43 - Az Zukhruf (Gold)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 43.40

Al-Jalalayn

Can you, then, make the deaf hear, or can you guide the blind and one who is in manifest error?, in other words, such [individuals] will not believe.

Ibn Al Kathir

The Shaytan is the Companion of the One Who turns away from Ar-Rahman

وَمَن يَعْشُ

(And whosoever Ya`shu (turns away blindly)) means, whoever willfully ignores and turns away

عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَـنِ

(from the remembrance of the Most Gracious,) Al-`Asha (the root of Ya`sh) refers to weakness of vision; what is meant here is weakness of insight.

نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

(We appoint for him Shaytan to be a Qarin (a companion) to him.) This is like the Ayat:

وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَى

(And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the right path has been shown clearly to him) (4:115),

فَلَمَّا زَاغُواْ أَزَاغَ اللَّهُ قُلُوبَهُمْ

(So when they turned away, Allah turned their hearts away) (61:5), and

وَقَيَّضْنَا لَهُمْ قُرَنَآءَ فَزَيَّنُواْ لَهُم مَّا بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَمَا خَلْفَهُمْ

(And We have assigned for them intimate companions, who have made fair seeming to them, what was before them and what was behind them) (41:25). Allah says here:

وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ حَتَّى إِذَا جَآءَنَا

(And verily, they hinder them from the path, but they think that they are guided aright! Until, when he comes to Us,) meaning, for this person who willfully neglects true guidance, We send to him a Shaytan to lead him astray and show him the path to Hell. When he comes before Allah on the Day of Resurrection, he will complain about the Shaytan who was appointed to accompany him.

قَالَ يلَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ

(he says, "Would that between me and you were the distance of the two easts -- a worst companion (indeed)!'') Some of them recited it; (حَتْى إِذَا جَاءَانَا) (Till, when they both come to Us.) referring to the companion Shaytan and the one whom he accompanies. Then Allah says:

وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِى الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ

(It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong, (and) that you will be sharers in the punishment.) means, `your being together in the Fire will not help you in the slightest, and you will both partake of the painful punishment.' Allah says:

أَفَأَنتَ تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ أَوْ تَهْدِى الْعُمْىَ وَمَن كَانَ فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ

Can you make the deaf to hear, or can you guide the blind or him who is in manifest error؟ means, `that is not up to you. All you have to do is convey the Message, but you do not have to guide them. Allah guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills, and He is Wise and Just in doing so.'

Allah's Vengeance upon the Enemies of His Messenger will surely come to pass

Allah further says:

فَإِمَّا نَذْهَبَنَّ بِكَ فَإِنَّا مِنْهُم مُّنتَقِمُونَ

(And even if We take you away, We shall indeed take vengeance on them.) means, `We will inevitably wreak vengeance upon them and punish them, even if you pass away.'

أَوْ نُرِيَنَّكَ الَّذِى وَعَدْنَـهُمْ فَإِنَّا عَلَيْهِمْ مُّقْتَدِرُونَ

(Or (if) We show you that wherewith We threaten them, then verily, We have perfect command over them.) means, `We are able to do both,' but Allah will not take His Messenger (in death) until He gives him the joy of seeing his enemies brought low and gives him power and authority over them and their wealth. This was the view of As-Suddi and was the opinion favored by Ibn Jarir.

Encouragement to adhere to the Qur'an

Allah then says;

فَاسْتَمْسِكْ بِالَّذِى أُوحِىَ إِلَيْكَ إِنَّكَ عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

(So hold you fast to that which is revealed to you. Verily, you are on the straight path.) means, hold fast to the Qur'an which has been sent down to your heart, for it is truth and what it leads to is truth that shows the way to the straight path that leads to Gardens of Delight and eternal, everlasting goodness.

وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ

(And verily, this is a Dhikr for you and your people,) It was said that this means, `it is an honor for you and your people;' this was the view of Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, Mujahid, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. This means that it is an honor for them in that it was revealed in their language, so they are the people who have the best understanding of it among mankind and hence are obliged to be the most steadfast in adhering to its commandments. This is how the best of them were, the first immigrants and those who emulated them and followed them. It was also said that the meaning of the phrase;

وَإِنَّهُ لَذِكْرٌ لَّكَ وَلِقَوْمِكَ

(And verily, this is indeed a Dhikr for you and your people,) was that `it was sent to remind you and your people.' The fact that they are singled out does not exclude others. This is like the Ayat:

لَقَدْ أَنزَلْنَآ إِلَيْكُمْ كِتَـباً فِيهِ ذِكْرُكُمْ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

(Indeed, We have sent down for you (O mankind) a Book in which there is Dhikrukum (your Reminder). Will you not then understand) (21:10)

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ الاٌّقْرَبِينَ

(And warn your tribe of near kindred) (26:214)

وَسَوْفَ تُسْـَلُونَ

(and you will be questioned.) means, `about this Qur'an, and how you acted upon it and what your response to it was.'

وَاسْئلْ مَنْ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رُّسُلِنَآ أَجَعَلْنَا مِن دُونِ الرَّحْمَـنِ ءَالِهَةً يُعْبَدُونَ

(And ask whom We sent before you of Our Messengers: "Did We ever appoint gods to be worshipped besides the Most Gracious'') means, `all the Messengers called their people to the same as that to which you are calling mankind, namely the worship of Allah Alone with no partner or associate, and they forbade the worship of idols and false gods.' This is like the Ayah:

وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ

(And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): "Worship Allah, and avoid all false deities.'') (16:36) Mujahid said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud recited it: (وَاسْأَلِ الَّذِينَ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَيْهِمْ قَبْلَكَ (مِنْ) رُسُلِنَا) (And ask those whom We sent before you of Our Messengers.) This was narrated by Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him. Yet this appears to be an explanation rather than an alternate version of recitation. And Allah knows best.

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

It means to say: "Pay attention to those who are inclined to listen and have not closed their eyes to the realities, and do not consume yourself in showing the way to the blind and making the deaf to hear, nor consume yourself with the grief as to why your near and dear ones are not coming to the right path, and why they are making themselves worthy of Allah's torment."

This thing can be understood fully only by keeping in view the background in which it was said. The disbelievers of Makkah thought that the person of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be Allah's Peace) had become a source of trouble for them. If they could somehow get rid of him, matters would become normal. On the basis of this evil thought they were holding consultations day and night and planning to kill him. At this, Allah addresses His Prophet so as to tell them indirectly: "It doesn't make any difference whether you remain among them or not: if you live, you will see them meet their doom with your own eyes; if you are recalled from the world, they will be sent to their doom in your absence, because they cannot in any case escape the consequences of their misdeeds. "

That is, "You should not worry as to what punishment do those who are resisting and opposing the truth with injustice and dishonesty receive and when, nor should you worry whether Islam flourishes during your lifetime or not. For you this satisfaction is quite enough that you are on the Right Path. Therefore, you should go on fulfilling your mission unconcerned about the results, and leave it to Allah whether He defeats falsehood in front of you or after you. "

That is, "There can be no greater good fortune for a person than that Allah should choose him from among all men to become the recipient of His Book, and there can be no greater good fortune also for a nation than that Allah should raise His Prophet in it, apart from all other nations of the world, and should send down His Book in its tongue, and give it the opportunity to rise as the standard-bearer of Divine Message in the world. If the Quraish and the people of Arabia have no sense of this great honor, and spurn it, a time will come when they will be called upon to account for it."

"Ask the Messengers": Find out from the Books brought by them. Just as the meaning of: "If there arises any dispute among you about anything, refer it to Allah and His Prophet," is not that the dispute should be taken before Allah and His Messenger, but that one should turn to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger for a decision, so "asking the Messengers" also does not mean that one should approach all the Messengers who have left the world and ask them, but the right meaning is: "Discover what teachings the Messengers of Allah have left in the world as to which of them taught that another than Allah also is worthy of worship and service."

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(Canst thou) O Muhammad (make the deaf to hear) make the one who pretends to be deaf hear the Truth and guidance, (or canst thou guide the blind) or guide the disbeliever to see the Truth and guidance (or him who is in error manifest) whom you cannot guide to the guidance?