The Quran

Commentaries for 41.23

Fussilat (Explained in detail) - فصلت

41.23 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(That, your thought which ye did think about your Lord) this which you said falsely about your Lord because of surmise (hath ruined you) has destroyed you; (and ye find yourselves (this day) among the lost) by being subject to punishment.
41.23 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
And that (wa-dhālikum, the subject) supposition of yours (zannukum, substitutes for it) which you supposed of your Lord (alladhī zanantum bi-rabbikum, a descriptive clause; the predicate [is the following, ardākum]) has ruined you, that is, it has brought about your destruction. So you have become among the losers’.
41.19-24 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
On the Day of Judgement, the Sinners' Limbs will testify against Them
وَيَوْمَ يُحْشَرُ أَعْدَآءُ اللَّهِ إِلَى النَّارِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ
(And (remember) the Day that the enemies of Allah will be gathered to the Fire, then they will be driven.) means, remind these idolators of the Day when they will be gathered to the Fire and they will be driven, i.e., the keepers of Hell will gather the first of them with the last of them, as Allah says elsewhere:
وَنَسُوقُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ إِلَى جَهَنَّمَ وِرْداً
(And We shall drive the criminals to Hell, in a thirsty state) (19:86). n
حَتَّى إِذَا مَا جَآءُوهَا
(Till, when they reach it,) means, when they stand at its edge,
شَهِدَ عَلَيْهِمْ سَمْعُهُمْ وَأَبْصَـرُهُمْ وَجُلُودُهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
(their hearing (ears) and their eyes and their skins will testify against them as to what they used to do.) means, all their deeds, earlier and later; not a single letter will be concealed.
وَقَالُواْ لِجُلُودِهِمْ لِمَ شَهِدتُّمْ عَلَيْنَا
(And they will say to their skins, "Why do you testify against us'') they will blame their limbs and their skins when they testify against them, at which point their limbs will answer:
قَالُواْ أَنطَقَنَا اللَّهُ الَّذِى أَنطَقَ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ وَهُوَ خَلَقَكُمْ أَوَّلَ مَرَّةٍ
(They will say: "Allah has caused us to speak -- as He causes all things to speak, and He created you the first time,) means, and He cannot be opposed or resisted, and to Him you will return. Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar narrated that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "The Messenger of Allah laughed and smiled one day, and said:
«أَلَا تَسْأَلُونِّي عَنْ أَيِّ شَيْءٍ ضَحِكْتُ؟»
(Will you not ask about why I laughed)'' They said, "O Messenger of Allah, why did you laugh'' He said:
«عَجِبْتُ مِنْ مُجَادَلَةِ الْعَبْدِ رَبَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّي أَلَيْسَ وَعَدْتَنِي أَنْ لَا تَظْلِمَنِي، قَالَ: بَلَى، فَيَقُولُ: فَإِنِّي لَا أَقْبَلُ عَلَيَّ شَاهِدًا إِلَّا مِنْ نَفْسِي، فَيَقُولُ اللهُ تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى: أَوَلَيْسَ كَفَى بِي شَهِيدًا وَبِالْمَلَائِكَةِ الْكِرَام الْكَاتِبِينَ قال : فَيُرَدِّدُ هذَا الْكَلَامَ مِرَارًا قال : فَيُخْتَمُ عَلى فِيهِ وَتَتَكَلَّمُ أَرْكَانُهُ بِمَا كَانَ يَعْمَلُ، فَيَقُولُ: بُعْدًا لَكُنَّ وَسُحْقًا، عَنْكُنَّ كُنْتُ أُجَادِل»
(I was amazed at how a servant will dispute with his Lord on the Day of Resurrection. He will say, "My Lord, did You not promise me that you would not treat me unjustly'' Allah will say, "Yes.'' The man will say, "I will not accept any witness against me except from myself.'' Allah will say, "Is it not sufficient that I and the angels, the noble scribes, are witnesses'' These words will be repeated several times, then a seal will be placed over his mouth and his organs (or limbs) will speak about what he used to do. Then he will say, "Away with you! It was only for your sake that I was arguing!'')'' It was recorded by him and Ibn Abi Hatim. It was also recorded by Muslim and An-Nasa'i. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Burdah said that Abu Musa said, "The disbeliever or the hypocrite will be called to account and his Lord will show him his deeds, but he will deny them and say, `O Lord, by Your glory, this angel has written about me something that I did not do.' The angel will say to him, `Did you not do such and such on such and such a day in such and such a place' He will say, `No, by Your glory O Lord, I did not do it.' When he does that, a seal will be placed over his mouth.'' Al-Ash`ari, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I think that the first part of his body to speak will be his right thigh.'' Allah's saying:
وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَن يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلاَ أَبْصَـرُكُمْ وَلاَ جُلُودُكُمْ
(And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you;) means, their organs and skins will say to them, when they blame them for testifying against them, `you did not hide from us what you used to do, on the contrary, you openly committed disbelief and sin, and you claimed that you did not care, because you did not believe that Allah knew about all your deeds.' Allah says:
وَلَـكِن ظَنَنتُمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَعْلَمُ كَثِيراً مِّمَّا تَعْمَلُونَوَذَلِكُمْ ظَنُّكُمُ الَّذِى ظَنَنتُم بِرَبِّكُمْ أَرْدَاكُمْ
(but you thought that Allah knew not much of what you were doing. And that thought of yours which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction;) meaning, `this evil thought, i.e., your belief that Allah did not know much of what you were doing, is what has caused you to be doomed and has made your losers before your Lord.'
فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ مِّنَ الُخَـسِرِينَ
