The Quran

Commentaries for 16.88

An Nahl (The bee) - النحل

16.88 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(For those who disbelieve) in Muhammad (pbuh) and in the Qur'an, (and debar (men) from the way of Allah) from the religion and obedience of Allah, (We add doom) the doom of snakes, scorpions, hunger, thirst, biting cold and other things (to doom) to the doom of hell (because they wrought corruption) because of what they said and did of transgressions and idolatry.
16.88 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Those who disbelieve and bar, people, from the way of God, [from] His religion, them, We shall add chastisement to [their] chastisement, that [chastisement] which they have merited for their disbelief — Ibn Mas‘ūd said, ‘[Their chastisment will consist of] scorpions whose fangs are [as long] as the tallest palm trees’ — because of the corruption they used to cause, by their barring people from belief.
16.88 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Plight of the Idolators on the Day of Judgement
Allah tells us about the predicament of the idolators on the Day when they will be resurrected in the realm of the Hereafter. He will raise a witness from every nation - that is - their Prophet, to testify about their response to the Message he conveyed from Allah.
ثُمَّ لاَ يُؤْذَنُ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ
(then, those who disbelieved will not be given leave.) meaning, they will not be allowed to offer any excuse, as Allah says:
هَـذَا يَوْمُ لاَ يَنطِقُونَ - وَلاَ يُؤْذَنُ لَهُمْ فَيَعْتَذِرُونَ
(That will be a Day when they do not speak. And they will not be permitted to present any excuse) (77:35-36). Hence, Allah says:
وَلاَ هُمْ يُسْتَعْتَبُونَوَإِذَا رَأى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ
(nor will they be allowed (to return to the world) to repent and ask for Allah's forgiveness. And once those who did wrong see) meaning those who associated others in worship with Allah,
الْعَذَابَ فَلاَ يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمْ
(the torment, it will not decrease for them,) meaning it will not be reduced for them even for a moment.
وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
(nor will they be given respite. ) meaning, it will not be delayed for them, rather they will be taken quickly from the place of gathering, with no calling to account. Then Hell will be brought forth, pulled by seventy thousand ropes, each of which is held by seventy thousand angels, and a neck will stretch forth from Hell towards the people, and it will expel a gust of hot air. No one will be left but will fall to his knees. Then it (the neck that is stretched forth) will say, "I have been entrusted to deal with every stubborn, arrogant one who joined another god with Allah,'' and so and so, mentioning different types of people, as was reported in the Hadith. Then it will come down upon them and pick them up from where they are standing as a bird picks up a seed. Allah says:
إِذَا رَأَتْهُمْ مِّن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُواْ لَهَا تَغَيُّظاً وَزَفِيراً - وَإَذَآ أُلْقُواْ مِنْهَا مَكَاناً ضَيِّقاً مُّقَرَّنِينَ دَعَوْاْ هُنَالِكَ ثُبُوراً - لاَّ تَدْعُواْ الْيَوْمَ ثُبُوراً وَحِداً وَادْعُواْ ثُبُوراً كَثِيراً
(When it (Hell) sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring. And when they are thrown into a narrow part of it, chained together, they will cry for destruction. Today, do not scream for one destruction, but scream repeatedly for destruction.) (25:12-14)
وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا وَلَمْ يَجِدُواْ عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا
(And the guilty shall see the Fire and apprehend that they are about to fall into it. And they will find no way to avoid it.) (18:53)
لَوْ يَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ حِينَ لاَ يَكُفُّونَ عَن وُجُوهِهِمُ النَّارَ وَلاَ عَن ظُهُورِهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يُنصَرُونَ - بَلْ تَأْتِيهِم بَغْتَةً فَتَبْهَتُهُمْ فَلاَ يَسْتَطِيعُونَ رَدَّهَا وَلاَ هُمْ يُنظَرُونَ
(If only those who disbelieved knew (about the time) when they will not be able to protect their faces nor their backs from the Fire, and they have no help. Nay, it (the Fire) will come upon them all of a sudden and will perplex them, and they will have no power to avert it nor will they have any respite.) (21:39-40)
The gods of the Idolators will disown Them at the Time when They need them most
Then Allah tells us that their gods will disown them when they need them most. He says:
وَإِذَا رَءَا الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ شُرَكَآءَهُمْ
(And when those who associated partners with Allah see their partners) meaning, those whom they used to worship in this world.'
قَالُواْ رَبَّنَا هَـؤُلآءِ شُرَكَآؤُنَا الَّذِينَ كُنَّا نَدْعُوْا مِن دُونِكَ فَألْقَوْا إِلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلَ إِنَّكُمْ لَكَـذِبُونَ
(they will say: "Our Lord! These are our partners whom we used to call upon besides you.'' But they will throw their statements back at them (saying): "You are indeed liars!'') i.e., those gods will say to them, `you are lying. We never commanded you to worship us.' Allah says:
وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّن يَدْعُو مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ مَن لاَّ يَسْتَجِيبُ لَهُ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَهُمْ عَن دُعَآئِهِمْ غَـفِلُونَ - وَإِذَا حُشِرَ النَّاسُ كَانُواْ لَهُمْ أَعْدَآءً وَكَانُواْ بِعِبَادَتِهِمْ كَـفِرِينَ
(And who is more astray than one who calls upon others besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their invocations to them And when the people are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worship,) (46:5-6)
وَاتَّخَذُواْ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ ءالِهَةً لِّيَكُونُواْ لَهُمْ عِزّاً
كَلاَّ سَيَكْفُرُونَ بِعِبَـدَتِهِمْ وَيَكُونُونَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضِدّاً
