Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
And from his narration on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said regarding the interpretation of Allah's saying: (By the night enshrouding): '(By the night enshrouding) He says: Allah swears by the night when it enshrouds the light of day.
Swearing by the Diversity of Mankind in Their Efforts and informing of the Different Results of that
Allah swears by saying:
(By the night as it envelops.) meaning, when it covers the creation with its darkness.
وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّى
(By the day as it appears.) meaning, with its light and its radiance.
وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالاٍّنثَى
(By Him Who created male and female.) This is similar to Allah's saying,
(And We have created you in pairs.) (78:8) It is also similar to saying,
وَمِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ
(And of everything We have created pairs.) (51:49) And just as these things that are being sworn by are opposites, likewise that which this swearing is about are opposing things. This is why Allah says,
إِنَّ سَعْيَكُمْ لَشَتَّى
(Certainly, your efforts and deeds are diverse. ) meaning, the actions of the servants that they have performed are also opposites and diverse. Therefore, there are those who do good and there are those who do evil. Allah then says,
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَى وَاتَّقَى
(As for him who gives and has Taqwa.) meaning, he gives what he has been commanded to give and he fears Allah in his affairs.
(And believes in Al-Husna.) meaning, in the compensation for that. This was said by Qatadah. Khusayf said, "In the reward.'' Then Allah says,
(We will make smooth for him the path of ease.) Ibn `Abbas said, "Meaning for goodness.'' Thus, Allah says,
وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ
(But he who is greedy) meaning, with that which he has.
(and thinks himself self-sufficient,) `Ikrimah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "This means he is stingy with his wealth and considers himself to be in no need of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic.'' This was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim.
(And denies Al-Husna.) meaning, the recompense in the abode of the Hereafter.
(We will make smooth for him the path to evil.) meaning, the path of evil. This is as Allah says,
(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away, as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly.) (6:110) And there are many Ayat with this meaning, proving that Allah rewards those who intend good with success, while whoever intends evil is abandoned, and all of this is in accordance with a preordained decree. There are also many Hadiths that prove this.
The Narration of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq
Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Bakr that he said to the Messenger of Allah, "O Messenger of Allah! Do we act according to what has already been decided, or is the matter just beginning (i.e., still undecided)'' He replied,
«بَلْ عَلَى أَمْرٍ قَدْ فُرِغَ مِنْه»
(Indeed it is according to what has already been decided.) Then Abu Bakr said, "Then what (good) are deeds, O Messenger of Allah'' He replied,
«كُلٌّ مُيَسَّرٌ لِمَا خُلِقَ لَه»
(Everyone will find it easy to do such deeds that will lead him to what he was created for.)
The Narration of `Ali
Al-Bukhari recorded from `Ali bin Abi Talib that they (the Companions) were with the Messenger of Allah at the cemetery of Baqi` Al-Gharqad for a funeral, when the Prophet said,
(As for him who gives and has Taqwa, and believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease.)'' until the Ayah:
(the path to evil) He (Imam Al-Bukhari) also recorded another similar narration from `Ali bin Abi Talib in which he said, "We were at a funeral in the cemetery of Baqi` Al-Gharqad when the Messenger of Allah came and sat down. So we came and sat around him and he had a stick with him. Then he bowed his head and he began to scratch the ground with his stick. He then said,
(There is not anyone among you -- or is not a single soul (that has been created) -- except that his place has been written in Paradise or in the Fire, and it has been written that he will be miserable or happy.) A man said, "O Messenger of Allah! Should we just depend on what has been written for us and give up performing deeds For whoever of us is of the people of happiness then he will be of the people of happiness, and whoever among us is of the people of misery then he will be of the people of misery.'' The Prophet replied,
(Those people who are the people of happiness, they will have the deeds of the people of happiness made easy for them. And those people who are the people of misery, they will have the deeds of the people of misery made easy for them.) Then he recited the Ayah:
(As for him who gives and has Taqwa, and believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy and thinks himself self-sufficient, and belies Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path to evil.)) The other compilers of the Group have also recorded this Hadith.
