20 - Ta-Ha

5 Tafsir(s) related to verse 20.74


God, exalted be He, says: Truly whoever comes to his Lord a criminal, a disbeliever, like Pharaoh, for him there shall be Hell wherein he shall neither die, and thus find rest, nor live, a life of any benefit to him.

Ibn Al Kathir

The Magicians admonish Fir`awn

The clear intent of this is to be a completion of what the magicians admonished Fir`awn with. They warned him of the vengeance of Allah and His eternal and everlasting punishment. They also encouraged him to seek Allah's eternal and endless reward. They said,

إِنَّهُ مَن يَأْتِ رَبَّهُ مُجْرِماً

(Verily, whoever comes to his Lord as a criminal,) This means, whoever meets Allah on the Day of Judgment while being a criminal.

فَإِنَّ لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَى

(then surely, for him is Hell, wherein he will neither die nor live.) This is similar to Allah's statement,

لاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْهِمْ فَيَمُوتُواْ وَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ مِّنْ عَذَابِهَا كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى كُلَّ كَفُورٍ

(Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die, nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever!) 35:36 Allah also said,

وَيَتَجَنَّبُهَا الاٌّشْقَى - الَّذِى يَصْلَى النَّارَ الْكُبْرَى - ثُمَّ لاَ يَمُوتُ فِيهَا وَلاَ يَحْيَا

(But it will be avoided by the wretched, who will enter the great Fire. There he will neither die nor live.) 87:11-13

وَنَادَوْاْ يمَـلِكُ لِيَقْضِ عَلَيْنَا رَبُّكَ قَالَ إِنَّكُمْ مَّـكِثُونَ

(And they will cry: "O Malik (Keeper of Hell)! Let your Lord made an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.'') 43:77 Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«أَمَّا أَهْلُ النَّارِ الَّذِينَ هُمْ أَهْلُهَا، فَإِنَّهُمْ لَا يَمُوتُونَ فِيهَا وَلَا يَحْيَوْنَ، وَلكِنْ أُنَاسٌ تُصِيبُهُمُ النَّارُ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ فَتُمِيتُهُمْ إِمَاتَةً حَتَّى إِذَا صَارُوا فَحْمًا أُذِنَ فِي الشَّفَاعَةِ فَجِيءَ بِهِمْ ضَبَائِرَ ضَبَائِرَ، فَبُثُّوا عَلَى أَنْهَارِ الْجَنَّةِ، فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ أَفِيضُوا عَلَيْهِمْ، فَيَنْبُتُونَ نَبَاتَ الْحِبَّةِ تَكُونُ فِي حَمِيلِ السَّيْل»

(The dwellers of Hellfire, who are those who deserve it, they will not die in it, nor will they be living. Rather, they will be a people who will be punished by the Fire due to their sins. It will be gradually killing them and devouring them until they become burnt coals. Then, intercession will be allowed and they will be brought (out of Hell) group by group and they will be spread on the rivers of Paradise. It will then be said, "O people of Paradise, pour (water) over them.'' Then, they will start to grow like the growing of a seed on the muddy banks of a flowing river.) A man among the people said, "It is as if the Messenger of Allah lived in the desert.'' This is how Muslim recorded this narration in his Sahih. Concerning Allah's statement,

وَمَن يَأْتِهِ مُؤْمِناً قَدْ عَمِلَ الصَّـلِحَـتِ

(But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer, and has done righteous good deeds,) whoever meets his Lord on the Day of Judgment as a believer in his heart, then verily, his intentions in his heart will be affirmed to be true by his statements and deeds.

فَأُوْلَـئِكَ لَهُمُ الدَّرَجَـتُ الْعُلَى

(for such are the high ranks,) Paradise, which has the highest levels, the most tranquil rooms and the nicest homes. Imam Ahmad reported from `Ubadah bin As-Samit that the Prophet said,

«الْجَنَّةُ مِائَةُ دَرَجَةٍ مَا بَيْنَ كُلِّ دَرَجَتَيْنِ كَمَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ، وَالْفِرْدَوْسُ أَعْلَاهَا دَرَجَةً، وَمِنْهَا تَخْرُجُ الْأَنْهَارُ الْأَرْبَعَةُ، وَالْعَرْشُ فَوْقَهَا، فَإِذَا سَأَلْتُمُ اللهَ فَاسْأَلُوهُ الْفِرْدَوْس»

