The Quran

Commentaries for 13.6

Ar Rad (The thunder) - الرعد

13.6 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And they bid thee) O Muhammad (hasten on the evil) to bring chastisement on them, out of derision (rather than the good) rather than ask you for their welfare, i.e. they do not ask you for your welfare, (when exemplary punishments) of those who have perished (have indeed occurred before them. But lo! thy Lord is rich in pardon for mankind) the people of Mecca (despite their wrong) despite their idolatry, that is if they repent and believe, (and lo! thy Lord is strong in punishment!) for those who do not repent of idolatry.
13.6 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
The following was revealed regarding their hastening on, out of mockery, of the chastisement: And they would have you hasten on the evil, the chastisement, rather than the good, [rather than] mercy, when there have indeed occurred before them exemplary punishments (mathulāt is the plural of mathula, similar [in pattern] to samura [pl. samurāt], ‘acacia’), that is to say, the punishments of disbelievers like them: will they not take warning from these? Truly your Lord is forgiving to mankind despite their evil-doing, for otherwise He would not have left a single creature on the face of it [the earth]; and truly your Lord is severe in retribution, against those who disobey Him.
13.6 Kashani - Kashani
And they would have you hasten on the evil rather than the good, because of the correspondence between their preparedness and evil, this [itself] being on account of the mastery of dark configurations and vices on that [preparedness], and so they incline to evil because evil prevails over them, when there have indeed occurred before them, punishments of the likes of them. Truly your Lord is forgiving to mankind, despite their evil-doing towards their own souls when they acquire those wicked configurations that veil [them] from the light, [forgiving] to those in whom such [configurations] have not taken deep roots and have not annulled their preparednesses, and so He removes them with the light of His mercy; and truly your Lord is severe in retribution, of those in whom such [wicked configurations] have become deeply rooted and have become a rust, annulling [their] preparedness.
13.6 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Disbelievers ask for the Punishment to be delivered now!
Allah said,
(They ask you to hasten), in reference to the disbelievers,
بِالسَّيِّئَةِ قَبْلَ الْحَسَنَةِ
(the evil before the good,) meaning, the punishment. Allah said in other Ayat that they said,
وَقَالُواْ يأَيُّهَا الَّذِى نُزِّلَ عَلَيْهِ الذِّكْرُ إِنَّكَ لَمَجْنُونٌ - لَّوْ
مَا تَأْتِينَا بِالْمَلَـئِكَةِ إِن كُنتَ مِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ - مَا نُنَزِّلُ الْمَلَـئِكَةَ إِلاَّ بِالحَقِّ وَمَا كَانُواْ إِذًا مُّنظَرِينَ
(And they say: "O you to whom the Dhikr (the Qur'an) has been sent down! Verily, you are a mad man! Why do you not bring angels to us if you are of the truthful'' We send not the angels down except with the truth (i.e. for torment), and in that case, they (the disbelieves) would have no respite!)15:6-8, and two Ayat;
وَيَسْتَعْجِلُونَكَ بِالْعَذَابِ
(And they ask you to hasten on the torment!)29:53-54 Allah also said,
سَأَلَ سَآئِلٌ بِعَذَابٍ وَاقِعٍ
(A questioner asked concerning a torment about to befall.) 70:1,
يَسْتَعْجِلُ بِهَا الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مُشْفِقُونَ مِنْهَا وَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهَا الْحَقُّ
(Those who believe not therein seek to hasten it, while those who believe are fearful of it, and know that it is the very truth.)42:18, and,
وَقَالُواْ رَبَّنَا عَجِّل لَّنَا قِطَّنَا
(They say: "Our Lord! Hasten to us Qittana.)38:16, meaning, our due torment and reckoning. Allah said that they also supplicated,
وَإِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ
(And (remember) when they said: "O Allah! If this (the Qur'an) is indeed the truth from You.)8:32 They were such rebellious, stubborn disbelievers that they asked the Messenger to bring them Allah's torment. Allah replied,
وَقَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِمُ الْمَثُلَـتُ
(while exemplary punishments have indeed occurred before them.) Meaning, `We have exerted Our punishment on the previous disbelieving nations, and made them a lesson and example for those who might take heed from their destruction.' If it was not for His forbearance and forgiveness, Allah would have indeed punished them sooner. Allah said in another Ayah,
وَلَوْ يُؤَاخِذُ اللَّهُ النَّاسَ بِمَا كَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَى ظَهْرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ
(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth.)35:45 Allah said in this honorable Ayah,
وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغْفِرَةٍ لِّلنَّاسِ عَلَى ظُلْمِهِمْ
(But verily, your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind in spite of their wrongdoing.) He is full of forgiveness, pardoning and covering the mistakes of people, in spite of their wrongdoing and the errors committed night and day. Allah next reminds that His punishment is severe, so that fear and hope are both addressed and mentioned. Allah said in other Ayat,
فَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل رَّبُّكُمْ ذُو رَحْمَةٍ وَسِعَةٍ وَلاَ يُرَدُّ بَأْسُهُ عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
(If they belie you, say: "Your Lord is the Owner of vast mercy, and never will His wrath be turned back from the people who are criminals.'')6:147
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَسَرِيعُ الْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(Verily, your Lord is quick in retribution and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)7:167, and,
نَبِّىءْ عِبَادِى أَنِّى أَنَا الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ - وَأَنَّ عَذَابِى هُوَ الْعَذَابُ الاٌّلِيمُ
(Declare unto My servants that truly I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And that My torment is indeed the most painful torment.)15:49-50 There are many other Ayat that mention both fear and hope.
وَيَقُولُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْلا أُنزِلَ عَلَيْهِ آيَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ إِنَّمَآ أَنتَ مُنذِرٌ وَلِكُلِّ قَوْمٍ هَادٍ
13.6 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This refers to the demand of the Quraish from the Holy Prophet "If you are a true Prophet of God, why don't you hasten to bring that scourge of God on us of which you have been threatening us, when we are flouting and denying you ?" They did this in different ways. Sometimes they would invoke God mockingly and say, "O Lord, settle our accounts now and do not postpone these to the Day of Resurrection". At another time, they would say, "Our Lord, if what Muhammad says be true, and be from Thee, then stone us from the sky or send down some other scourge upon us from the sky or send down some other painful torment upon us." In this verse an answer has been given to such impudent demands of the disbelievers. They have been admonished to refrain from such foolish demands and avail of the respite that was being given to them and mend their ways, for they were incurring the wrath of God by adopting the attitude of rebellion.