(and you have become of those utterly lost!) means, `in the place of Resurrection, you have lost your own selves and your families.' Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "I was hiding beneath the covering of the Ka`bah, and three men came along -- a man from the Quraysh and two of his brothers-in-law from Thaqif, or a man from Thaqif and two of his brothers-in-law from the Quraysh. Their bellies were very fat, and did not have much understanding. They said some words I could not hear, then one of them said, `Do you think that Allah can hear what we are saying now' The other said, `If we raise our voices, He will hear it, but if we do not raise our voices, He will not hear it.' The other said, `If He can hear one thing from us, He can hear everything.' I mentioned this to the Prophet, then Allah revealed the words:
وَمَا كُنتُمْ تَسْتَتِرُونَ أَن يَشْهَدَ عَلَيْكُمْ سَمْعُكُمْ وَلاَ أَبْصَـرُكُمْ وَلاَ جُلُودُكُمْ
(And you have not been hiding yourselves (in the world), lest your ears and your eyes and your skins should testify against you) until;
مِّنَ الْخَـسِرِينَ
(of those utterly lost!) This is how it was recorded by At-Tirmidhi. A similar report was also narrated by Ahmad (through a different chain), Muslim and At-Tirmidhi, and Al-Bukhari and Muslim also recorded (a different chain).
فَإِن يَصْبِرُواْ فَالنَّارُ مَثْوًى لَّهُمْ وَإِن يَسْتَعْتِبُواْ فَمَا هُم مِّنَ الْمُعْتَبِينَ
(Then, if they bear the torment patiently, then the Fire is the home for them, and if they seek to please Allah, yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please Allah.) means, whether they bear it patiently or not, they are in the Fire and they will have no escape or way out from it, and even if they try to please Allah and offer excuses, nothing of that will be accepted from them. Ibn Jarir said, "The meaning of the Ayah,
وَإِن يَسْتَعْتِبُواْ
(and if they seek to please Allah,) is: They will ask to go back to this world, but this plea will not be answered. This is like the Ayah:
قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا غَلَبَتْ عَلَيْنَا شِقْوَتُنَا وَكُنَّا قَوْماً ضَآلِّينَ - رَبَّنَآ أَخْرِجْنَا مِنْهَا فَإِنْ عُدْنَا فَإِنَّا ظَـلِمُونَ - قَالَ اخْسَئُواْ فِيهَا وَلاَ تُكَلِّمُونِ
(They will say: "Our Lord! Our wretchedness overcame us, and we were (an) erring people. Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.'' He will say: "Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!'')'' (23:106-108).
41.19-23 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
What is meant to be said have is: "When they will be rounded up to be presented in the Court of Allah," though the words used are to the effect: "When they will be gathered to be driven to Hell," for Hell in any case will be their final destination.
That is, All the former and latter generations and races will be gathered together at a time and called to account together, For whatever a person does in his lifetime, whether good yr evil, its influence and impact does not end with his life; but continues to operate even after his death for long periods of time, for which he is totally responsible. Likewise, whatever a generation does in its own time, its influence continues to affect the later generations for. centuries, and it is responsible for its heritage. It is inevitable to examine All these influences and their results and to collect their evidences. For that very reason, generation after generation of the people will go on arriving and will be withheld. The Court will start its work when All the former and latter generations will have assembled together in the Plain of Resurrection. (For further explanation, see AI-A'raf: 3839 and E.N. 30 on it).
The explanation of this given in the Hadith is that when a stubborn culprit will go on denying his crimes, and will even belie All the witnesses, then the limbs of his body will bear the witness, one after the other, by the Command of Allah, and will tell what offenses he had committed through them. This thing has been reported by Hadrat Anas, Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari, Hadrat Abu Said Khudri and Hadrat Ibn 'Abbas from the Holy Prophet, and traditionists like Muslim, Nasa'i, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim, Bazzar and others have related these in their books. (For further explanation, see E.N. 55 of Surah Ya Sin).
This verse is one of those many verses which prove that the Hereafter will nor only be a spiritual world but human beings will be resurrected with the body and soul as they are now in this world. Not only this: they will be given the same body in which they live now. The same particles and atoms which composed their bodies in the world, will be collected on the Day of Resurrection, and they will be resurrected with the same previous bodies in which they had lived and worked in the world. Evidently, the limbs of man can bear the witness in the Hereafter only in case they are the same limbs with which he committed a crime in his previous lift. This subject is borne out decisively and absolutely by the following verses of the Qur'an: Bani Isra'il: 49 51, 98; AI-Mu'minun: 35-38, 82-83; An-Nur: 24; AsSajdah: 10; Ya Sin: 65, 78, 79; As-Saafat: 16-18; AI-Waqi'ah: 47-50; AnNazi'at: 10-14.
This shows that not only man's own limbs will bear witness on the Day of Resurrection, but every such thing before which man would have committed any crime will also speak out. The same thing has been said in Surah AI-Zilzal, thus: "The earth will cast out all the burdens, which lie within her, and man will say:what has befallen her? On that Day shall she relate whatever had happened (on her), because your Lord will have commanded her (to do so)." (vv. 2-5).
Hadrat Hasan Basri (may Allah bless him) has explained this verse thus "Every. man's. attitude and conduct is determined by the thought and conjecture that he has about his God. The conduct of a righteous believer is right because his thought and conjecture about his Lord is right, and the conduct of a disbeliever and a hypocrite and a sinful person is wrong because his thought and conjecture about his Lord is wrong. " This same theme has the Holy Prophet expressed in a comprehensive and brief Hadith, thus: "Your Lord says: I am with the thought and conjecture that My servant holds about Me." (Bukhari, Muslim).