Frightening the Idolators of Quraysh

Allah threatens the idolators who denied and opposed His Messenger Muhammad and He warns them of the punishment and painful torment He sent upon the previous nations who rejected their Messengers. Allah begins by mentioning Musa, upon him be peace, whom He sent along with his brother Harun as a helper — i.e., as another Prophet who helped and supported him — but Fir`awn and his chiefs denied them both:

ุฏูŽู…ู‘ูŽุฑูŽ ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู„ูู„ู’ูƒูŽู€ููุฑููŠู†ูŽ ุฃูŽู…ู’ุซูŽู€ู„ูู‡ูŽุง

(Allah destroyed them completely, and similar (awaits) the disbelievers) (47:10). And when the people of Nuh denied him, Allah destroyed them likewise, for whoever denies one Messenger denies all the Messengers, because there is no difference between one Messenger and another. If it had so happened that Allah had sent all His Messengers to them, they would have denied them all. Allah says:

ูˆูŽู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ูŽ ู†ููˆุญู ู„ู‘ูŽู…ู‘ูŽุง ูƒูŽุฐู‘ูŽุจููˆุงู’ ุงู„ุฑู‘ูุณูู„ูŽ

(And Nuh’s people, when they denied the Messengers,) although Allah sent only Nuh to them, and he stayed among them for 950 years, calling them to Allah and warning them of His punishment,

ูˆูŽู…ูŽุข ุกูŽุงู…ูŽู†ูŽ ู…ูŽุนูŽู‡ู ุฅูู„ุงู‘ูŽ ู‚ูŽู„ููŠู„ูŒ

(And none believed with him, except a few) (11:40). For this reason Allah drowned them all and left no one among the sons of Adam alive on earth apart from those who boarded the boat,

ูˆูŽุฌูŽุนูŽู„ู’ู†ูŽู€ู‡ูู…ู’ ู„ูู„ู†ู‘ูŽุงุณู ุกูŽุงูŠูŽุฉู‹

(and We made them a sign for mankind.) meaning a lesson to be learned. This is like the Ayah,

ุฅูู†ู‘ูŽุง ู„ูŽู…ู‘ูŽุง ุทูŽุบูŽุง ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุขุกู ุญูŽู…ูŽู„ู’ู†ูŽู€ูƒูู…ู’ ููู‰ ุงู„ู’ุฌูŽุงุฑููŠูŽุฉู – ู„ูู†ูŽุฌู’ุนูŽู„ูŽู‡ูŽุง ู„ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ุชูŽุฐู’ูƒูุฑูŽุฉู‹ ูˆูŽุชูŽุนููŠูŽู‡ูŽุข ุฃูุฐูู†ูŒ ูˆูŽุนููŠูŽุฉูŒ

(Verily, when the water rose beyond its limits, We carried you in the boat. That We might make it a remembrance for you, and the keen ear may understand it) (69:11-12), which means: `We left for you ships that you ride upon to travel across the depths of the seas, so that you may remember the blessing of Allah towards you when He saved you from drowning, and made you the descendants of those who believed in Allah and followed His commandments.’

ูˆูŽุนูŽุงุฏุงู‹ ูˆูŽุซูŽู…ููˆุฏูŽุงู’ ูˆูŽุฃูŽุตู’ุญูŽู€ุจูŽ ุงู„ุฑู‘ูŽุณู‘ู

(And (also) `Ad and Thamud, and the Dwellers of Ar-Rass,) We have already discussed their story, which is referred to in more than one Surah, such as Surat Al-A`raf, and there is no need to repeat it here. As for the Dwellers of Ar-Rass, Ibn Jurayj narrated from Ibn `Abbas about the Dwellers of Ar-Rass that they were the people of one of the villages of Thamud. Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Bukayr from `Ikrimah that Ar-Rass was a well where they buried (Rassu) their Prophet.

ูˆูŽู‚ูุฑููˆู†ุงู‹ ุจูŽูŠู’ู†ูŽ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ูƒูŽุซููŠุฑุงู‹

(and many generations in between. ) means nations, many more than have been mentioned here, whom We destroyed. Allah said:

ูˆูŽูƒูู„ุงู‘ู‹ ุถูŽุฑูŽุจู’ู†ูŽุง ู„ูŽู‡ู ุงู„ุงู‘ูŒู…ู’ุซูŽุงู„ูŽ

(And for each We put forward examples,) meaning, `We showed them the proof and gave them clear evidence,’ as Qatadah said, “They had no excuse.”

