The Effects of Sin in this World
Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Ad-Dahhak, As-Suddi and others said: “What is meant by Al-Barr here is the empty land or wilderness, and by Al-Bahr is towns and cities.” According to a report narrated from Ibn `Abbas and `Ikrimah, Al-Bahr refers to towns and cities which are on the banks of rivers. Others said that what was meant was the usual meaning of the words, i.e., land and sea. Zayd bin Rafi` said:
(Evil has appeared) “The rain is withheld from the land and this is followed by famine, and it is withheld from the sea, adversely affecting the animals which live in it.” This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim, who said: “Muhammad bin `Abdullah bin Yazid Al-Muqri’ told us, from Sufyan from Humayd bin Qays Al-A`raj from Mujahid:
(Evil has appeared on land and sea) “Evil on land means the killing of the son of Adam, and evil on the sea means piracy.” According to the first opinion, the phrase,
(Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, ) means the shortfall in the crops and fruits is because of sins. Abu Al-`Aliyah said: “Whoever disobeys Allah in the earth has corrupted it, because the good condition of the earth and the heavens depends on obedience to Allah.” Hence it says in the Hadith which was recorded by Abu Dawud:
(Any prescribed punishment which is carried out in the land is better for its people than if it were to rain for forty days.) The reason for that is that if the prescribed punishments are carried out, this will deter the people — most or many of them — from violating the prohibitions of Allah. If they give up sin, this will be a cause of blessings in the skies and on the earth. So, when `Isa bin Maryam, peace be upon him, comes down at the end of time, he will judge according to this Shari`ah at that time, and will kill the pigs and break the cross and abolish the Jizyah. He will accept nothing except Islam or the sword. When Allah destroys the Dajjal and his followers, and Ya’juj and Ma’juj during his time, it will be said to the earth, bring forth your blessing. Then groups of people will eat from one pomegranate, and will seek shade beneath its skin, and the milk of one pregnant camel will be sufficient for a group of people. This will only be because of the blessings that will result from application of the Shari`ah of Muhammad . The more justice is established, the more the blessings and good things will increase. It was reported in the Sahih:
(When the evildoer dies, it is a relief for the people, the land, the trees and the animals.) Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Abu Qahdham said: “At the time of Ziyad or Ibn Ziyad, a man found a cloth in which were wrapped grains of wheat which were as big as date stones; on it was written: `This grew at a time when justice prevailed.”‘
(that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done,) means, He tries them with the loss of wealth, souls and fruits as a test and as a punishment for what they have done.
(in order that they may return.) means, from disobedience. This is like the Ayah,
(And We tried them with good and evil in order that they might turn.) (7:168). Then Allah says:
(Say: “Travel in the land and see what was the end of those before (you)!”) meaning, those who came before you.
(Most of them were idolators. ) means, so see what happened to them when they rejected the Messengers and were ungrateful for the blessings.