The Quran

Commentaries for 16.45

An Nahl (The bee) - النحل

16.45 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Are they who plan ill deeds) associating partners with Allah (then secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them, or that the doom will not come on them whence they know not) it will come?
16.45 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Do they feel secure, those who have schemed evil, schemes against the Prophet (s) at the Council Assembly, [schemes] such as detaining him, killing him or banishing him, as mentioned in [sūrat] al-Anfāl [Q. 8:30], that God will not cause the earth to swallow them, as [God did] with Qārūn [Q. 28:81], or that the chastisement will not come upon them whence they are not aware of?, that is, in a way which would not occur to them. Indeed, they were destroyed at Badr even though they had never anticipated it.
16.45-47 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
How the Guilty can feel Secure
Allah informs us about His patience, and how He delays the punishment for the sinners who do evil things and call others to do likewise, plotting to call others to do evil - even though He is able to make the earth swallow them or to bring His wrath upon them.
مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
(from where they do not perceive it), meaning in such a way that they do not know where it comes from. As Allah says:
أَءَمِنتُمْ مَّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يَخْسِفَ بِكُمُ الاٌّرْضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ - أَمْ أَمِنتُمْ مِّن فِى السَّمَآءِ أَن يُرْسِلَ عَلَيْكُمْ حَـصِباً فَسَتَعْلَمُونَ كَيْفَ نَذِيرِ
(Do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause you to sink into the earth, when it quakes Or do you feel secure that He Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send a storm of stones upon you Then you shall know how My warning really is.) (67:16-17).
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ
(Or that He may punish them in the midst of their going to and fro) meaning, when they are busy with their daily business, travel, and other distracting activities. Qatadah and As-Suddi said:
(Their going to and fro) means their journeys.'' As Allah says:
أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ - أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
(Did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep Or, did the people of the towns feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing) (7:97-98)
فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ
(so that there be no escape for them (from Allah's punishment)) meaning, it is not impossible for Allah, no matter what their situation.
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ
(Or that He may punish them where they fear it most) meaning, or Allah will take from them what they most fear, which is even more frightening, because when the thing you most fear to happen does happen, this is even worse. Hence Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said that,
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ
(Or that He may punish them where they fear it most) means that Allah is saying: If I wish, I can take him after the death of his companion and after he has become frightened of that.' This was also reported from Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and others. Then Allah says:
فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(Indeed your Lord is full of kindness, Most Merciful.) meaning, because He does not hasten to punish, as was reported in the Two Sahihs:
«لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذًى سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ، إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم»
(No one is more patient in the case of hearing offensive speech than Allah, for they attribute to Him a son, while He alone is giving them provision and good health.) And it is also recorded in Two Sahihs,
«إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه»
(Allah will let the wrongdoer continue until, when He begins to punish him, He will never let him go.) Then the Messenger of Allah recited:
وَكَذلِكَ أَخْذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَا أَخَذَ الْقُرَى وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ إِنَّ أَخْذَهُ أَلِيمٌ شَدِيدٌ
(Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. Indeed, His punishment is painful, (and) severe) (11:102) And Allah says:
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن قَرْيَةٍ أَمْلَيْتُ لَهَا وَهِىَ ظَـلِمَةٌ ثُمَّ أَخَذْتُهَا وَإِلَىَّ الْمَصِيرُ
(And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then I punished it. And to Me is the (final) return (of all).) (22:48)