ูˆูŽูƒูู„ุงู‘ู‹ ุชูŽุจู‘ูŽุฑู’ู†ูŽุง ุชูŽุชู’ุจููŠุฑุงู‹

(and each (of them) We brought to utter ruin.) means, `We destroyed them completely.’ This is like the Ayah,

ูˆูŽูƒูŽู…ู’ ุฃูŽู‡ู’ู„ูŽูƒู’ู†ูŽุง ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูุฑููˆู†ู ู…ูู† ุจูŽุนู’ุฏู ู†ููˆุญู

(And how many generations (Qurun) have We destroyed after Nuh!) (17:17). “Generations” (Qurun) here refers to nations among mankind. This is like the Ayah,

ุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ุฃูŽู†ุดูŽุฃู’ู†ูŽุง ู…ูู† ุจูŽุนู’ุฏูู‡ูู…ู’ ู‚ูุฑููˆู†ุงู‹ ุกูŽุงุฎูŽุฑููŠู†ูŽ

(Then, after them, We created other generations (Qurun).) (23:42) Some defined a generation as being 120 years, or it was said that a generation was one hundred years, or eighty, or forty, etc. The most correct view is that a generation refers to nations who are one another’s contemporaries, living at the same time. When they go and others succeed them, this is another generation, as it was recorded in the Two Sahihs:

ยซุฎูŽูŠู’ุฑู ุงู„ู’ู‚ูุฑููˆู†ู ู‚ูŽุฑู’ู†ููŠุŒ ุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠู†ูŽ ูŠูŽู„ููˆู†ูŽู‡ูู…ู’ุŒุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠู†ูŽ ูŠูŽู„ููˆู†ูŽู‡ูู…ยป

(The best of generations is my generation, then the one that follows it, then the one that follows that.)

ูˆูŽู„ูŽู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุฃูŽุชูŽูˆู’ุง ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ู‚ูŽุฑู’ูŠูŽุฉู ุงู„ู‘ูŽุชูู‰ ุฃูู…ู’ุทูุฑูŽุชู’ ู…ูŽุทูŽุฑูŽ ุงู„ุณู‘ูŽูˆู’ุกู

(And indeed they have passed by the town on which was rained the evil rain.) refers to the town of the people of Lut, which was called Sodom, and the way in which Allah dealt with it, when He destroyed it by turning it upside down and by sending upon it the rain of stones of baked clay, as Allah says:

ูˆูŽุฃูŽู…ู’ุทูŽุฑู’ู†ูŽุง ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู… ู…ู‘ูŽุทูŽุฑุงู‹ ููŽุณูŽุขุกูŽ ู…ูŽุทูŽุฑู ุงู„ู’ู…ูู†ุฐูŽุฑููŠู†ูŽ

(And We rained on them a rain. And how evil was the rain of those who had been warned!) (26:176),

ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ู„ู‘ูŽุชูŽู…ูุฑู‘ููˆู†ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ู…ู‘ูุตู’ุจูุญููŠู†ูŽ – ูˆูŽุจูุงู„ู‘ูŽูŠู’ู„ู ุฃูŽููŽู„ุงูŽ ุชูŽุนู’ู‚ูู„ููˆู†ูŽ

(Verily, you pass by them in the morning. And at night; will you not then reflect) (37:137-138),

ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽู‡ูŽุง ู„ูŽุจูุณูŽุจููŠู„ู ู…ู‘ูู‚ููŠู…ู

(And verily, they were right on the highroad.) (15:76),

ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽู‡ูู…ูŽุง ู„ูŽุจูุฅูู…ูŽุงู…ู ู…ู‘ูุจููŠู†ู

(They are both on an open highway, plain to see) (15:79). Allah says:

ุฃูŽููŽู„ูŽู…ู’ ูŠูŽูƒููˆู†ููˆุงู’ ูŠูŽุฑูŽูˆู’ู†ูŽู‡ูŽุง

(Did they not then see it) meaning, so that they might learn a lesson from what happened to its inhabitants of punishment for denying the Messenger and going against the commands of Allah.

ุจูŽู„ู’ ูƒูŽุงู†ููˆุงู’ ู„ุงูŽ ูŠูŽุฑู’ุฌููˆู†ูŽ ู†ูุดููˆุฑุงู‹

(Nay! But they used not to expect any resurrection.) means, the disbelievers who passed by it did not learn any lesson, because they did not expect any resurrection, i.e., on the Day of Judgement.

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