(Paradise has one hundred levels and between each level is a distance like the distance between the sky and the earth. Al-Firdaws is the name of the highest of its levels. From it springs the four rivers and the Throne is above it. Therefore, when you ask Allah, then ask Him for Al-Firdaws.) This narration was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi. In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

«إِنَّ أَهْلَ عِلِّيِّينَ لَيَرَوْنَ مَنْ فَوْقَهُمْ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ الْكَوْكَبَ الْغَابِرَ فِي أُفُقِ السَّمَاءِ لِتَفَاضُلِ مَا بَيْنَهُمْ قَالُوا: يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ تِلْكَ مَنَازِلُ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ قَالَ: بَلى، وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ رِجَالٌ آمَنُوا بِاللهِ وَصَدَّقُوا الْمُرْسَلِين»

(Verily, the people of the `Illiyyin will see those who are above them just as you see the fading star in the horizon of the sky, due to the different status of virtue between them. ) The people said, "O Messenger of Allah, these are the dwellings of the Prophets.'' He replied, (Of course. And I swear by the One Whom my soul is in His Hand, (it is for) men who had faith in Allah and they believed the Messengers.) In the Sunan collections this narration is mentioned with the additional wording,

«وَإِنَّ أَبَا بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ لَمِنْهُمْ وَأَنْعَمَا»

(And verily Abu Bakr and `Umar are of them and they will be most favored.) His saying,

جَنَّـتِ عَدْنٍ

(Adn Gardens,) meaning established as a residence. It is merely used here in reference to the high ranks mentioned previously.

تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا الاٌّنْهَارُ خَـالِدِينَ فِيهَا

(under which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever,) meaning that they will abide in it for eternity.

وَذلِكَ جَزَآءُ مَن تَزَكَّى

(and such is the reward of those who purify themselves.) One who purifies himself from dirt, filth and associating partners with Allah. This is the person who worships Allah alone, without ascribing partners to Him, and he follows the Messengers in the good they came with all that they claim.

Kashf Al-Asrar

Whoever comes to his Lord as an offender will have Gehenna, wherein he will neither die nor live, and whoever comes to Him faithful, having done wholesome deeds-they will have the highest degrees.

In the tasting of the lords of recognition and the chevaliers of the Tariqah, these two verses allude to two groups: The exalted threshold of the Possessor of Majesty will show its face to one group in the attribute of vengeance. It will lift away the curtain of splendor from their work by the decree of severity, pull back the mask of respect from the face of their status, write the inscription of abandonment on the hem of their present moment, and make them the kiblah of the whole world's rejection. Sometimes they will be bewildered in the claws of contraction, and sometimes they will be terrified by the fear of severity. There will be no caressing of the heart and no poison with which to kill the soul: wherein he will neither die nor live. He will not be bold enough to return, nor will he have the gall to go forward. With the tongue of misery he will say in his helplessness,

“I am not drunk from the cup of my existence, neither am I not.

I am not low beneath the kicks of the spheres, neither am I not.

Neither the spirit's ease nor the heart's pain-woe is me!

O Lord, who am I that I am not in being, neither am I not?”

The self-disclosure of the beautiful gaze of the Real's gentleness will join with the other group. They receive one caress today, another tomorrow. Today they are on the carpet of expansiveness, taking their ease in the garden of intimacy and delight. At every moment and instant, overflowing cups are poured for them from the wine-house of love. Tomorrow in the Gardens of Refuge and the highest degrees, they will be wearing the waistcoat of endless subsistence and the robe of the everlasting kingdom, seated on the couch of prosperity in contemplation of the King, the Possessor of Majesty, the cups of union continuous, the robes of bounteousness successive, at each moment a caress and an acceptance, at each instant an opening and an arrival, for the Lord of the Worlds says,

Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an

It may also be interpreted like this: "It cannot be that we should prefer you to these plain Signs which have come before us and to that Being Who has created us."

This is a saying of Allah, which has been added to the foregoing words of the magicians.

This is the most terrible of all the punishments that have been mentioned in the Qur'an. The criminal will prefer death to the horrible life in Hell, but death will not come to him. He will remain in that state of agony without any hope of relief from it.

Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs

(Lo! whoso cometh) on the Day of Judgement (guilty) an idolater (unto his Lord, verily for him is hell. There he will neither die) such that he finds rest (nor live) a beneficial life.