29. "Surely those who committed sin used to laugh at those who believed,"
30. "And when they passed by them, they were winking at one another (in mockery;)"
31. "And when they returned to their people they returned jesting,"
32. "And when they saw them, they said: 'Surely these have gone astray'".
33. "While they had not been sent as guardians over them.!"
34. "So, on this Day (of Judgement) the Believers win laugh at the Unbelievers:"
35."(Sitting) on thrones (of Dignity) they will command (a sight) (of all things)".
36. "Have not the Unbelievers been paid back for what they used to do?"
The Occasion of revelation:
The commentators have quoted two occasions of revelation for these verses:
The first is that: Once Hazrat Ali (p.b.u.h.) and some of the believers, were passing by a number of pagans from Mecca when the pagans laughed at them and mocked them, then the above verses were revealed and made their destiny clear on the Day of Judgment.
Hakim Abu - Qasim Haskani has narrated from Ibn-i-Abbas in Shavahid-al-Tanzil that: The phrase 'those who were guilty' targeted the hypocrites of Quraish and 'those who believed' meant 'Ali-ibn-i-Abutalib and his devotees.
The second occasion of revelation is that the above verse has been revealed about some people such as: 'Ammar, Suhayb, Khabbab, Bilal, and some others of the poor believers who were mocked by some pagans of Quraish like Abujahl, Walid - ibn - Muqayrah, and 'as-ibn-Wa'il.
These two occasions of revelation can both be considered together, too.
Once They Used to Mock the believers but, Today...
The previous verses talked about the great rewards and the blessings of the Righteous, while these verses point to a part of the troubles and the difficulties that the believers may be faced with, in this life, for their Faith and Righteousness, to show that those great rewards are not undue.
These verses speak about the position of the pagans and their revolting treatment against the believers. Four varieties of their revolting behavior are mentioned here. First, it says:
"Surely those who committed sin used to laugh at those who believed."
They arrogantly laughed at them to insult them. And the wicked have always been, in this world, smug against the believers.
By the way, the application of the term / ajramu / 'those who committed sin' instead of the term /kafaru/ 'those who disbelieved' makes it clear that the disbelievers can be known by their sinful deeds since disbelief is always the origin of mischief.
In the next verse, the second wrong action of the unbelievers is mentioned, where it says:
"And when they passed by them, they were winking at one another (in mockery)".
In this way and by these innuendoes and sarcasm's the unbelievers, having evil motives, want to say that: 'Look! these poor people say that they are the nearest to Allah: and claim that the divine verses are revealed for them. Look! these foolish people say that the dry and rotten bones will be called to life again! '. Unbelievers usually say some unbecoming and nonsensical words like this.
It seems that the unbelievers" laughs were obviously done when the believers passed by them and their mocking sarcasm's were meted out when they passed by the believers. And since they could not laugh at the believers and mock them easily, they winked and made gestures to convey their thoughts to each other. But, when they were in their own gatherings and the believers passed by them they could commit their evils more freely and boldly.
The term /yataqamazun/ is derived from /qamz/ which means: 'to point or wink at anyone or anything which is the object of criticism'. And sometimes this word is used for any fault-finding, even when it is done orally.
* * * *
This refers to their behavior when they met the believers. But when they went home and they had private meetings with their family members and their relatives they continued mocking in the absence of the believers. They explained happily how they had mocked them. So the next verse says:
"And when they returned to their people they returned Jesting".
They talked to each other so proudly and boastingly as if they had won a great victory.
The term /fakihin/ is the plural form of /fakih/ which is based on /fakahah / which means 'to be joyful' and 'to laugh'. It is originally derived from /fakihah / with the meaning of 'fruit'. It seems that these frivolities and amusements are like sweet juicy fruit of which they find pleasure in. Also, friendly sweet speaking is called / fukahah /.
Though the term /ahl/ usually means 'family' and 'relatives', it may have a broader meaning, here, and includes 'close friends', too.
* * * *
Their fourth evil action against the believers was that:
"And when they saw them, they said 'Surely these have gone astray' ".
