of life of the illogical people, that they quit the course of reasoning when they become aware of their weaknesses in ideas and in words, abandoning reasoning, they rely on forces and powers.

Here, we notice when the prophets demonstrated their sound and explicit way of reasoning, which were discussed in the former verses, the obstinate and pretending pagans told their prophets that they would swear to drive them out of their lands unless they return to pagans’ way of life which was the worshipping of the idols.

The verse says:

“And those who disbelieved told their messengers: ‘We will certainly expel you from our land, or else you return to our creed.’…”

These unaware and arrogant people perhaps considered all of the lands as their own lands and they did not have any regards for their prophets, even they did not consider them as a compatriot, thus they used to say ‘our land’ while Allah has created the land and all its blessings for the sake of the righteous people.

Then the Qur’an implies that while at the same time, Allah expressed His compassion to the prophets and reassured them, revealing to them that the tyrants would be perished and, therefore, they should not be scared of such threats and no weakness must appear in the strength of their will.

The verse says:

“…Then their Lord revealed to them: ‘Certainly We will perish the unjust’.”

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 14

وَلَنُسْكِنَنَّكُمُ الأَرْضَ مِن بَعْدِهِمْ ذَلِكَ لِمَنْ خَافَ مَقَامِي وَخَافَ وَعِيدِ

14. “And, certainly, We shall settle you in the land after them. This is for him who fears My Majesty and fears My threat.”

Allah, the Almighty, has promised that the oppressors will be perished and His saints would replace them, and since this promise has not been realized to the fullest possible way, it will be actualized at the time of the reappearance of Imam-i-Zaman (the Expected Mahdi) (‘aj.).

The blissful Qur’an has repeatedly promised that the saint of Allah (s.w.t.) will be ruling the earth and their enemies will be annihilated.

The Qur’an says:

“And, certainly, We shall settle you in the land after them. This is for him who fears My Majesty and fears My threat.”

We mention here only three cases regarding the verses concerning this Divine promise:

A- “And verily Our host will definitely prevail.”1

B- “And Our word has already gone forth in respect of Our servants, the messengers;” “Most surely they shall be the assisted ones.” 2

C- “…(as for) the land, My righteous servants shall inherit it.” 3

Anyway, prevalence of the truth over the untruth and the formation of the Divine government by the saints of Allah are among the decisive and repeated promises of the Qur’an.

The Divine Essence is the source of all good and the blessings, and is lovely.

“…but for those who have faith, their love of Allah is more intensive…”4

What is to be feared is Allah’s position. Of course, if your friend is a judge and your case is taken to the court to him to be judged, you will he in awe of him about his court of justice and his position at the court, though he is your friend.

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 15

وَاسْتَفْتَحُوا وَخَابَ كُلُّ جَبَّارٍ عَنِيدٍ

15. “And they (the prophets as well as the believers) sought victory, but every obstinate oppressor remained deprived.

Once all the prophets performed all their duties with regard to their nations, those who were supposed to become believers accepted the faith and the rest insisted on their paganism, and threatened frequently the prophets. It was at this time that they asked Allah for victory over the pagans.

The verse says:

“And they (the prophets as well as the believers) sought victory…”

Allah also accepted the prayer call of these true warriors for holy causes who were genuinely beseeching. And, eventually every deviant stiff-necked person became desperate and perished.

The verse says:

“…but every obstinate oppressor remained deprived.

All the prophets were expecting victory.

Noah called upon his Lord:

“…Verily I am overcome, so give help’.”5

Other prophets also sought victory from Allah.

They used to say:

“…Our Lord! Decide between us and our people with truth, and You are the best of deciders.”6

Thus the Qur’an, the blissful, through many verses deals with the victory of the prophets and the annihilation of the pagans as well as their punishment, declaring to the pagans decisively that the day of conquest will soon come and every spiteful oppressor will be punished by his own retribution.

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 16

مِن وَرَآئِهِ جَهَنَّمُ وَيُسْقَي مِن مَّآءٍ صَدِيدٍ

16. “Hell is before him, and he will be given to drink of festering fluid.”

The Arabic term /war a’/ means the ultimate and the end of a course, as it is said in Persian, the end-result of this meal is becoming ill.

There are three kinds of drink in Hell:

1- A drink that consists of pussy fluid and blood, which comes out of a wound and is called ‘Sadid’.

2- Something which flows out of the skin of the hell-dwelling people and is called ‘Qassaq’.

3- The third drink is ‘melted copper’ which is called ‘Hamim’.

The drinks of the hell-dwelling people is burning and not quenching one’s thirst. A few Qur’anic verses in this regard are:

A: “…who are made to drink boiling water so it rends their bowels a sunder.”7

B: “…They will be succoured with water like molten copper that shall scold the faces…” 8

Of course, those who burned the hearts of the faithful and who slapped them on their faces, making blood-bath flow by their destructive weapons and chemical bombs, must not have any punishment other than what was said.

