The Stubbornness of the Disbelievers
Allah describes how stubborn the disbelievers were in their disbelief when they said:
(Why are not the angels sent down to us,) meaning, `so that we may see them with our own eyes and they may tell us that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’ This is like when they said:
(or you bring Allah and the angels before (us) face to face) (17:92). Hence they also said:
(or why do we not see our Lord) Allah said:
(Indeed they think too highly of themselves, and are scornful with great pride.) And Allah says:
(And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto them…) (6:111)
(On the Day they will see the angels — no good news will there be for the criminals that day. And they will say: “Hijran Mahjura.”) means, when they do see the angels, it will not be a good day for them, for on that day there will be no good news for them. This is also confirmed at the time when they are dying, when the angels bring them the tidings of Hell and the wrath of the Compeller, and when the disbeliever’s soul is being taken out, the angels say to it, “Come out, O evil soul from an evil body, come out to fierce hot wind and boiling water, and the shadow of black smoke.” It refuses to come out and it scatters throughout his body, so they beat him, as Allah says:
(And if you could see when the angels take away the souls of those who disbelieve; they smite their faces and their backs…”) (8:50)
(And if you could but see when the wrongdoers are in the agonies of death, while the angels are stretching forth their hands.) that is, to beat them:
((saying): “Deliver your souls! This day you shall be recompensed with the torment of degradation because of what you used to utter against Allah other than the truth. And you used to reject His Ayat with disrespect!”) (6: 93) Hence in this Ayah Allah says:
(On the Day they will see the angels — no good news will there be for the criminals) This is in contrast to the state of the believers when death approaches them, for they are given glad tidings of joy and delight. Allah says:
(Verily, those who say: “Our Lord is Allah,” and then they stand firm, on them the angels will descend (saying): “Fear not, nor grieve! But receive the good news of Paradise which you have been promised! We have been your friends in the life of this world and are (so) in the Hereafter. Therein you shall have what your souls desire, and therein you shall have what you ask for. Entertainment from, the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”) (41:30-32) According to an authentic Hadith narrated from Al-Bara’ bin `Azib, the angels say to the believer’s soul (at the time of death): “Come out, O good soul in a good body, as you were dwelling in it. Come out to rest and pleasant fragrances and a Lord Who is not angry.” Other scholars said that the Ayah:
(On the Day they will see the angels — no good news) vrefers to the Day of Resurrection. This was the view of Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others. But there is no contradiction between these two views, because on both of these days — the day of death and the Day of Resurrection — the angels will appear to the believers and disbelievers, and they will give glad tidings of divine mercy and pleasure to the believers, while they will give the disbelievers news that will bring regret and sorrow, so there will be no glad tidings for the evildoers and criminals on that Day.
(And they (angels) will say: “Hijran Mahjura.”) The angels will say to the disbelievers: `success is forbidden to you this day.’ The basic meaning of Al-Hijr is preventing or prohibition, hence the word is used in the phrase “Hajara Al-Qadi `Ala Fulan” (or, “The judge prohibited so and so.”) when he forbids him to dispose of his wealth in cases of bankruptcy, folly, being underage, etc. The name of Al-Hijr (the low semicircular wall near the Ka`bah) is also derived from this root, because it prevents people from Tawaf inside it, since they have to go behind it. The mind is also called Al-Hijr, because it prevents a person from indulging in things that do not befit him. In conclusion, the pronoun in the phrase.
(And they will say) refers to the angels. This was the view of Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyyah Al-`Awfi, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani, Khusayf and others; it was also the view favored by Ibn Jarir. Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Jurayj said that this referred to the words of the idolators.
(On the Day they will see the angels) means, they will seek refuge from the angels. This is because when disaster and hardship struck, the Arabs would say:
(“Hijran Mahjura.”) Although there is a point to what Ibn Jurayj said, from the context it is unlikely that this is what was meant, and the majority of scholars said something different.
(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did,) This refers to the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will bring mankind to account for their deeds, good and bad alike. Allah tells us that the deeds which these idolators thought would bring them salvation will be of no avail to them, because they were not in accordance with the Shari`ah or Laws of Allah, whether in terms of sincere intention or in terms of following the Laws set out by Allah. Every deed that is neither sincere nor in accordance with the Laws of Allah is futile, and the deeds of the disbelievers are either one or the other, or they may include both, in which case they are even less likely to be accepted. Allah says:
(And We shall turn to whatever deeds they did, and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust.) Sufyan Ath-Thawri, narrated from Abu Ishaq, from Al-Harith that `Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, commented on Allah’s saying:
(and We shall make such deeds as scattered floating particles of dust (Haba’).) “The rays of the sun when they pass through a small aperture.” A similar view was also narrated through a different chain of narrators from `Ali, and something similar was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, As-Suddi, Ad-Dahhak and others. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “This refers to the rays coming through a small window, and if anyone tries to grasp them, he cannot.” Abu Al-Ahwas narrated from Abu Ishaq from Al-Harith that `Ali said: “Haba’ refers to the dust raised by animals. ” A similar view was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas and Ad-Dahhak, and this was also said by `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
(scattered floating particles of dust (Haba’).) Qatadah said: “Have you not seen dry trees when they are blown by the wind This refers to those leaves.” It was narrated that Ya`la bin `Ubayd said: “Ashes or dust when it is stirred up by the wind.” In conclusion, all of these views are pointing out that the deeds of the disbelievers will be like some worthless scattered thing, and will be of no avail to them whatsoever. As Allah says:
(The parable of those who disbelieved in their Lord is that their works are as ashes, on which the wind blows furiously) (14:18).
(O you who believe! Do not render in vain your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury,) until His saying:
(They are not able to do anything with what they have earned) (2:264).
(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water, until he comes up to it, he finds it to be nothing) (24:39).
The Abode of the People of Paradise
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) meaning, on the Day of Resurrection.
(Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of the Paradise. It is the dwellers of Paradise that will be successful) (59:20). That is because the people of Paradise will ascend to lofty degrees and secure dwellings, so they will be in a place of safety, beauty and goodness,
(Abiding therein — excellent it is as an abode, and as a place to rest in.) (25:76) The people of Hell will go down to the lowest levels and continual regret, with all kinds of punishments and torments.
(Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.)(25:66) means, how evil a dwelling place to look at, and how evil an abode in which to stay. Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) meaning, in return for what they have done of acceptable deeds, they will attain what they will attain and reach the status they will reach, in contrast to the people of Hell, who will not have even one deed to their credit that would qualify them to enter Paradise and be saved from the Fire. Allah points out the situation of the blessed in contrast to that of the doomed, who will not enjoy any goodness at all. Sa`id bin Jubayr said: “Allah will finish the Judgement halfway through the Day, and the people of Paradise will take their mid day rest in Paradise and the people of Hell in Hell. Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.) `Ikrimah said, “I know the time when the people of Paradise will enter Paradise and the people of Hell will enter Hell. It is the time which in this world is the time when the late forenoon starts and people go back to their families to take a siesta. The people of Hell will go to Hell, but the people of Paradise will be taken to Paradise and will have their siesta in Paradise, and they will be fed the liver of a whale and they will all eat their fill. This is what Allah says:
(The dwellers of Paradise will, on that Day, have the best abode, and have the fairest of places for repose.)