Since the believers had left the belief and the worship of the gods that the unbelievers used to follow, so, the wrongdoers thought of the believers Faith; believing in Allah, as a wrong way and said that they had gone astray.
The type of behavior that the unbelievers had may refer to the early period of Islam, when they did not think of the Divine Religion as a serious and everlasting one. Therefore, they laughed and mocked it. But, gradually, when groups of people came to Islam and the unbelievers felt threatened, they stood firmly and step by step they intensified their enmity. The verse above depicts the first stage of their enmity against the Muslims; the one that gradually changed into several bloody battles in later stages.
Since the believers were mostly from among the poor people who had not possessed high ranks in their society or a great deal of money, the unbelievers regarded them as lowly and counted their faith unworthy, and, consequently, mocked them and their belief.
"While they had not been sent as guardians over them! "
With what right and according to what rationale do they find fault with the believers?
The rich and the arrogant, from the sect of Noah, told him: "...We see (in) you nothing but a man like ourselves; nor do we see that any follow you but the lowliest", (Sura Hud No. 11, verse 27).
And he answered: "...Nor yet do I say, of those whom your eyes despise that Allah will not grant them (all) that is good: Allah knoweth best: what is in their soul..." (Sura Hud No. 11, verse 31).
This is, in fact, an answer to those arrogant braggarts saying that it is none of their business what type of people the believers are. They should notice the message of Allah in the invitation of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) to Islam.
* * * *
But, in the Hereafter the tables will be turned as in the next verse:
"So, on this Day (of Judgement) the Believers will laugh at the Unbelievers."
It is because the Day of Judgment is a day that, according to Divine Justice, everyone will receive the results, of his own deeds, which he incurred in this world. All these tricks and falsehoods will be shown or what they really are, and that is why the Believers will laugh at the Unbelievers; which is, itself, a kind of painful punishment for the arrogant ones.
Some narration's, from the Prophet (p.b.u.h.), denote that on that Day a door in Heaven will be opened to the disbelievers and they, thinking that they are free from the fire of Hell, go toward it. But, when they reach the door, it will be closed quickly. This will occur several times and the Believers, watching them from Heaven, will laugh.
* * * *
"(Sitting) on thrones (of dignity) they will command a sight (of all things)".
What will they be looking at? They will be looking at the immense Blessings of Eternity; at the Great Gifts therein; at His endless Grace; at the Dignity and Respect together with the calmness they have n Heaven, and at the painful chastisement that the obstinate arrogant Unbelievers are faced with in Hell.
Finally, in an interrogative sentence, the last verse questions: "Have not the Unbelievers been recompensed for what they used to do ''
This statement, whether coming from the side of Allah, or of the angels, or from the Believers, is a type of sarcasm leveled at the imaginations and the claims of the arrogant Unbelievers, who expected to receive rewards and prizes from Allah for their vices. To confront the vanity of these wrong imaginations, it says:
"Have not the Unbelievers been recompensed for what they used to do?"
Some of the commentators have counted this sentence as a separate and independent sentence while some others have considered it as dependent on the previous verse; i.e. the Righteous are sitting on their decorated thrones and looking to see whether the wicked have received the merit of their wrong actions. Verily, they should get their reward from Satan. Can the cursed Satan give them any reward?
The term /thuwibb/ is based on /thaub/ which basically means 'to return to the original state', or 'to return to a place to which one has come before', and / thawab / is said for a recompense or the reward which is given to a person for his deeds, since it is the result of his deeds which returns to him. This term is used for the compensation of a good action and an evil one both, but more specially and more frequently for good ones. Therefore, the above mentioned verse denotes a sort of sarcasm to the Unbelievers, and it must be so, because they used to mock both the Believers and the Messages of Allah, so, on That Day, they should be paid back for their mockeries which they committed in this world.
O Lord! Save all of us from pride, ignorance, and vanity.
O Lord! Grant us the spirit of justice, truthfulness, and humility.
O Lord! Set our Record in ' 'Illiyin' and take it out from 'Sijjin '.