The Narration of `Abdullah bin `Umar
Imam Ahmad recorded from Ibn `Umar that `Umar said, "O Messenger of Allah! Do you think that the deeds that we do are a matter that is already predetermined or are they something just beginning or new'' The Prophet replied,
(It is something that has already been predetermined. Therefore, work deeds, O son of Al-Khattab! For verily, each person will have things made easy for him. So whoever is from the people of happiness, then he will work deeds for happiness, and whoever is from the people of misery, then he will work deeds for misery.)'' This Hadith has been recorded by At-Tirmidhi in the Book of Al-Qadar and he said "Hasan Sahih.'' Another Hadith Narrated by Jabir Ibn Jarir recorded from Jabir bin `Abdullah that he said, "O Messenger of Allah! Are we performing deeds for something that has already been predetermined or is the matter based upon what we are just doing (now)'' The Prophet replied,
«لِأَمْرٍ قَدْ فُرِغَ مِنْه»
(It is a matter that has been predetermined.) Then Suraqah said, "Then what is the purpose of deeds'' The Messenger of Allah then said,
«كُلُّ عَامِلٍ مُيَسَّرٌ لِعَمَلِه»
(Everyone who does deeds will have his deeds made easy for him.) Muslim also recorded this Hadith. Ibn Jarir recorded from `Amir bin `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr that he said, "Abu Bakr used to free servants upon their acceptance of Islam in Makkah. He used to free the elderly and the women when they accepted Islam. So his father said to him, `O my son! I see that you are freeing people who are weak. But if you freed strong men they could stand with you, defend you and protect you.' Abu Bakr replied, `O my father! I only want -- and I think he said -- what is with Allah.' Some people of my family have told me this Ayah was revealed about him:
(As for him who gives and has Taqwa, and believes in Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path of ease.)'' Then Allah says,
وَمَا يُغْنِى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّى
(And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down) Mujahid said, "This means when he dies.'' Abu Salih and Malik said -- narrating from Zayd bin Aslam, "When he goes down into the Fire.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is that for which an oath has been sworn by the night and the day, and the creation of the male and the female. It means to say: Just as the night and the day, and the male and the female, are different from each other, and their effects and results are mutually contradictory, so are the aims and objects for which men are endeavoring and struggling, different in their nature and contradictory with regard to their results. In the following verses, it has been told that all these divided endeavors are divided into two main kinds.
This is the first kind of endeavors, which includes three things, and a little consideration shows that they comprehend all virtues:
(1) That Man should refrain from wealth-worship, but should spend whatever Allah has given him generously in rendering Allah's and His servants' rights, for good works and for helping others;
(2) that he should fear God and refrain from things which cause His displeasure in his moral, social, economic and other dealings with the people;
(3) that he should believe in goodness. Goodness is a comprehensive word, which includes goodness of belief, morals and acts. Goodness of belief means that one should give up polytheism; atheism, and disbelief, and affirm faith in Tauhid, the Hereafter, and Prophethood. Affirming belief in goodness of morals and acts is that one should not be doing good and right merely unconsciously, outside a definite system, but one should acknowledge as right and sound the system of goodness which God has sent, which combines every kind of goodness in all its forms and aspects into a system comprehensively called the Divine Shari'ah.
This is the result of the first kind of endeavoring and struggling. The easy way implies the way which is in accordance with human nature, which is in accordance with the will of the Creator, Who has created man and the whole _ universe. It is a way in which man has not to fight his conscience, in which he does not have to force his faculties of mind and energies of body into doing works for which they are not given but to do things for which they have actually been given him. It is a way in which man has not to experience war, resistance and conflict on every side, which he has to experience in a life full of sin, but a human society in which at every step he experiences peace and concord, appreciation and honor. Obviously, the person who spends his wealth for public welfare, treats every other person kindly and well, whose life is free from crime, sin and immorality, who is righteous and fair in his dealings, who neither cheats others nor proves false in his promises, from whom no one apprehends dishonesty, injustice and excess, and with whose character no one finds any fault, will in any case be honored and respected in any society, however, corrupt and depraved it may be. Hearts will be attracted towards him in esteem and regard; his own heart and conscience will be satisfied, and he will attain to dignity in society which no immoral person can ever attain. This same thing has been expressed in Surah AnNahl, thus: "Whoever does righteous deeds whether male or female, provided that he is a believer, We will surely grant him to live a pure life in this world (v. 97)", and in Surah Maryam, thus "The Merciful,will fill with love the hearts of those who believe and do righteous deeds (v. 86). This then is the way in which there is nothing but joy and tranquility for man, for the world till the Hereafter. Its results are not transient and temporary but eternal and everlasting.