The verse says:

“Hell is before him, and he will be given to drink of festering fluid.”

However, the Paradise-dwelling people will live by the side of delicious tasting water of the streams, feeding themselves on delicious tasting milk and honey provided with them by Allah, and will enjoy themselves from all the Divine blessings.

“…and their Lord will give them to drink of a Drink Pure and Holy.”

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 17

يَتَجَرَّعُهُ وَلا يَكَادُ يُسِيغُهُ وَيَأْتِيهِ الْمَوْتُ مِن كُلّ‌ِ مَكَانٍ وَمَا هُوَ بِمَيّـِتٍ وَمِن وَرَآئِهِ عَذَابٌ غَلِيظٌ

17. “He will drink it little by little which he can hardly swallow agreeably, and death will come to him from every side, while he will not be about to die, and there will be a vehement chastisement before him.”

The punishment of the hell-dwelling people is depicted well in the profile in this verse.

A- The chastisement of such people is bit by bit, little by little and gradual so as to be tortured to the utmost.

The verse says:

“He will drink it little by little which he can hardly swallow agreeably…”

B- The different kinds of punishments take the dwellers of Hell as to the brink of their death-beds, though they will not die despite all these.

The verse continues saying:

“…and death will come to him from every side, while he will not be about to die…”

C- The chastisements are followed by graver consequences, which will be ever increasing as well.

The verse says:

“…and there will be a vehement chastisement before him.”

The Qur’an contains several qualities for the chastisement of the Hereafter Day: ‘painful, ‘severe’, ‘great’, ‘vehement’ all of which mean and make allusions to the intensity and the magnitude of the type of chastisement.

The Arabic word /’is aqah/ denotes drinking water with one’s own will. The sentence mentioned in the verse signifies that one will never drink that water willingly. 9

The blissful Prophet (S) remarked:

“Whoever drinks wine, his prayers will not be answered for forty days and it is appropriate for him that Allah makes him drink the stinking and infectious water of Hell.”

The Arabic term /sadid/ means the festering fluid which comes out of a wound. And /tajarru‘/: signifies sipping gradually and continuously. The Arabic term /’is aqah/ means making the drink flow through one’s throat, and /’ištid ad/ means acceleration with all of one’s power.

The Qur’anic word /‘ asif/ means a strong wind which blows during day-time, or it may mean the day in which blows a strong wind.

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 18

مَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا بِرَبّـِهِمْ أَعْمَالُهُمْ كَرَمَادٍ اشْتَدَّتْ بِهِ الّـِرِيحُ فِي يَوْمٍ عَاصِفٍ لاَ يَقْدِرُونَ مِمَّا كَسَبُوا عَلَي شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ هُوَ الضَّلالُ الْبَعِيدُ

18. “The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord, their deeds are like ashes on which the wind blows severely on a stormy day; they will have no power over any thing out of what they have earned; that is the very straying, far (and deep).”

The issue discussed in the previous verses concerned mostly with the loss and the disadvantage incurred by the obstinate oppressors and of their deprivations. Here, we have an explanation upon the same meaning.

Allah, the Almighty, converts the vices and the evils of the faithful into the good and the decent in case of their repentance, but the evil deeds of the disbelievers wipe out the impact of their good deeds.

Therefore, there is an explicit parable or example explained in this noble verse for the deeds of the unbelievers, which supplements the discussion of the previous verses as to the ultimate end of the pagans.

It says:

“The parable of those who disbelieve in their Lord, their deeds are like ashes on which the wind blows severely on a stormy day…”

The objective is all their deeds, even their apparently good deeds which are orientated from paganism and idolatry.

Just in the same way that ashes cannot stand in the way of a strong wind in a stormy day, even for one moment, and will spread immediately, and no one is able to assemble them, the same case is for the disbelievers in the truth who will be unable to gain any thing from the good deeds they have performed.

All will be lost and gone with the wind, leaving them empty-handed. Such is the case with being misguided to the utmost.

The verse says:

“…they will have no power over any thing out of what they have earned; that is the very straying, far (and deep).”

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verses 19 - 20

أَلَمْ تَرَ أَنَّ اللَّهَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ بِالْحَقّ‌ِ إِن يَشَأْ يُذْهِبْكُمْ وَيَأْتِ بِخَلْقٍ جَدِيدٍ

وَمَا ذَلِكَ عَلَي اللَّهِ بِعَزيزٍ

19. “Did you not see that Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth? If He wills He will take you away and bring (in your place) a new creation.”
20. “And this is not difficult for Allah.”

The Qur’an has repeated on several occasions that Allah has not created the heavens and the earth for vain and for the sake of fun of it.

