The Quran

Commentaries for 17.18

Bani Israil (The Israelites) - الإسراء

17.18 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Whoso desireth that (life) which hasteneth away) i.e. this worldly life by performing that which was made obligatory upon him, (We hasten for him therein) We give him in this worldly life (that We will) to give (for whom We please) to destroy in the Hereafter. (And afterward We have appointed) We have decreed (for him hell; he will endure the heat thereof, condemned, rejected) and deprived from the reward of any good deed. This verse was revealed about Marthad Ibn Thumamah.
17.18 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Whoever desires, through his deeds, the hasty world, that is, [the life of] this world, We hasten for him therein whatever We will, for whom We please, [such] a hastening, (li-man nurīd, ‘for whom We please’, is a substitute for lahu, ‘for him’, with the repetition of the genitive particle [li-]). Then We appoint for him, in the Hereafter, Hell, to which he will be exposed, [to which] he will be admitted, condemned, blameful, and rejected, banished from [God’s] mercy.
17.18 Kashani - Kashani
Whoever desires the hasty [world], because of the impurity of his preparedness and his being overcome by his vain desires and nature, We hasten for him therein whatever We will, for whom We please: that is, We do not give him more [purely] out of his own volition, no more than what We had determined for him in the way of [his] share in the [Preserved] Tablet. That is why He has made this [hastening] conditional upon His will and again [conditional] with His words 'for whom We please'. In other words, if We had not determined any of what he desired, We would not have made it [possible] for him to exact it: We only give what We please to whom We please. Then We appoint for him Hellfire, that is, the bottommost pit of dark physical nature, because of his attraction, by his own desire, to the lower aspect and his inclination to it, to which he will be exposed, by means of the fires of privation, condemned, by the people of this world and those of the Hereafter, and rejected, from the Side of Mercy and Beatitude, under the wrath of God and His vanquishing.
17.18-19 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
The Reward of Those who desire this World and Those who desire the Hereafter
Allah tells us that not everyone who desires this world and its luxuries gets what he wants. That is attained by those whom Allah wants to have it, and they get what He wills that they should get. This Ayah narrows down the general statements made in other Ayat. Allah says:
عَجَّلْنَا لَهُ فِيهَا مَا نَشَآءُ لِمَن نُّرِيدُ ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَا لَهُ جَهَنَّمَ
(We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell) meaning, in the Hereafter,
يَصْلَـهَآ
(he will burn therein) means, he will enter it until it covers him on all sides,
مَذْمُومًا
(disgraced) means, blamed for his bad behaviour and evil deeds, because he chose the transient over the eternal,
مَّدْحُورًا
(rejected.) means, far away (from Allah's mercy), humiliated and put to shame.
وَمَنْ أَرَادَ الاٌّخِرَةَ
(And whoever desires the Hereafter) wanting the Hereafter and its blessings and delights,
وَسَعَى لَهَا سَعْيَهَا
(and strives for it, with the necessary effort due for it) seeking it in the right way, which is following the Messenger.
وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ
(while he is a believer,) means, his heart has faith, i.e., he believes in the reward and punishment,
فَأُولَـئِكَ كَانَ سَعْيُهُم مَّشْكُورًا
(then such are the ones whose striving shall be appreciated, (rewarded by Allah).)
17.18-21 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
The Arabic word Ajilah literally means something which can be had immediately, but the Qur'an employs it as a term for "This World" which yields its advantages and results in this worldly life. Its antonym is Akhirat (Hereafter) which will yield its advantages and results after death in the life of the Next World.
The person who does not believe in the life of the Hereafter deserves Hell, because he strives only for the successes and good things of this world and his endeavors are confined to material objects. Consequently, such a person becomes a mere worshiper of this world and adopts wrong conduct, for he has no sense of personal responsibility and accountability to God and ultimately deserves the torment of Hell.
"His endeavors will be appreciated": he will be rewarded for the efforts he had made for success in the Hereafter.
Allah gives the provisions of this world both to those who strive for this world and to those who strive for the Hereafter, but it is the gift of Allah alone and not of anyone else. It does not lie in the power of the worshipers of the world to deprive the seekers after the Hereafter of these provisions: nor have the seekers after the Hereafter any power to withhold these provisions from the worshipers of the world.
This is to show that the seekers after the Hereafter have been exalted over the worshipers of the world even in this worldly life. However, this exaltation is not in regard to the good things of this world -rich food and dress, palatial dwellings, limousines, helicopters and other grand things, but it is from another point of view. They enjoy that true honor, love and good-will which is denied to the tyrants and the rich people in spite of the fact that they may be indigent. This is because whatever the seekers after the Hereafter get in this world, it is earned in righteous and honest ways, while the worshipers of the world amass wealth by employing dishonest and cruel ways. Then the former spend what they get with prudence and righteousness. They fulfill the obligations they owe to others. They spend their money in the Way of Allah and to please Allah on the needy.and the indigent. In contrast to them, the worshipers of this world spend their money in.the enjoyment of luxuries, wicked works, corruption and spreading other evil things. This makes the former models of God-worship and purity in every respect and distinguishes them so clearly, from the worshipers of the world that they shine in exaltation over the latter. These things clearly indicate that in the next world the grades of the seekers after the Hereafter will be far greater and their superiority far higher than those of the worshipers of the world.