Concerning this Allah says "We shall facilitate for him the easy way." It means to say "When after affirming goodness he decides that this way alone suits him, and the evil way does not suit him, and when by making sacrifices and adopting the life of -taqwa practically he proves that he is true in his affirmation, Allah will make easy for him to walk this way. Then, to commit evil will become difficult for him, and to do good easy. When unlawful wealth comes before him, he will not regard it as a good bargain, but consider it a hot piece of burning coal, which he cannot hold in his hand. When opportunities for sin appear before him, he will not rush to seize them as opportunities for pleasure and enjoyment, but will look upon them as gates to Hell and will flee them. The Prayer will not be hard for him, and hem will have no internal peace until he has performed it at its appointed time. He will not feel hurt when paying the zakat, but will regard his wealth as impure until he has paid out the Zakat from it. In short, at every step, Allah will favor him with His grace and help him to follow this way; conditions will be made favorable for him and he will be helped out of every difficulty.
Now, the question arises that in Surah Al-Baled above this very way has been called an uphill road, and hire it has been described as an easy way How can the two things be reconciled? The answer is that before a man has adopted this way, it appears to be a steep, uphill road, for ascending which he has to fight his desires, his materialistic members of the family, his relatives, his friends and those with whom he has social and other dealings, and above all Satan, for each one of them obstructs his way, and makes it seem dreadful. But after man has affirmed goodness and resolved to follow this way, and giving away his wealth in the cause of God and adopting the way of taqwa, has practically strengthened his resolve, ascending the steep road becomes easy and slipping into the abyss of moral depravities becomes difficult for him.
This is the second kind of human endeavoring, which in every part of it is different from the corresponding part of the first kind. Niggardliness (bukhl) is not merely the niggardliness because of which people generally regard a person as niggardly if he hoards money: neither spends it on himself nor on his children, but bukhl here implies to refrain from spending in the cause of Allah and public welfare. According to this, niggardly is every person who spends generously, rather squanders money, on his self, for his own ease and comfort, interests and enjoyments, but, as. for a good cause, spends nothing, or, if at all he spends anything, ii is for display, or to win a reputation and name, or to have access to officers, or to obtain some benefit and gain. Independence of God implies that one should make worldly, material benefits only the object of all one's endeavors and strivings and being independent of God should least care to see what pleases Him and what displeases Him. As for belying goodness, it is in sharp contrast to believing in goodness in every detail, therefore, it need not be explained here as it has already been explained above.
This way has been called the hard way, for although the one who follows it, does so for the sake of material benefits, worldly enjoyments and superficial successes, yet while following it he is always at war with his nature his conscience, the laws made by the Creator of the universe and the society in Which he lives. When he transgresses all moral limits of truth, honesty, nobility, purity and chastity and endeavors to satisfy his interests and desires in every way, when the people feel harmed by him rather than benefiting from him, and when he encroaches upon the rights of others and violates people's honor, he feels disgraced in his own eyes and has to clash at every step with the society in which he lives. If he is weak, he has to suffer every kind of punishment on account of his conduct, and if he is wealthy, strong and influential, the world may lie low before him, but no one cherishes any good wishes, any feeling of honor and love for him; so much so that even his associates and companions regard him as a wicked man. And this thing is not only restricted to individuals, even when a strong and powerful nation transgresses the bounds of morality and adopts an immoral conduct, in arrogance of pride and wealth, it earns on the one hand, the enmity of the outside world: on the other, its own society falls a victim to all sorts of crime, prevalence of suicide, intoxication, venereal diseases, destruction of family life, waywardness of the new generation, class conflict and ever-increasing injustice and tyranny. So much so that when it falls from its position of prestige, it leaves nothing behind except curses and condemnation for itself in the history of the world.
As for saying that "We shall facilitate for him the hard ways", it means: He will be deprived of the grace to follow the way of good, gates of evil will be opened up for him, means and resources for the same will be provided for him, doing evil will become easy, and doing good will become toilsome and risky for him. This same theme has been expressed at another place in the Qur'an, thus: "So whomever Allah wills to guide aright, He makes his breast wide open to Islam, and whomever He wills to let go astray, he makes his breast narrow and squeezes it so tightly that ( at the very idea of Islam) he begins to feel as though his soul were climbing up towards the sky." (Al-An`am :125). At another place it has been said: "No doubt, salat is a hard task but not for the obedient servants." (Al Baqarah: 46). And about the hypocrites it has been said: "When they come to offer the salat, they come reluctantly and they expend in the way of Allah with unwilling hearts." (At-Taubah: 54), and that: "There are such among them, who regard what they expend in the way of Allah as a penalty." (At-Taubah: 98).
In other words it means that he has to die one day and leave behind in the world whatever he had amassed for his ease and enjoyment. If he did not earn and send forward something for the Hereafter, what would this wealth avail him? He will not take his palatial residence, his majestic conveyance, his property and wealth into the grave.