(And they have taken gods besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory. Nay, but they will deny their worship, and become their adversaries (on the Day of Resurrection).) (19:81-82) Al-Khalil Ibrahim said:
ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُمْ بِبَعْضٍ
(but on the Day of Resurrection, you will disown each other) 29:25 And Allah says:
وَقِيلَ ادْعُواْ شُرَكَآءَكُمْ
(And it will be said (to them): "Call upon your partners'') 28:64 And there are many other similar Ayat.
Everything will surrender to Allah on the Day of Resurrection
وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَى اللَّهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ السَّلَمَ
(And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day,) Qatadah and `Ikrimah said: "They will humble themselves and surrender on that Day,'' i.e., they will all surrender to Allah, there will not be anyone who does not hear and obey. As Allah says:
أَسْمِعْ بِهِمْ وَأَبْصِرْ يَوْمَ يَأْتُونَنَا
(How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us!) 19:38 meaning, they will see and hear better than they have ever seen and heard before. And Allah says:
وَلَوْ تَرَى إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواْ رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَآ أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا
(And if you only could see when the guilty hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.'') 32:12
وَعَنَتِ الْوُجُوهُ لِلْحَىِّ الْقَيُّومِ
(And (all) faces shall be humbled before the Ever Living, the Sustainer.) 20:111 meaning, they will humble and submit themselves.
وَأَلْقَوْاْ إِلَى اللَّهِ يَوْمَئِذٍ السَّلَمَ وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ
(And they will offer (their full) submission to Allah on that Day, and what they falsely invented will wander away from them.) The things that they used to worship which were all based on fabrications and lies, will all disappear, and they will have no helper or supporter, and no one to turn to.
Those among the Idolators who corrupted Others will receive a Greater Punishment
Then Allah tells us:
الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ وَصَدُّواْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ زِدْنَـهُمْ عَذَابًا
(Those who disbelieved and tried to obstruct the path of Allah, for them We will add torment) meaning one punishment for their disbelief and another punishment for turning others away from following the truth, as Allah says:
وَهُمْ يَنْهَوْنَ عَنْهُ وَيَنْأَوْنَ عَنْهُ
(And they prevent others from him and they themselves keep away from him) 6:26 meaning they forbade others to follow him and they themselves shunned him, but:
وَإِن يُهْلِكُونَ إِلاَّ أَنفُسَهُمْ وَمَا يَشْعُرُونَ
(they destroyed only themselves, while they do not realize it.) This is evidence that there will be varying levels of punishment for the disbelievers, just as there will be varying degrees of Paradise for the believers, as Allah says:
قَالَ لِكُلٍّ ضِعْفٌ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَعْلَمُونَ
(For each one there is double (torment), but you know not.) 7:38
16.84-88 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The witness will be the Prophet of that community or his follower who invited that community to Tauhid and God-worship and warned it of the consequences of shirk and superstitious rites and customs and cautioned it against the accountability on the Day of Resurrection. He will bear witness of the fact that he had conveyed the true Message to those people, and that they committed evils deliberately and not in ignorance.
This does not mean that the criminals will not be given any opportunity to clear themselves but it means that their crimes will be proved to the hilt by means of irrefutable evidence which will leave no room for excuses.
That is, "They will not be given the opportunity to beg pardon of their Lord for their crimes. For that will be the time of judgment as the time of begging pardon would have ended long before this." The Qur'an and the Traditions are explicit on this point that the place for penitence is this world and not the Next World. Even in this world the opportunity is lost as soon as signs of death begin to appear, for the penitence at that time will be of no avail when a person knows that the time of his death has come. Respite for deeds expires as soon as one enters into the boundary of death, and the only thing that remains after that is the award of reward and punishment.
It does not mean that they would deny the fact that the mushriks used to invoke their help. They will call them liars in the sense that they had made them deities without their knowledge, information and permission, as if to say, "We never told you to leave Allah aside and pray to us for help. As a matter of fact, we never approved of this, nay, we were utterly unaware of this that you were invoking us. It was an utter lie that you considered us to be able to hear your prayers, answer them and help you out of your difficulties. As you yourselves were responsible for this shirk, why arc you involving us in its consequences?"
That is, "All those things on which they had relied will prove to be false, for they will not find anyone to hear their supplication nor anyone to remove their hardships. Nay, there will be none who will come forward and say, "These. are my dependents: so no action should be taken against them."
Double torment: one for their own disbelief and the other for hindering others from the Way of Allah.
16.88 Tustari - Al-Tustari
…We shall add torment upon torment …He said:Jābir b. ʿAbd Allāh related that he asked the Prophet about what this increase [in torment] was. The Messenger of God replied: ‘The increase is in five rivers which come out from beneath the Throne and fall upon the heads of those among the people of the Hellfire who reject God and His Messenger. Three of them are proportionate to the night in measure, and two of them proportionate to the day in measure. They flow with fire forever, as long as they abide there.’His words, Exalted is He: