46 - Al Ahqaf (The dunes)

4 Tafsir(s) related to verse 46.1

Al-Jalalayn

Hā mīm: God knows best what He means by these [letters].

Ibn Al Kathir

The Qur'an is a Revelation from Allah and the Universe is His True Creation

Allah informs that He has revealed the Book to His servant and Messenger Muhammad -- may Allah's blessings be upon him until the Day of Judgement. Allah then describes Himself as being of unimaginable glory, possessing ultimate wisdom in His statements and actions. Allah then says,

مَا خَلَقْنَا السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَآ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ

(We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except in truth,) meaning, not in idle play and falsehood.

وَأَجَلٌ مُّسَمًّى

(and for a specified term.) meaning, for a fixed and specified duration that will not increase or decrease. Allah continues,

وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ عَمَّآ أُنذِرُواْ مُعْرِضُونَ

(But those who disbelieve, turn away from that of which they are warned.) Meaning, the disbelievers are distracted from what is intended for them. Allah has indeed revealed to them a Book and sent to them a Messenger. Yet, they obstinately turn away from all of that. Therefore, they will soon realize the consequence of their behavior.

Refuting the Idolators

Allah then says,

قُلْ

(Say) meaning, to these idolators who worship others besides Allah.

أَرَأَيْتُمْ مَّا تَدْعُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَرُونِى مَاذَا خَلَقُواْ مِنَ الاٌّرْضِ

(Think you about all that you invoke besides Allah Show me what they have created of the earth) (46:4) meaning, `show me the place that they have independently created from the earth.'

أَمْ لَهُمْ شِرْكٌ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ

(Or have they a share in the heavens) which means that they are not partners in anything in the heavens, nor on earth. They do not own even the thin membrane covering a date's pit. The dominion and control only belong to Allah, Exalted is He. `How then would you worship others or join them as partners with Him Who guided you to that Who called you to that Did He command you to do it, or is it something that you suggested yourselves' Thus, He says,

ائْتُونِى بِكِتَـبٍ مِّن قَبْلِ هَـذَآ

(Bring me a scripture prior to this) meaning, `bring a book from among the Books of Allah that have been revealed to the Prophets, that commands you to worship these idols.'

أَوْ أَثَـرَةٍ مِّنْ عِلْمٍ

(or some trace of knowledge,) meaning, `some clear evidence justifying this way you have chosen.'

إِن كُنتُمْ صَـدِقِينَ

(if you are truthful!) meaning, `you have absolutely no evidence for that -- neither textual (from revelation) nor rational.' For this reason, some recited it; (أَوْ أَثَرَةٍ مِنْ عِلْمٍ) "or something inherited from knowledge'' meaning, `or true knowledge that you have inherited from anyone before you.' This is similar to Mujahid's statement when he said,

أَوْ أَثَـرَةٍ مِّنْ عِلْمٍ

(or some trace of knowledge.) "Or anyone who has inherited any knowledge.'' Allah then says,

وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ

(And who is more astray than those who invokes besides Allah others who will not answer them until the Day of Resurrection, and who are unaware of their invocations to them) meaning, no one is more misguided than those who invoke idols instead of Allah, asking them for things that they cannot give -- until the Day of Judgment. They (the idols) are unaware of what he asks, they can neither hear, see, or act. This is because they are inanimate, senseless stones. Allah then says,

وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ

(And when mankind are gathered, they will become their enemies and will deny their worship.) This is similar to Allah's saying:

وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً

كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً

(They have taken gods beside Allah, that they might give them dignity. No! They will deny their worship of them, and will be opponents to them.) (19:81, 82) meaning, they will betray them when they need them the most. (Ibrahim) Al-Khalil, peace be upon him, said:

إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُمْ مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَـناً مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُمْ بَعْضاً وَمَأْوَاكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِّن نَّـصِرِينَ

(You have taken only idols besides Allah! The love between you is only in the life of this world. On the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helpers.)(29:25)

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

For explanation, sec E. N. 1 of Surah Az-Zumar, E. N. 1 of AI-Jathiyah and also E. N. 1 of As-Sajdah for understanding the true spirit of this introduction.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said in the interpretation of Allah's saying (Ha. Mim.): '(Ha. Mim.) He says: He has already decreed that which will happen, i.e. He has made it plain; and it is also said that it is an oath by which He swore.