The Quran

Commentaries for 40.11

Al Ghafir (The forgiver) - غافر

40.11 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(They say) i.e. the disbelievers will say in the Fire: (Our Lord!) O our Lord! (Twice hast Thou made us die) once when You took away our souls [in the life of the world] and once after Munkar and Nakir questioned us in the graves, (and twice hast Thou made us live) once before we were questioned by Munkar and Nakir in the graves and once for the resurrection. (Now we confess) we acknowledge (our sins) our idolatry and denial. (Is there any way to go out) is there any way we can go back to the life of the world so that we believe in You?
40.11 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
They will say, ‘Our Lord, You have caused us to die twice, two deaths, and You have given us life twice — for they were lifeless drops of semen, then they were given life, then made to die, then brought back to life for the Resurrection. We [now] confess our sins, in having disbelieved in the Resurrection. Is there then any way to go out?’, out of the Fire and return to the world to be obedient to our Lord? The answer given to them will be: No!
40.10-14 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Regret of the Disbelievers after They enter Hell
Allah tells us that the disbelievers will feel regret on the Day of Resurrection, when they enter Hell and sink in the agonizing depth of fire. When they actually experience the unbearable punishment of Allah, they will hate themselves with the utmost hatred, because of the sins they committed in the past, which were the cause of their entering the Fire. At that point the angels will tell them in a loud voice that Allah's hatred towards them in this world, when Faith was offered to them and they rejected it, is greater than their hatred towards themselves in this situation. Qatadah said, concerning the Ayah:
لَمَقْتُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ مِن مَّقْتِكُمْ أَنفُسَكُـمْ إِذْ تُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى الإِيمَـنِ فَتَكْفُرُونَ
(Indeed, Allah's aversion was greater towards you than your aversion toward yourselves, when you were called to the Faith but you used to refuse.) "Allah's hatred for the people of misguidance -- when Faith is presented to them in this world, and they turn away from it and refuse to accept it -- is greater than their hatred for themselves when they see the punishment of Allah with their own eyes on the Day of Resurrection.'' This was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Dharr bin `Ubaydullah Al-Hamdani, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy on them all.
قَالُواْ رَبَّنَآ أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ
(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!...'') Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Ishaq from Abu Al-Ahwas from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him: "This Ayah is like the Ayah:
كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَتًا فَأَحْيَـكُمْ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ
(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life and then unto Him you will return.)''(2:28) This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Abu Malik. This is undoubtedly the correct view. What is meant by all of this is that when they are standing before Allah in the arena of Resurrection, the disbelievers will ask to go back, as Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواْ رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَآ أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا فَارْجِعْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَـلِحاً إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ
(And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back, that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.'') (32:12), However, they will get no response. Then when they see the Fire and they are held over it and they look at the punishments therein, they will ask even more fervently than before to go back, but they will get no response. Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذْ وُقِفُواْ عَلَى النَّارِ فَقَالُواْ يلَيْتَنَا نُرَدُّ وَلاَ نُكَذِّبَ بِـَايَـتِ رَبِّنَا وَنَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ - بَلْ بَدَا لَهُمْ مَّا كَانُواْ يُخْفُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ
(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!'' Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) (6:27-28). When they actually enter Hell and have a taste of its heat, hooked rods of iron and chains, their plea to go back will be at its most desperate and fervent:
وَهُمْ يَصْطَرِخُونَ فِيهَا رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَـلِحاً غَيْرَ الَّذِى كُـنَّا نَعْمَلُ أَوَلَمْ نُعَمِّرْكُمْ مَّا يَتَذَكَّرُ فِيهِ مَن تَذَكَّرَ وَجَآءَكُمُ النَّذِيرُ فَذُوقُواْ فَمَا لِلظَّـلِمِينَ مِن نَّصِيرٍ
(Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not that we used do.'' (Allah will reply): "Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you. For the wrongdoers there is no helper.'') (35:37)
رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْهَا فَإِنْ عُدْنَا فَإِنَّا ظَـلِمُونَ - قَالَ اخْسَئُواْ فِيهَا وَلاَ تُكَلِّمُونِ
(Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.'' He (Allah) will say: "Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!) (23:108). According to this Ayah, they will speak more eloquently, and they will introduce their plea with the words:
رَبَّنَآ أَمَتَّنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ وَأَحْيَيْتَنَا اثْنَتَيْنِ
(Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!) meaning, `by Your almighty power, You have brought us to life after we were dead, then You caused us to die after we were alive; You are able to do whatever You will. We confess our sins and admit that we wronged ourselves in the world,'
فَهَلْ إِلَى خُرُوجٍ مِّن سَبِيلٍ
(then is there any way to get out) means, `will You answer our prayer to send us back to the world, for You are able to do that, so that we might do deeds different from those which we used to do Then if we go back to our former ways, we will indeed be wrongdoers.' The response will be: `There is no way for you to go back to the world.' Then the reason for that will be given: `Your nature will not accept the truth and be governed by it, you would reject it and ignore it.' Allah says:
ذَلِكُم بِأَنَّهُ إِذَا دُعِىَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ كَـفَرْتُمْ وَإِن يُشْرَكْ بِهِ تُؤْمِنُواْ
((It will be said): "This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked (in worship), you disbelieved; but when partners were joined to Him, you believed!'') meaning, `if you were to go back, this is how you would be.' This is like the Ayah:
وَلَوْ رُدُّواْ لَعَـدُواْ لِمَا نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَإِنَّهُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ
(But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that when they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars) (6:28).
فَالْحُكْمُ للَّهِ الْعَلِـىِّ الْكَبِيرِ
(So the judgement is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!) means, He is the Judge of His creation, the Just Who is never unjust. He guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills; He has mercy on whomsoever He wills and punishes whomsoever He wills; there is no God except Him.
هُوَ الَّذِى يُرِيكُمْ ءَايَـتِهِ
(It is He Who shows you His Ayat) means, He demonstrates His power to His servants through the mighty signs which they see in His creation, above and below, which indicate the perfection of its Creator and Originator.
وَيُنَزِّلُ لَكُم مِّنَ السَّمَآءِ رِزْقاً
(and sends down provision for you from the sky.) this refers to rain, through which crops and fruits are brought forth, which with their different colors, tastes, fragrances and forms are a sign of the Creator. It is one kind of water, but by His great power He makes all these things different.
وَمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ
(And none remembers) means, no one learns a lesson or is reminded by these things, or takes them as a sign of the might of the Creator,
إِلاَّ مَن يُنِيبُ
(but those who turn in repentance.) which means, those who have insight and turn to Allah, may He be blessed and exalted.
The Believers are commanded to worship Allah Alone no matter what Their Circumstances
فَادْعُواْ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَـفِرُونَ
(So, call you upon Allah making religion sincerely for Him, however much the disbelievers may hate.) This means, worship Allah and call upon Him alone in all sincerity. Do not be like the idolators in conduct and beliefs. Imam Ahmad recorded that after ending every prayer, `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr used to say: "There is no (true) God except Allah Alone with no partner or associate, His is the dominion and praise, for He is able to do all things; there is no strength and no power except with Allah; there is no (true) God except Allah and we worship none but Him; to Him belongs the blessings and the virtue and good praise; there is no (true) God except Allah, we worship Him in all sincerity even though the disbelievers may hate that.'' He said, "The Messenger of Allah used to say Tahlil with this after every prayer.'' Something similar was also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i. It was reported in Sahih from Ibn Az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah used to say the following after the prescribed (obligatory) prayers:
«لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ، وَهُوَ عَلى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ، لَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللهِ، لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَلَا نَعْبُدُ إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ، لَهُ النِّعْمَةُ وَلَهُ الْفَضْلُ وَلَهُ الثَّــنَاءُ الْحَسَنُ، لَا إِلهَ إِلَّا اللهُ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُون»
(There is no (true) God except Allah Alone with no partner or associate, His is the dominion and praise, for He is able to do all things; there is no strength and no power except with Allah; there is no (true) God except Allah and we worship none but Him; His is the blessing and virtue and good praise; there is no (true) God except Allah, we worship Him in all sincerity even though the disbelievers hate that.)
40.10-12 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "When the disbelievers will see on the Day of Resurrection that they had committed a grave folly by founding their entire life-work on polytheism and atheism, denial of the Hereafter and opposition to the Messenger, and due to the folly they were now doomed to that evil end, they will bite at their fingers and will curse themselves fretfully. At that time the angels will proclaim to them: "Today you are being angry with yourselves, but in the world when the Prophets of Allah and the other good people invited you to the right path to save you from this evil end, you turned down their invitation, Allah's wrath against you then was even greater. "
This same thing has already been mentioned in Al-Baqarah: 28 above. It implies this: "How can you disbelieve in Allah? He granted you life when you were lifeless; then He will give you death. and then will again raise you back to life." The disbelievers do not deny the first three of these conditions, because they are perceptible and therefore un-deniable. But they refuse to accept the occurrence of the fourth condition, for they have not yet experienced it, and only the Prophets have foretold it. On the Day of Resurrection when the fourth condition also will be practically experienced by them, then they will acknowledge that the same which the Prophets had foretold had actually happened.
That is, "We confess that we made a grave mistake when we denied this after-life; our life was filled with sins when we followed falsehood."
That is, "Is there any possibility now that our confession of sins be accepted and we be rescued from this state of torment in which we have been seized?"
That is, "The Judgment now rests entirely with that God alone, Whose Godhead you did not acknowledge, and those others whom you persistently regarded as associates and partners in the powers of Godhead, have no share whatever in the judgment. " (For a fuller understanding of this point, please see verse 45 of Az-Zumar and its E.N. 64). This sentence by itself gives the meaning that there would be no possibility of any way out for the disbelievers from the state of torment, for they did not only deny the Hereafter but they had aversion to their Creator and Sustainer, and they were not satisfied until they had associated Others with Him.