The Qur’an says:

“And We did not create the heavens and the earth and what is between them in sport.”10

Elsewhere He remarks:

“And We did not create the heaven and the earth and what is between them in vain, that is the opinion of those who disbelieve…” 11

Of course, it is the disbelievers who presume that the creation of existence is aimless and out of question.

Now Allah declares that He has made man for the purpose of worshipping and of having faith and not for the sake of disbelieving and disobedience.

Hence, He says:

“Did you not see that Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth?…”

The Qur’anic term /ru’yat/ has been also employed in the sense of knowledge as well as its employment in the sense of ‘perception’ and ‘seeing’. The meaning implied in the first sense is in mind in this context. This statement is addressed to the Prophet (S), but the main aim is his ’Ummat.

Do you not know that Allah created the skies and the earth as His Own wisdom required, which was in the name of the truth or for the aim of the truth? The purpose of the aim of the truth is the religion and worshipping. That is, He created the world so as the people worship Him (s.w.t.) and they merit His rewards.

The commentators of the Qur’an have held the view that the truth signifies ‘being identical and harmonious’.

The structural system of the world of creation in here, as well as the skies and the earth, all show that there has been a great deal of wisdom, order, and aim involved in their creation. Neither Allah has been in need of their creation, nor would He feel any shortcomings brought about without them, for He is in no need of any thing.

Then, the Qur’an implies that the reason as to Him having no need to you and your believing is that when He determines He will take you, replacing you with a new generation of people.

The verse says:

“…If He wills He will take you away and bring (in your place) a new creation.”

A new generation of people who are all believers and who do not commit any of the indecent acts committed by you, for whoever is to be the author and the architect of some thing is also able to destroy it.

It is not impossible for Allah to annihilate you and create a new generation of people. The verse says:

“And this is not difficult for Allah.”

Surah ‘Ibrahim – Verse 21

وَبَرَزُوا لِلَّهِ جَمِيعاً فَقَالَ الضُّعَفَآءُ لِلَّذِينَ اسْتَكْبَرُوا إِنَّا كُنَّا لَكُمْ تَبَعاً فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّغْنُونَ عَنَّا مِنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ مِن شَيءٍ قَالُوا لَو هَدَانَا اللَّهُ لَهَدَيْنَاكُمْ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيْنَآ أَجَزِعْنَآ أَمْ صَبَرْنَا مَا لَنَا مِن مَحِيصٍ

21. “And they shall come forth in front of Allah all together. Then the week shall say to those who were the arrogant: ‘Verily we were your followers (in the world). Can you avert from us any part of the chastisement of Allah? They would say: ‘If Allah had guided us we too would have definitely guided you. It is all the same to us whether we cry or we are patient; there is no way for us to escape.”

The Arabic term /burūz/ denotes ‘exit’, and the word /mub ariz/ refers to the person who comes forth out of the line of the army and who declares his intention and readiness for combating the enemy.

We had references made to the hard punishment and severe and painful chastisement of the obstinate disbelievers in some of the previous verses; the Qur’an follows this matter up and supplements it in this verse as well.

It first declares that all of them will appear in Allah’s court on the day of resurrection, (the oppressors, the pagans, the tyrants, including the ones who were authors or those who were subordinate in positions, the ones who led or the ones who followed).

The verse says:

“And they shall come forth in front of Allah all together…”

At this moment, the oppressed ones, that is, those ignorant lot who misled themselves to the sphere of darkness because of their blind obedience and imitation, addressing the seduced oppressors say: We were your followers and have been fallen into this entanglement of disastrous plight because of your leadership. Are you then ready to bear part of our burden?

The verse says:

“…Then the week shall say to those who were the arrogant: ‘Verily we were your followers (in the world). Can you avert from us any part of the chastisement of Allah?…”

But they immediately will answer them:

“…They would say: ‘If Allah had guided us we too would have definitely guided you…”

Nevertheless, what a pity that there is no more room left for such complaints. It is all the same for us whether we become restless or go on crying; whether we are persevering or impatient as there is no way out of our plight for us.

The verse says:

“…It is all the same to us whether we cry or we are patient; there is no way for us to escape.”

  • 1. Surah As-Saffat, No. 37, verse 178
  • 2. Ibid verses 171-172
  • 3. Surah Al-’Anbiy a, No. 21, verse 105
  • 4. Surah Al-Baqarah, No. 2, verse 165
  • 5. Surah Al-Qamar, No. 54, verse 10
  • 6. Surah Al-A‘r af, No. 7, verse 89
  • 7. Surah Muhammad, No. 47, verse 15
  • 8. Surah Al-Kahf, No. 18, verse 29
  • 9. Tafsir Tibyan
  • 10. Surah Ad-Dukhan, No. 44, verse 38
  • 11. Surah S ad, No. 38, verse 27

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